The Odds We Face

RSS Hindutva

I hope my readers all dislike and would like to join the united resistance against fascism.At the moment fight is going on in the parliamentary i.e.the electoral front.Here BJP has a clear advantage.Unlike the opposition alliance pulled in different ways it can plan and act like an army,secure in the assurance that little will pass into the hands of untrustworthy circles.While in any opposition party or among opposition alliance such information are often leaked by interested individuals or ferreted out by enterprising reporters.Further there is every likelihood that the High Command’s directives will be carried out meticulously. Whereas the opposition leaders’ commands might get deflected or shortchanged by interference from middle-level leaders or executed in an indifferent manner

BJP is reluctant to lose office now that it is close to a rare opportunity to complete its dream project of transforming India into a Fascist state cum society under the banner of Hindu Rashtra.Circumstances seem favourable.It makes no bones about using the extensive powers of the state to fulfill its avowed task and win the coming election come what may,and hardly bothered by scruples that would waylay other parties.The latest demonstration by the CJI of his original or belated affinity to Hindutva is a shot in the arm for the political party in its crusade.

At the strategic level it can fix its goals and chalk out ways of reaching them with confidence that the commands from above will be duly executed and in time. It has prepared,as far as one can guess from results on the ground, two action-plans,one at the micro level and the other at the macro level.Both have in fact been in operation for more than a year.

At the micro level it has had to confront and neutralize the effects of stark and soaring poverty that has struck and ravaged the common working people in villages and towns.The plunge of income deeper into want,starvation and frustration, the blight in employment,the spread of desperation and despair among youths have been mostly the outcome of the pitiless stringent neoliberal economic policies pursued by the BJP government with unremitting zeal.It has no intention of withdrawing or moderating such

But it has poured government and party funds into umpteen schemes to hold out hope for rescue and reprieve. Many young men who enjoy support from such sources are now at work at the village or Mohalla level to work as good Samaritans,fetching packets of rice to relieve pangs of hunger,helping those in distress to access relief from government schemes,rushing serious patients to hospitals.carrying out such and other tasks at the behest of “Prishtha Pramukhs”——- people engaged in taking care of voters on each page of the electoral rolls.Grateful beyond words the receivers of such unexpected service look upon them as angels and would do anything to oblige them.To say nothing of voting according to their wishes.

In doing so they become deaf and blind to messages proclaiming that the BJP is the source of that curse or blight that has almost out of the blue struck their lives.Nor is there anybody of trust around to disclose to them these measures are temporary and likely to melt into thin air sooner or later after the elections.
But there are still sufficient traces of early campaigns by newspapers and sections of the rebel media active now suggesting that the harsh realities have been results of government policies pursued with a vengeance by the BJP.Chill winds of doubt and misgivings still penetrate from time to time the cover of goodwill and benevolence to shake the confidence of beneficiaries.An odd woman’s last wretched scraps of property are brutally seized and taken away by ‘collectors’ after she falters in several monthly repayments.A young man seeking work in far off Andhra or Kerala disappears. There is urgent need to seal those gaps in the veil of illusion.So something must be there at the macro level to overcome such damaging loopholes and transform the world-view of the hapless poor.

Keen observers who have eluded the mesmerism of propaganda have realized that for the masses the current realities of the country, from grim and steep rise in poverty and unemployment (at the highest rate in 45 years),horrifying increase in heinous crimes,fear and insecurity among minorities,
threats to liberties guaranteed by the Constitution,the unbelievable ravages of hate crimes,the gagging and degradation of the media,the threat to real science from so-called Hindu science, have been over the past decades clouded over by a virtual reality that through images and glib,hollow and resounding paint a radiant picture of a galloping economy,contentment and happiness all around,fabulous progress and development and India fast climbing into the position of a Viswaguru with her unique spiritual wealth and age-old wisdom.All that is to culminate in the (re)construction of the Ram temple and its consecration to the nation by the Prime Minister.The icon of Hindu wisdom combining the valour of the ace warrior and the spiritual insight of the sage will be ceremonially installed in Ayodhya by one who will thereby earn the honour of continuing his blessed heritage.

It is not difficult to understand why this hyperreal or fantastic idea can possess an entire nation.From the beginning BJP has been trying to make capital out of Hindu spirituality or religiosity.Reason and reality get suborned by faith and credulity.Real secularism has remained stunted among masses who prefer myth to reason.Such faith is akin to magical belief which is the other side of traditional religion in so far as it thrives on mere association and resemblance rather than causal links objectively posited and proved.

The only way to counter it decisively is to pose real substantial images of real,felt life through audio-visual images. Which is however strangely ignored or played down by the opposition.Rahul Gandhi’s image as he shared the experiences and expectations of the common masses as they walked together had therefore such instant success among the people. Otherwise the veil of illusion overpowering the senses will be difficult to pierce.Not much time is left to start such a counter-campaign.

In countering the overwhelming non-rational blitz the calm appeal to reason is unlikely to work.It might be more practical to address the loopholes in the saffron narrative.For example the gorgeous new look of the ‘Ram lala’ to be installed in the Ram temple.The ‘Ram lala’ had appeared miraculously overnight in the precincts of the then existing Babri Masjid in answer to prayers of Hindu worshippers when the district administration was about to take strict steps to prohibit such worship there.Three little Terra Cota figurines resembling such figurines peddled in village fairs had suddenly appeared on the spot to vindicate the faith of the devout worshippers putting district officials bent on sacrilege to the rout.So these images had the stamp of authority and authenticity from the deity himself.The question is why these original holy figurines have been laid aside to make way for more decorated and impressive set of idols who lack the deity’s original potent blessings?

Hiren Gohain is a political commentator

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