The bugle for the epic battle for India has been sounded. The next 70 days or so will decide and define the future trajectory of India, the texture of her collective will and the aspiration of her people to see India rise in the comity of nations and play her rightful and ordained role. It is going to be a struggle between the idea and vision of a “New India” and the still persistent but waning imposition of an India that is exclusive, elite, anti-spiritual, and disdainful of emotions of patriotism.
It is a struggle between those ideologies and thoughts which wish to see India’s collective march towards self-reliance and prosperity retarded, which wish to see her subsist as a satellite of dominant nations and ideologies or as a captive of elements who have no regard for the sanctity of international living, whose entire ideological orientation and action is inspired by violence and acts of terror. And those who wish to re-connect India with her deeper civilisational dimension, who wish to see that source inspire, impel and propel her to greatness once again. It is a struggle against those who have consistently worked to quarantine that source, to disconnect it from the flow of our national life and to falsely prove that it has been the cause of our backwardness.
It is a struggle between the believers of the “politics of service” and the bards of the “politics of self-alienation”. The politics of service, as I have often argued, aims at uplifting, empowering and mainstreaming the marginalised; it sees in them strength, possibilities and scope; it approaches them with dignity and not with the thought of exploiting; the call for development, for it, is not a mere claptrap but a profound article of faith.
The politics of self-alienation persists with the old method of conflict, class clash, vote-bank obsession, casteism, appeasement and dynasty-driven agendas and not those arising out of India’s national interest. For this brand of nefarious politics, the call for erasing poverty is merely a slogan; for this texture of politics, it is never “India First”; for it, the call for “breaking India” is acceptable in the name of freedom of expression; for this politics, nothing sacred is sacrosanct and the identification with the vision of a motherland is a regressive bourgeois superstition that must be attacked, defiled and bludgeoned out of existence. It is a politics that is disconnected from the roots and soul of authentic India.
It is a struggle between those —to borrow a description from the late philosopher and Sri Aurobindo scholar Amal Kiran—who believe that “nationalism, to be the truest, must be not only a movement against a foreign rule but also an expression of the nation’s authentic temperament” and those who obstruct that movement for an authentic recovery of our civilisational self. In our age and times, Narendra Modi emerges as the most genuine voice of India’s quest for re-establishing her “authentic temperament”. In the last five years he has defined, shaped, articulated and led that quest.
He has altered mindsets; he has persisted with his mission to work for India’s civilisational rise. He has rekindled our ancient faith in India’s civilisational exceptionalism; he has reinforced our fundamental faith in the words of our seers of yore that India rises to serve humanity and to be a leader among nations. He has directed and reiterated our pledge of support to the Indian Republic, to its soul and essence, to protect it—to borrow from Amal Kiran—“against all invaders and against all who, from within, would sabotage the life of liberty which it envisages”.
The struggle for India in 2019 is between those who want to suppress and those who wish to perpetuate the quest for re-stating India’s “authentic temperament” without hesitation or reserve.
You need to decide on which side you would like to join this epic battle.
The writer can be contacted in Twitter: @anirbanganguly
Anirban Ganguly is the Director, Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation