A wise woman once opined, “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly.” She went on to add, “He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”
While Indians celebrated their 73rd Independence Day, ’eminent historian’ Ramchandra Guha used the occasion to slander Indian democracy in a column for the Washington Post, a foreign media outlet that is renowned for its political partisanship and fake news propaganda.
Opinion: India was a miracle democracy. But it’s time to downgrade its credentials. https://t.co/AkF8xBO0is
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 15, 2019
In the article, Guha declares that it is time to downgrade India’s democratic credentials. His arguments are consistent with those peddled by Western liberals since Donald Trump was elected POTUS. It only shows how little respect liberals across the world have for Democracy. Merely because the outcome of an election wasn’t consistent with their political preference, democracy has ceased to exist they say.
Guha’s article which slanders India at an international platform also reveals how little respect Indian liberals have for their own country. They wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to denigrate India globally and then appear perplexed when people question their patriotism. Not only does he slander Indian democracy, but he also attempts to undermine the efforts being made by the Indian government to integrate Kashmir fully with the Indian Union.
He writes in his article, “Given the lack of any sort of credible opposition to the BJP, the atmosphere of fear among religious minorities and the attacks on a free press, we are now a 40-60 democracy, and — if the recent abuse of state power in Kashmir is any indication — well on the way to becoming 30-70.”
The article demonstrates perfectly why Indian liberals are hated with such intensity by ordinary citizens. His words are littered with accusations and absurdities that are real only in a world of his own making. They bear no semblance at all with Indian realities. ‘The atmosphere of fear among religious minorities’ that he speaks is a notion that is based entirely on feelings, not facts.
If a person insists that the Earth is flat against all odds and refuses to believe that the Earth revolves around the Sun, there’s very little one could do to convince him otherwise. Despite all evidence to the contrary, Guha and his ilk have relied upon the fear psychosis that the Indian Muslim minority, unfortunately, suffers from to conclude that the current ruling dispensation at the Centre is anti-minority.
The reason why it’s almost impossible to rid ourselves of the ‘atmosphere of fear’ is that such fear is not based on facts or logic. They are based on delusional beliefs which have absolutely nothing to do with ground realities. Arguments based on facts can be defeated with those that are based on more relevant facts. Arguments based on faith, however, are far more resilient.
Intellectuals like Guha consider feelings to be more important than facts. Thus, it’s no wonder that they give credence to such notions. It’s also why intellectuals believe that gender is a social construct and if a bearded man with a truckload of body hair considers himself a woman, then he ought to be treated as one. When feelings are prioritized over facts, such irrational conclusions are inevitable.
In his article, Guha also rakes up the mythical notion of ‘Hindu Pakistan’. Anyone with any knowledge of history should be aware that India cannot turn into a ‘Hindu Pakistan’. The very term is an oxymoron. Pakistan is in the state it is because it is an Islamic state, its intolerance is driven by its monotheistic roots. Hinduism, on the other hand, is a polytheistic faith. Polytheism has at its core the virtue of pluralism. India which is defined by its Hindu heritage cannot turn into a Hindu version of Pakistan because Hinduism does not permit the toxic mix of religion and politics that Pakistan is the consequence of.
The alleged historian also says, “One of the reasons that the Indian state has, in recent years, shown such a harsh hand in Kashmir is that the majority of Kashmiris are Muslims.” This is precisely what the Pakistani Prime Minister has been saying on the matter. It is quite amusing that should Guha be questioned by ordinary citizens for peddling Pakistan’s agenda on a global platform, he will cry intolerance and claim victimhood.
In unrelated news, recently, one ’eminent intellectual’ was revealed to have written an article on Kashmir in 2016 after being influenced by former Pakistani High Commissioner to India, Abdul Basit. In the said article, Shobhaa De had demanded a referendum to settle the Kashmir issue ‘once and for all’.
While no such accusations have been made against Guha thus far, it is quite distressing that Indian liberals peddle such propaganda at the international level without even being under the influence of India’s enemies.