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Sunday, April 14, 2024

The ‘Two Stool Syndrome’ Of Liberal Intellectuals

This write up is in response to the article – Rahul Gandhi’s Muslim outreach wants to win over liberals but alienates conservatives by Rasheed Kidwai.

It is not the Congress party that is caught between two stools (when it comes to Muslims).  It is those amongst the educated Muslims who would like to call themselves as liberals, but see that a Hindu assertion is, by definition, communal. And this hold true for the author of above article too, Rasheed Kidwai.

At the end of the article, this ‘moderate’ Muslim says: “Engaging a community is always welcome but a political cost-analysis is important particularly when crucial general elections are around the corner.”  Effectively, he is saying that decisions should be taken on the basis of their impact on elections, and not on the basis of what is right for the nation. In the above article, Rasheed is lamenting the fact that Rahul Gandhi’s outreach to Muslims did not have any Muslim conservative names. He calls this fact ‘inexplicable’.

It is this wishy-washy writings, which substitute language for logic, that confuse the people in general and the politicians in particular.  A Hindutva friend of mine said to me in 1995 that the ‘intellectuals’ authenticate the minority-appeasement programs of politicians as an effective election strategy.

Hindutva has come to the centre stage of Bharat’s politics only around the late 1980s, that is forty years after Bharat’s independence.  Until that time, the Hindus of this country gave an opportunity to the ‘Idea of India’ as proposed by Jawaharlal Nehru, and his fellow ideological partners.  One of the component of this ‘idea’ was that the imagined majority communalism is a greater threat than the real minority communalism.  The latter was accepted, and allowed to fester under another component which said that the minorities are feeling threatened, and that their reforms should come from within the community.  The ‘moderate’ Muslims and the so-called secularists with Hindu names did nothing to initiate the reforms. And even now, various NGOs regardless of explicit faith in Hindu Dharma or not, regardless of foreign-funded or domestically funded accounts, keep filing litigations questioning traditions of majority segment and our esteemed judiciary entertains them too.

When the people of Bharat realised that they were being taken for a ride, the practice of secularism in Bharat was being seriously questioned.  This debate started to permeate in the mainstream institutes.  However, the ‘moderate’ Muslims and the ‘secularists’ had invested too much of their credibility to allow the debate to move along the logical lines.  Thus, on the issue of a Uniform Civil Code, the refrain from them since 1990 became as follows: “We were always wanting to have a Uniform Civil Code, but because the RSS has communalised the issue, we are not pressing for it now.”

The refrain from the Nehruvian time that ‘Hindu communalism’ is more dangerous that minority communalism is continued today – more vociferously by the ‘intellectuals’ than the politicians.  And when the Hindus react, they are actually told to shut up and just accept the words of the ‘intellectuals’, even when these words have been comprehensively proved to be deceitful. The biggest hallmarks of a healthy minority in a nation are – the growth of their population, the freedom to practice their religion and the freedom to run their institutions without additional costs/laws. The so called minorities in Bharat have grown tremendously on all factors, and in fact interestingly, have an extra entitlement in some very crucial areas, unlike any other big nation in the world.

The greatest enemies of the common people amongst those that are called religious minorities are the ‘intellectuals’, nearly all of them living from funds provided by these common people. Ironically, Rasheed wishes Rahul Gandhi to tap the electoral potential of conservative Muslim community, while contradicting himself later while giving example of Rajiv Gandhi’s submission to conservative Muslims in Shah Bano case.

So, it isn’t really Congress caught between two stools, it is actually Rasheed Kidwai!


(This write up is co-authored by Garima Aggarwal).

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Ashok Chowgule
Ashok Chowgule
Working President (External), Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bharat.


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