Too many people suddenly feeling nostalgic about Bajrang Dal and VHP. They are lamenting that they are no longer a patch on what they used to be. Well, they were cut down to size by the bigshots as soon as they started smelling power in 90s.
The thing is the bigshots were uncomfortable with their existence because the so-called goons were no longer politically useful to them and only embarrassed them in the media, 5-star conferences and lit fests. So, the big names started distancing themselves from these outfits.
But the real blow came after their 2004 defeat in national elections. The state leadership of Gujarat started reopening all the closed cases against VHP and Bajrang Dal. The govt got so vicious that they forced a firebrand VHP leader, Prahlad Shastri, to commit suicide in 2005.
The party had two options back then - easy path and difficult path. Obviously, they chose the easy path of throwing the BD/VHP cadre under the bus. The bus was headed to a destination called 'Vikas'. What they ignored was that it would run out of diesel one day.
The difficult option was to provide intellectual cover to the people on whose muscle power, the big names had come to power. Much like the Marxist academics give cover to their less sophisticated comrades on the street.
There is no room for pretending to take the moral high ground when it comes to the realities of electoral politics. But since the Sangh leadership had by then already embraced a culture of profound anti-intellectualism, it was too late in the day to change course.
More so, because they were already the principal opposition and power was just a whiff away. There was no need to invest in intellectual capital, they felt, as they do even now. That choice was fatal, not so much for the party but its crores of supporters.
It is a sad fact of life that modern academic research in the humanities is not some sophisticated enquiry into higher truths as it was in ancient India. Rather, it is the basic ammunition in this information age, where internet and media intrude into the privacy of living rooms.
Even today, nothing significant can be achieved "on the ground" if there's no investment in intellectual capital by the party. And since that investment is never going to happen, the party will drift more and more towards the left, eventually becoming indistinguishable from them.
In fact, it has already made that transition. Anyone not blinded by the love of party or its leaders will see the writing on the wall. Ambedkar worship, SC/ST & minority appeasement, introduction of leftist vocabulary like 'subaltern' into their cheap rhetoric are sure signs.
Left to fend for themselves, Hindus with this basic understanding of relaity must remember they are on their own. They must invest in long-term institution building and play the infinite game well or prepare to perish. No two ways about it. /end

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More from @Infinitchy

7 Apr
I have a very clear-cut policy of public engagement. My endorsement or criticism of anyone, for whatever it's worth, is issue-based and goal-oriented. I am not on SM to teach or improve the world as I am just not qualified.
Unity for me means pursuing a common objective, not an obliteration of ideological & philosophical differences. If I disagree with someone's pov, more often than not I ignore rather than engage.
SJV is not my guru, but for the limited purpose of freeing Hindu temples, I find myself in agreement with his larger goal though with many disagreements about his ideas and vision for temples, which includes opening them up to ppl of other religions.
Read 15 tweets
27 Mar
The party hounds are attacking us in a coordinated manner with their usual slander and libel. Tells you that they're very serious about the Central board for temple management. They're not in a mood to tolerate any criticism as the idea is diabolical but fragile. (1/n)
The usual suspects - maisooru, Alok Bhatt, the Kaushik guy etc. have been spreading rumours on and off twitter about us so as to tarnish our reputation. We are called chindics, Chinese, xiaomis, church agents, khangressis and what not. But... (2/n)
Not once have they truly engaged with us or our criticisms in a dignified manner. That is of course expected of people whose loyalty to the party comes in the way of an honest assessment of any issue. But even then, their visceral reactions are uncalled for. (3/n)
Read 9 tweets
3 Jan
Okay, as my discussion with @rahulroushan, an excerpt of which was tweeted by @digikarma, has triggered yet another debate on beef, I feel I must pitch in with my 2 paisa fwiw. (1/10)
As I clarified in the podcast, not eating beef is a non-negotiable as far as I am concerned, no questions asked. It is absolutely not allowed for Hindus in this yuga. (2/10)
However, I like to take the debate away from the religious to the political for two reasons. One, there is no practical method available to throw out from H society those who do not comply with this requirement. (3/10)
Read 10 tweets
5 Dec 20
When Hindus say that Sikhs are a Hindu panth, they mean it with absolutely no political agenda partly because they have no political agenda in the first place. But more importantly, for Hindus, doctrinal differences are not just tolerable but most expected.
After all, Hindus inherit a tradition of dialectics, describing which as glorious would be an understatement. We have debated over everything even though these days our debates tend to be rather embarrassing.
The glorious debates of the yore were hardly pleasant though. Those we hold as sages and pathfinders today did not have it so easy with their contemporaries and even their own disciples sometimes. They fought bitterly and often called each other names.
Read 16 tweets
24 Sep 20
Okay let me spell it out for the benefit of anyone not mesmerised by whatever this govt does. This is what 2000 posts for KP teachers really means... (short thread follows)
When 2000 KPs go back to the valley with basically no change in the circumstances that led to their eviction, it is a tacit acceptance of the Kashmiriyat narrative. How?
It implies that the Hindu eviction was just a misunderstanding between brothers due to Pakistan, rigged elections etc and now we are eager to coexist peacefully as we always did.
Read 7 tweets
21 May 20
Abhinavagupta, the most exalted Kashmiri in recorded history, was a descendant of Atrigupta, who had come to Kashmir from Madhyadesa (present day UP/MP) 200 years before the great Shaiva Acharya was born. #Justsaying
To be clear, I am not virtue-signalling and appealing for some superficial truce on Twitter. I couldn't care less. But it needs to be said that our contemporary regional identities are colonial vestiges and not worth losing sleep over.
That is not to say that our ancestors were a dull grey monolith with no cultural diversity. But the substratum of Dharma, which is like the circulatory system ensured that no part remained isolated from others. Our civilization is quintessentially holistic.
Read 15 tweets

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