Liberal zealots

Statutory warning 1: Mob lynching is bad, be it over books, beef, FB posts and pork too.

Statutory warning 2: Those indulging in it, across religions, regions, caste, class or affiliations, must be identified and punished under the law of the land.

Statutory sundries: All societal, personal and moral norms that govern elementary human behaviour also apply.

Now to the matter on hand. Why all these precautions? Millions and millions of Indians, majority of them belonging to the, well, ‘majority’, subscribe to the above, not just as a Constitutional obligation but a core conviction too. The average citizen is as much aghast at mob violence or for that matter, any legal or value transgressions as his/her neighbour, cousin and uncle and aunt.

Yet, a small group, passing off as literary intellectuals or custodians of all liberal thought, have suddenly appointed themselves as spokespersons for the nation’s conscience on the beef issue and are going berserk. The impression intended to be implanted is that India under Modi is an intolerant, lawless land; and the onus is now on these self-styled liberals, to lift the nation out of this moral morass! The assumption is that the rest of the nation which is genuinely sensitive, supremely sensible and lot more responsible, is however deemed not adequately agitated, warranting intervention by these chosen ones!

Who are these liberal torch-bearers who habitually undermine their own country folk and hijack all righteous indignation? The logic for being dubbed a liberal is: ‘the loudest lands the label’. Visible gestures and gesticulations bring in additional credits. Typically, all the usual suspects who adorn the ten or twelve boxes on primetime TV are in this rat race for public attention. Bharat bashing, Hindu bashing, BJP bashing and Modi bashing are reliable revenue streams and fetch attention …from co-liberals. No doubt the competition is hot in this Audio-Video show, but then thanks to the various senas there is no dearth of scripts. Or if not beef, something can always be cooked up.

Sample some of the puerile displays of anger against so-called violations of pluralism and all such platonic ideas for which only liberals have the password. Two or three Sahitya Academy and other awardees of yore have ‘returned’ these honours ‘in protest against the growing atrocities of the Hindu Right’. More literary leading lights, now in the shadows, are likely to plagiarise this publicity stunt soon. One journo exhorts everyone to eat beef in the open and has even called for a beef feast to assert the ‘right to eat’. A columnist and social bird tweets: ‘I am going to eat beef … now come and kill me’. The English media is liberally sprinkled with eloquent editorials and stirring debates espousing liberalist wisdom with beef as the mascot.

But on balance, there are legitimate, lingering questions. Call them ‘just deserts’ after some real, filling food for thought from the liberal chefs. One can refuse an award, but how can one return it, that too after several decades? Will the framed sepia images be broken symbolically? If there was a packed purse as attachment, was that too paid back with interest? How will awardees refund the applause, platitudes and press praise that they received over the years? And why did not these eminences stir and their citations sit-up when worse crises like UPA corruption, farmer suicides, Islamic terror etc bled the nations’s coffers and consciences?

Will the same journo call for a pork eating fest, ideally in UP’s Azamgarh? Right to eat must apply to all meat, right? She won’t because she is secular. Why not that other liberal columnist kill and eat a pig in Hyderabad’s Charminar area and float tenders for her own murder. Well, she wouldn’t’t risk it even if security were to be, er, beefed up or porked up, pardon, perked up. Again, is pork edible stuff for editorial writers?

Just this week, a man bashes his four-year-old daughter’s head against the wall because she let her duppatah slip. This accidental act of immodesty was deemed slight on Sharia. Apart from being a cold-blooded murder, this was infanticide, offence against women, domestic violence, human rights violation, male chauvinism, honour killing and what not, all that should ideally raise the hackles of the liberals of the land. Another man, yesterday, triple talaqs his wife and pompously declares that ‘he cannot eat the same apple everyday’! No liberal, no activist, no feminist, no scribe, no tweeter … no visitor in the vicinity of these abominable crimes. Not a whisper.

Aah, we know why they are all shy of the sty. Really, their fork and forked tongues are only to poke and provoke just one community, the one that actually needs no lessons in liberalism. Such liberals queer the pitch with their hypocrisy and spoil the sport with their liberally loaded dice. This liberal lot is a lot loonier than the lunatic fringe that lends them an easy alibi.

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Jawahar T R