My wife and I were having a conversation during our evening tea and I told her how the so-called intellectuals, writers and journalists start calling those who contradict them “bhakts” at the drop of a hat.
The problem is, when you immediately start calling the other person a bhakt, you have totally done away with the scope of having a fruitful discussion.
A bhakt, as you may know, is a supposedly derogatory term attributed to those who openly support Narendra Modi, by those who stridently oppose him. When things get too much mixed up, even the usual BJP supporters are labelled as bhakts.
Even if you don’t have anything to do with the BJP and you simply oppose the Leftist propaganda, they start calling you bhakt, sanghi (member of the RSS), Hindutvavadi and fascist. But mostly, “bhakt” is in vogue because they think that bhakts are those people who are totally devoted to Narendra Modi and never say anything or never hear anything, against him.
In its true meaning, a bhakt is a devotee of a religious figure, of a godly figure, or even of a celebrity. Bhakti and sufi period in the Indian history is a favourite topic of Leftist historians because they use this period to establish how peaceful the Muslim dominance over India was.
I was talking to my wife about a Twitter thread where people were expressing opposing views on a book by Audrey Truschke. In the book, Audrey has tried to establish that Aurangzeb wasn’t as villainous a fellow as he is made out to be, especially by those who want to paint the Mughal period in India with a totally dark brush.
In response to a review of the book published in a Leftist online publication, this extensive rebuttal has been published that shows approximately how many Hindu temples were demolished by Aurangzeb and what all he did to make the lives of Hindus as hellish as possible. Extensive references from historical accounts have been used in the rebuttal and these references cannot be controverted.
So, it was regarding this rebuttal that people were being called bhakt and all, simply for showing how wrong Audrey’s conclusions are. People who were trying to prove her wrong (actually, they didn’t have to try very hard, but that’s another matter) in no way indicated that they support Narendra Modi or BJP and that’s why they were trying to find faults with Audrey’s book.
The Leftists use such labels indiscriminately. Here is a nice article on how the Left paints everybody with the same brush and harms its own cause. You just have to express a few opposing views in order to get yourself labelled as “extreme right” in Western countries and bhakt and sanghi in India.
My wife said a very thought-provoking thing. She said, “Rightist bhakts are far better than Leftist slaves”.
In this context, those people are called bhakt who vocally support Narendra Modi.
Traditionally there is a very spiritual, very holistic relationship between a bhakt and the subject of his devotion. A bhakt is not a slave, he is like a friend of the person he is devoted to, let’s say a divinity like Krishna.
A bhakt does not follow a blind faith. This is why such saints became very famous during the Bhakti period. They treated God as friend. They made God accessible to all. Just like you love your friend, you are also at odds if you don’t find yourself on the same plane. You get into arguments, you get angry, and you even get vicious. Sufis (a variation of bhakt) even called God their lover.
Just like traditionally bhakts are not blind followers, in my day-to-day interactions I have seen that bhakts are not blind followers of Narendra Modi or the BJP too. They get angry at both of them. They abuse both of them.
In the wake of the recent attacks on Indian soldiers both by Kashmiri terrorists and naxals, Narendra Modi has been drawing unmitigated flak from his so-called bhakts. This is because Narendra Modi’s support base, especially the ones who are called bhakts, is an unorganized multitude. They give support at their own initiative. There is no hidden motive. There are no vested interest other than improving the lot of the country.
The Leftists on the other hand, never say a word against their ideology, their political entities, their religious figures and their schools of thoughts they support, no matter how shitty things get. They act like slaves. You will never find them contradicting each other no matter how wrong their opinions are. Their spirits are dead. They act like a swarm.
They are very scared of contradicting each other.
For the sake of this write-up, when I’m talking about “Leftists” I’m not talking about Leftists in the conventional sense. I’m talking about all the people who use the term “bhakts” in a disparaging manner. They can be Congress-supporters, AAP-supporters, CPI M-supporters, and the supporters of all those parties that aspire to form a “mahagathbandhan” to thwart the BJP. This category also includes the cabal of intellectuals, writers, journalists, artists, historians and “human rights activists”.
The Leftists (according to the constitution mentioned here) never criticize their leaders, their intellectuals and their policies. You will never find AAPians saying anything against Arvind Kejriwal no matter to what ridiculous lengths he goes to do, whatever perverted thing he intends to do. They will not say anything against Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Bannerjee, Laloo or Mulayam no matter how revolting their conducts are.
For these Leftists, whereas the BJP represents an existential threat, the other parties that they “reluctantly” tolerate are simply a nuisance (they have to admit this because things have become too obvious).
They promote each other’s intellectual bunkum as gospel truth, as seen in Audrey Truschke’s case. Even a 10th-standard student can present enough evidence to prove how wrong she is, but these Leftists go on endorsing her views as if she is the paradigm of scholarly authenticity.
The same goes with Ramachandra Guha. Almost every day his sense of history is disputed but not a single sign of scholarly disagreement originates from the Leftist side. Don’t they have enough courage to critically study each other’s works to find faults or should it be assumed that they are never at fault?
The Aryan Invasion theory has been proven wrong with clinching scientific evidence but no Leftist scholar has written a single word disowning the theory or exhorting historians like Romila Thapar and Irfan Habib to disown their flawed stands and accept that they have been proven wrong.
These people very easily get threatened. As Vivek Agnihotri explains in this video, some high-ranked official of the Jadhavpur University told him at his face that there is no space for alternative views in the Left-dominated institutions. This is a slavish mentality. These people are slaves to their ideology, their self-interest, their mafia. Madahu Kishwar is facing protests and abuse at the JNU because Leftists are not happy about her appointment. Just imagine a Leftist intellectual being met with the same sort of treatment.
Recently noted intellectual and JNU professor, Dr. Makarand Paranjape, visited Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada) to do a recording at the university’s audiovisual centre. He had been invited to record a conversation on “Drishti: Is there an Indian way of seeing?” The conversation was to be shown later on to the students of the Carleton University Hinduism course.
Now, anything that portrays the Indian culture and its traditions in a positive light is deemed by these Leftists “racist” and “majoritarian”. It is considered anti-minorities and anti-Dalit.
A Dalit Assistant Professor working at the same university was able to create enough ruckus to get the program cancelled. Just because Dr. Paranjape planned to talk about something that went contrary to what this Dalit assistant believes in (or a particular interest he represents and promotes), he used his physical and mental brazenness to get the program cancelled.
He did what he felt was right to protect his interests (and most probably his source of income), but you won’t find any articles and opinion pieces condemning his conduct among the Leftist circles. There is an unwritten rule that nothing that criticizes the Hindu school of thought must be opposed no matter how outrageous it is. In fact, it will not be surprising if you come across an essay supporting that Dalit assistant professor’s shameful behavior. Such is their slavish mentality.
If a Leftist intellectual had to go through the same experience, there would have been a worldwide outcry.
In the Rightist forums, I’ve seen people getting at each other’s throats when they don’t agree with each other. Even openly, they don’t bother whom they are offending. If they find something objectionable, they say that it is objectionable. The Leftist slaves never dare to criticize their political masters. The Rightist bhakts have been incessantly abusing Narendra Modi for months now.
The next time someone calls you a “bhakt”, don’t feel bad. In fact, call that person a slave.