The Pseudoliberals of India (Part-1)
Who are the liberals? Are these the individuals, bit eccentric, free of inhibitions & shackles and laid down by some norms of media, society or the State… speaking for other’s individual rights and liberty? Is he/she a politician free of party ideology? Is he/she having an equal empathy for the poor & downtrodden? Is he/she a religious liberal having equal faith in other religions? An ideology against the majoritarian & authoritarian? Is he/she an individual rising above a narrow view-point on castes, creeds, race or religious basis? Is he/she an elite having equal concerns for the underprivileged? Is he/she the ones who avoid adopting conservative approaches? Who are they?
Any person reasonably knowledgeable in own domain, selflessly speaking for the rights and liberty of the others unable to effectively raise own concerns, may be considered a liberal. Such concerns may relate to any fields as mentioned above except one… the Nation. Any views against the Nation or its supreme institutions that may put the national pride at stakes, can never be justified whatever novel be the issue. This is one area where a lot many people are presently hurting our national interests and prides in the name of being liberal and this must not be excused irrespective of who the person may be.
The meaning and understanding of liberals also seem to be changing with the financial, social, religious, political and military transformation of India. Of late, many self-styled liberals bashing a democratically elected govt and spewing venom against own army, independant institutions (Supreme Court, CEC or CVC), strengthning of the country are increasingly getting more ‘air time’ in some media. It is unworthy to name them but they do have some influence on others’ opinions. They may be media persons with bias, persons of political leaning or of 'paid opinions' and those with highly biased views on Human Rights. Presently the most active group of individuals claiming to be liberals are trying to project the followings narratives:-
- Hindu ideology oriented groups are targeting minorities of India.
- Modi Govt is targeting minorities esp Muslims in India.
- Modi is breaking India.
- Blame security forces' courageous steps to curb terrorism.
- Criticising economic policies & and unemployment esp in the times of pandemics.
- False narratives of increased atrocities against Dalits under Modi Govt.
- Violating Human Rights in Kashmir.
- Skewed views on foreign policies.
As is apparent, most of the narratives are of religious natures, some against the political decisions of the government and others of socio-economic and divisive politics. Let us examine all these groupings of the narratives whether it bears any semblance to being called liberal….
Hindu ideology oriented groups are targeting minorities of India. After Modi Govt came to power in 2014, some fringe Hindu groups became active esp against cow-slaughters in many states where it was banned. The Cows form a motherly sentiment in Hinduism right from Vedic period that needs to be protected. Some of the past govts passed laws in this regard but its implimentations were slackened owing to Muslim 'vote-bank' politics and some political parties. It is true that many of the groups adopted vigilantism against cow trades and slaughters by the Muslims. There were several attacks on the suspects and some were lynched too. Although the state law & order mechanism were beefed-up but isolated incidents still did take place. Another Hindu emotional issue was the illegal religious conversions to Islam and Christianity (on allurement) and some attacks were mounted on the perpetrators indulging in conversions. It did become a do or die debate topic for the liberal media but seldom any pseudoliberal talk of the underlined causes behind such attacks. there were many lynchings of Hindus by the Muslims too but hardly any pseudo-liberals talked of it incl the 3 Sadhus of Palghar...for no fault of them at all. There are several grudges as below that Hindus have against the Indian Muslims and hardly anyone, be it Govt or non-Govt are showing any concerns thus infuriating the Hindus. Anger among Hindus is growing against the destruction of temples and mass conversions in two states (Andhra and Tamilnadu) where CMs are Christians. Respective govts will be wiser to redress the issues otherwise, Hindus of India may take the law in their own hands. There are several barbaric attacks by Muslims on Hindus in West Bengal for which Mamata Banerjee govt is indulging in condemnable 'Muslim vote-bank' politics (Hinduphobia in Telinipara, West Bengal; The Counterviews; Issue 2:11; pp-7; https://thecounterviews.com/issue_02_11).
Modi Govt is targeting Minorities. These days there are numerous so-called liberals with clear anti-Hindu stands, some from own but many from the other communities esp the Muslims. Leaving out handful of exceptions, the majority of Muslims in India are either averse or indifferent to Hindus for whatever reasons. For them Islam comes first and then the nation they live or its citizen. A handful of them are radicals & jihadis, some hardliners with Islamic ideologies and large number of them being their sympathisers. Most Islamic clerics and preachers have a hardliner’s approach. They work in the interest of Islam, for its expansion among others....and this expansionism clearly raises Hindu eyebrows (Muslims of India; Part 1 & 2; https://articles.thecounterviews.com/articles/muslims-of-india-part-2-why-the-hindu-muslim-distrust-and-gap/).
It is an inconvenient fact that Islam is intolerant to other religions. Today it is virtually at war with most others, some sects of even own religion (Islamic Hate, Intolerance, Bigotry &Fascism and the Global Caliphate; https://articles.thecounterviews.com/articles/islamic-intolerance-bigotry-fascism-global-caliphate/). It can be seen that the religious minorities have virtually become extinct in almost all Islamic nations. Even in the recent years their hate against others are naked violence of Human Rights to which even United Nations have largely turned blind eyes. As late as 1990s Muslims committed Genocide of Hindu Pandits and made them to flee out of Kashmir to save their honour and dignity (Looking Back at Ralive, Tsalive ya Galive : January 1990 Genocide of Kashmiri Pandits; The Counterviews, Issue 4:02; https://articles.thecounterviews.com/articles/ralive-tsalive-ya-galive-january-1990-genocide-kashmiri-pandits/). In 2006 Iraqi ISIS radicals virtually wiped out their own Yezidi citizens...making their women sex slaves, men with ultimatum to convert, flee or die....same as those of Kashmiri Pandits who were given ultimatum of “Ralive, Tsalive ya Galive (convert, flee or die)”. We are seeing this happening in many parts of the world where Muslims are either in majority or in substantial numbers, be it Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Syria, Egypt, Sudan, CAR, Somalia, Nigeria and so on. The radical groups committing such crimes number over150 different names, some prominent names being Al-Qaida, JuD, LeT, Taliban, ISIS, Boko-Haram, Al-Shabab, Ansar al Sharia, Abu Sayyaf and so on…... The worse part of such happenings is that “Jihad” as one of the seven tenets of Islam permits such atrocities in the name of expansionism, for the cause of Islam for which politico-religious and financial supports come from almost every Islamic nation.
In India itself, Hindus are made to flee from Muslim dominated areas. This is the reason why the Indian Religions having suffered immensely in the hands of medieval Muslim rulers....are ever critical of Muslim numerical dominance in their neighbourhood. Seldom any Muslim flees from a Hindu dominated area but it is a fact that Hindu feel unsafe in Muslim dominated localities and do consider fleeing. There is a wide feeling among Hindus & Sikhs that Islam (or Muslims) is incompatible for a peaceful & harmonious coexistance. Under such Hindu-Muslim suspicious co-living, the number of Muslims in any society do matter. Muslims in India have grown 5-folds since partition against 3-fold increase of Hindus and others. Muslims have their decadal birth rate 50% higher than Hindus thus virtually proliferating. Hindus have already become a minority in 12 districts of India besides the Muslim majority J&K. It is this reason that some Hindu groups are alarmed at the increasing Muslim population percentage at the cost of the Hindu and become activists for the cause. Hence, it is the reason as above why any religious conversion to Islam in India is frowned upon. Having started with the conversions to Islam especially by allurement, enticement and ‘love-jihad’ for which substantial funds are received from abroad, some similarities were also seen among Christian missionaries using similar tactics as Islam. This is the reason why some Hindu groups are against the Christian missionaries too.
There are some Hindu too who are politically averse to the growing Hindu discomfiture against rapidly increasing Muslims because they have been their traditional 'vote-bank' right from the days of Nehru & Indira. Muslim votes are largely guided by their clerics. These clerics opine of the policies of Muslim appeasements. Although the Congress party has long been thriving on vote-bank policies, of late other political outfits too have tested successes of their appeasement. Lallu Prasad’s and Mulayam Yadav's RJD & SP with an unholy 'M-Y' formula, Mayawati’s Dalit-Muslim Bhai-Bhai, Mamata Banerji’s appeasement stance of ‘Bangla Manush’ for the illegal Muslims of Bangladesh are some of the examples. Hence, in any protest started by the Muslims or their ‘vote-bank’ political leaders, we do find a handful of Hindus too as political boot-lickers. The Larger the numbers of Muslims in any state, the larger are the ‘vote-bank’ clouts…..Bengal, Bihar, Kerala, UP, Andhra, Maharashtra and MP being in the fore-front. I wonder why I have got in to Hindu-Muslim issues while talking of the liberals but this is a bitter fact in India. All such individuals or groups who claim to be liberals, blaming Hindu activists of beating communal passions, are feigning ignorance to the Hindu-apprehensions in India.
The next groups of individuals claim to be liberals by virtue of their ‘anti-Govt stance’. Apparently nothing is wrong in this concept. However, we have seen it happening so often in the recent years when their anti-Govt stance did changed to their anti-national stances. This continues happening rather frequently in the recent years. They are damning India on Human Rights for stray incidence of lynching linked to banned caw slaughtering in many states. They stand by the sides of many Mullahs, misguided Muslim youths supporting the cause of radical Islam or chanting ‘desh ke Tukde’ in the name of freedom of expression. They do not hesitate demeaning the highest Institutions of our democracy be it Supreme Court, Election Commission as well as even our Armed Forces by questioning their bold decisions. Enemies of our nation often seem so dear to them in their praise. There are allegations that they may be getting paid for their anti-national rants.
Before Modi Govt came to power, “Roti, Kapda aur Makan” used to be a slogan of the opposition politicians, the subversionists and the pseudo-liberals. Let us not confuse our reformist leaders with the pseudo-liberals. After Modi govt came to power as PM, he ensured that the poor have their food guaranty through effective PDS. The earning grew after the entire sum of the daily wages came into their 'Jan-dhan' account under DBT without the middlemen eating share. Schemes like free toilets, cooking gases connection ‘Ujjwala’ and free electricity connections given to them under “saubhagya’ scheme made the poor feel that govt has started doing their bits for them. Thereafter “Makan” is expected to be ensured for all poor by 2024 through PM Awas Yojna. Thus Modi govt has virtually taken away the ‘anti-govt sloganeering tools’ from the hands of both political & social critics. In the growing popularity of Modi Govt, Congress lost most of its bastions in 2015-17. Those electoral reverses combined with the bleak prospects of Parliamentary elections of 2019 made the Congress, Communist and some other regional political parties to align with communal & caste-based divisive groups as well as with some of those indulging in extremism, terrorism and violence in the hopes of getting allegiance of those opposed to the nationalism. Thus there is hardly any justification in calling these narrative on political and socio-economic concerns as liberal. There are overtones in such narratives of being divisive in nature.
Most narratives that we see being deliberated on TV by the so-called liberals, are nothing but Modi bashing tactics of some individuals having clear leaning or affiliations towards the opposition political parties and the others. Plenty of pseudo-political liberalism have been written and said against Modi Govt during and before the Lok Sabha elections of 2019. This includes some of the renowned social & media persons like Yogendra Yadav, Sudhendra Kulkarni, Ruchira Gupta, Barkha Dutt, Kapil Komireddi, Ramchandra Guha, Binayak Sen, Ashish Nandy, Arundhati Roy, Teesta Setalvad… to name a few. Many of these self-styled liberals had also made forecasts of Modi Govt dividing India in his first 5 years but nothing of such mishaps happened. On the contrary, Modi Govt gained huge successes on all fronts. It only seems that fear-mongering is their business for which they make headlines in the leading newspapers and media houses either for the sake of self-portraying or mud-slinging on the adversaries and opponents and in turn, getting paid for it. Many newspapers show such leaning and just to name a few, 'The Hindu' is influenced by Congress & Communist, Times of India/Indian Express are often harsh on Modi Govt;and such examples are in plenty. Some vivid analysis of the statements of such pseudo-liberals have been analysed in 24 May 2019 issue of the “Livemint” magazine…. worth reading. They all know how to sell the hot cakes of “anti-Modi, anti-Hindu or anti-India rants” knowing well that there is a huge market of the buyers, both within and outside of our country, esp those pertaining to Muslims, Kashmir, Human Rights and so on.
Are they really liberals? No sir! They are all pseudo-liberals, self-portraying, fishing in troubled waters to seek cheap popularity. Some are also believed to be getting paid handsomely for their anti-India rants and acts….….whether in cash or in kind. It is so obvious at most of Rajdeep Sardesai anchored debates on the above issues. Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter Iltija Mufti gets uninterrupted 7-10 min venomous rants against the Indian state following abrogation of article 370 and BJP’s spokesperson Sambit Patra is interrupted by the same anchor in 70 seconds trying to clarify...and this is not Rajdeep Sardesai alone….it is a whole lot of the self-styled liberals….be it Prannoy Roy, Sagarika Ghosh, Barkha Datt, Raveesh Kumar and so on…..numerous lot of them. As such some journos are known to be tainted among their own agencies (http://www.mediacrooks.com/2014/02/indias-worst-journalists-2014.html).
Having considered all above, one may still wonder who the Indian liberals are. It cannot be established whatever the personalities considered above are selflessly working to voice the concerns of others unable to speak out. In today’s India there is seldom a group that does not have their voices. The free and vibrant media is making it possible to have access to even them. This however, must not take away the fact that there are some smaller groups of people at disadvantages. To whom the fruits of the new development models of Modi’s India have not reached as much as claimed by the govt; who are unaware of what a ‘jan-dhan’ bank account is and DBT may be; who find themselves cut-off from the mainstream socio-economic or geo-political & cultural advances. They are no position to offer any pleasantry to the self-styled and pseudo-liberals of the country. A few who have been silently involved in the upliftment of such groups do find some occasional recognitions in Modi’s ‘man ki baat’ or being conferred with some honour & awards by the present govt which have percolated to them in recent years. It is so unfortunate that there are seldom a renowned personality in public view who can be considered a true liberal. Those claiming to be the ones, are biased, beating their own drums, further their own motives, are “Pseudoliberals” at best.