My detractors often call me and several others of my ilk a ‘Hindu Nationalist’. The ‘Left-Liberal’ pack uses this term to run down those who do not share its narrative and have an alternate view on history, economics, contemporary developments or various other issues. Of late, the phrase has increasingly assumed pejorative connotations in select intellectual circles.
But who are these ‘Left-Liberals’ to label the likes of me? To begin with, these two words—Left and Liberal—are not synonyms. The term Left-Liberal is an oxymoron. The Left ideology has no liberal content, either in theory or practice.
The communist regimes, wherever they have been in power, at home (Kerala and West Bengal) or abroad (Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, North Korea, etc.) have left behind a bloody trail. Dissidents and suspects in Left regimes either disappear without a trace or land up in concentration camps.
The ‘Hindu Nationalists’ are victims of demonisation, a standard strategy the Left-Liberals resort to eliminate their ideological opponents, nay enemies. They have attained expertise at vilification, perfected by decades of global experience. Economical with the truth, they use white lies and half-truths to squash class enemies.
Who claims to be the biggest flag-bearer of ‘secularism’ in India? Undoubtedly the Left-Liberal pack. Its ingenuity in twisting facts, distorting history and its perfidy on the unsuspecting society is unmatched. The Left had conspired with the departing British and the virulently communal Muslim League to vivisect India and create a theocratic Pakistan.
The new country has been wedded to a rabid religious dispensation under which non-Muslims continue to be second-class citizens. No wonder, the share of Hindus and Sikhs in present day Pakistan is less than one per cent, a huge drop from 24 per cent at the time of Partition. The bulk of non-Muslims have either been forced to convert to Islam or have fled the Islamic Republic to save their lives and honour.
Clearly, the hands of the Left are tainted with the blood of millions of innocents, the unsuspecting victims of the bloody Partition. Terror modules funded and trained by Pakistan continue to claim numerous Indian lives.
The Left is not even apologetic about it. Instead, after dividing the country on religious lines, it has the gall to pontificate on secular values and certify who is ‘secular’ and ‘communal’ in the Indian context. This obvious contradiction leads to bizarre situations every second day.
Seeking an end to triple talaq to ensure gender equality is ‘communal’ and so is the demand for reconstruction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya. But when a section of Kashmiri Muslims wave Pakistani/ISIS flags, scream slogans demanding azaadi and pelt the Indian Army with stones while it is combating terrorists, they (Kashmiri Muslims) are said to be exercising their ‘democratic right to protest’.
The demolition of scores of temples (some of them hundreds of years old) in the Valley during 1985–90 hardly gets a line in print. Numerous killings of Kashmiri Pandits at the hands of terrorists motivated by Islamic frenzy was just a statistic. Not even one terrorist has been brought to book on this account till date. Forced eviction of the entire community and decimation of their timeless culture is a non-event in the Left-Liberal narrative. Raising such issues invites derision and derogatory labels at the hands of the Left-Liberal pack.
For them, the story of Gujarat begins and ends with the alleged atrocities suffered by Muslim victims during the 2002 riots. Their travails are repeatedly brought out in interviews and detailed one-sided exaggerated accounts. There is not even a casual mention of 60 odd innocent Karsevaks who were burnt alive in a train in Godhra and of the Hindus targeted during the ensuring riots.
Till about a decade back, the Left-Liberal gang could get away with this charade because it controlled almost the entire English media and academia. It did not give even half a chance to any alternate narrative. But this is changing fast. After 1990, private news channels entered the scene, ending their monopoly on the flow of news and views. Then came social media: Twitter and WhatsApp. It was no longer possible to shut out any information or opinion.
Recall the procession taken out by Left icon Kanhaiya Kumar and his “liberal” friends in JNU in which there were screams calling for “death to India”. The sordid show came to light because of the enterprise of some student journos who recorded the event on their phones and passed on the recordings to TV channels. Technology helped unmask the anti-nationals masquerading as ‘liberals’ and ‘progressives’. With their faces frequently getting unmasked and alternate arguments coming to light, the Left-Liberal pack is now nonplussed. Till recently, it had no ‘other’ side to contend with. Now the battle of ideas is on a level playing field. The comfort of monopoly is no longer available.
Bewildered, ‘Left-Liberals’ of late have been shouting hoarse that none can question their credentials of patriotism or define the concept for them. But these very people arrogate to themselves the power to certify who is ‘secular’ and ‘communal’ in Indian public life in spite of their dismal record on this count. Secularism to them is pandering to the most radical and divisive strains of Islam.
While Left and Liberal are contradictory terms, Hindu and Nationalists are complimentary. India is India, with its democracy and secularism not because of its Constitution. The Constitution has these values because they flow from timeless pluralistic Hindu traditions of this country. India minus Hinduism will probably be a cultural extension of Afghanistan or Pakistan, a barren land, devoid of its colourful catholic ancient civilisation. I happily confess that I am a ‘Hindu-Nationalist’.
Former Rajya Sabha member and Delhi-based commentator on social and political issues