Teacher’s Day History Lesson: Backlash is Vidyasagar when an ideal-less, religion-trading, fame-mongering and capital-motivated “Bhakt India Company” daringly abuse power to divide, bribe, jugaad, riot, viral and annex for expansion of its profiteering anti-national / anti-social empire, every state and culture is not as tolerant as 3rd century Kalinga!
If there is hope, it lies in a younger generation of women socialists and teachers. Showing up at protest tells us more about silence than their outspokenness. In marches and protests against govt’s anti-social + racist + fascist ideas, women have taken the lead and all teachers should join them, protecting males and borne physical assault. These are women who will stand up for their rights and the rights of others, in street corners and in courtrooms, in India and elsewhere, and they do not do it for personal gain. They do it because they have seen and borne enough and will not be silenced.
The toxic truths behind right-wing bhakt’s hate slogans like “tukde tukde gang”, “urban naxals”, “leftists”, “socialists”, “liberals”, “Marxists” etc. Never mind storytelling – with those teachers, journalists, poets and other writers who work for and speak up for muddled consumers, small business persons and the poor, all the young people from educational institutions upholding the Constitution, freedom, equality and a secular polity – what cheek – all of whom definitely want to break up the nation. Unsurprisingly, totalitarian architecture, the style that came into prominence as Western Europe began to witness the storm surge of a toxic political ideology, idolizes the kind of symmetry – or should that be chronology? – that would be appreciated by our desi right-wing. For real desi natives behind the scenes, every soul-tinkering renaissance = our original vedic fights for truth and justice, no rocket science!
First used in 2016 as a marker for those students in JNU who allegedly raised slogans about breaking up India – allegations that were never established – the phrase caught on and gradually widened in scope, including in it anyone who criticized the right-wingers, its government, its leaders, or its policies. In other words, dissenters want to break up or divide India, only the populists knows how to keep India whole. The dissenters form a ‘gang’ which must be taught a lesson; a ‘gang’ conjures up the convenient image of one, all-pervasive, dangerous enemy to be hated and defeated. A hold-all image. The startled response has exposed the tukde tukde gang as a myth, but its power in the minds of bhakts should not be underestimated. It gains life from hatred, but hatred of a particular kind. Not all hatreds are the same.
Their myths are never simple. (Crudeness is not the same as simplicity.) Although bhakts, its parents and siblings are all rather snooty about the prosaicness of the scientific attitude and emanate such a dislike of reason that various strange-sounding organizations are inspired to kill off its proponents, Today’s tech savvy right-wing uses myths with scientific care. In the first place, myths, or contrived sentiments associated with myths, are useful distractions. For right-winger does not live – and thrive – by myth alone; there may be other activities going on behind the mythical screen. For example, the apparently unstoppable string of murders with cow protection as alibi – sentiments associated with myth – would hardly allow people to look elsewhere, whether they cheered on the killings or condemned them. One would have thought that bhakts had nothing else to think about but the purity of the cow and punishments for those who stored or transported its meat, yet funny how its leaders never ran short of means to persuade opponents to cross the floor whenever needed. That cannot happen without hard work, which we never notice. And the cow story targeted minority communities and poor, while funding for cow research flowed towards faithful scholars.
The myth of tukde tukde gang is now their favourite, bullish celebrity sensex. That it does not exist is immaterial. It is enough that crowds are protesting throughout the country against govt bills for them to point to the non-existent tukde tukde gang which is leading them. With a leap that is only possible with the scientifically calculated nurture of unreason, this gang has been accused of speaking the language of Pakistan through its desire to protect infiltrators. It has to be mentioned here that like the cow, Pakistan exists, but has acquired mythic properties through its quasi-magical appearances in rhetoric and riots; it is also a running theme in most myths.
But the tukde tukde gang is especially important, because its name embodies bhakts most effective strategies: reversal of reality. This is so symmetrically done here that it is almost witty. The party and its cohorts are accused of trying to divide the country on the lines of community and even of caste – they cannot help it, now they are talking of schools for Dalits in the guise of helpfulness – hence the charge of divisiveness is neatly transferred on to an imagined enemy who must always be taught a lesson. This again is a scientifically nurtured ability. For example, the most important representatives of the government are constantly repeating in ringing tones of reassurance that some CAA will not deprive a single Muslim of citizenship. But who said it would? That does not matter; authoritative repetition may confuse the issue.
The target in tukde tukde gang myth, however, is not a community or caste. Its origins and the people gradually included in its definition lay bare a hatred of learning, of training in reason and the development of the critical faculty, of unfettered inquiry and the confidence that comes from understanding, and the belief, in many cases, in social action. These are people who can talk back to power, who can reason and argue eloquently enough to influence others, who think and question, and who’re often engaged Nazi-type white collar IT cells, well paid from our taxes.
But beyond the obvious reasons, there lies a deeper, more abiding, cause – envy of the intellect. This has almost primal force: no abstract political need or compliance could have fired the ruthless violence of the attacks on students by policemen and bhakts in educational institutions one after the other. This is, when seen on this scale, a different class war, one in which the word ‘elite’ in the sense of wealth or status is completely misapplied. It is also the expression of a hatred that cannot be otherwise articulated.
As India’s civilizational ethos has revealed over millennia, another kind of symmetry, the line that has been followed, thus far, by this chaotic democratic set-up. This unity, always tenuous but also profound, is kept in place, often barely, by the symphony of resistance, revolutions in self-education, dissent and inquiry. It is this cacophony and its crudeness that have invested Indian democracy with a fierce will to assess itself repeatedly, to shun complacency, to evolve – towards greater good, sometimes mixed with greed.
Source: Telegraph India