Many staunch right-wingers in India are up in arms after Prime Minister Modi lambasted the so-called gau rakshak groups.
I am a right-winger too. I agree with their point of view in principle, which is essentially this: why is the prime minister silent on other communal bigots like the Zakir Naiks and the missionaries of this world, who are tenfold viler? But I cannot help being pleased by the fact that the prime minister chose to take this line, both at a philosophical as well as a strategic level.
Gau Rakshak debate: Does Indian Right endorse violence?
We are all strongly nationalistic not only because India happens to be the land of our birth. It has also to do with the fact that we deeply admire the Indian or the Hindu way of life. The greatness of this way of life lies is in the fact that it seeks to create an all-encompassing framework. It is a framework which has always been and will continue to remain highly progressive (progressive in the real and not the libtard sense). It translates into an inclusive system, wherein each seeks to advance in their own way without disrupting or destroying the way of others. It is true that certain imported religions have it inherently in them to demolish this very framework and plant their tentacles in every direction. But our aim in fighting these tendencies and preserving such a framework can be achieved in several other ways, there is no need to stoop down to their levels.
Gau Rakshak debate: BJP-RSS is not equal to Fringe Elements
The left-dominated mainstream, either devoid of understanding or fulfilling vested interests, often clubs the BJP, the RSS, the VHP and the Bajrang Dal together. This is a mistake. The RSS vision of Hindu nationalism is the establishment of the all-encompassing framework or way of life. Nobody talks of the thousands of Muslims and Christians who are also part of the organisation. Its offshoots like the VHP and the Bajrang Dal on the other hand, perceive Hinduism in a narrow religious sense. They bring in all the degradations and inferiorities that other religions possess. Even from a cultural point of view, such a dichotomy is dangerous. We as Indians need to understand how we are different from the rest, and why we are better from the rest. From a nationalist or a right-wing point of view, we are a thousand times better off having Mr. Modi as our face than having a Hindu ‘jihadi’ like Togadia or Muthalik.
Gau Rakshak debate: So why did Modi chide the self-styled Gau Rakshak groups?
I think it is fair to say that Mr. Modi should have taken people like Zakir Naik and Assaduddin Owaisi to the cleaners as well, since he was tearing apart religious bigots anyway. But what we must understand is that his selective outrage doesn’t take away the harsh reality of his statement. The moral policing that we witnessed, in this case the flogging of alleged beef-eaters, is unacceptable by every standard. This is outside the purview of the law. But more importantly, no human being should be treated this way for the sake of a mere animal! Anybody supporting such acts should be ashamed.
Coming to the political angle, many fear Mr. Modi’s chiding of these lumpen elements is suicidal in a certain sense. Why go after the very people who voted for you? The thing is that these people have no alternative. They aren’t going anywhere. Whether they are allowed to fulfil their criminal urges or not, they will continue to vote for the mainstream right-wing behemoth, the BJP. Besides one must keep in mind the fact these elements were ruthlessly supressed by PM Modi when he was the chief minister of Gujarat. Did it affect him politically? Can his commitment to nationalism or to Hindutva for that matter be questioned? No and no.
Gau Rakshak debate: How significant in Modi ’s statement politically?
We must also keep in mind that the BJP’s traditional voter-base has been an upper-class one. But many of its political successes of late occurred because it has managed to make serious inroads within the lower class and the Dalit population. Those who were flogged in Gujarat were Dalits. The perception that the anti-BJP ecosystem wants to create from this incident is that the BJP is an anti-Dalit party. Not only is this untrue, but it has the potential to affect their political arithmetic in the future. This is a group on which the BJP is becoming increasingly dependent electorally, it would be sad to see a lot of their work go in vain.
Gau Rakshak debate: This is intolerance version 2.0
One would have to be a fool to think that the hype around this incident has nothing to do with the upcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. Like the choreographed ‘intolerance movement’ which resulted in the party eating crow in Bihar, a movement in similar lines could have been detrimental to the party’s chances. Back then, they decided to fight the hypocrisy. After having learnt their lesson, they are now turning this hurdle into a stepping stone. The BJP’s political rivals and the entire leftist media-intelligentsia nexus were salivating at the opportunity that had presented itself, now they are back in the dumps. The prime minister’s handling of the situation was as politically savvy as it can be. Perhaps this gives the upset right-wingers a better idea of why the prime minister was selective. At least they can take solace in the fact that it wasn’t all about being nice, that we too played our own little game here.
Gau Rakshak debate: an appeal to fellow righties
Once again, I want to reiterate that I sympathise fully with the upset right-wingers. Their reasoning over the statement by PM Modi seems sensible and their anger seems valid. Once in a while we all feel that despite being the overwhelming majority, we are the ones who are treated unfairly in our own land. This is a genuine problem, and such a mentality has been institutionalized. But in dealing with it, let us stand united. Let us refrain from alienating our own. And let us not allow our emotions to get ahead of us.