The summer of manufactured grievances is upon us once more, a periodic and unfailing cycle, seen in repeated clockwork regularity in the last three years. The high priests and articulators of this summer of grievances sit in the rarefied and acclimatised climes of privileged quarters of various cities and towns across India and the world, and spin end-of-the-world stories for India.
They either spin tales or narrate false ones that have been conjured up by nation-wreckers of all hues and types. They have been doing this from the summer of 2014 and as each year passes, their grievances intensify on seeing that all their nefarious prediction has fallen flat.
Their most vocal and most deftly-engineered original grievance was that India under PM Narendra Modi would rapidly fall apart, unravel at the seams and be consumed in a great conflagration. I have often pointed out in this column on how such doomsday narratives have a great market in some quarters in the West and in many quarters in India, and how these tale-spinners are showered with great munificence and accolades. Manufacturing grievances, looking for causes against which they can engineer paper revolutions is their full-time occupation.
But to their utter and deep dismay, the unravelling at the seams has not taken place and three years down the line, Modi remains in place with undiminished energy, with undiluted commitment to the actual idea of India, with an undeterred will to bring about a lasting change for the good in our collective life. For them, to see Modi’s unfaltering march is intellectually and politically crushing as well as debilitating.
Some among these false articulators have gone silent, others are mulling the option of striking a compromise by forsaking their previously held positions—this is not something out of the ordinary, they hold their conviction lightly and have easily forsaken them in the past for survival and aggrandisement—while some of them have decided to continue the struggle by other means. It is this other means that has to it a great element of subversion—it works to dilute and then decimate this collective sense of ‘we’ in the nation.
The principal focus of this group has been to prevent any effort or initiative that strengthens and reiterates this collective sense of ‘we’. They condole, for example, the elimination of terrorists in the Valley. On behalf of terrorists and separatists, they put forth justifications for the act of terrorism, some of them belong to political parties; in this case, Congressman and family servitor Mani Shankar Aiyar, for example, with the blessings of their top leadership, breaks bread with the separatists and openly states that India holds Kashmir by force.
They shed tears when terrorists and Naxals are gunned down, but are silent when our soldiers are martyred. They are always clinical in their analysis when espousing the ‘human rights’ of terrorists, but invariably find fault and are full of disdain for the valiance of our forces, projecting the Indian state as a colonial state, as an occupational and exploitative one is what they excel in.
Their political ideologies and reading are put to use to explain the violence indulged in by elements opposed to Indianness. They practice ‘intellectual and political untouchability’ while making a display of being liberals—in fact, their liberality makes them always side with India’s enemies who wish to see her mired and bogged down by a million grievances. They fan conflagrations, act through subterfuge, generate societal tensions and then cry wolf.
But they face a wall of resistance to their designs and intentions whenever a ‘we’ strengthening national narrative begins to triumph.