Statutory warning : This story is going to irritate the hell out of the liberals.
The Bhil tribal youth of Madhya Pradesh are not happy. They have been looking at social media and they are infuriated by Kashmiri stone pelters brutally harassing our security forces. They realize that the hands of the Army are tied by a maze of service rules and the one-eyed eagle of human rights organizations.
They think they have a solution. They are ready to go to Kashmir and reply to the stone pelters in kind.
And so it happens that a group of 100 Bhil youth are practising their skills with their traditional “gophan” slingshot that can launch a stone with terrifying velocity and accuracy. The other day they met the District Collector of MP’s Jhabua and handed over a memorandum in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking to be sent to Kashmir.
Listen to what one youth had to say.
There is a reason this story will bug the hell out of the liberals and not just because of the patriotism (although that is often reason enough). The problem is not just the patriotism, but who it’s coming from.
The Bhil youth of Jhabua in Madhya Pradesh. As the HT article itself points out, this is one of the poorest districts of Madhya Pradesh and indeed of the country. The Bhil tribals make a living as “marginal farmers and laborers”. They are the ones most left behind by India’s new capitalism and economic growth.
The liberals have always seen these tribal youth as prime candidates for recruitment in the army of “Azaadi”. What a humiliating let down for India’s liberals : far be it from seeking “Bharat ki barbaadi” and “Bharat ke tukde“, the tribal youths are itching to fight for Bharat.
Alas! The hopes of “Azaadi” still rest on the shoulders of the upper caste Communists of JNU. It’s almost like 70 years of liberal scholarship (read propaganda) has had no effect at all on the Dalits and tribals. No takers for Bharat ke tukde…
The other day, I argued that the liberal strategy of trying to break India by pretending to care about “marginalized sections” was always going to blow up in their faces. Because the so called “lower” castes, who never collaborated with the Empire and were never socialized into colonial modes of thought, embrace a very simple, uncomplicated form of patriotism. I am happy to share today another exhibit of this spectacularly failed liberal strategy.
Will the Prime Minister of India accede to the request and raise a “gophan” battalion to take on the stone pelters of Kashmir? I have no idea. But what I do know is that the Bhil youth of Madhya Pradesh, armed with their traditional slingshots, have managed to hit India’s liberals exactly where it hurts them the most. Splat!
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or not be an Assistant Professor at IISc Bangalore.