Shooting Intellectuals

The truth is out at last. How does the Sangh Parivar look upon the intellectuals?  A BJP MLA of Karnataka, has said that were he the Home Minister of the State,” I would order to shoot the intellectuals” because “they live in this country, breathe our air, drink out water, and use all the facilities for which we pay tax. Then they raise slogans against the Indian Army. Our country faces grave danger from intellectuals and seculars, more than anyone else.” How close his views come to those of Joseph Goebbels, the propaganda minister of Hitler who said: “There is no point in seeking to convert the intellectuals. For intellectuals would never be converted. Arguments (against them) must therefore be crude, clear and forcible.”
Other views of Goebbels also come close to the mindset of those in the ruling establishment. “The truth is the greatest enemy of the State. We enter Parliament in order to supply ourselves, in the arsenal of democracy, with its own weapons. If democracy is so stupid as to give us free tickets and salaries for this bear’s work, that is its affair. We do not come as friends, nor even as neutrals. We come as enemies. It is the absolute right of the State to supervise the formation of public opinion.” Loyal media in India are now dutifully manufacturing public opinion.
The next general elections will be a battle between those who want to physically eliminate the intellectuals and destroy democracy and those, irrespective of their party affiliations or no affiliations, who want to see India remain a secular and democratic country. If democracy ‘is so stupid as to give them tickets’ to contest, they will enter Parliament ‘as professed enemies of democracy’. Every crime is being sought to be justified. The almost daily incidents of lynching are said to be nothing compared to the anti-Sikh riots of 1984. Members of lynch mob convicted for manslaughter are publicly felicitated by those occupying constitutional offices. Lawmakers are issuing threats of murder.
There is no condemnation by the heads of the government and the party, not even a semblance of disapproval of such outrageous behaviour. The silence amounts to condonation, if not encouragement. .Those swearing by democracy and secularism should be aware of the stupendous challenge facing them. The opposition parties will let the people down if they still continue to bicker over seats and over who their prime ministerial face will be.

Sunday, 29 July, 2018