In the words of poet and German Lutheran Pastor, Martin Niemoller,
“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
I agree with the topic of Indispire, “Silence is not always a virtue. When serious wrongs happening, it is our duty to speak up”. We must speak up against injustice happening around us. Question is, do we know what is truth and who is speaking it?
Trigger for the current topic, I assume is the arrest of six left leaning activists – Sudha Bhardwaj, Gautam Navlakha, Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Fereira, from different parts of the country by Pune police. In today’s highly charged environment, when someone is dubbed for having a different point of view, a pseudo secular and an anti-national (for speaking in favor of left) or a Modi Bhakt (for speaking in favor of government) a neutral point of view is very difficult and dangerous to maintain.
One has to understand that, truth has become the greatest casualty in the battle between two ideologies. Left and liberals with their pro poor, pro tolerance stance, thinks it has monopoly on injustice, freedom of speech and any topic related to poverty. Because it deals with emotive issues and plays with guilt of “Haves” against “Have nots“, left – liberal camp attracts intelligent people, including intellectuals who can articulate its position very well.
Right has a view point that is nationalistic, Hindu supremacist, and more often than not reactionary. Articulating voice of people from hinterland, right is not alway very articulate and often resort to abuse. Right feels their chance under the sun has arrived after 2014 victory of BJP in national election and victories in many states thereafter.
Truth of the right
Right has a view point that is more nationalistic, borderline Hindu supremacist, and more often than not reactionary, which is dubbed as whataboutery by the left. Right wing think they speak for all Hindus, they are working to preserve purity of Hindu race and culture by stopping interfaith marriage, by stopping conversion and above all protecting cows, that Hindus consider to be mother.
There is no denying aggressive and uncouth right wing trolls have become vocal after 2014. Several lynchings of muslims have been attributed to right wing violence. Cow vigilante groups have attacked cow traders, beaten them up, and some of them died. To top the injustice, police had arrested traders and let criminals go. These groups have initiated programs live “love jihad” agaist interfaith marriages. They have initiated programs like “ghar wapsi” against conversion.
Such lynch mob tendencies are condemnable. Many have criticized it, including supreme court of India. Compicity of government and police cannot be denied. If ruling party loses power in Rajasthan, such intolerance can be one of the reasons of people getting disenchanted with the party.
Truth about left – liberals
But what about distortions by left and liberals? In their quest to malign the right, no opportunity, no matter how trivial and unvalidated, has been squandered. A case in point, an elderly nun was assaulted in West Bengal, a state where left and liberal ideology is well entrenched. Instead of undertaking a thorough police probe, the first finger was raised against right wingh groups, read ruling party at the center. When dust settled, another story emerged. Criminal from Bangladesh was found to be responsible for attack on the missionary. All noise fell silent. Not even an apology. Where is the truth and whose truth is it anyway?
Another case in point is murder of Narendra Dabholkar, M S Kalburgi and Gobind Pansare. It must be recalled that when these three people were gunned down, congress lead UPA was in power at the centre. Congress party ruled in states of Maharashtra and Karnataka. If the ruling parties believed right wing groups were involved, they should have made arrests. Instead, vilification campaign continued. Then, Gauri Lankesh was killed. Congress party was governing Karnataka state. Yet, blame went to Modi lead BJP. I think such is the power of narrative that intellectuals build with their pen.
Coming back to left, it is abundantly clear that left does not care about human rights of police men, security forces and majority community members. Left would rather discuss root cause its cadres kill security forces or its political opponents. It is surprising, in television debates the same people will forget all analysis when criticising violence of right wing groups.
Indian left draws its ideology from left movements of erstwhile USSR and Peoples Republic of China. Both fountainheads of left movement, have moved beyond the ideology propagated by founding fathers. Besides, in both USSR and China, millions of people were killed at the outset of peoples movement. In India, those left leaders who shed copius tears in the name of justice and democracy, are the most autocratic in their dealings.
- Ultra left CPIML believes in violent overthrow of Indian government. In the name of protecting tribals, the party keeps tribal dominated areas impoverished, does not allow any development. Any protest is ruthlessly shut down by violence and if needed death.
- An example of high handedness of left can be gauged from eviction of refugees from “Morich Jhanpi in Sunderban” and recent “Singoor and Nandigram” movements.
- Ideologues of left and ultra left, Arundhati Roy, (this talk can be accessed from YouTube under “Democracy and Dissent in China and India – Arundhati Roy with Dibyesh Anand) Gautam Navlakha etc. openly propose secession of Kashmir, Arunachal Pradhesh, Indian North East, and tribal dominated central India from bigger Indian state.
- In the light of this ideology, is it surprising if police has unearthed a conspiracy to destablise Indian state by violence? More so, when one of the person arrested now, was also arrested in 2007 and spent five years in jail for possession of gelatin sticks and detonators.
- It has been argued that some of those arrested work for dispossessed people of India, read tribals. The person had given up her US green card and returned to India. Very laudable indeed. But does this prove the person is innocent of the charge put forward by police?
- I think before we jumpt into right vs. wrong debate, it is important for police to establish facts in front of the judiciary. Apparently, police has worked on its investigation for seven months. They have unearthed certain communcations. Let judges decide. If the case is weak, these people will be released and police will have egg on its face.
I agree we must speak for the truth alone, not in favor of any ideology be it left or right. Because both are lying. If we do not speak, then as nobel laureate poet and philosopher Rabindra Nath Tagore, in his poem “Your Mace of Justice” proclaimed, “He who commits wrong or condones the same,May your contempt singe like a reed in flame.”
I am participating in month long #myfriendalexa competition of #blogchatter.
- “Democracy and Dissent in China and India – Arundhati Roy with Dibyesh Anand.”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFlQpNRmjEU