In response to in response to “What were you doing then?”

“In response to in response to” isn’t a typo, it is actually in response to in response to.

The sympathisers of the intellectuals and writers who are returning awards, and even the intellectuals and writers themselves have started saying “It doesn’t matter what we were doing or not doing in the past, what matters is, what we are doing now.”

In the wake of various artists, journalists, intellectuals, scientists and actors registering their protests (some by returning awards and some by giving interviews), humble folks like me have been asking why suddenly there is so much cola-veri in this particular class? Why so much barpaoing of hungama over the incidents that have been happening on the streets of India for more than 1000 years? Why this hulchul suddenly when Bihar elections are going on, India is vying for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security council and various international rating agencies are giving a thumbs up to India’s economy? There seems to be a concerted effort to show India as a completely unstable and “extremely intolerant” country.

A few days ago I wrote this

I had written this when this smear campaign had just started (triggered by this Nehru-Gandhi-dynasty intellectual) and our intellectual class hadn’t yet come up with the argument that “So what if we didn’t speak up then? It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t speak up now.”

This very opportunistic argument manifests in this Newslaundry article,

The portion in which Abhinandan Sekhri says that the veteran actor Anupam Kher should have used the platforms afforded to him by the fame he got to highlight the Kashmiri-Pundits’ plight is truly valid. Anupam Kher should have definitely raised the issue and now when he says that the intellectuals returning the awards didn’t speak up then and so they shouldn’t speak up now becomes a bit hollow (for the argument’s sake) but it doesn’t give strength to the argument itself.

How do we garner trust among people we intend to preach? There is a very famous saying, “Practice what you preach,” and writers, of all people, should be aware of this saying because it has appeared in many stories and novels.

On the surface it is a very valid argument, that why shouldn’t I protest if I haven’t protested before? Just because I have never written anything on a particular topic doesn’t mean I’m not going to write on it simply because I haven’t written on it before.

But it is a typically lazy, intellectuallish argument, something like Woody Allen intellectualising the concept of having sex with his stepdaughter (I know that he can easily do that, and I am his fan in terms of his art). Intellectuals have this habit of justifying their acts by intellectualising those acts to confuse common people who are too busy taking care of their mundane affairs to bother with slightly complicated logic.

As writers and authors had you written books, articles and essays on the way the current government is acting against the minorities, I would have definitely given you serious attention irrespective of our political differences. Things would have been different if you had actually used your intellect (that seems to have gone defunct due to disuse) to present a solid argument. Instead of returning your awards and giving statements on news channels and creating a saas-bahu-serials type of awkward situation had you actually used your art to express your pathos as an artist you would have earned my respect despite our political differences. Right now you seem like a dog that just barks and doesn’t have the ability to bite.

So why does the argument “Why shouldn’t I protest now if I haven’t protested before” fall on its face immediately?

The antecedents of the people returning awards and registering protests against the current Narendra Modi government and the sort of “extreme intolerance” situation it is trying to create in the country.

What are the antecedents of these people?

Let us use bulleted points for a clearer comprehension

  • Most of them are known Modi-haters and have carved out a niche for themselves in the realm of pseudo-secularism.
  • They have participated in activities to politically and personally damage Narendra Modi as much as possible.
  • They have carried out signature campaigns against him.
  • They have delivered lectures and speeches against him.
  • They have vested interests in the continuation of the same corrupt regimes such as the Congress and other parties who have kept the country in intellectual and economic doldrums in the name the sustained racket of secularism and inclusiveness.
  • They have vested interests in keeping India poor and backward in the eyes of the Western world so that they keep on getting donations and harvesting souls.
  • They nurture an inveterate hatred against the Hindu tradition and many of them closely work with Christian missionary agencies to wean people away from Hinduism.
  • Many of them have been running NGOs to get funds from abroad and most of these funds are never used for the work for which the NGOs have come into existence.
  • The present government has either totally stopped the foreign funding or it has made it extremely difficult to get the funds.
  • Most of the writers, intellectuals and artists returning the awards have been surviving and thriving on government doles and due to their proximity to the power corridors of the Congress government.
  • None of the writers, intellectuals and artists have some serious work done throughout their careers and they have remained mediocre throughout their lives and their only claim to fame are the awards and lucrative postings that they got due to their political connections.
  • Many of them actively, routinely campaign against the BJP during elections as revealed by Tavleen Singh in a recent Indian express article.
  • Many of the corporate honchos depended on the license raj regime to get an unfair advantage over other entrepreneurs and industrialists.
  • Many of the activists have been running rackets instead of doing actual social work.
  • Many of the journalists who support these writers, intellectuals and artists have vested interests in bringing the Congress party back and portraying India under the current government as regressive, intolerant and backward (okay, I seem to have written this already, but what the heck).

So with these antecedents, no matter how much you try to intellectualise your selective outrage, as a common person, I cannot make sense of it. I need to see your track record in order to experience your sincerity. Had you had a history of picking up cudgels for all the repressed sections of the society then yes, I would have definitely seen sense in your actions and even supported you irrespective of political differences. But so far if you have remained in the background while the worst atrocities in the world history have been happening around you and then suddenly you wake up to the realities of the world and start protesting, then sorry, I can clearly see that your own ass is on fire and that is why you are in a frenzy.

I don’t care much about being politically correct. Things are just right or wrong and yes, sometimes there are grey areas in this is why we write, don’t we?

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