All Opposition parties are trying to differentiate Hinduism from Hindutva in the hope of weaning Hindu voters away from Hindutva. But this narrative plays into the BJP's hands, demoralises Muslim voters and other suffering minorities, and limits space for new ideas that can counter Hindutva successfully.
Posts tagged as “identity politics”
Indians have often tried to convince themselves that India remains a largely tolerant and secular country. But several surveys and polls have proved that much of India remains conservative, undemocratic and intolerant. Liberal parties must build grassroots presence to change this reality.
When European far-right parties won elections in 2017, they might have benefited from the refugee crises ravaging the continent. But since then, they have become far more savvy and intelligent and have used the media and the internet to popularise ideas that were previously considered unacceptable.
Repeated conflicts with Catholic France, culminating in Napoleon, forced or forged together a British Protestant social-political union, subsuming sub-national identities like the Scottish, the Welsh and the English. Indian history is also ridden with such inconvenient conflicts, which Indians must transcend.
For years, linguistic passions sometimes transcended religion or caste as a priority for many. But linguistic identities struggled to win majorities at the Union level and eventually gave way to caste and religious politics. The focus must now be on clearly articulating what constitutes the Indian identity.
"You acknowledged the fragility of a unifying pan-Indian emotion, and knew what caveats to heed and precautions to take. You recognised the divisive tendencies which lay at the heart of India’s communal Partition. You knew, too, that we, your progeny, must protect ourselves against these. Yet, we faltered."
India must go much further than just survive this pandemic. A political culture of communalism and vengeance led to opaque governance and misplaced policy priorities. Many Indians voted for false communal pride, but as the pandemic hit, they found that they needed oxygen instead.