Ramachandra Guha of “India after Gandhi” fame once visited our lab and gave a talk in our “Kaleidoscope” series. He outlined nine threats to Indian security – Maoists, majority communalism, the divide between the rich and the poor, and so on. Unfortunately, he missed out on three others: the so called liberals and human rights activists, the communists and the UPA.
The common thread to these three threats is that they represent the left in its different colours and flavours. There is the hard-left – the Maoists who are determined to undermine the state militarily, the soft-left, comprising of the activists and the leftists who want to it by sleight of hand, and the UPA who wants to do it by inaction.
Let me elaborate. For long, it has been thought that Muslim and Hindu fundamentalism feeds each other. The most common example is the the Shah bano case and allowing Shilanyas at the disputed site in Ayodhya. One set of fundamentalists got the law amended to undermine women’s rights, and the other got the opportunity to start a ‘communal’ movement. However, what is forgotten in these discourses is the role of the “secularists”, “progressives”, and the “leftists”. While there was widespread condemnation of the Shilanyas and the subsequent yatra, condemnation of the parliamentary amendment was muted. And this is a pattern that is familiar. Secularists who condemn the attack on M.F. Hussain, are suddenly silent when a professor in Kerala has his arms chopped and is suspended from service. ‘Progressives’ who come on to the streets against the burkha ban somewhere in France, don’t venture out when the popular front of Kerala threatens a woman for refusing to wear the veil. Our own Manmoron Singh, who spent sleepless nights at the thought of Dr. Haneef in spending time in jail, had a sound, silent sleep when tens of innocent students (mostly Hindus and Sikhs) were beaten and killed in Australia. In the latest incident, I saw a human-rights activist talk about the suffering of the Kashmiri Muslims without a single nod of acknowledgement towards the suffering of the Pandits, which was one of the worst incidents of ethnic cleansing in the country. The same person went on to call the Panun Kashmir a communal organization – Syed Shah Geelani, a two-state theorist is secular, while an organization founded to safeguard the interests of displaced Pandits is communal!
It is this perverted logic of the leftists, human rights activists, ‘liberals’ and ‘secularists’ that incites majority communalism. It is this logic that clouds reality, and forces governments into taking illogical decisions. See the debate on the AFSPA for instance. There is not a single shot that has been fired by the Army, yet there is all the hullaballoo about withdrawing special powers to it!
Wonder why the “left” acts this way? The answer is simple – leftism needs victims to survive. Leftism needs to oppose. And leftism hates stability. I can go on about this – but I’ll defer that to a later post.