Saturday, February 17, 2018

Of Discourse and Language in 'Right Wing' India

The right wing narrative in India is full of contradictions, and struggles to have a united thought. It is mostly an umbrella of 'anything but the left', yet remains imbibed with scores of liberal leftist, Abrahmica rooted themes, ideas and memes, creating an environment where a huge population relies on borrowed terminology to express itself. The stark contrast with the contemporaries here, where the vocabulary is entirely self created and exclusive of any alternative ideas, cannot be missed by anyone. And yet, there is no attempt to address this question. Wherever attempts have been made, we tend to see a rash of silly terms being used, or transliterations being adopted in some format or the other to attempt being different. Truth is that the intellectual arguments needed to fight intellectual battles starts with the creation of the intellectual space. Further, the lack of any new ideas being penned down or written, while borrowing specific frameworks that come from outside, is a troublesome phenomenon - it renders any claim to exclusivity, of primacy and uniqueness redundant in a single stroke.

Barring the old minds, of which few have actually been read by most supporters, there is hardly any new discursive analysis being penned and/or published that charts independent territory. One must remember that any breakthrough work in any discipline need not come from academia or government support - it never did, and probably never will. Instead, quotes, strands of speeches and stray thoughts and sentences from books are all that seem to get shared and liked by a generation that seems to have a fast food approach to right wing ideas. Hindutva seems to get mixed up with socialistic economic principles - truth cannot be any further. States are expected to do everything for you, and yet you do not want it in your 'personal space'. You want 'true secularism' without realizing that it is garbage of a premise created just so that Christian sects could tolerate each other in daily lives. Tilak's ideas of swarajya seem buried under a mountain of archives, only to be worshiped on a pedestal every few months. And yet, the attempts at creating new thought, be it in Hindi, English, Kannada, Marathi, Tamizh or any other language (and being translated) are scattered, isolated to the point of remoteness, without any probable attempts to get transmitted. Whole bunches want to talk the same socialistic nonsense that tied Hindus in fetters, whereas it is economic strength that guaranteed whatever freedom people have today. Instead of noting how economic strength allowed for bargaining power, mercantilism is treated with disdain by those who believe that Hindu thought should be some kind of neo- Khmer ideology. Petty egos also seem to get into the game easily, without learning to co-exist, something that each one claims to be the 'key message' of Hindu philosophy

A lot of effort is being spent in correcting history. Which is good, but what is being done to correct narratives in other disciplines, or control how our own people view ourselves? The discomfort with the varna-jati question is one typical example that gets us all tied up in knots. Inability to understand, accept and reconcile with this aspect of culture and civilization with due dignity and respect by a majority of people has been a major failing. Centuries, if not millennium, of hard work has been done within the Hindu fold to fight this problem - yet, there was no effort, or is there any effort now, to document, to record these traditions, and to bring them to academic standards. Instead, leftist ideas dominate caste discourse in India, which only serves fissiparous tendencies in societal set ups. This alternative work however has to develop its own language all over again, and not rely on language of the past or language of the contemporary. We want a Hindu state but want the government to employ us.

The discourse also needs to change significantly. Often times, Hindutva vadis just look like a bunch of eternal whiners. Our essays and pieces instead of discussing next steps tend to dwell on certain themes of eternal complaints. 'We are being discriminated', 'We are being reduced to a minority', Our temples are subject to state', 'Our glorious past was ruined by invaders' - the list is endless. However much justified, this wallowing in the pool of litany only breeds pessimism and despair, and makes us lose focus on understanding what needs to be done next. Look, this is not to demean anyone's efforts, but what is it that we are doing right now to justify our claim to our glorious heritage? Look at our language - we speak our own languages worse than we speak our pidgin English across the country in most urban centers. How can one then not be cynical of efforts to restore pride in ourselves, when the abyss in which our present tendencies, discourse and behavior tends to remain in? Not everything has to be fought with humour, mocking and derision, however much effective those tools are. We need to learn to exchange ideas truly - how can we thrive without government support; how we can educate our children to counter the effects of 'secular' education; what can we do within the present Constitutional framework to free our temples. Celebrating odd victories and putting them on pedestals instead of taking them into our arsenal to fight battles continuously is the worst tendency that Hindus have developed over time. Mediocrity is celebrated as jugaad, and in that moment we tend to forget the great temples like Kandhariya or Chennakeshava that our ancestors built - is this how we can claim our own heritage?

It is time to redefine the discourse and language altogether for Right Wing India. Some people have given thought to it, but frankly, those thoughts are incomplete without addressing these inconsistencies that we see on a daily basis amongst this evolving community. Unless checked in time, this will become another cesspool that will stink no better than the decay that the leftist Abrahamica pool has rendered civilizations into.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There are Rajiv Malhotra's thoughts here. But anyways , it is right that we need to revive our Hindu scholarship . How do we do it , honestly I have no idea where to begin.

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