The country is yet to be comfortable with her culture and civilisation, and seriously engage in uplifting its people out of a long phase of deprivation and scarcity
A few days ago, a motley group of activists and academics of the Left and extreme Left persuasion came together to issue an appeal to defeat what they, in their habitually pejorative lexicon, termed “an alliance of corporate and communal forces” which has emerged as a threat to the “future of our secular democracy”. Raising the usual bogey of a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ — which in their negative interpretation and limited mind-space is perhaps something akin to the Pol-Potian paradise — they called on “all individuals and political formations to urgently take whatever steps are necessary for defending our secular democracy.”
Three points, among a host of others, stand out in this negative appeal. The first is this call for “taking whatever steps necessary”. Does it in reality — keeping in mind the ideational support that some of these intellectuals have, over the years, always proffered to the concept of an armed struggle against a democratic state — then essentially mean a call for indulging in violent extremism that would arrest a legitimate democratic march?
The other call that rings hollow — recalling the record of some of these intellectuals in denouncing our secular democracy on foreign soil and on platforms propped up by conglomerates that are run by the very “imperialists” and “capitalists” that they love to denounce — is the call for “defending our secular democracy.” In fact, if truth be told and told starkly, these signatories to the negative appeal have never believed in Indian democracy, in Indian democratic institutions or the democratic process in India. Their sole politics has always been to put up a façade of acceptance while, through a rodent-process, try and stymie the advance of this country and its people towards a state of true prosperity, self-reliance and stability. As a counter appeal by a leading group of scholars rightly put it, “they have obstructed the path of India recovering pride in herself, her people and her civilisational heritage; and thus, they have kept India from seriously applying herself to the task of nation-building.”
The last points that needs to be roundly rejected or perhaps laughed off is this call to defeat a “corporate-communal alliance”, young India, aspirational India has, for quite some time now, rejected such terminologies and yearns to emerge out of the ghetto of class-struggle and class-war politics. These intellectuals have clearly failed to catch the national pulse.
Interestingly, and hereusement, a counter-appeal was issued by a leading group of intellectuals — who have through their life and work always aspired to usher in a new India, an India that is conscious of her past civilisational achievements and future civilisational goals. This appeal, free from all negativity and sense of conflict and signed by some leading scholars called upon all to “rejoice that India was coming into her own” because “though it may be possible to stop the progress of history for a while, history cannot be kept in abeyance for all times. The people of India have been kept waiting for nearly seven decades; the time has now come for India to break free and begin moving confidently towards her destiny.”
The appeal issued by the likes of Dr SL Bhyrappa, Dr JK Bajaj, Dr MD Srinivas, Prof Kapil Kapoor, Prof JS Rajput, Prof Purabi Roy, Prof Santisree Pandit and others “called upon the people of India to rejoice at the emergence of a leadership that is committed to restoring the glory of India as one of the most ancient, populous and important civilisations of the world.” It called for rejoicing “that for the first time since Independence, there has appeared a definite possibility of India developing into a normal nation, comfortable with and proud of her culture and civilisation and, seriously engaged in quickly uplifting all her people out of the long phase of deprivation and scarcity.” It essentially spoke of a new dawn — it gave voice to the spirit and aspiration of India!