So my last post created quite a furore. Which was surprising, because I did not really expect that much attention. But it is great to be taken so seriously. A number of right wing worthies weighed in, but as usual I agreed the most with Rahul Roushan.
I should be careful here not to misrepresent Rahul (especially now that my piece got so much attention). Rahul’s very next tweet says that he disagrees with the tone I took at several places in the article.
Indeed the trigger for my post was re-reading this old Opindia article from Rahul Roushan, where he explains how liberals have this amazing ability to make you long for their respect. Like the man in the Nerolac ad who has like half a dozen advanced degrees, but for some strange reason his self image depends on whether the mailman treats him with extra respect! He finally accomplishes this not by achieving something substantial, but merely by getting his house coated with shiny Nerolac paint.
This indeed was the essence of my article. From what I know, Bhak Sala = Rahul Raj (don’t confuse him with Rahul Roushan) is an IITian. Among the folks at Newslaundry, it seems to me that Anand Ranganathan is easily the most accomplished of them all.
And it bothers me that highly accomplished individuals such as them would end up wasting their energies trying to win “respect” from much less capable counterparts on the left. Now, there is nothing wrong with being a mailman, but it is an objective fact that being a doctor is a bigger achievement than being a mailman.
This is why I made an appeal : if you are somebody or you know somebody who is trying to win the respect of left liberals, stop.
There are two good reasons for this. First, it is self defeating. Because while the left wingers will happily extract compromises from you, they will not give an inch. You will always be the “crazy right winger”. See if you can get one left liberal to denounce Arundhati Roy.
Try it with a left liberal : ask them to denounce Arundhati Roy and see what happens. The most you will get is vehement insistence that she is entitled to her views. But we already agreed on that. Try to extract from them a denunciation of the views of Arundhati Roy and see how far you get.
Meanwhile, they have probably got you to denounce and distance yourself from every right winger who has ever dared to break a traffic signal : starting from FB trolls to cow vigilantes.
This is not to get you to support right wing extremism in any form … whether FB trolls who make threats or cow vigilantes who actually carry out violence. This is to preach to you about the art of strategic silence.
Left liberals are experts at the art of strategic silence. As I said, push them on Arundhati Roy’s views and see what happens. They will insist that she is entitled to her views, but never once will they break the strategic silence on what they think on the substance of her views. They won’t give an inch.
Meanwhile, they will take a mile.
That’s the second reason. Because there is a war of narratives that is on.
Have you seen how The Wire describes Deepwali as “Jashn-e-Chirag”? They don’t lose a single trick … their counter narrative is ready at every moment.
And in this war of narratives, whichever right winger chooses to be “nuanced” will only be playing into the hands of the left. You might take pride in being an “independent thinker”, but understand that the other side sees you merely as a useful idiot. Here, let Family Guy explain how undecided voters are the biggest idiots on the planet.
Pick a side. Because there is a war on. Perhaps this map of India should remind you of the situation.
Still think that if you are “undecided” and willing to make lots of compromises with the other side, your children will be able to live in this country fifty years from now?
The other side is not here to make friends. If you try to make friends with them, they will just use you. Till they no longer have any use for you.
There is another character trait that makes right wingers fall for the left wing trap. By their very nature, right wingers hate to be perceived as whiners. At the moment there are 13 BJP Chief Ministers, a full majority BJP government at the Center and BJP is the largest party in the Rajya Sabha.
Right wingers who have always been uncomfortable with whining and playing victim are restless now. They want to be seen as mighty … and they are more than happy to agree with left wingers who want to now blame all problems on the BJP.
But the world changed a while ago. The world today doesn’t belong to the mighty. It belongs to the whiners. I remember an awesome term for them : crybullies.
The Islamic world is anything but peaceful. It has anything but democracy and/or free speech. Everywhere Muslims are a majority, they trample upon minorities with careless abandon. How then is Islamophobia a thing in public discourse whereas Hinduphobia is not?
Because Muslims have perfected the art of targeted whining. No matter how many Muslim mobs are burning people alive and throwing gays from high buildings, Muslims manage to keep whining about a ban on the burqa on French beaches.
Public opinion even in the US is turning increasingly anti-Israel. How? How can Americans turn their back on the only democracy in the Middle East? Israel is home to a 20% Muslim population that enjoys full citizenship rights. Did you know that even Nazi emblems are not banned in Israel? That is the strength of the Israeli commitment to freedom of expression.
But the world is turning its back on Israel : the only home of democracy, free speech and scientific advancement in the entire Middle East. Why? Because Arab Muslims … who happily trample on the rights of any slightly different sect within Islam … manage to keep the focus firmly on every little fault of Israel.
The same thing happens in India. It was like 3 months ago that the Congress was surpassed for the first time since 1952 as the largest party in the Rajya Sabha. Such is the strength of the Congress party. That is how firmly the Congress has been in saddle for decades.
And yet, the Congress party and its left wing cheerleaders have not let the tiniest blame stick to the Dynasty. The Congress was always the party of upper castes … the Congress enacted more beef bans than BJP ever has … the Congress collaborated more with the British and received more goodies from the British than RSS can ever dream of. Nehru took over the Prime Ministership after dividing India in a blaze of communal violence that cost 30 lakh lives.
And yet today who is blamed when communal violence happens? RSS-BJP! Who is blamed for casteist atrocities? RSS-BJP! Who is blamed for cow vigilantism? RSS-BJP! Who is accused of collaborating with the British? RSS-BJP! No, not the Congress leaders who all received cushy positions in the British Imperial government by swearing loyalty to the crown.
How did this come to be? Because the left perfected the art of being a crybully. That’s how.
Three and a half years in power is too early for the right wing to stop being the underdog. Most BJP appointees in key positions are just beginning their first term … and terms of Congress appointees in other key positions have not even expired yet. The Congress has staffed every little institution with its cronies for 70 years and still plays underdog.
Learn from them and learn how to be in power. Or you will lose it in about 18 months.