There is too much talk of reconciliation between Hindus and Muslims post the Ayodhya verdict. A size-able section of the conservatives including fellow CRI commentators have debated both for and against a reconciliation process. Some like the veteran blogger Offstumped also argue for more inclusivity.
Common to all these positions is the basic premise of the Hindu-Muslim Invader-Invaded narrative that has ripped apart the Indian social fabric into warring factions. (Only next to the rigid social barriers engendered by the caste system). Offstumped makes a very valid observation:
The twin narratives of victimhood are now feeding off each other in a mutually self sustaining spiral, aided and abetted by the faith-allergic Left Liberals
It follows then that this rather hazardous narrative ought to be abandoned and replaced with something better. And what is better?
Offstumped has proposed – much to the chagrin of his fellow right wing commentators that these narratives of victimhood maybe addressed by assimmilation and inclusion. Such assimmilation, however, does not occur without a common enemy simultaneously threatening both the assimmilating and assimmilated faith systems. It is this authors amateur speculation that previous assimilations in the Indic faith systems have occured due to the emergence of a common enemy.
(Besides, Offstumped only wants to measure the success of his proposal after a hundred years. We need a quicker solution. Ideally something that a Conservative movement can carry forward.)
If a common rival for the warring sections were to be sought today it would doubtless be the ossified Indian state. The State has grown stale under the socialist bureacracy. Security has been left to the inept, the political leadership has turned unfailingly delinquent. Every aspect of the government deserves to be hauled, violently if need be into the 21st century. Our hard-won Nation-state is crumbling, crying and carving pitifully for reform. Is this not a worthy common rival for all communities?
At this point it would be prudent to remind the reader that this post does not adhere to the standard Liberal political stance: reform and economic prosperity does not necessarily take away the urge to assert civilisational identities. The urge to visibly demonstrate the superiority of one’s identity has to be acknowledged and assauged. This is the reason why the right wing reform movement must base itself on a unapologetic nationalistic political platform.
That an APJ Kalam could single-handedly engross the country with his articulation for a bold if not ambitious vision for 2020 hardly needs reminding. Including unbridled pride in both the individuals identity and the nation-State’s civilisational heritage Kalam’s articulation comfortably over-rode the question of inclusiveness and communal discord.
This author has attemped to articulate this solution to the problem of victimhood narratives some time ago:
..with the economy providing an outlet for Hindu assertiveness there is a window for slowly de-constructing the communal narrative and replacing it with a nationalist outlook that draws from the perennial river of Indic civilisational richness. A nationalist center-right alternative with fresh ideas of governance and assertiveness will catch the imagination of the Indian public today.
In the meanwhile conflicts amidst communities are bound to rise. These must not be allowed to be ported to the national centre-stage; instead it must be endeavour of the Conservative community to resolve and seek ‘closure’ at the local community levels.
On the same topic from CRI commentators:
Ayodhya and the Commonwealth