Liav Orgad in his book “The Cultural Defense of Nations: A Liberal Theory of Majority Rights” writes that Liberal theory and human rights law seem to be out of sync with the new developments like immigration and changes in citizenship laws around the world, especially in liberal democracies. While they recognize the rights of minority groups to maintain their cultural identity, it is typically assumed that majority groups have neither a need for similar rights nor a moral basis for defending them.
Intellectual ignorance toward the majority community has given rise to new voices through social media. Conventional print and electronic intellects have failed to answer their questions with respect to their identity and civilization. They shift their failures by calling them “trolls” or “anarchists” on electronic platforms.
There are contradictions between conventional intellects and emerging new voices through open platforms. The first step to solve this contradiction is to listen to their questions instead of rejecting them arrogantly without even giving a proper hearing to them. The second step is to set up truth and reconciliation between the two. The third and final step to correct the mistakes. This is what the new energy wants. However, for the time being, it’s very difficult because conventional intellectual elites have been still in a state of arrogance and ignorance.
Their egoism prevents them to understand the fact that their monopoly over free speech has been decentralized due to the emergence of social media. Social media has empowered people to express and ask anything to anyone – A kind of RTI against all political parties without legal obligation. Electoral obligations force politicians to respond to the people through social media.
But still, on the social media platform, the emotions of the people dominate over the reason. Majoritarian society in third-world countries physiologically behaves like minorities. India is one of them. It could be supported through various examples. The central reason behind such a mental state can be understood through the arguments of Liav Orgad, mentioned in his book “The Cultural Defense of Nations: A Liberal Theory of Majority Rights.”
He says that the history of long suppression of the community over the period of time has transformed them to behave like minorities even if they are numerically in majority. For example, you may see two tunes of the arguments in the Indian national T.V. prime time. The members from the minority community shout that India is “my” country. The counter argument of the majority community never claims that India is “my” country, instead, they behave liberally that India is “our” country. India is for all and it should be understood by both ends.
Such a mental attitude can be understood by using political theories as well. Habermas, the German philosopher, and sociologist analyzed the welfare state in capitalist society. Being a Marxist scholar, he criticized through the concept of a legitimacy crisis. According to him, the reason behind this crisis is the difference between the economic and political systems i.e., the economic system has become capitalist but the political system remains socialist.
Similarly, Pakistani scholar, Hamza Alvi, concluded Pakistan as a ‘Military bureaucratic oligarchy.‘ According to Alvi, Pakistan’s political system became modern but the economic system remains feudal in nature. On the same line, India has been suffering from ‘Intellectual anarchism.’ Post LPG reform in 1991, India has done away with the baggage of the feudal economy. Now Indian politics, as well as the economy, has become modern but the mental state of Indian society is still hanging in the medieval past. Intellectual anarchists provide overt and covert support to keep people in such a mental attitude through their spell.
Starting since independence, I would like to quote the first PM of India, pundit Nehru from his book “Discovery of India.” He tried to throw some lights over India’s historical imperatives by saying Kautilya as Indian Machiavelli. However, the time period of Chanakya was 321-297 BC (Ancient) and the time period of Machiavelli was 1469-1527 (Medieval). Both were realist scholars but Kautilya has given his theory around 1800 years earlier than Machiavelli. Correctly, it should be said that Machiavelli was western Kautilya or Italian Kautilya.
Similarly, just after independence, elites were circulated but the system remains more or less the same. India should have discovered its own way of life instead of imposition the west blindly. Social justice was provided to intra-community by correcting historical mistakes through the reservation system. But inter-community social justice missed the train. For e.g., the Ayodhya dispute could have been sorted out by returning at least three core places of Hindu faith which is not less important than Mecca for the Islamic faith. The stature of pundit Nehru was able to absorb the reactions against the justice.
Moving forward, we witness that India is still carrying the baggage of the invaders and exploiters by naming our road on their name. For example Babur road, earlier Aurangzeb road, and Bakhtiyarpur railway station in Bihar. I think India would be the unique country in the world that still worships its invaders in their textbooks. At least historians should have shown intellectual honesty. Praise only those who were liberals in the medieval past so that the upbringing of Children could be done with the right mindset.
Similarly, India provided reservations to the Britishers in parliament by calling them “Anglo-Indians” in independent India which was terminated in December 2019. It implies that China has learned a lesson from its ‘century of humiliation’ but India has ignored ‘9 centuries of humiliation – 7 Islamic rulers and 2 Britishers.’ It also implies that Hindus in India may be numerically majority but mentally they are still a minority.
Everybody has their own conception of democracy. It has been so subjective that it is very difficult for a society to come on one single table for the social contract. For example, former vice president Ansari claims – “The crucial test of a true democracy is how it protects and respects the rights of minorities – both religious and political.” It’s a philosophical way to make majoritarian culture fool. But in reality, it implies that the amount of appeasement of minorities is directly the proportion of the “true democracy.”
For example, Minorities in India felt very protected when the judgment of the Shahbano case was overturned with the help of legislation. But the same political elites in the minority community felt heartbroken when the judgment of Ram Temple goes against their interests. Instead of accepting and paying respect to the judiciary, they raised questions against the integrity of the judicial system which is paradoxical.
But the real meaning of democracy was taught by the great leader Mahatma Gandhi who says “I understand democracy as something that gives the weak the same chance as the strong.” He talked about the “SAME CHANCE” and not the asymmetrical chance to appease the minority. Another classic example of an intellectual way to narrow majoritarian culture is the explanation of secularism, given by Rajiv Bhargava through “Principled distance“. He says that the state can intervene in religion and its affairs within limitations prescribed by the constitution.
It is so subjective that when any government intervenes in majoritarian religion then it is deemed as an exercise of secularism. But if any government intervenes in a minority religion then it is claimed as communal behavior of the state and some also claim the state as a ‘totalitarian state.’ However, this was even accepted as ‘minority communalism‘ by Yogendra Yadav in his article “Secularism gave up the language of religion” at ‘the print’ website.
Vote bank politics and intellectual intellections have created asymmetricity between the different communities which is against Gandhi’s idea of giving SAME CHANCE to weak and strong. It is also the result of the slave legacy of the medieval past. For example, Unlike any progressive country, in India, the temple is managed by the state and the rest of the religious institutions are managed by the respective communities. Until the British came to India, temples were managed by local communities.
It was the British legacy to capture the temple to rule India. That notion is still working and the majoritarian community has been accepting it for more than 70 years like slaves. But it has been weakening majoritarian identity. For e.g. according to ‘The Print‘ data, “Between 1986 and 2005 Tamil Nadu temples simply ‘lost’ 47,000 acres of land and currently more than 10 million square feet of valuable sites belonging to Hindu Temples.”
It’s an art of intellectual class to differentiate ‘Bad Taliban’ and ‘Good Taliban’ to justify the slave legacy of India’s past. They won’t take time to declare Junaid’s killing a communal lynching which was murder over the fighting for seat-sharing as concluded by Haryana High Court. Their narrative changes over other incidents of the same cities where a 20-year-old girl, Nikita Tomar, was shot dead outside her college just because here accused belongs from the Muslim community and the victim belongs to the majoritarian community.
Intellectuals have been generating consent in the interest of the community which has ruled India and against the majority community. In third world countries, only those are praised who has been the rival and revolutionary of the time. Intellectuals should smell the coffee of being called revolutionaries by pen. But they forget that history changes with respect to time and space. This intellectualism is also a consequence of the medieval mindset of the long history.
Let’s take another example to make my argument stronger because some people don’t take the time to declare a single argument as an exception. When Sharjeel Imam was arrested on hate speech where he claims that “Our main aim is to permanently cut Assam and North-east from rest of India” then intellectual class didn’t take time to criticize the government as a fascist government which is acting against the so-called “Student activist.”
But their tunes get changes when journalist Arnab Goswami was arrested. Paradoxically, the same intellectual class starts giving the reason that he has not been arrested because of journalism but he has been arrested due to a case of 2018 under Section 306 of IPC (abetment to suicide). Why don’t the same logic applied to Sharjeel? It’s all because of the same historically inherited mindset which insists them to remain limelight by standing against majoritarian identity. This is not intellectual honesty at all.
Now, the majority is begging for equal rights to minorities because popular left-liberal arguments undermine majorities by saying that the majority “can take care of itself.” For example, if any government in Pakistan comes up with similar laws as that of UP and Himachal Pradesh which speaks to contain the cases of ‘forceful conversion’, then minority communities especially Hindu, Sikh, and Christine would be happy to get such legal protection in Pakistan. Then who will be unhappy in Pakistan in this case? The majority community who have been abducting minority girls and forced them to marry in Pakistan.
But in India, things are just the opposite. Numerically majority community is happy and numerically minority community people are raising concerns over the newly formed ‘Love Jihad’ law. What does it indicate? 1st, the Numerically majority community is the victim and the minority community has been exploiter in that particular context. 2nd, there is NO so-called ‘environment of fear.’
Even establishment in power has not been lagging behind in this race. For example, First, the Former PM of India during UPA tenure, Manmohan singh claimed that “Muslim has first right on resources.” It’s purely appeasement politics that has been supporting the political narrative of right. Hindus have never claimed such things that they have their first right on resources as it is claimed in our brother country Pakistan in the name of religion.
Second, The Wire and Shashi Tharoor claim that Muslims have a greater claim on India than Hindus. Shashi Tharoor upvoted Badri Raina’s logic at ‘The Wire’ – ‘Don’t those whose flesh and bones are interred in the soil of India, to become part of its earth, have a greater claim to the Matru Bhūmi than those whose ashes are poured into rivers that flow into the sea?’ What a logic!
Third, State can’t fund any religious things. If any Hindu formed an institution where land is given by the govt, then you will not be allowed to teach Ramayana and Mahabharat. The state won’t interfere in the case of the minority. E.g. Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) can have a mosque inside the campus which is funded by the State.
Fourth, the left ecosystem sometimes behaves in such a mood that they contradict their own master i.e. Karl Marx who claims that real consciousness is class consciousness. By his logic, if poor Hindu and poor Muslims should have common interests, Hindu artisans and Muslim artisans have common interests, then why there are contradictory schemes like Naya Savera (Free Coaching and Allied Scheme) and Hunar Haat (An exhibition of handicrafts and traditional products made by artisans from the minority communities.)
Fifth, the Danish newspaper published a similar cartoon to the Charlie Hebdo cartoon of France. On 20 February 2006, in a reply to a letter written by Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, Congress president Sonia Gandhi shares her “sense of outrage of the Muslim community” over the insensitive publication of cartoons of Prophet Muhammad. Dr. Manmohan Singh in his reply to the letter of the then C.M. of Jammu and Kashmir, Ghulam Nabi Azad, had said the government sent a demarche along with OIC countries to the Danish government in this regard.
Thus, in this race from intellectual to the establishment, almost all have been the part of this injustice even when they have also been the victim at one point in time in the medieval past. Today, people are digging these historical facts which were put under the carpet while writing history. They can’t be shut by ignorance, instead, there is a need for dialectics on the line of ‘Truth and reconciliation commission’ of South Africa.
The idea of minoritism tries to create an environment of fear among the people by calling the so-called ‘tyranny of the majority.’ Majoritarian of the world can be tyranny but India’s rich heritage never make the minority inferior which believes in ‘Vasudev Kutumbukum’ and ‘Sarva Dharma Sambhav.’ India has been the culture of paying respect to even creatures living around us. People here worship snakes, cows, trees, and many other creatures of his/her choice. There is no point to fear against the Indian majoritarian.
It’s political calculus to create fear among the communities in order to polarize them in different layers – religion, caste, and region. Even several layers have been made within the particular caste. Today, the majority is appealing to get equal rights to the minority which has have been overpowered with the rights asymmetrically. Dr. Satyapal Singh Bill is in the same direction to upgrade the status of the majority to the minority because India is facing religious apartheid against majoritarian culture.
- Amazon | The Cultural Defense of Nations: A Liberal Theory of Majority Rights by Liav Orgad
- Amazon | Discovery of India by Pundit Nehru
- Cambridge university press | The Philosophy of Habermas
- The Print | Secularism gave up language of religion. Ayodhya bhoomi pujan is a result of that
- DNA India | Junaid Khan lynching: Punjab and Haryana HC says dispute was over seat sharing, rules out communal angle
- Times of India | Muslims must have first claim on resources
- The Print | Indian govt won’t be any different from British if Hindus can’t manage their own temples
- Ministry of minority affairs | Schemes for Welfare of Minorities
- The Wire | ‘Vande Mataram’: My Shock Recognition About Claims to the Matrubhoomi
- Swarajya | One Blooper On Evolution & Satyapal’s Crusade To End Minorityism And Free Temples Is All But Forgotten