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Why the Indian Right should take the lead on climate change and snatch the issue from the Left

The Indian Right can take the lead on climate change!The Indian Right is in control of all policy levers right now. And the Modi government has taken a very active approach to combating the climate crisis.

Climate change is a scientifically established fact. The scientific consensus on this was achieved decades ago. Since then, climate change has gone far beyond data recorded in scientific journals and is apparent to all. The island nation of Tuvalu is sinking. Every year, the sea floods a bit more of the Florida coast. The mostly frozen Arctic Sea is now navigable for ships for more days each year. As the sea warms, Norwegian cod fish are migrating further up north, making them harder for fishing boats to catch.

The above is just a sprinkling of the numerous ways in which you can actually “see” climate change happening.

Before we come to the Indian Right, we have to understand how the issue of climate change has played out at the global (American, really) level. We have to understand how the Left set the trap, baited the hook and who walked into it like fools.

Years ago, the American Left spotted the looming disaster of climate change. And then proceeded very cleverly to construct a political trap around it. Having lost the battle for economic ideas, the Left saw climate change as an opportunity to create a counter narrative to the capitalist way of the modern world.

The marketing trick was pretty basic: get people in the door promising to ‘save the planet.’ Once you have them listening to you, get them to sign up for your social, political and economic agenda. Every political party in the world understands this trick. This is why politicians campaign with movie stars around. Because the first thing you have to do is gather a crowd.

The international organization ‘Greenpeace’ is the best example of such sleight of hand. Notice how “Green” (a scientific agenda) and “peace” (a political agenda) have been seamlessly glued together. Who should compromise for the ‘peace’? Who are you treating as the aggressor? The Left does not want you to think about this part. You buy the “green” part and you are automatically subscribed to their vision of what should be done for peace.

By turning a scientific fact into a political wedge issue, the Left actually struck the biggest ever blow against real solutions to climate change. People are given to think in terms of political “tribes.” As such, the Left’s political aggression turned the Right reflexively against the issue.

This pushed the American Right to embrace crazy conspiracy theories, science denial and all sorts of absurdities.

Make no mistake. The Left loves how it all turned out. They claim to be outraged, but they are beyond thrilled. They get to show their adversaries as fools. How awesome is that?

Meanwhile, real solutions got stuck in the political crossfire.

Here’s the deal though. The clock really is ticking. The alarm has been going off for decades. If we keep pressing the snooze button, we are going to die. For real.

Thankfully, India so far has remained largely insulated from the madness around climate change denial. I personally do believe this has something to do with the Hindu way of life, which has always sought harmony with nature. The Hindu mind is driven towards respect for the world and all living beings. You might remember Modiji’s words on this :

PM Modi on commitment to climate

So yeah, Modi sarkar is strong and unwavering on the issue of climate change. We are about to ban single use plastic. We have implemented some of the toughest pollution standards in the world. We have spared no effort to steer away from fossil fuels and towards renewables such as wind and solar.

Incidentally, India isn’t all that rich in traditional hydrocarbons like coal or oil. We have to import a lot of it. So, this makes sense for us in every possible way.

But in a globalized world, the left is on the prowl, trying to import to India the campaign that worked so successfully in the West. This is where the Indian Right wing must watch out and avoid being lumped with the climate change denying buffoons in many other parts of the world.

Yes, our government policy at the top levels might be heavily in favor of climate action. But so what? Be mindful that the wolves of the left are on the prowl for any slip up, no matter how small or irrelevant. Every gesture, every throwaway comment on social media, is under the scanner of the Left. They want the Indian Right wing smeared as climate change deniers at any cost.

Think about ‘church attacks.’ Think about the whole ‘Lynchistan’ narrative. In either case, real evidence on the ground was nearly absent. But the Left managed to manufacture the narrative anyway and smear us very successfully as a nation.

The Indian Right cannot afford to get smeared on the climate change issue.

Even though this article contains many warnings, it is really not intended to evoke fear. Rather, the aim is to point out a much larger political opportunity that has presented itself before the Indian right.

The Indian Right can take the lead on climate change!

The Indian Right is in control of all policy levers right now. And the Modi government has taken a very active approach to combating the climate crisis.

So, the Indian Right wing government has already pushed the right buttons at the top. All that remains at the lower levels is to sit back, relax and enthusiastically support the right wing government.

Just how easy is that?

Not just easy, but fun as well. If you want to rub the left wing noses into the ground, there is no better way.

Remember that it works both ways: as soon as the Indian Right takes the lead on climate change, it will make the Left reflexively dash for the opposite direction. And the Left will look ridiculous in the process.

Have you seen how Left wingers around the world are looking foolish complaining about the success of India’s toilet building initiative?

That’s how political tribalism works. Because Modi started building toilets, the Left started supporting open defecation. And now they look ridiculous. The Indian Right can similarly drive the Left up the wall and make them jump off the cliff of lunacy on the issue of climate change. The Right doesn’t even need to snatch this issue from them, because our Right wing government has already been sprinting in the right direction. All that remains is for the right to take ownership. And enjoy as the Left goes mad. Who’s with me?

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Abhishek Banerjee
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or may not be an Associate Professor at IISc Bangalore. He is the author of Operation Johar - A Love Story, a novel on the pain of left wing terror in Jharkhand, available on Amazon here.  

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