Who is a ‘Leftist’ or ‘Rightist’ or who is ‘Secular’ and who is ‘Communal’ ? Here, Sita Ram Goel ji deconstructs the political and academic jargon. In doing so, he explains how language is used as a political weapon.
Secular Versus Communal
This fifth pair of labels has attained the widest currency of all political words. We face a peculiar problem here. The meanings which these words have acquired in India’s political parlance are not even remotely related to the meanings which the dictionaries assign to them. It would not be an exaggeration to say that although these two words belong to the English language, their meanings in India have become exclusively Indian.
The word ‘secular’ is defined in the dictionaries as ‘the belief that the State, morals, education, etc. should be independent of religion’. But in India it means only one thing – eschewing everything Hindu and espousing everything Islamic.
Everyone who wants to qualify as ‘secular’ should subscribe to the following articles of faith :
1. The Muslims in India after Independence have become a poor and persecuted minority.
2. They are being deprived of their fair share in the fruits of development.
3. Their religion and culture are not getting legitimate expression in public life and media.
4. They are not being given employment in public and private sectors in proportion to their population.
5. The preponderance of Hindus in the security forces puts in grave peril the lives, honour and properties of Muslims.
Every Hindu politician or pen-pusher who aspires to pass the test has to :
1. Proclaim that Islam stands for equality and human brotherhood.
2. Celebrate the Prophet’s birthday with fanfare and throw an Iftar dinner at the end of Ramzan.
3. Attend Urs of Sufis and Urdu mushairas.
4. Support the claim of Urdu to be the second State language in all States where Muslims are in a minority.
5. Admire whatever passes for Islamic art and architecture.
6. Relish Muslim cooking and appreciate Muslim dress and demeanour.
7. Abuse Israel and applaud Arab countries.
He should also keep quiet or look the other way when Muslims :
1. Breed like rats.
2. Refuse to give modern education to their children.
3. Push their women into purdah.
4. Practice polygamy.
5. Start street-riots at the slightest pretext.
6. Rejoice over every Pakistan victory and every Indian defeat in sports.
7. Invite and protect infiltrators from across the borders. And, he should not whisper a word when Arab Governments pour petro-dollars and professional preachers of Islam into this country in order to convert the weaker sections of Hindu society.
Even these positive services rendered to Islam are not sufficient for a Hindu politician or pen-pusher out to earn the secular certificate.
One is not secular unless one harbours and expresses a pronounced anti-Hindu animus. One should lodge an immediate protest against the least little expression of Hindu religion or culture in public media and at Government functions.
One should frown upon every Government dignitary performing a pooja in a Hindu temple or going to a Hindu place of pilgrimage.
One should accuse all educational, cultural and research institutions of hiding Hindu communalists.
One should put the blame squarely on the RSS for every communal riot.
And so on, the list of one’s grievances against Hindu society should be as long as one’s love for Islam and Muslims.
The definition of communal is a logical corollary of the above definition of secular. The dictionaries define the word communal as ‘pertaining to community, owned in common, shared’.
But Hindus in India have only to say that they belong to a community and that they share a culture in common. They immediately provoke secularists of all hues to come down upon them. In fact, the word ‘Hindu’ itself has become a dirty word, almost an obscenity in India’s political parlance.
Woe betide the Hindu who dares say that India is his ancestral homeland and that his religion and culture also have a case. He will be immediately denounced as a Hindu chauvinist. A Hindu who blunders into reading Indian history with his own eyes, who finds that his society has suffered immeasurably at the hands of Islamic imperialism, and who cries out that this aggression should now stop, makes the Leftists mad with fury. They brand him as an enemy of public peace and national integration. They find in him a fiend who is plotting a genocide of the ‘poor Muslim minority’.
Democratic Versus Fascist
This sixth pair of labels is not so much in fashion these days as it used to be at one time. The Leftists invoke these labels only when they are in search of a united front of all ‘democratic’ forces in order to fight the forces of fascism.
They use the word ‘democrat’ to entice some elements who do not rise immediately to the bait of a united front. And they hurl the word ‘fascist’ when they find that their other swear-words like ‘reactionary’ and ‘revivalist’, etc. have failed to hurt.
The dictionaries define a democrat as ‘one who adheres to or promotes democracy as a principle’, and a fascist as ‘one who believes in using forceful methods’. The definitions make it easy to find out where the caps fit. The Leftists swear by Democracy only so long as they are in the opposition. They believe and proclaim that they will use force to transform society once they are in power.
They are convinced that they alone know what is good for the rest of the community. They divide every society into shepherds and sheep, reserving the former’s role for themselves. Their self-righteousness and extreme intolerance of every other point of view mould them into the first class fascists, whatever the ‘ism’ with which they adorn themselves. They promote and profit by an irrational, anti-intellectual atmosphere. They suspect and shout a conspiracy behind every move of every other party. It is, therefore, difficult to understand how the Leftists label themselves as democrats. But it is easy to understand why they denounce as fascists all those who do not subscribe to their aims and methods.
It is simply a case of the thief crying thief.
Profits of Perversion
One cannot help concluding that the dictionaries are not at all helpful in deciphering the Leftist language. The sources of that language have to be sought elsewhere. But one has also to notice that this language has so far proved very profitable for the Leftists. They have no roots in India and are altogether an alien implant on our body-politic. But with the help of this language they have so far managed to pass as paragons of patriotism, progress and public welfare.
One is reminded of a folktale from Haryana which illustrates the Leftist way of reasoning.
A jat (peasant) was carrying a khat (cot) as he passed by the house of a teli (oilman). The teli was a poet. He burst out in rhyme : “Jat re jat, tere sir par khat (O’ you jat ! On your head you have a khat)”. The jat is also a poet. He hit out : “Teli re teli, tere sir par kolhu (O’ you oilman ! On your head you have an oilpress)”. The teli protested : “My friend, your lines do not rhyme”. The jat smiled with self-satisfaction and said : “To hell with rhyme ! Who cares for the rhyme ? What matters is that you are going to collapse under the weight of the kolhu.”
This is exactly what is happening in India’s politics. The so-called Rightists are collapsing under the weight of certain words which the Leftists have heaped upon their heads without rhyme or reason.
(Courtesy : cisindus.org/2020/04/11/perversion-of-indias-political-parlance-sita-ram-goel/)