Dear bleeding heart secularists,
I hope, despite having to nurse your recent wounds, you’re sitting somewhere safe in your psychological darkness that you have constructed around yourself.
Since lots of open letters are being written to Narendra Modi advising him how to respect the secular and pluralistic fabric of the country I thought well, why not I too participate in this stimulating epistolary exchange, and hence, this open letter.
I hope by now you have come to terms with the fact that there is going to be a “communal” government at the center despite your relentless pursuit to achieve the otherwise. If you haven’t, I hope you reconcile to the reality fast before emotional acidity leaves permanent scars on your personality.
Although you have given an interesting twist to the election results by talking in terms of the percentage of people who have voted for Narendra Modi and voted against him (31 per cent vs 69 per cent) by the end of the day what matters is what you intended to achieve and what has exactly happened. You say a mere 31 per cent votes means 69 per cent people have rejected him. Well, using the same logic, since the Congress got just 19.3 per cent of the total votes, doesn’t mean that almost 80 per cent of the country has rejected the so-called “grand old party”?
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It’s been a historic verdict and contrary to all your propaganda, misinformation campaigns, chest beating on national and international forums, twisting facts, fabrications and copious shedding of crocodile tears, for the first time almost after three decades, the country is going to have an absolute-majority Government with as clear a mandate as one can dream of. Hello stability. Bye bye anarchy. That’s settled.
For you it’s been a long battle, of course. The past 10-12 years were just a culmination and a crescendo but otherwise, you guys have been active for many decades in one form or another, pulling a string here, putting a piece there, ruining one career, promoting another. By colluding with the politicians, especially of the Congress variety, you have created an empire of mutual coexistence and devised a system to feed upon the masses of the country without killing them, for, if the masses die, whom do you feed on?
Divide the country at every pretext. Hammer into the minorities and the backwards why they need special treatment, how they are being suppressed, how they are being victimised and why they need protection from the majority. Blame the majority for being a majority. Denigrate its culture. Destroy its history. Throttle its sense of pride. Deride its festivals. Perpetrate intellectual confusion. Fill it with the plague of guilt. Do whatever it takes to crush its spirit completely. Isn’t it win-win situation? Keep the majority in doldrums and intellectual confusion and keep the minorities in a permanent state of insecurity. Nobody remains to put up a resistance.
Within this you-scratch-my-back-and-I-scratch-yours system, your political masters are happy, you are happy. More public insecurity means more consolidation for your political masters. More consolidation means greater political power. Greater political power means, well, power to do whatever you want to do. You get plum postings. You easily get grants. Massive funding is available for your NGOs without even one question asked. Your kids get admission in elite schools. You can get treatment in the best of hospitals. You enjoy foreign trips. You get to broker mega deals. You control the strings of millions of lives. Sometimes, even for writing a single Congress-friendly article you can get a bungalow in a posh locality. You can get published in “prestigious” magazines and newspapers even if you can’t write a single paragraph without mistakes. You can stop books from being published. You can easily get your own books published. You get to give talks at international conferences, mostly at exotic locations, all-expense paid. You get to hobnob with the Who’s Who of the society. You don’t have to worry about electricity. You don’t have to worry about water. Neither heat bothers you nor cold because you live and move in AC environment. Travel is automatically taken care of. Accommodation is something you never need to worry about. Your previous generation lived in the lap of luxury like this. Even the previous generation of the previous generation. And now you are reaping the fruits of all the trees your parents and grandparents planted. This is an ecosystem that has evolved over more than 60 years so naturally your multiple generations have contributed.
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The problem is, your ecosystem hinges upon the survival of a particular class of political system. This political system sustains you to solve its own purpose. It needs you to keep the society divided and confused. It needs you to steer the public discourse in a desired direction. It needs journalists that never ask the right questions. It needs intellectuals like you who never hold them accountable. It needs scholars who can subvert the truth to weaken the cultural roots of the country. Basically, the survival of this particular class of political system depends on a highly polarised, a highly divided society, and you play a big part. You both support each other and without each other, life would be quite difficult.
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As a result, it robs you of your sleep when Mr Modi talks about unifying the country under the concept of nationhood rather than a hodgepodge of identities. The unity disturbs you. The fact that people should be Indians first and then different religions and castes leaves you uneasy. This makes you feel that people’s identities are going to be expunged. The fault lines will be blurred. People won’t be fighting each other. Many-ness, you pontificate, is better than oneness. It’s the current status of divisiveness and polarisation and fear and suspicion that sustains you, how can you possibly let it go?
Your very existence depends on being a champion of someone, of the downtrodden, of the endangered, of the marginalised and the victimised. Most of you run one or the other NGO. According to a CBI report – yes, a Government agency and not something related to the RSS – there are more than 20 lacs NGOs in India which means, there is one NGO for every 600 Indians. If you go by the conservative figures of the Home Ministry, these NGOs get roughly Rs 11,500 crore from various international agencies annually. With so much money involved, how can you even think of changing the status quo? I can understand your plight. Stronger India, a united India, a progressive India nullifies the existence of your NGO. Your favourite image of the country is someone like Mother Teresa putting a morsel into a half-skeleton-half-skin child whose big white eyes jut out of a withered, hairless skull.
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So there is almost a 100 per cent chance you are not going to leave the Muslims alone. Under one pretext or another you’re going to rake up controversies and a few riots here and a few clashes there will be of course an icing on the cake. Many claim, rightly, that we haven’t had a Government, what we have had is a Ponzi scheme.
You and your political masters have had it good with this Ponzi scheme, with a few setbacks here and there. But overall it’s been a good run. The problem is, you grew lazy, as it normally happens with your kind of activities. You started using a template. Whether it was Gujarat riots or the RSS or the Togadias and the Singhals, or even the last-ditch effort, the snoop gate, most of your commentaries were merely a spinning of a selected few words. You used your template with such a phenomenal frequency that eventually it became a white noise. You know what’s white noise? It’s audio data your brain processes so frequently that after a while it stops interpreting it. No meaning is registered. Of course, the recent rout of your political masters had a lot to do with the political acumen and moral vehemence orchestrated by Modi, but your incessant messages turning into white noise also had a great role to play in your debacle.
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In your various open letters, you guys have been preaching Modi on the virtues of being a truly secular PM of such a diverse country as ours. You want to be proven wrong, you tell him. It’s high time he changed his image, you suggest. You want him not to rake up the issues of Article 370, the Ram temple in Ayodhya or even the Muslim refugees issue in the North-east. You urge him to banish the idea of creating a unified India and instead, let it remain the way it has been. You tell him that the idea of “Quran in one hand and laptop in another” is extremely repulsive to you. The minorities in India don’t need development, you advise him, they need reassurances.
I’m pretty sure Modi is not going to pay heed to whatever you have to say simply because he intends to run a Government, not a Ponzi scheme. You see, you are the part of the problem, not the solution, at least not with your current mental disposition. In order to become a part of the solution, you will need to discard your current notions which, I think, is not very easy for you to do because you have ingrained these notions into your existence. If you can have your way (sadly, you have had your way for way too long), you would rather have a Prime Minister who is hesitant about approaching even his own party president, as shown in this video:
Instead of dividing Indians, Narendra Modi intends to unite them. Instead of weakening them by dividing them into various segments, he wants to bring them together to turn them into a formidable force. Instead of the deen-heen mentality he boasts of a broad chest. Maybe when, highly unlikely, he decides to run a Ponzi scheme, he will refer to your council, but unless that happens, you stand no chance.
Amrit Hallan, a struggling writer.