JNU Students Union leader Kanhaiya Kumar is accused of helping those who raised anti-India slogans, of urinating in public, of flashing his private parts to a lady, of disrespecting his teachers, of whitewashing Congress sponsored anti-Sikh genocide of 1984, and recently, of getting into a scuffle in the mid of a flight and lying about it.
Now out of these, helping people raise anti-India slogans or whitewashing Congress’ crimes would not upset an elite leftist – the champagne sipping, foreign accented English speaking bloke who’d be assumed to have some expertise in a liberal arts field – for they also do the same on many occasions.
But the other deeds of Kanhaiya make him an average desi lout, who is often frowned upon by the elite leftists. Only “Sanghis” can be such unwashed gundas in their worldview. Our elite leftists don’t like violence or sexual harassment, except those unleashed by Naxals.
Kanhaiya is no Naxal. Not yet. Then what makes the elite left love him so much despite his loutish behavior?
Because in him, they see a quality that they simply don’t possess – to connect with the masses.
In India, the elite leftist is suspicious of the unwashed masses. Even though he (or she) dreams of revolution, carried out by the same masses, he can never connect with them.
That’s why there is so limited political and electoral success for the left in India. The leftist groups and the communist parties are all led by this elite leftist and they couldn’t grow beyond West Bengal and Kerala (and Tripura if you insist).
Suspicious of the masses, but in love with unaccountable power, most of the elite leftists in India settled for a Faustian bargain with Congress, where the party promised them the position and power they hankered for in return for a hold on narrative where Congress must be projected as the only alternative or at least a lesser evil.
The inability of the elite leftists of India to connect with the masses is not something we at OpIndia.com are claiming. It has been conceded by their own lot.
Remember a JNU Professor named Nivedita Menon? Yes, the same one who was seen teaching to her students that Hinduism was the most violent religion in the world and Kashmir was being illegally occupied by India.
Back in 2011, she wrote a couple of articles on a left leaning blog where she conceded that the left was suffering from this weakness where they fail to understand what the people want. This was in reference to the anti-corruption movement by Anna Hazare. In one of the articles, she writes about “the great unwashed” while being at the Ramlila Maidan where Anna’s protest was going on:
“We wondered at the arrogance and cynicism that can only see communalism and casteism in these protests. The arrogance of the ‘Enlightened’ – who can only deal with ‘the masses’ as long as they are an abstract category and shrink in horror when confronted with them in reality.”
This is an admission. One can argue that this is a class struggle that these elite leftists have been fighting with themselves and failing over the decades. And thus they look for heroes who they think can connect with the masses.
This is where Kanhaiya gives them hope. Belonging to a poor family, having a desi accent, and talking about stuff that is supposed to resonate with the masses, Kanhaiya is seen scoring where they fail miserably.
Apart from this, Kanhaiya is “pure” for them. He still thinks socialism and communism can work. He’s a safe bet, unlike those anti-BJP politicians whose ideological purity is not yet tested or can’t be trusted.
So all the sins of Kanhaiya are forgiven. Let him pee or fight in public, we don’t care. Let him insult a professor or a colleague, we don’t care. All we care is that this guy can get the crowds and this guy can convince the masses that he’s one among them.
The lout can do what the learned can’t.