Enid Blyton Or Kipling, CRT And Woke Cancel Culture Can Be Traced To Idea Of ‘Original Sin’

by R Jagannathan - Jun 22, 2021 10:40 AM +05:30 IST
Enid Blyton Or Kipling, CRT And Woke Cancel Culture Can Be Traced To Idea Of ‘Original Sin’Wokeism is another form of Christian-influenced intolerance.
Snapshot
  • The idea of original sin is what drives critical race theory, where the white Caucasian, never mind how non-bigoted he or she may be, is deemed to be responsible for all the past and current acts of racists.

    He has no option but to repeat a mea culpa for his own existence.

You can also read this article in Hindi- ओरिजिनल सिन (ईसाइयत में एक सिद्धांत) से प्रेरित है आज का ‘वोक कैन्सल कल्चर’

In the wake of the #BlackLivesMatter movement in the US, the woke world has gone into “cancel” mode. Statues of many “racists” were brought down last year, and protests continued against those still left standing — Cecil Rhodes, Winston Churchill, Robert Clive and Christopher Columbus, among them.

Now, English Heritage has said that it does not approve of the “racism, xenophobia and lack of literary merit” in Enid Blyton’s writings, or the “racist and imperialist sentiments” of Rudyard Kipling, the poet laureate of British imperialism.

It is all right to distance oneself from some of the things which our former heroes did and which we do not approve of today, but the wholesale desire to demean and detach oneself entirely from the past is problematic.

There is no person or age in history that was not subsequently derided as unacceptable by the present. And one can be reasonably sure that today’s excessive political correctness and tendency to ascribe guilt to entire classes of people for something they may not have done will be called out as incredibly stupid at some later time in this century itself.

Nobody, it seems, is willing to accept a more commonsensical approach to our past, where we acknowledge and accept that what was acceptable then, or even expected from one, is not what can be considered right today.

If some of that wrong persists to this day, you must do what you can to correct it. You don’t wallow in that sense of guilt as wokes want you to do by inflicting nonsensical ideas like “critical race theory” (CRT) or “intersectionality” down our throats. You don’t need a theory to accept that humans have a capacity to do both good and bad, and that both Jekyll and Hyde reside in us. The mere fact that someone did something bad does not make him wholly bad.

Churchill was (and is) no hero to Indians, but he surely was one for the British for at least some of his deeds. He surely was a racist, but he was one when a lot of our colonial masters were racist, too. Modern-day Britons must at least thank him for resisting Hitler when it was not easy to do so. He is both hero and villain.

Also, one can be wholly good and saintly as a person and still end up aiding evil, as Gandhi surely did with his non-violence. He opted for Muslim appeasement politics by backing the Khilafat Movement, and, despite being a votary of ahimsa, had nothing to say about the Moplah violence against Hindus in the Malabar. Gandhi obliterated the fine line separating passive moral resistance to evil and indirect support for collective suicide.

The problem is with the theory, whether it is non-violence or CRT, not human realities. As noted in an earlier Swarajya article on wokism, CRT holds that “law and legal institutions are inherently racist and that race itself, instead of being biologically grounded and natural, is a socially constructed concept that is used by white people to further their economic and political interests at the expense of people of colour.”

And 'Intersectionality' is about emphasising that two people fighting for the same cause are not necessarily on the same footing since one of the oppressed may be ‘more oppressed’ than the other. Both the above definitions are from Britannica.

One has, however, to look deeper into where this woke need to inflict guilt on millions of people comes from. I would like to speculate that it comes from the peculiar Christian concept of “original sin”, where even a baby with no idea about its own self can be deemed to have been born in sin. It needs faith in Jesus to get out of this original sin.

The concept of original sin serves two purposes: one is logical from a purely religious propaganda point of view, and the other is diabolical. If only Jesus can save you from your sins, that may be a good reason to believe in the son of god. Or else you are stuck paying for those sins in hell.

The diabolical reason is this: as long as Jesus can pardon you for your sins, you can continue committing them and asking for forgiveness later. This allowed European racists and buccaneers to murder and pillage the new world and then make minor amends by fencing the natives into smaller enclaves and seeking forgiveness in confessions.

Once you have the concept of original sin, it implies that sin is inevitable, so why try and pretend you can’t commit it in future?

This idea of original sin is what drives CRT, where the white Caucasian, never mind how non-bigoted he or she may be, is deemed to be responsible for all the past and current acts of racists, and he has no option but to repeat a mea culpa for his own existence.

The doctrine of original sin was expounded in great detail by St Augustine, and has since been a key part of the Catholic church’s dogma. The Britannica notes that enlightenment values made people doubt this bit of nonsense, but that does not mean that the same people who reject the idea in its religious form do not indirectly inflict it on others without even being aware of the same.

This original sin is what western Indologists are trying to pin on us, by implying that to even call yourself a Hindu, and especially if you happen to be an upper caste Hindu, implies guilt in all the atrocities committed on Dalits or other Hindus by anyone, even random criminals.

Even reform and a commitment to righting these wrongs is not enough. You are guilty if you are Hindu, for you have original sin stuck on you for two reasons: one for being what you are (a Hindu), and another for not being someone else (ie, a converted Christian), for it is only through this act that you can be “saved”. The only thing we need saving from is such kinds of guilt-tripping theories.

It is interesting how two other Abrahamic faiths, and communism, are quite different from Christianity in this matter.

While Judaism has no sense of original sin, both Islam and communism, in fact, go in the other direction and practically justify criminal behaviour and sins against humanity.

The Quran sanctions violence against kafirs, and communism believes that the murder of reactionaries and counter-revolutionaries is mandated. Islam tends to glorify its tyrants, and it is no surprise that communists are part and parcel of this white-washing of the sins of these tyrants, whether they happen to be Aurangzeb or Tipu Sultan.

To this day, Indian communists think of mass murderers such as Lenin, Stalin and Mao as heroes, even if some aberrations are acknowledged. The same goes for Ghazni, Ghori. et al. For Islam and communism, original sin lies entirely with those who don’t agree with their ideologies. So committing sins against bigger sinners is no sin at all.

Jagannathan is Editorial Director, Swarajya. He tweets at @TheJaggi.
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