A picture says a thousand words. Before reading further, look at the picture above once again and guess what story does this picture want to tell you. This picture gives the best way to explain the difference in modus operandi of the right vs the left. And this modus operandi is so perfected that it is used from the west to the east with outright impunity.
So lets take a deeper look at this picture. On the left, we have Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhusan, who were mercilessly beaten and thrown out of AAP by the new anarcho-fascist sensation in town i.e. Arvind Kejriwal. While on the right we have the two leaders from BJP, L.K. Advani and Narendra Modi, who shared bitterness before the last Lok Sabha elections, but still decided to embrace each other gracefully, with the younger Modi seen doing “Charan Sparsh”, a traditional Hindu ritual to seek blessings.
Both the parties had an internal feud and were resolved in very different ways. The BJP leaders decided to stick with traditional symbolism of harmony and respect in their worldly conduct and although some below the belt punches were delivered, specially by Advani, who should have retired gracefully, but they were always restrained. On the other hand, Kejriwal came with all guns glazing and used brute force of bouncers and his party members to manhandle his two old colleagues and achieve what he could not amicably. One should underline the unrestrained conduct of Kejriwal, who achieved his objectives without paying any attention to potential future fallout in the form of his sullied political image usually associated with using brute force in politics. He came unscathed out of this political misadventure and solidified his image as the supremo of AAP as well as the tallest political leader in Delhi. Not so surprisingly, Kejriwal remained unapologetic during this whole episode and went on a break while letting his subordinates finish the political rivals, a key quality of any left demagogue.
Looking at these two separate events one should ask the question- how did Kejriwal manage this coup d’etat without any repercussions while Modi had a difficult time in pulling off a natural inter-generational power transfer which was made to look like an act of fascism? Modi’s takeover of BJP was played over and over again in the media for more than a year, but Kejriwal’s impunity has completely disappeared from public scrutiny, although both Bhushan and Yadav were (are) darlings of MSM. It is easier to jump to the conclusion that MSM hates Modi and BJP and hence gives them only negative coverage. But if one looks around the world, most right wing leaders get negative media publicity- whether it is Bush in the US or Harper in Canada. So the story will remain incomplete without talking about how the left controls the current social narrative and the MSM wilfully acts as its extension in generating cultural memes.
Modus operandi of the left
1) The left is not a reactionary force but has a proactive plan of action. Since the left controls the cultural memes, it has enough foot-soldiers who build a new victimhood (left ideology thrives on it) story every minute. While the left keeps on generating new victimhood stories, the right usually has no choice but to engage in fire fighting mode and do some damage control. Sadly, the right is so busy in this damage control that it hardly ever gets to the root of the problem.
To understand it better, let’s look at the fire fighting exercises that Modi govt. was forced to engage in, in the recent past. The intolerance debate started even before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections when the top leftist academics came together and published open letters in the newspapers and exhorted the common citizens to vote against Modi because his election as PM of the country might lead to death of the Indian democracy. This was a well calculated game plan which unfortunately did not work in the 2014 elections but worked very well in the recent Bihar elections. The left raised the bogey of intolerance in the country and challenged credibility of Modi government on the issue of religious harmony. To generate enough momentum for this story, a large number of leftist intellectuals came forward and returned their National Awards as part of a well played out script in front of the nation.
The Modi govt. is trying hard to push its reform agenda like Swachh Bharat and Smart Cities in a top down fashion. Sadly, it hardly gets the kind of traction in national discourse which is generated by the leftists operating in a decentralized environment. And it is not difficult to understand why this is the case. While victimhood narrative has a ready-made perfect template which makes it easy to rally a mob around it, it is difficult to generate similar interest for initiatives that require self-improvement and confidence. The only take away from all these incidents is that the left strikes first and the left strikes often. The self-generation capacity of leftist memes make it easier to mount decentralized attacks. This brings us to the second and more important point.
2. The left is unabashed in use of brute force and strikes hard on its opponents. And this maxim applies both to its opponents as well as small deviants. What did Kejriwal do with his fellow leftist travellers? He used them and booted them out with iron fist once they had served their purpose. If he was so ruthless with the people who helped him establish AAP, one can easily imagine how he will deal with his real opponents. He banned BJP MLAs from the Delhi Assembly, while Modi has struggled to throw out the unruly Congress MPs from Lok Sabha.
But the leftist goondaism goes much back and is a universal quality. The number of people killed in purges by Stalin and Mao, outshine the brutality of every other dictator who has walked in the 20th century.
Compare the number of those killed under Communism to world totals for major sources of death for the 20th century: pic.twitter.com/gqfBsSZCd0
— OG Saffron (@OGSaffron) February 6, 2016
Even in India, other than Jihadis the only other potent national threat are Naxals, again inspired by the leftist ideology. The left ruled West Bengal for more than 35 years with brute force and West Bengal still tops the chart in number of political murders every year. The student organizations from left are not saints either and engage in open bullying and even resort to violence. Just look at the latest clips where left organized protests against the death of Rohit Vemula. Where violence is not possible, the left organizes itself as a mob and goes on soft rampage in the form of character assassination or social boycott. For eg. Trump has nothing to do with UK politics, but the left still went into action and pushed forward with a signature campaign to ban his entry. It is similar to signature campaign by Indian MPs, who wrote to US to ban Modi’s entry.
But how does the left manage to voice concern and act as an arbiter in matters related to freedom of speech and tolerance, although it kills every meaningful opposition when in power? What allows left to maintain this holier than thou attitude? The answer lies in the power of left to generate victimhood narrative. If Naxals kill poor fellow tribals, they become disenchanted tribals whose land is usurped by the fascist state, while in case Muslims turn Jihadi, it is blamed on intolerance of Hindus or other local conditions but never the Muslims.
The takeaway from this analysis is that the left is not shy in using violence if it helps to forward their agenda and use it in an unabashed fashion. This violence is then covered under the thick veneer of deniability by generating victimhood stories or other times by just lying low and not talking about it. The right on the other hand tries to win left’s approval when in power and never mounts a frontal assault, one can forget about any violence.
The way forward
The right needs to change the rules of the game if it wants to stay relevant in the future. This implies taking back the baton of cultural memes from the current generation of leftist intellectuals and instead enforce its own agenda with iron fist. The RSS can no longer take pride in being the grassroots organization and openly needs to support the right intellectuals who can change this narrative. An effective counter will need to attack the entire modus operandi of the left i.e. challenge the cultural agenda with intellectual output and use state power to crush the opponents if needed. If it shows weakness on any of these fronts, any advance made by the current Modi govt. will be washed away in less than a year, the way it happened after departure of Vajpayee’s government. The right also needs to get more proactive in its attacks against the current or future opponents. Some policy examples to illustrate this point:
1. Putting the entire state machinery behind Subramaniam Swamy in the National Herald Case and take the case to its logical conclusion i.e. putting the Gandhis in jail. If needed come up with other cases against the whole family and erode their credibility. No half-hearted measures will help here as BJP realized in the previous Parliament sessions because Congress is the master of disruption. Use “Saam-daam-dand-bhed” to weaken the unity of 44 Congress MPs and dig up old dirt if needed to silence them so that they retract their support to the family.
2. Kejriwal is a small fish in the left’s pond right now, but he is a master strategist and is backed by very powerful forces in the world. BJP committed the mistake once and let him win Delhi elections again. Any future leeway will only make him more powerful. BJP needs to launch a vicious agenda of eroding away his credibility. For eg- use the intellectuals on the right and publish an open letter to denounce everyday theatrics of Kejriwal. AAP launched a frontal attack on Jaitley after CBI raided against a serving IAS officer in the Delhi government. The deflection was perfect and the controversy against AAP appointed officer died down quickly while Jaitley is still embroiled in the intricacies. BJP needs to generate fresh controversies against AAP and use state power if needed to give it a quick death otherwise it will become a force in north India by next elections. Since, AAP is Kejriwal and Kejriwal is AAP, the attacks should be directed against him rather than just taking down his puny lieutenants.
3. The violence unleashed by the left should be dealt in kind if needed while ensuring perfect deniability. Changing the names of “Bajrang Dal” and “Hindu Samhiti” to some other neutral names might be of some help here. The Congress lost the last elections but the brutality with which it handled Ramdev’s protest is a perfect example on how to deal with non-friendly actors using state power.
4. Purging of leftist individuals from top institutes should be done without any hesitation. JNU being the single biggest factory for generating leftist folklore should be the first target and neutralized. The cases against Tejpal and other similar offenders should be concluded at a fast pace to send a clear message. Since Congress has given many more National Awards than Modi can give in five years, there is no way for Modi to curry the favours and win as much sympathy as Congress has generated by nurturing pet intellectuals. So, these awards should be abolished at once which will help in destroying the credibility of past winners. The choice of brand ambassadors for govt. schemes should be restricted to individuals, who had been sympathetic to the Hindu cause in the past. There is no benefit in showing generosity and trying to win over those who have opposing viewpoints. This should be extended to all activities of govt. ranging from appointing university Vice Chancellors to giving away financial contracts.
5. The victimhood should be dealt with by generating counter victimhood. For eg. – the leftist agenda to use feminism to destroy Sabrimala traditions or use animal rights for enforcing Jallikattu ban, should be countered by generating counter narrative on how local communities or tribals are being targeted. Before the feminist storm troopers are unleashed on the Sabrimala premises, the right should get proactive and unleash its own protesters in front of Supreme Court and house of Chief Minister to build a strong case of hurt local sentiments against onslaught of western imperialism. Every attack on church should be drowned in the noise of a bigger attack on Hindu temples. The only way to counter victimhood is counter victimhood, as logic is inferior in front of raw passions of a mob.
To summarize this discussion, one can say that left has perfected this game of using intellectual dishonesty to score brownie points while using its muscle whenever needed. They do not engage in winning over the right intellectuals but use them as useful idiots and crush them if needed by using state power. Although the right is a slow learner, the recent SM campaign that forced Snapdeal to oust Aamir Khan as its brand ambassador is a good example and should be replicated in other spheres to drive home the message. This is a high stakes game and unless the right ups its ante, they are bound to lose this game on all fronts. They will hardly get a chance to use the raw mob power of Bajrang Dal but will still be forced to walk around with the fascist tag without achieving any objectives.
For reading more on subversion tactics of left, read here.