Ever since the ‘new dispensation’ of the Right Wing BJP has come to power, the nature of public discourse has shifted from ‘development’ to ‘demagogy’. Never before have such regressive narratives been heard than in the past two years.
Just pause to think about what topics are hitting the airwaves over the past month or so. ‘Women shouldn’t wear skirts.’ ‘It’s perfectly okay for men to discipline their wives.’ ‘Women who want to assert their right to worship are western-style feminists’. ‘Single parents and gay people have no right to have biological children.’ ‘Say anything positive about Pakistan and you’ll be sued for sedition.’ ‘How dare a Dalit leader even mention the word beef, even if he’s referring to the eating habits of a sportsman in a foreign country.’
And there’s more. The Salafi-Wahabi brand of Islam that is being called the ‘Arabisation’ of Indian Muslim Youth. We’re listening to stories about the ‘boy next door’ hotfooting it off to Syria to join the ISIS hordes!
The feverish statements of Bihar’s Nitish Kumar and his dogged and unrealistic imposition of Taliban style prohibition is another side of the narrative.
The less said about the floundering attempts of the ‘Left of Centre’ Congress party to fish in troubled waters, the better. Pathetic and laughable!
Whatever good that the present government makes in terms of governance, is lost in this cacophony of fake religiosity and the surrender of so-called religious sentiments to common sense.
The ‘hardline’ and ‘hard sell’ of a particular brand of religion-tinted pseudo-nationalism, with its polarizing imagery, only serves to push moderates over the wall. Radicalization has begun on ‘both sides’ of the so-called religious fence. So what will happen is that 11th century mythology will soon supplant 21st century logic.
One may say that it is we the people who have voted in these ‘jokers’, but as the country plunges into social chaos with the likes of Ramdev and his ilk being patronized and promoted, let me assure you, it’s certainly not funny. Especially, young India, when the joke’s on you!