The ‘Language Barrier’: Why The Left Is Struggling To Connect With The Majority

The ‘Language Barrier’: Why The Left Is Struggling To Connect With The Majority

by Ranojay Bhattacharya - Wednesday, January 15, 2020 03:26 PM IST
The ‘Language Barrier’: Why The Left Is Struggling To Connect With The Majority‘Hum Dekhenge’ and ‘Free Kashmir’ posters at an anti-CAA protest. 
  • It is too late for the communists to develop a language that can woo the Indic population.

    The Left has entered into a quicksand. The more they wriggle, the more they sink. The more they protest, the more they expose. The more they expose the more support they lose.

The current controversy around Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poem ‘Hum Dekhenge’, which is full of iconoclastic prophecies, has not only brought to light the radical Islamic undercurrents in the Leftist-communist discourse but also the absence of a language in it to connect to the non-Muslims, especially those who adhere to Indic faiths.

The root of this problem goes back to the Khilafat Movement in the 1920s when M N Roy thought that mobilising Muslims was a good idea in order to bring about his utopian communist revolution in India.

The counterproductive nature of this Idea was evident to him within years of convincing and sending a few Muslim youth to Russia to understand communism, as they returned without internalising any communist ethics.

However, Roy and his successors were desperate and determined. Their logic for focusing on Muslims for the revolution was simple. Muslims are politically conscious, have a global network, their faith is banal and expresses itself through every day practices, they believe in one god, have one book, have a long-term goal of global rule and are strict towards heresy or any deviation from the core doctrine.

In other words, Muslims share all the qualities and ontology that the world population must have after the communist dream revolution takes charge of the planet. The only changes communists had to make were to replace the book with Das Capital, god with the leader of the communist party, and religion with communism.

They thought it would be an easy task to play with minds of a folk rooted in a medieval belief. The sleepy Hindus never mattered as they were difficult to mobilise, divided on all lines, diverse in thoughts and beliefs.

Moreover, the Hindus of the time were rendered rather meek through years of slavery under foreign rule.

It’s a well-known fact that the communists went on to ally with the Muslim League and worked on the grass root levels to mobilise the Muslim masses for the creation of Pakistan.

Post-Independence, the Congress wholesomely entered into vote bank politics in order to resist the rising Hindu sentiments under the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which blamed the Congress for the Partition and the mass riots that ensued.

This bandwagon was soon to be joined in by the socialists post 1970s. Some of them continued to perpetuate Roy’s dream in their minds.

Others simply amassed vote banks by propitiating the demands of radical Muslim leaders. For the Congress, it was a bulwark against the slow but steady unification of Hindu political sentiments under the Sangh and later the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

While mobilising the Muslims for political benefits, the communists, socialists and the Congress developed a language of mobilisation, which was predominantly Persianised. It uses Islamic symbolism, Islamic poetry, Islamic philosophy, Islamic war cries all of which, by their virtue, alienate non-Muslims unless they are have a serious identity crisis.

Through media, academics and Bollywood, the Leftists and communists did try their best to create the void of identity crisis among Hindus in India and did succeed to an extent in the metropolitans but the Sangh did not let this percolate into the grassroots.

With the growth in the number of Muslims and the realisation among Muslims that Leftists and communists do not have a typical Islamic ontology, they began developing their own radical Islamic organisations and leaders.

To undercut this development, the Leftists and the communists rather than looking for new vote banks or appeal to, supplicated Islamic politics further, lest they lose their vote banks. This is the point from which a reverse trend began in the exchange between Islam and Left politics.

Post 1980s, Leftist politics was being Islamified. Islamic radicals started dictating left liberal politics instead of being mere foot soldiers in it. The primitive nineteenth century science and philosophy of the communist leaders which was teleological and imperialistic in nature, devoid of discourses like post structuralism contemporary post human, failed to take cognisance of how society works, how the human mind functions and how sentiments and belief system operate.

In other words, their assumption that Muslims were mere passive agents, led by their traditional leaders, holding on to a medieval faith which had no scope but to be devoured by atheism and modernity proved to be disastrously wrong.

Left politics became a tool in the hands of radical Islamists for the promulgation of radical Islam. From Bollywood to academics, all that Left liberalism has been doing since, is to shame every practice of Hinduism and exalting Islam.

In my days in the Centre for Historical Studies in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), I clearly remember how one of my batchmates, who hailed from the Yadav community, was shamed by Professor Bhagwan Josh, a renowned communist historian for wearing an Om pendant and ‘Kalava’ on his wrist.

The student was shamed for being communal, archaic and propagating blind faith through his body politics, thereby spoiling the secular atheist environment of JNU.

We never saw any of these professors behave the same with students flaunting skull caps, Deobandi pyjamas and long beards. Rather, they taught us how burka is liberating for Muslim women as it allows them to go out in public and attend madrassas, thus help them get educated.

The Leftist political groups of JNU are nothing but radical Islamic outfits which operate through the sly use of politically correct language with selective outrage and shaming.

Post 2014, a major chunk of the Indic population has been mobilised by the RSS and BJP, which by far outnumbers the traditional vote banks of leftist parties. Social media has shed light on the selective reporting and amnesia of the left liberal media houses. Discussions about the blatant hypocrisies of the Leftist politics in open forums have become common. In fact, Hindutva politics is becoming fashionable. People are no more ashamed of flaunting their Indic symbols, faith and beliefs.

In this scenario, the Leftist politicians are finding themselves in a fix. The more they try to address non-Muslims, the more they end up propagating Islamic theology. The more they sing their revolutionary songs, the more they expose their radical Islamic undercurrents.

It is too late for them to develop a language that can woo the Indic population. Every minute they spend thinking about it, the RSS and the BJP increases its support base.

Moreover, whenever Leftists try to woo the Indic masses by appropriating their symbols and slogans, they start losing their already dwindling Muslim support to radical Islamic leaders.

As we can see, except for the urban middle-class college students from apologetic Hindu households, who have internalised the anti-Hindu discourse in their course work, suffering from a serious identity crisis, who often feel excluded for not being able to afford high end merchandise, the leftist politics does not have much of a support. Muslims do come to the rescue once in a while, but only when interests match or for old time’s sake.

The Left has entered into a quicksand. The more they wriggle, the more they sink. The more they protest, the more they expose. The more they expose the more support they lose.

Ranojay Bhattacaharyya is graduate in Sanskrit from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi and a post graduate in Ancient Indian History from C.H.S JNU. He also happens to be an accomplished Tabla player. 

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