The Results are in – Reaching out to the right

Days ago, I started an experiment to reach out to the other side and start a dialogue. Commenting for five days on the blog with a number of people was…interesting. After days of trying, I think I may have made matters worse. If you read the last 10 comments or so, they now seem to think I’m a bigger threat than anyone else! The 170 comments finally ended with an orgy of virulent bashing.

So much for that idea…

I think the sense of threat pervading these individuals is far too strong. They’re terrified that Islam is going to take over India and that the agenda of all Muslims is to kill them.  As Sraboney’s article pointed out, when you’re threatened, you don’t let go of settled notions easily.

Incidentally, there weren’t any suggestions from anyone regarding what to actually do about this perceived threat though I gave them several opportunities to put some forward by inviting them to imagine what they would do if they were in power. So in the end, all the hatred etc seems to be undirected and not tilted towards any particular action.

When political leaders who have such individuals as their base come to power, one of the things that can happen is that they will foment communal violence by playing up the “threat” angle to get votes. In fact, this is what we have seen in the recent past. Everyone is out to “protect” themselves. The Shiv Sena wants to “protect” themselves from non Maharashtrians, and Hindutva types want to “protect” themselves from Islam. Paranoia and conspiracy theories run wild as they’re convinced that society, and the media are biased against them and are going to…what? The most interesting part is that the threat is undefined.

And in the end, there was a consensus that I was the biggest threat of all!

But still I’m hopeful. I’m an optimistic guy after all :) . I have confidence that our Indian democracy will survive all this and decades later we can just look back on all these problems we have and laugh.

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Comments

  1. Neil says:

    bhagwad: So, you decided to bury your head in sand whenever faced by logical and factual comments, just like the confused and ignorant pseudo-seculars….why this facade of reaching out when you are so damn determined to remain blind and cling to absurd notions? Check the points in this page: http://koenraadelst.bharatvani.org/books/negaind/… …might just help you…

  2. My Name Is Mathur And I Am Not A Terrorist. Muslims are not terrorists. Terrorists are not Muslims. Terrorism does not have a religion. India is a huge country for everyone to live peacefully. Besides India is a secular state so every religion is welcome to stay.

  3. SM says:

    I am disappointed with the kind of arguments Bhagwad put up against Ashwani's points. Also, it seems instead of coming up with concrete agrguments/proofs/facts, some commentators are more interested in labelling people. This kind of attitude never helps in a debate. I do appreciate BJP's effort and his motive though.

  4. Sangitha says:

    Was reading up some archives and came across this. Just had an intense discussion with some one in the flesh today who said he was not a BJP type but from his arguments, he might as well have been.

    The question I came away with was 'why is a majority religion threatened?' By Islam, conversions, tube tops, pubs, you name it. If I were a card carrying BJP type, would it not be more logical to think, these things will come and go but my faith will live on forever?

    Hinduism has seen more, dealt with Mughal rule and is still in majority in India. And if it were in threat of being a minority, we would have done to us what we have to others. Seems like the threat (like all of those) lies in deep insecurity. And if we have no faith in our faith, tough!

    Want to state for information – I am born a Hindu, mostly a happy one, not into the religion or rituals but appreciate what spirituality has been reached by some souls who were also born Hindus. Bleeding heart liberal who believes that all people are born equal and should be treated so. Also, women are people, a fact that most religions are happy to gloss over! :-D

  5. Sangitha says:

    Dude, you are a brave man!

  6. G Vishwanath says:

    Okay, Bhagwad, I just finished reading this post too and all the comments including Ketan’s long comments.
    You are lucky to have Ketan, Jai, Sasank, Radical Humanist, participating with such enthusasm.
    I also admire your sheer stamina in handling all of them and standing your ground.
    A blog comes to life when there is such enthusiastic participation from readers.

    My own views are somewhere between yours and your “Right Wing” detractors.
    Over 33 years ago, when I was about your age, I used to think very much like you.
    I was a Congress Party Sympathiser, A card carrying secularist, Nehru admirer, and my favourite book was Nehru’s Discovery of India.
    I loved the way Indira Gandhi dominated the political scene and watched with glee as she handled senior and veteran Male Congress politicians like puppets on a string and made everyone dance to her tune.
    I was not too comfortable with the RSS types, even though I would not condemn them.

    But that was before terrorism affected Kashmir, before Pakistan started actively putting into practice its policy of bleeding India with a thousand cuts, before The days of Al Quaeda/LET/JEM and 9/11 and 26/11

    I should be forgiven for swingning a little to the Right after watching and living through all these developments.

    But even today, I deplore the Muthaliks, Dara Singhs, Thackareys, and the Togadias but I have a soft corner for Vajpayee, Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and (horror of horrors! )Modi the bete-noire of people who think like you.

    I feel perfectly comfortable with most Muslims of India, particularly South India, and as long as they boast of people like Kalam, Amir Khan, MJ Akbar, Salman Khursid, Naseeruddin Shah, A R Rahman, Mohammed Rafi, Javed Akhtar, and a host of others, I will never have any ill feeling towards Muslims or Islam and will not experience the paranoia that you have rightly written about.

    But people like Zakir Naik, the Imam of Jama Masjid, and the India-Hating Mullahs of Pakistan, and the Generals of the Pakistan Army and ISI have caused deep revulsion in me and I will not be lulled into a feeling of security and safety.

    I believe a very real threat exists to all of us , Hindus, Christians, Sikhs and others in India.
    If the damage they can cause to us inspite of being so small in numbers is so significant, I shudder to think of what our common fate will be (including you, an atheist though born as Christian).

    This is just to inform you about my personal leanings.
    I find myself agreeing more with Ketan than with you.
    Of course, I neither have the ability or the patience to engage you in a long debate so please dont start one.
    I would rather sit back with a packet of popcorn and a bottle of lemonade and watch you taking on all your detractors, single handed.
    It’s so much more fun than sitting in front of the Idiot box.

    And now let me catch up with more of your older “masala” posts like this one.
    Regards
    GV

    • bhagwad says:

      Thanks for your views GV :) . To see where all this came from, look at the original blog post – the second link in this article…that’s the genesis after all :D

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