Hindutva Pvt. Ltd.

UNEDITED

Excessive liberalism leads to excessive conservatism.

Since decades, a narrative has prevailed that anything Hindu is ‘communal’ and anything Islam is ‘secular’. Governments after governments have ridden the secular waves. Cursing the government and speech against the union is freedom of speech and expression. Accusing the army everyday for everything is a norm. Being asked to stand up for the national anthem is a violation of right to choice. Supporting Pakistan in an India vs Pakistan cricket match is intellectualism.

All of this is excessive liberalism, and each of the examples has created a segment of voters who are excessively conservative. Voters who were very much at the centre have shifted to the right. But, a ‘communal government’ isn’t the reason.

Years of minority (muslim) appeasement, and frequent anti-Hindu statements and actions of the two UPA governments have done something that perhaps no one had thought would happen. The BJP put all its strength to consolidate Hindu voters in and around the decade of 90s, but it failed to get significant results. The Congress served the consolidated Hindu votes to the BJP on a platter a decade and a half later.

When Narendra Modi contested in 2014, corruption of UPA was the primary issue. The Mandir Mudda was played alongside. The next few years changed things in ways that in 2019, Prime Minister Modi is as if invincible.

Corruption at centre since 2014 is non extant and the government is performing well on other indicators. This made it difficult for the opposition to find issues to raise. In difficult times, they stuck to the tried and tested formula of secular politics. Only this time, it backfired.

2017 could be remembered for the rise and revivalism of Hindutva [politics]. Congress is on a [softer] Hindutva track in Gujarat. If (despite all odds) it succeeds, it will have a template to replicate across the nation. Who would have imagined this five years ago?

It was all started by the Congress itself. One day after the new Prime Minister’s swearing in, minority communities across the country were worried. Their rights were being snatched away and their lives were being interfered with, their faith was being attacked. There was intolerance across BJP led states. The Congress saw all these and much more. Occasional faux pas from the government (including the beef ban) encouraged them further.

But, Congress failed to observe the reactions to its actions. Its overuse of secularism hurt and aroused conservative Hindu sentiments, which were already at a life-time high. Congress had made the biggest of the blunders.

Uttar Pradesh election was possibly the wake up call for Congress. The unprecedented victory was something that even the BJP was not expecting. Among various reasons, a major factor was the coming together of Hindu voters against the ‘secular’ forces. Something that both the BJP and the Congress read correctly. Yogi Adityanath’s appointment and Rahul Gandhi’s ‘janev’ are both direct results of it.

After Gujarat results, we could be entering an era of ultra-right wing Hindutva politics and Hindu appeasement. If the Congress wins, the model will be repeated almost everywhere else. The BJP will also move further right and Hindutva just may become its prime agenda thereafter, pushing ‘New India’ to the back seat.

The fight to reclaim Hindutva between the two sides will also create a vacuum – the now emptied secular space.

Next few months will be interesting. The Supreme Court will begin hearings for the Ayodhya case next week. The judgement, whatever it may be, may not stop the temple from being built. If Hindus turn into vote banks, a lot will be at stake, except the Mandir.

21st century is different. Every one year of it has changed the world in ways that decades of earlier centuries did not. In this age of information, decades old politics had to change, and change it did.


A Tear Drop Is All I Need

EDITOR: Smriti Sharma

Real men don’t cry. I have seen my father cry, so this is obviously a false narrative. I, on the other hand, cannot shed a tear. Not that I don’t purposely, it’s just that I can’t. This does not make me more of a man, more masculine as compared to my other friends, this makes me weak. Absolutely and utterly weak.

I have had enough reasons to cry. I have seen deaths of many people whom I and my family loved. My grandmother died almost two decades ago. I was as tiny as one could be, but I remember the day as vividly as one could. Everyone cried that day but me, because I couldn’t understand a thing.

It isn’t that I was born without tears.

A decade later when my grandfather passed away, I cried. A few days later, I again had a break down of sorts in the school when a classmate asked me why I had been absent for so many days.

That was the last time I cried in agony.

I was still in school when I cried again. My father was not happy with my barely positive report card and refused to sign on it. I cried myself to sleep because I had to submit the report card the next day.

That was the last time I cried in fear.

I have seen failure up close. In the last half a decade, my life has changed in unprecedented ways. That day, I was at the top of my education-career. The next day, I was at the bottom. Even lower the next day, and more low the day after. Before I understood what was happening, I was so underneath that it was impossible to rise again.

That one day, I wanted to cry.
I could not.

***

I love nights; they give me the freedom to be myself, or what I want myself to be. Unlike many, my present haunts me more than my past. Thus I use the liberties of nights to travel back and forth in time, to keep away from the realities of the present.

But many a night, I feel vulnerable. I try a lot to get some millilitres of water out of my eyes, but I fail. Crying helps ease the distress, but when you can’t cry, there are not many options left.

Dhoni’s defining moment was when he decided to jump onto that train. My defining moment would be when I chose not to jump.

Standing in my dinning room, I looked through the balcony’s door and I saw bright sunlight. At that moment I felt that I was standing in a dark cave, and the door was a tunnel with light on the other side. I was tempted to take the tunnel and follow the light. Something stopped me.

Life is not a film, but do I wish it were. Things change for good with relative ease in films. It is difficult otherwise. I don’t know if my moment will be as defining as it was for him, or if it is really what defines me. I like to believe it does, perhaps that’s what matters.

I need many things, but there is only one thing I yearn for. Someday, I want to cry. I want to bawl like the baby I once was.


What Do They Talk About


Last Friday, when half of the country was either watching a movie or was talking about an upcoming movie, we were sitting our virtual cave and discussing. Not because we love discussing or because we consider ourselves ‘intelligent intellectuals’, but because we did not have anything else to do. So we were discussing about duties and emotions. Now before you start to think whether we always talk on topics like this one, it is my responsibility to tell you that no, we don’t. We usually talk about silly things, and that day too it was a ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’ chat before it turned in to an ‘Art of Living’ session.

Smriti told us about the types of cases she works on during her law internship. She told us how her emotions do not get in the way of her duties. And then, it all began. She was in favour of giving priority to duties, while Pankaj’s view was that we cannot resist out emotions forever. ‘They are always there, inside you somewhere, waiting for you to give up. You can control them up to a certain level, and then they break free’. Malvika supported him by stating, ‘maturity lies in revealing emotions at the right time’. Smriti denied, ‘Emotions are never bigger than you. They can be suppressed, squashed and controlled. Maturity lies in not letting emotions control your actions. Emotions come second, duty comes first. Always…’ Malvika agreed. Pankaj went sentimental on the word ‘Always.’ Snape got hiccups.

The three were right at their places. Smriti was right that emotions should not control us. Pankaj was right that emotions should not be controlled to the point of breaking up. Malvika was right that emotions should be revealed at the right time and to the right person. Also, Deepthi was right that her welcome message for the new writers, who joined us the previous day, was lost in the heavy gunfire of words.

Gyan had a different perspective. He thought it all to be very complicated, and said he prefers ‘maggi, movies, and sci-fi’. This was when I thought I should come in. Someone mentioned sci-fi. Time for ‘Autobots, Roll Out!’ But no, Smriti said something and it was not sci-fi. ‘Autobots, retreat!’

‘Do you remember Munnabhai MBBS? There was a scene where Boman Irani (Mamu) asks a question about treating patients. The whole scene tells us that duty comes first.’ Malvika agreed. Pankaj was silent. I was waiting with my Autobots to ‘Roll Out!’

Why am I telling this to you? Because Malvika said discussing a complicated topic might give us something to write. And also because for once we had a real discussion and it felt good. I thought I should write. I lack on ideas and do not have great stories to tell anyway.

There was a lot more discussed. I will not write everything because I am lazy. But I will say something. If you are confused between emotion and duty, choose duty. Emotions are useless. Duty or responsibility or any other fancy word that you prefer, is more important than anything other in your life. Who am I to say? ‘I am Adimus Prime’. Okay, fine, no one.

EDITOR: ANIRUDH ANUPAMA