For the first time, it’s not just newspapers and media outlets in the country which are going crazy assessing the Prime Minister’s every move and government’s days in office. The people are clearly dichotomous in their assessments (bhakts and ‘libtards’). I’d like to talk about the subtle but sure rightward change in mindset of the people.
For quite some time now, the majority has been disgruntled at minority appeasement and the simmering resentment has led to a thumping victory of the vitriolic right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party led National Democratic Alliance.
Volumes have been written on this subject. Detailed discussions held on the ramifications and enough fears expressed on “saffronisation”, crony capitalism, threats to minorities, undermining of secularism and basically the rise in the ‘sangh’ culture.
Let’s avoid the macro debate.
In fact, let’s avoid the debate of specifics or stats. Instead, what I’d like to talk about is the change in mindset of the average Indian. As one of my professors once put it, “There has been a marked rightward shift in the mindset of the average Indian” (precisely why it was not very surprising to see overwhelming support from NRIs and dissenting senior journalists receiving a rap on the knuckles).
There could be three possible kinds of right: Cultural, Economical And Political.
Economic and political leanings go hand in hand. Facilitated by policy decisions, investors will salivate at the prospects, production will shoot up, prices will come down, the economy will grow, wages will climb, the country’s defence forces will bulk up and the restless middle class will feel gratified by all of this. A middle class that is littered by the majority that resents reservation or any form of appeasement and latently harbours exclusivist ideals. It may now have its right to do so openly because their champion has arrived and in grand fashion.
They can now openly express the banality of subsidies and put the pseudo-secularists or the ‘sickularists’ to shame. They can now put common sense ahead of inclusive growth. Their myopic dreams of growth and development will receive nods. They needn’t be ashamed of their religion and can quell the voice of anyone who rubbishes it.
As this close-minded cohort gangs up to suppress any voice of dissent, it cannot be adjudged guilty for doing so. For too long, it has grown irritated with the high-handedness and meta-narratives of the liberal elite who controlled the political, cultural and economic spheres.
It’s faith in a pluralistic society has run dry by the complacency of its liberal leadership that promised the moon. It will now demand the same standards for all and exert its sense of justice uniformly.
This not so delicate shift in mood and power was summed up when one a professor said jokingly “It is now easier for an upper caste to become the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh because he has the blessings of an OBC”
Hamish McDonald describes the Gujarati people as “those who have less hypocrisy” in his book, The Polyester Prince. Perhaps this is the same lack of hypocrisy that the nation expects and may go on to receive from the Gujarati that it picked willingly.
As a part of this majority, I too think like it does, and feel vindicated like it does when someone who echoes its core ideals is at the helm of affairs and in a position to call the shots.
By: Pranav Kiran
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