Not very long back, Chetan Bhagat the resident expert in anything IIT or IIM tried defining Bhakts. He called them vile, undereducated men who are sexually starved and suck at writing or speaking the Queen’s Language. Naturally there was a lot of reaction, one of our columnists Paulami DuttaGupta even wrote an open letter to Shri Chetan Bhagat. We believe it was stereotyping at its best. But I am about to write something on similar lines. I sincerely hope that it is not taken as an attempt to typecast people.
I consider myself an adherent of conservatism political philosophy and as the founder of a prominent right wing opinion platform on the internet, I am neither impressed nor pleased with the way our so called movement is progressing. Our political inclinations are nothing but a direct manifestation of our lives and outlooks. People of our tribe are typically found in Police, Army, Judiciary and Business as opposed to the liberals who typically get into Arts, Media and Education jobs. Right Wingers are naturally conservatives who come across as strong nationalists. As opposed to the liberals whose idea of society is based upon Utopianism, our idea of society is based upon pragmatism. We believe in equality but also in meritocracy. We believe in freedom but understand that there are limitations to it.
But what is the need of this background?
Because I want to make one thing very clear. Right Wing Activism in no way promotes jingoism or blind worshipping of nauseating intensity. Pragmatism is the central philosophy that governs the people who consider themselves right to center. There are four distinct kind of right wingers in India:
The first and the most common kind are the ones who have become allergic to reasoning which for all intents and purposes is the most distinguishing trait of the left. Basically the unreasonable right wingers are left wingers of opposite polarity. It is not hard to find the blind worshippers on Twitter ready to eat up anyone who dares to speak against their faith or leader. In fact they are so loaded with their pre conceived notions that they do not hesitate in raising arms against their own people who occasionally speak against the commonly agreed upon terms and conditions. These fellows also tend to attach a lot of significance to religion related matters and resort to crass language at the drop of a hat. They are loud, jarring and many a time turn too personal while attacking the other side. That quickly escalates the dialogue into a rant and then into a showdown.
The second kind is the “slightly” more informed right winger. The long and brazenly corrupt UPA regime paved the path for a lot of Center-Right Opinion blogs in India, ours being one of them. Many of these folks resort to un-researched opinionating. Their confirmation bias takes away their credibility totally. Like easily falling for “photoshopped images”, or any incident that could help them project their ideology without validation makes them look credulous, naive and often rabidly irrational to promote their agenda. They directly lift stuff from here and there and present it as their own. Crediting sources is not their forte. These fellows are not exactly violent but feel no need to correct themselves or worse, come up with a logical rejoinder. The result of this exercise is that we have a number of platforms with half-baked information. People belonging to the first kind use information from these platforms to respond to the left liberals and end up embarrassing everyone.
The third kind is the league of extraordinary right wingers who are informed, articulate and reasonable. However their snobbery keeps them away from entering the mainstreams. Their brilliance is overshadowed by the lack of general pro-activeness and willingness to push people of their tribe forward. They also suffer from the “lack of humor” syndrome and they don’t indulge in self-deprecatory humour, which makes them look constipated, irritable and totally insipid and hence fails to connect with many moderates. These fellows, however limited in numbers they are, have the unique gift of talking in terms of facts, figures and numbers and have enough firepower to win any argument. But as I mentioned earlier, these folks (most of them) stay away from regular discussions.
The fourth and the final kind are the right wingers who are logical, articulate and have the willingness to discuss and debate. But these fellows are numbered too and they get fervent support of the first group and also a backlash from the same gang if they speak against the popular narrative. These serve as the source material for the second kind. These folks constantly try motivating the third kind but their efforts go in vain, most of the times.
One of the key things that any of the aforementioned types has not yet developed is to present himself well in any media. Basically their “on your face” approach to push their view point, and broad-brushing anything on the other side through snarky and overarching sarcasm wins them more enemies and the tone kills the narrative. Many of the Right Wingers tend to be “Islamophobic” sometimes for the right reasons too. However, when it comes to any debate on Indian culture or values, they turn equally dogmatic and iron-assed and sometimes turn as fanatical as the very people they are phobic to. The first thing about being rational is being reasonable. The reasonableness often gets lost when it comes to difference in opinion. And there is another interesting fact about the right wingers, they are extremely vocal about their duties but when it comes to their rights, they remain tight-lipped whereas the leftists are all about screaming for their rights.
Right Wing in India is still a new phenomenon, thanks to the long rule of UPA and left parties. Media that should ideally have a neutral tone is biased heavily towards the left. The artists and intellectuals of India are heavily influenced by the Leftist ideology too and a lot of that can be credited to their alma maters like JNUs, FTIIs and AMUs. We need to understand one thing that Right wingers cannot win unless we start talking sanely and sensibly. We cannot win unless we stop abusing or trolling people. We cannot win unless we push every one of our tribe forward. And Dear Right Wingers of India, Bhaktology is not the way forward, pragmatism is!