Saturday, October 27, 2007

Three great posts on Tehelka's Operation Kalank

Prem Panicker, who picks apart some tired old arguments from those who support Modi/BJP. You have to read his counterarguments on his blog, but let me quote this part where he calls them out for vacuous name-calling:

... [C]ould we please stop using “"secular", “intellectual” and such like adjectives, invariably with the arbitrary ‘pseudo’ preceding it, in this knee-jerk fashion? It is an indication of nothing so much as the intellectual laziness of the person using such portmanteau adjectives. It has never been made clear to me what is in fact wrong with being secular, or an intellectual; in fact, it is none too clear how those terms are defined, in the first place. I believe religion is a matter of personal faith—and yes, I am religious. My beliefs, my faith, manifests in the privacy of my home; I don’t have this exhibitionist desire to parade it before the world. And equally, I believe that everyone out there has the right to worship whatever takes their fancy, equally in private, without allowing their faiths, their beliefs, to become a nuisance for the rest of us. Does that make me ‘secular’? And does the fact that I think my attitudes and beliefs through, and put them into words, make me ‘intellectual’? Damned if I know; damned if I know, too, how you decide whose secularism is true secularism, and whose secularism is ‘pseudo’. To use such phrases in lieu of debate is laziness; to then require the foreshortening of those phrases into ‘p-sec’ and the like is—what—an attempt to reduce the risk of RSI?

Over at Indie Quill, Amrita too takes on a few other arguments coming from pro-Modi/BJP quarters:

You’re not with us ergo you’re with the Congress: Grow up. I was going to make this huge speech about how there are more things on heaven and earth and blah blah blah - but why bother when it all boils down to this: Grow. Up.

I don’t know if they actually believe this “logic” or whether this is the catchiest thing they could come up with for the TV cameras but either way it’s absurd. There are those of us out there in the wilderness that don’t believe in a single thing that the Congress or the Left believes in, that are very happy and proud of their nationality, culture and religion - and feel absolutely no desire whatsoever in campaigning for a Hindu rashtra, feel belligerent about events that went down 800 years ago or want to shoot the next Muslim we meet.

I know the leaders of the Sangh Parivar think highly of Indira Gandhi’s leadership qualities, but take it from me: nobody bought it 30 years ago when she tried to tell us she was India and we’re not about to buy that you’re India either and that voting against you makes us anti-national. Mrs. Gandhi is what is commonly called a cautionary tale, people. She fucking lost her marbles and got booted out of office for it. Ask Atal Behari Vajpayee about it: I’m sure he remembers a few things from that time.

Patrix takes the argument to the trash-Tehelka crowd:

As far as the allegation of why Gujarat and why not goes, I don’t think anyone has ever stopped those individuals or any other media outlet from investigating other acts of terrorism. If Tehelka investigates Gujarat, you are free to investigate Kashmir, Delhi 1984, Bombay blasts 1993, and the more recent Hyderabad blasts 2007. More the merrier, right? Go and steal Tehelka’s thunder. We have plenty of acts of terror going around (unfortunately) to keep everyone busy for a long time.

And here's a bonus! It's from Rohit, who concludes that "It is high time Mr Modi is asked to leave."

Many of my friends on the Right (and indeed on INI) endorse Modi brand of politics. It is regretful. Notwithstanding Modi’s administrative acumen and pro-market policies, he can never emerge as the mascot of the Indian Right. After all, the starting point of any such movement must be respect for the individual irrespective of his community allegiance. A chief minister who presided over an administration where people were killed only for the religion they professed can never lead a movement which would place the individual at the pinnacle.