Do you know that burqa is empowering and is the best thing ever designed to express solidarity against patriarchy? Wearing a burqa is a fundamental right of any women and those who wear it should be respected for their courage to stand against the evil patriarchal society.
Well the above paragraph, with all its inconsistencies, can be lifted up from any current publications by leftists, who will go miles just to stoke their oikophobic ego and stand against their local civilizational values, which in the case of above paragraph and Western civilization means justifying the vilest practices under Islam. But this article is neither about Islamic feminism nor about west. It is rather about crab mentality of Hindu Right wing, where the flag bearers lose no chance to bring each other down whenever possible. While the leftists can do mental gymnastics to even declare Burqa as empowering and sign short term truce with Islam, the petty fights among the Hindu Right explains why we are losing this civilizational war even after winning few individual battles.
BJP is hardly a Hindu right wing party but for all its drawbacks, it is still the only viable option on the right. Now think of the drama that got unleashed before Modi was anointed as BJP’s PM candidate. The sulking Advani of the Babri demolition fame was courted by the Lutyens media to fire salvo after salvo against Modi of the Gujarat 2002 fame. Advani who was hounded for his whole life for his role in Babri demolition suddenly became halal for the presstitutes, who wanted to bring down the rising Hindutva star i.e. Narendra Modi. But media did what it was supposed to do i.e. help the Congress ecosystem, and made mountains out of molehill. The sulking patriarch on the Hindu right rather than keeping his feelings private and blessing his protégée in public, decided to play into the hands of the same media, he supposedly opposed for most of his life. One cannot deny that there are power struggles in all parties, but the way BJP washed its dirty linen in public and gave cannon fodder to its rivals was extremely distasteful, but serves as a fine example of how Right fails to resolve its fights amicably or behind closed door.
The dissent was crushed to a great extent by Modi but it keeps rising time and again, sometimes led by old horses who are hurt by the fact that they were ignored when crumbs of power were thrown around. The biggest failure of this season has been Arun Shourie who resorted to personal attacks against Modi and called him narcissistic and dictator in a live show hosted by none other but Karan Thapar, the most disgusting and vile character in the Lutyens circle. While there is no doubt that Shourie deserved to be in the Modi cabinet, but deserving has never been a good enough criteria to get any job. The displeasure of Shourie is understandable but blurting out against Modi on TV and making personal attacks is unbecoming for a scholar of his stature specially given his role in spearheading the Hindu Right Wing during one of its most difficult times.
But Shourie is not the only politician/intellectual who can be accused of such mud-slinging. This mud-slinging fest is actually even more common among the intellectuals. The feud between Malhotra and Ganesh had hardly died when Talageri fired his ammo against Manasataramgini, a famous blogger on RW, questioning his views on AIT but character assassinating him in the process. While no question can be raised about the utility of intellectual debate among the Hindu right, but extreme caution needs to be taken before it becomes a quagmire, thus giving easy opportunists to leftists to exploit. It becomes even more worrying when the fanboys on each side decide to do the dirty job of their masters and sully the reputation of their opponent.
While western scholars build consensus by slightly modifying each others’ views in peer reviewed journals, the Hindus come out as clowns who don’t lose any chance to bring each other down over minor disagreements. For example- few days ago RW twitterati descended upon Sanjeev Sanyal, who suggested need for serious books over blogs. While his suggestions are impractical in current environment and blogs serve their useful purpose, having awakened many Hindus, but nevertheless it does not negate his entire argument. Sadly, instead of addressing his point, RW resorted to name calling and fanboyism.
Since the left still controls the public narrative, the need of the hour is to keep the dissent among Hindus internal rather than publicly vocalizing it. Next time there is any such feud, it needs to be nipped in the bud. While the entire western cabal has descended to defend Pollock, it is unfortunate that now Rajiv Malhotra has to defend himself against fellow Hindus as well. But this can only be done if both sides take a posture of restraint and not submit to their ego, at least not publicly. The intellectual debate in the public sphere should be encouraged, but any personal attacks should be avoided at all costs. Disagreements and debate are to be encouraged but not the current mudslinging and character assassination which goes on in the RW. Actually diverse opinions, slightly differing from each other, are good for the development of RW intellectual ecosystem, just like how left builds consensus by claiming slightly different versions of history and politics.
There is another very important point which has slowed the growth of RW ecosystem in India. The number of retweets and endorsements by left wing portals and their contributors of their competitors’s articles far outnumber those by the RW. While Scroll and Caravan frequently endorse each other, the RW portals like Swarajya and Indiafacts hardly help each other grow. While it is understandable that profits are important, but equally or more important is to get the agenda across and develop an ecosystem. Frequent citation and endorsement will only shift more and more people to the Hindu fold and increase the readers as well as revenues for everyone. This external margin i.e. addition of new followers to the ecosystem is ignored for short term gains by the RW. Quoting and helping each other grow is how journalism thrives and many people don’t know that almost all news reporters share their stories unless it is very exclusive and world shattering. If media did not share stories, how do you think the same news story can appear on all media outlets on the same day? Competition is secondary to content creation and it is something that the left understands very well and the right needs to learn from them.
Moral of the story- RW needs to get its act together and work cooperatively with more emphasis on the common agenda rather than for petty personal fame, ego or money. Once RW gains control of the narrative and builds a healthy ecosystem, they will get enough opportunities for back biting and mudslinging. But till then they need to suck up to each other to survive else no one can save them from their premature death at the hands of left.
Image credits: http://newsfirst.lk/