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Modi-fied India

It amazes me that self-important people, those whose online profile is buffered by who hates them rather than what they stand for, are the heroes of liberals


by Farzana Versey

Following the victory of the Bhartiya Janata Party and another term for a Narendra Modi government, social media was awash with liberals promising to fight, to dissent and projecting themselves as allies of Muslims.

Elite Muslims were quick to feel indebted for the kindness, quite forgetting that their supporters have not done anything that would qualify as real opposition to the Hindutva ideology.


So, how exactly will they fight this government?

  • They will post memes.
  • They will unsubscribe to certain newspapers/TV channels that have posted/aired a bigoted report. (Two days later they’ll quote from the same papers/channels they unsubscribed from.)
  • They will praise Ravish Kumar for his emotion-laden speech against a black backdrop.
  • Those in the media will, pathetically, even on primetime shows they anchor, announce that they do not believe in shouting like some other channels, as though that is enough to make them better than Arnab Goswami.
  • They will wait eagerly for The Telegraph to read its front page headline. After which they announce that journalism isn’t dead. Clearly, all it takes is smart wordplay to be alive.
  • They will have shows on the hijab where primacy will be given to their version of the good Muslim, the one not wearing the scarf, while the ones wearing it, who are the subject, are given short shrift, if not shirked.
  • Some will write books on why they are liberal and some on why they are Hindu. They like such balancing acts...it’s just a way of life thing.
  • Following any unfortunate act of terror anywhere in the world, they will be quick to declare that not all Muslims are terrorists. After the lynchings against Muslims, they never feel the need to say that not all Hindus are like that because that is supposed to be a given.
  • They will post videos of lynchings. Within minutes they’ll be posting screenshots of the hateful responses they get from Sanghi trolls. Soon enough, their victimisation becomes more important than the person being lynched.
  • They will take out a caravan to the homes of the victims. But...karwaan guzar gaya, ghubaar dekhte rahe...
  • They will protest against a horrible incident at some elite location. Those who cannot make it will ask them to be safe.
  • They will pull up the Congress party to show they don’t have political affiliations, but will happily project Kejriwal, Mamata Banerjee and even newbie Kanhaiya Kumar as messiahs.
  • They will talk about the moderate faces of the BJP, each time one of their leaders criticises it, forgetting that they have been a part of it during the worst moments in its history.
  • They tell you they are allies of Muslims because they eat biryani, quote Faiz (whatta rebel, also atheist, no?), go to Nizamuddin Dargah on Thursday nights for qawwali, and think Sufism rocks.
  • They will call themselves dissenters because they stand with a Kunal Kamra or a Swara Bhasker.

***

There should’ve been memes after this, but liberal selective amnesia is quite a thing. They lecture others on the need to take an ideological position, but seem quite comfortable with the idea of Swara Bhasker campaigning for six candidates from different parties.

How can she even qualify as an intellectual asset when she says:

“I knew that people were calling me because I am a heroine. As soon as I learnt that I would be campaigning, I went and bought 20 saris and got my wardrobe sorted. Maine blouse silva liye, jewellery leli and curated my look. I used to blow dry my hair in morning, put on my hair extensions and makeup, and wear my chunky earrings. I knew that the media would come for pictures and interviews, which in turn could be used as a platform to talk about issues that matter. For the public, it’s not a politician joh white kurta and jacket mein aa raha hai, they see a young person with colourful clothes.”

So much poppycock. She is far removed from reality, and yet gets so much traction when her destination is clear: “I am so tired after campaigning. I can’t wait to go back to Bollywood now.”

It amazes me that self-important people, those whose online profile is buffered by who hates them rather than what they stand for, are the heroes of liberals.

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