The passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act brought out into the open the grave contradictions that have befuddled the Indian State for long. These contradictions stem from the great degree of difference between the perception of the masses regarding the State of India and that of the ruling establishment regarding its role. Narendra Modi’s resounding victory in the 2014 General Elections was the first step towards resolving these contradictions. And in the first six months of his second term as Prime Minister, many of these contradictions are getting resolved.
Expectedly, members of the erstwhile establishment are not too happy with the recent developments. The vision that the current ruling dispensation has of the Indian State is more consistent with the perceptions of the masses than it could be said of any other government in the past. Naturally, the ruling dispensation is at odds with the elites that have ruled the roost till now. And the elites are making their disagreement known.
In an article published on India Today on the 3rd of January, Rajdeep Sardesai envisions a future for India in 2029, a decade since the passage of the CAA and the protests against it. The future that he paints is one of a popular revolt after India has become an unofficial Hindu Republic. The article reflects unhealthy bouts of both pessimism and optimism but such conclusions come from a poor understanding of reality.
We are not going to talk much about the featured image of the article that paints the Swastika as a fascist symbol. Stupid people do stupid things but it’s an undeniable truth that even Goebbels did not provide as much positive propaganda to the Nazis as Indian liberals have. When Swastika is portrayed as a Nazi symbol, it’s not the Swastika that gets maligned. It’s fascism that receives a positive endorsement. The sacred glory of the Swastika could never be maligned by such antics. ‘Liberals’ are only portraying Nazism as an enlightened philosophy when they paint the Swastika as a Nazi symbol, they are glorifying Adolf Hitler when they do that. Do they even care?
Moving ahead of the blind hatred of liberals towards Hindusim, we focus on the content of Sardesai’s sermons. He says, as part of his pessimistic forecast, “A 79-year-old Narendra Modi has been elected for a fourth consecutive term and, this time, imperiously, is planning a move to Rashtrapati Bhavan. The Constitution has been amended to create a presidential form of government, and the electoral system has undergone a drastic change. Supervising the makeover is Amit Shah, deputy prime minister for the past five years. Simultaneous Lok Sabha and state assembly elections have been held, but ultimate power vests in the office of a directly elected president. Other constitutional changes have seen the word secularism’ being dropped from the Constitution: India is now unofficially a Hindu Republic.”
His optimism comes next, “And then, suddenly, just as the decade draws to a close, there is a popular revolt: a widespread demand for the withdrawal of the president-for-life order. Under pressure, the all-powerful political strongman relents: the constitutional changes are rolled back, fresh elections to a duly elected Parliament are ordered.” He admits that his predictions are fantasy but says that they are not entirely unimaginable. We can concede to that.
I have often talked about irreconcilable differences between the ‘liberal’ perception of the Indian State and the Hindutva conception of it. Never have been these irreconcilable differences been more prominent than in the words of Sardesai in the abovementioned article. If a proponent of Hindutva were to envision the same future, it can be said safely that his opinions of the said events would be at polar opposites with Sardesai. A Hindutvavadi would celebrate Sardesai’s version of a bleak future and rage against his Utopia. And these are the contradictions that have bothered India for long.
Let us be honest here. The vast sections of the Indian masses, the overwhelming majority, will not mind if India is declared a Hindu State officially, and that is the worst case scenario. Most likely, they will celebrate it if India becomes so. Therefore, when Sardesai appears to lament India becoming an unofficial Hindu Republic, a proponent of Hindutva simply cannot empathize with his concerns. Furthermore, dropping the word Secularism from the Indian Constitution is unlikely to ruffle any feathers.
The Constitution of India when our country became a Republic in 1950 did not have the word in its Preamble. It was inserted by Indira Gandhi during the Emergency. Not just Hindutvavadis, everyone who believes in Democracy should demand its removal. Regarding Narendra Modi’s reelection as the Prime Minister of India for the fourth consecutive term, it won’t be surprising at all considering his current popularity. Moreover, if he is reelected Prime Minister, it will obviously be because the people love him.
The article by Sardesai is littered with comments that reflect the extent to which Lutyens Delhi is unaware of the sentiments of the country. Commenting on the BJP’s humiliating defeat in the General Elections of 2009, he says, “The Congress-led UPA seems to have a semi-permanent stranglehold over power and the country appears to have decisively rejected the politics of the Hindu Right.” Sardesai misses the salient point of the results completely.
The results of 2004 and 2009 only show that the Indian masses did not consider the UPA to be as anti-Hindu as they did during the elections of 2014. The masses were still under the impression that the parties were taking care of Hindu interests. But, by 2014, it became clear that these parties that engage in the worst forms of minority appeasement and have a terrible track record on corruption to boot. 2004 and 2009 were not indicative of a permanent defeat of the Hindu Right as an ideology in any manner, they only revealed minority appeasement combined with caste politics is a very potent strategy for electoral victory. And ironically enough, these two tactics combined with relentless corruption brought down the Liberal Establishment.
Rajdeep Sardesai then embarks upon a wild flight of fantasy. He says, “But by 2029, there are fissures too in the gargantuan Hindu Rashtra project. The nation’s periphery is on the boil: an attempt to capture Pakistan-occupied Kashmir has not succeeded. A US-mediated truce forces India and Pakistan to accept both sides of the Kashmir divide as a single entity with semi-autonomous status. In Nagaland, there are renewed secessionist demands while other parts of the Northeast see a fresh eruption of ethnic conflicts, fuelled by concerns over the shifting demographic patterns in the region. A coercive state finds it hard to stamp its authority on local antagonisms.”
One can only laugh at such predictions. Liberals have been clutching at straws since the abrogation of Article 370 but even by their pitiful standards, this is quite a stretch. For such a ‘US-mediated truce on Kashmir’ to materialize, the USA will have to be far stronger than it has ever been till now and India will have to be far weaker than it has ever been since Independence. Simultaneously, the power equation between India and Pakistan will at least have to be comparable to what it was in 1965. Does any of this look remotely possible?
India will be far stronger in 2029 than it is now, Pakistan will be far weaker by the end of this decade than it is at the beginning and the USA will be in no position to bully India at all. An India that elects Narendra Modi to power for a fourth consecutive term will not be one that will cede territory in a decade. Rajdeep Sardesai’s prediction is worse than wishful thinking, it’s the rambling of a mind struggling to preserve its sanity. As for Sardesai’s ramblings about the North East, the region is far more integrated today than it has ever been. Separatism is simply not a viable option going forward. Anyone who understands anything about the North East understands this.
Rajdeep Sardesai makes a series of other dubious assertions. Predictions of the North-South divide increasing, and farmer mutinies and college rebellions and other such musings. These are not predictions, these are just garrulous sermons of someone trying to cope with the events of the latter half of 2019. There’s a reason for Sardesai’s bout of insanity. And the reason is Hindutva. In the long arc of history, Savarkar has won and Nehru, along with everything he stood for, has been dragged through the mud.
The most important lesson of 2019 that liberals haven’t learnt yet is that Hindutva is the natural order of existence for the Indian State. Hindutva aligns the Indian State perfectly with the aspirations and ambitions of the Indian masses. This is why the BJP’s push for the abrogation of Article 370, the Ram Mandir, the CAA and the NRC received huge support from the Indian masses.
Liberals were frustrated over the fact that their anti-CAA campaign received support only among Islamic extremists and Leftist clowns at Universities while the overwhelming majority of the country was annoyed by their shenanigans. One wonders when will they realize, if ever, that the overwhelming majority of the country’s population, regardless of the political party they support, are on board with Hindutva as an ideology. They have always been onboard with Hindutva as an ideology. Hindutva just needed time to mature and for its political representatives to gain credibility. Such things, unfortunately enough, require a certain degree of time to develop. And with time, Hindutva has become the dominant political force in the country.
Therefore, now, we ask ourselves, what will India look like in 2029? Narendra Modi is likely to have retired after serving his third term and Amit Shah would, in all possibility, succeed him as the Prime Minister of the country. There is unlikely to be any drastic changes to the political set up of the country. The BJP would have expanded its base massively in South India. It is unlikely to have a great amount of support in Tamil Nadu and Kerala but it will have solid support even there.
West Bengal will be firmly with the BJP by 2029 and the state will be a BJP bastion. North-East would continue to be firmly under the BJP and overall, the BJP may be looking at 400 seats in the Lok Sabha. Narendra Modi will be considered the Founder of New India and he will be regarded as the greatest Prime Minister India has ever had. Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir is likely to have been reclaimed by then and Pakistan may have suffered a further loss of territory by then.
The Indian State will be much stronger than it is currently and will enjoy far greater clout in the international scene than it does now. Most importantly, however, it is extremely likely that India will be considered a Hindu State unofficially. It can be safely said that the face of India will be a lot more Hindu than it is now. And it wouldn’t surprise anyone if India is declared a Hindu State as well, considering the fact that an overwhelming majority of Indians do want India to be declared a Hindu Rashtra. Liberals may hate it but if Democracy demands it, then their objections make no sense.