I am Left and You are Wrong—Indeed!

Avishek Sahu
December 30, 2015

This is a response to an article published at the following link: http://indiafacts.org/i-am-left-and-you-are-wrong/


It may not behoove a liberal to respond specifically to an item that counters his views. But there is a piquing aspect about this item, which is that it is written in good prose, in fact, in very good prose—the kind of dancing prose that you associate with evolved journalistic writing. So the author readily merits acknowledgement even if his views make you wonder how such misinformation could be dispensed in such good prose!

It’s sad the ‘right liberals’ even remotely consider the US bullied by lefties. The United States is militarily the most advanced if the media is anything to go by. The US is financially forward and a Capitalist’s dream by any standards, and given its all powerful military-intelligence complex, is invulnerable to anything but ‘evil Islamists’—that much is clear from all CNN has to say. Why then has the US always had a problem with Communist countries most often situated far away from its shores? I could understand their discomfiture with Communist Soviet Union—which has broken up anyway— on account of their being a superpower but why did they have to feel so insecure about faraway Vietnam finding succor in Communism? Why did they have to engender an Islam led pogrom on millions of communists in faraway Indonesia (http://www.frontline.in/world-affairs/a-forgotten-genocide/article8017859.ece)? Why do they always have to rant against Cuba and fiddle in Venezuela? Are the Americans saying that they fear military invasion from these rather unglamorous, unassuming countries? The US has owned our TV for many years; they own much of the Social Media, and a fair space in movie theaters. So much so that it convinces the world through its movie—The Fifth Estate— that Julian Assange is an evil egomaniac!! Are they against communism for communism’s sake or are they really against Islam? What are they so scared of? The Left has never come within a sniffing distance of decision making in Washington; then what precedence are they trying to run down? The Left culture of fear and intimidation? Factions in the middle-east are fighting each other with right-wing backed US made weapons. The killer has a US made weapon; the victim has a US made weapon. And the political establishment in the US feels intimidated by the fear that the Left is spewing on them?!

There is no question of majoritarianism in the Left agreement. The Left never says that something is right or wrong based on what the majority thinks. The Left doesn’t point to the fact of people having an issue in Aamir’s statement as a validation of Aamir’s assertion. The Left simply points to the absurdity of holding him to ransom for what he says. That people holding him to ransom numbered many doesn’t ipso-facto imply that the Left is resorting to a majoritarian dismissal of the counterview. It does imply though that that gives eager right-wingers an opportunity to fob their circular argument that they themselves devised, on the Left! It is true, patriotism is indeed an overrated and misused virtue! Because patriotism by its very definition mistakes the book for its cover. If you have an obsessive love for your country, you first have to define what the country means to you. If you feel good about your national team winning a cricket match but are indifferent to your farmers committing suicide there is something fundamentally perverted with your love for the country. That possibly means you just need a shine on your armor when you take that supersonic trip to another country, but have nothing much to say about the pitiful state of affairs inside the country that don’t get covered on CNN or BBC and therefore don’t caste an aspersion on your pedigreed origins. This also shows that patriotism simply validates a non-inclusive, non-representative face of a nation for the sole purpose of building a burnished identity to engage with, with the outside world. In short, pseudo-patriotism of the kind that goes bonkers over a Cricket team winning the World Cup simply perpetuates the practice of having a marketing stunt (The BJP) represent many millions of persecuted people. If you are a patriot, you feel for every person that you have a connection with by nationality or race, and not just for stunts that make your passport more powerful. If we embrace your concept of patriotism we would be justified in branding the US as evil—which would be inherently erroneous because American people are not evil, the US political establishment is evil.

Saying that the Left’s disagreement with right ideology is proof of the Left accusing the Right of moral deficiency is a classic case of circular and deceptive argument the guilt of which is often foisted on the Left. The Left disagrees with the Right ideology BECA– USE the Right ideology is morally and intellectually deficient. That does not give the Right the right to say that the Left paints ideological differences as morally deficient!! The Left is not against ideological differences; the Left is against ideology that is morally deficient! They just happen to be different! You are welcome to dissent against us, but when you defend your obsession with your Cricket Team’s victories by parading the sponsors of your team as the antidote to food-givers dying from criminal indifference, just be willing to countenance our snigger, and don’t then dissent our calling your bluff by claiming we dissent your patriotism! You see, the thing about a circle is that there is no starting point; which is why you should be careful of accusing us of circular arguments!

We don’t resort to ‘Whataboutery’ when pointing out your excesses. It is morally decadent to insinuate that we use Congress as a foil to expect some sort of moral propriety from the BJP. It is morally decadent because we have never distinguished between the Congress and the BJP. It is morally decadent because we, in our heart, don’t distinguish between the Church and the Temple. You see the luxury you have is that the entire nationalist discussion is veered around the Right: the entire nationalist discussion presupposes a tilt toward one carefully distinguished fragment of the Right. When we point to the root cause of violence, your construction of discourse—we have to go by your construction because the center in India has always been at the hands of the Right!—automatically paints us as pro-something-Right, and it would take a radical deconstruction of existing media—Social or otherwise—to understand our position on the root cause. You see, when we look at a Muslim in India, we don’t see a Muslim; we see more than a Muslim. We see eyes that blink, hands that move, and a hunger that doesn’t relent. To insinuate that we are pro-Muslim is absurd, because what a true leftie first comes to understand is that organized Islam is its biggest disser. There is a Communist Party in Israel but no Communist Party in Saudi Arabia—they were threatened into dissolution sometime in the nineties. The Communist Party in Pakistan has survived persecution over long years. There have been repeated attempts by terrorists on the lives of Communist leaders in Kashmir. We know Mecca can’t stand us; but we live with that. So the reason why the Left fights for the rights of Muslims in India is simply because it sees beyond their being Muslim. The Left is not pro-Muslim; the Left simply doesn’t distinguish between a Hindu and a Muslim. The Left is pro-people; the Right is pro religion, ANY religion, and thus just barbarically, pro-Right. The Right concept of a nation is built around acceptance or rejection of religion. The Left doesn’t acknowledge organized religion. Which is why the Right is always pro-Nation, whereas the Left is simply, pro-people. For the Right religion is real, the nation is real, but people are dispensable. For the Left, religion and nation are concepts, only people are real.

The Left is not soft on convicts. The Left is simply not interested in swatting the symptoms and ignoring the cause. Swatting the symptoms is populism. Analyzing and addressing the cause is forward-thinking, an investment in the future. The Left doesn’t constitute of knee-jerkers. Criminal Justice is a profound topic and not as simplistic as the Right paints it to be. Simply killing a criminal can often only be a symbolic dispensing of justice—a short-term attempt at populism with no long term benefits. Moreover, it could only be justified when there is a dedicated, sustained attempt at stopping people from becoming criminals. And you address criminality through education. Where is the right-wing thrust at ensuring quality education for all? You can’t leave a disenfranchised kid to rot and then punish him for becoming a criminal. Whose responsibility is that disenfranchised kid? Is he not the responsibility of the state? Is the law only meant to serve those born in secure, respectable families? Are the people with no homes supposed to learn by themselves how not to become criminals, how to figure right from wrong? People who have had the luxury of a missionary co-ed education possibly understand how a woman is supposed to be treated. Are the kids on the streets supposed to learn that by themselves? And when we point that out, you say we are going soft on criminals!! Cricketing glories are the luxuries of the well-fed, and well-housed. Those on the streets often have to live with the threat of being raped, for kicks! So it would probably make sense to the not-so-blinkered to actually attempt to nip potential criminality in the bud and not just swat criminals that never experienced the concept of a ‘State.’ That would take investing in education and social welfare—long-term endeavors fruits of which are not abruptly and conspicuously glamorous and therefore not amenable to a flimsy parade in a perverted media. Of course we understand that that doesn’t titillate the Right agenda built around news-bites, sound-bites, and instant glory!

Finally, this Free Speech argument is the classic right-wing trick they have adopted since ages. This classic split between Congress and BJP! Congress said this and no one dissented, BJP said that and every intellectual is dissenting! You see, the Left has played silly for so long to have stayed quiet on this. It’s a joy to watch the right revel in its self-deceptive divide-and-rule trick. As mentioned before, the Left doesn’t distinguish between the Congress and BJP. They don’t distinguish between the Church and the Temple; for them, both are right-wing. The ‘Congress’ doesn’t get frisked at airports; yet they are dumb enough to brandish a ‘cheat-sheet’ at the Cameras! So a BJP Hero can be paraded with the portrait of a ‘dumb’ Congress hero as a backdrop! Please! The power of social media was never usurped by the BJP. It was usurped by the right-wing, because right-wing is what rules, in India and in The US. You just browse the history of the US political establishment and you learn that the US is against just one thing—Communism. And India since ’93 has just been a US colony—politically. Richard Nixon said: “The Cold War isn’t thawing; it is burning with a deadly heat. Communism isn’t sleeping; it is, as always, plotting, scheming, working, fighting.” Which is why the whole social media is split between Congress and BJP supporters, between the Church and the Temple, so that way, the momentum always stays with the Right. You end up backing the Church or the Temple, and either way you send them running straight to the Swiss Banks! Please, this trick is trite, keep it to tickle yourselves over a fight on Facebook! The left is NOT pro-Left—per say; the Left is pro-intellect; it just so happens that the Right brands intellectual integrity as being Left. Really, we are helpless!