This piece is not mocking liberalism for its arrogance. Attempt here is to bring to the focus some of the ossified points that became readily available to right-wing political entrepreneurs. They hacked the dynamics of resentment which, for good or worse, was there to exploit. No one can say that credentialism propelled anger is the sole cause of right-wing rise. Nothing ever is so simple. However, there is some truth in the fact that definitions of success and failure, from the very beginning of humanity, are not fool proof on a moral and psychological plane. Historically also successful are far less in number than the toiling masses. However, liberalism, as a project wants to change this, democratic project demands the upturn of this pyramid and make success available to a greater number of people. Randomness of factors that places a person at a pedestal need to be better understood. This will not only induce humility among the successful ones, more importantly, it will, hopefully, be able to retain the faith of masses in the great ideology and project of liberal democracy.
The journey of analyzing polarization and right-wing mobilization in India on this web magazine has projected many contributory factors for the rise of authoritarian populism in the world in general and in India in particular. A small recap will include the discrediting of the middle path in every sphere of life especially in politics. A political system where focus on plurality was no longer rewarding. Political entrepreneurship to use fault lines of the society, internal contradictions of the liberal left movement, making everything divisive part of the identity, technological developments like social media, epistemological developments like big data destabilizing elites from their pedestal and polarized climate leading to total disregard of the scientific method of evidence based consensus. Dissipation of institutional forbearance and mutual tolerance was also examined. Factors underlying techno-nationalism were also discussed to find the roots of right-wing romance with aatmnirbharta. It is also useful to use one of my summaries of Prof Pratap Bhanu Mehta’s recent talk to put together usual pathologies of our times that have fuelled the populist authoritarianism of the right-wing kind. Firstly, he says that general consensus in economic thinking has left political contestation to the cultural and identity arena, creating a fertile ground for identity politics. Secondly, concentration of capital has led to more repression in negotiating the aspirations of protesting classes. This concentration is condenser than the earlier crony capitalism as that system was more fragmented and spoils were distributed more widely. Thirdly, this right-wing regime was entirely based on minting new enemies leading to populist targeting of independent thought under the guise of hounding elitism. Finally, he talks of the cross-party allure of nationalism which prioritizes order over freedom and citizen rights, creating a stage for repressive consensus.
Overhang of grievances
There is an overhang of grievances arching this panoply of reasons for authoritarian populism. There is a big chunk of our fellow citizens who do not feel well-served or are outrightly slighted by liberalism. There have been some very credible attempts to understand the grievances of the supporters of right-wing populism. This is without counting the expositions by the right-wing supporting media ecosystem. Arlie Russell Hoschild tried to climb the ‘empathy wall’ to look at the situation of the anger of Trump supporters from their angle.
Latest in the series is Michael Sandel, the venerable Harvard political philosopher with rare qualifications of a serious academic and a popular writer and orator. He has been a lucid chronicler of nuances of justice and has a knack of conveying the uncomfortable truths of liberal value system with sympathy, honesty and required philosophical heft. Sandel has put forward the scenario of ‘tyranny of merit’ in his new book. He says, as the principal thesis of his book, that much of the resentment that was so successfully tapped by the right-wing populism is the result of unquestioned acceptance of the logic of neoliberalism by the left-center political parties and kind of hubris among the successful people that their success was their due, implying that the failure was, then, what was deserved by those left behind. The argument ran that it is possible to progress if you go for a college degree and success is available if efforts are made. Sandel points out that the notion that success is solely due to merit and the one that implies that those left behind have somehow deserved their fate is obnoxious. Condition or ‘credentialism’ of college degree created an environment of grievance among those who were not credentialed. Such ‘non credentialed’ people are in huge majority in almost every society and country. Their resentment was ripe for being exploited by any politically savvy demagogue for fanning populist sentiments. Right-wing populism appealed to xenophobia, misogyny and racism to exploit that resentment. Sandel stresses the need to disentangle the ugly sentiments of xenophobia, misogyny and racism from the resentment created by the tyranny of merit as this disentanglement is needed to better appreciate vulnerabilities of liberalism that have been exploited by right-wing populism.
There is a huge literature on the status loss as the cause of right-wing conservatism and injustice inherent in the so-called meritocratic system. Robert Reich who is a vocal critic of the growing inequities that can directly be attributed to excesses of capitalism has written in a chapter titled ‘The Meritocratic Myth’ in his celebrated book ‘Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few’
“the notion that you’re paid what you’re ‘worth’ is by now so deeply ingrained in the public consciousness that many who earn very little assume it’s their own fault. They feel ashamed of what they see as a personal failure—a lack of brains or a deficiency of character. The same notion allows those who earn vast sums to believe they must be extraordinarily clever, daring, and superior; otherwise, they wouldn’t be doing so well. This reassuring conviction seemingly justifies not only their great wealth but also their high status in society. They would prefer not to view their money as winnings in an economic contest over whose rules they and others like them have disproportionate influence. Presumably they would prefer the public not to see it that way, either.
People are “worth” what they’re paid in the market in the trivial sense that if the market rewards them a certain amount of money they must be. Some confuse this tautology for a moral claim that people deserve what they are paid. One of the most broadly held assumptions about the economy is that individuals are rewarded in direct proportion to their efforts and abilities—that our society is a meritocracy. But a moment’s thought reveals many factors other than individual merit that play a role in determining earnings—financial inheritance, personal connections, discrimination in favour of or against someone because of how they look, luck, marriage, and, perhaps most significantly, the society one inhabits.”
Robert Reich is working tirelessly to change the way society and politics design incentives and markets. He has pointed out the dominant thinking that rewards people who are able to control institutions that determine these rules. He advocates ‘countervailing power’ of unions and favourable rules for equitable distribution of wealth so that people with all types of common good contributing jobs can live with dignity.
These are sobering points. It is easy to say that right-wing populism is gaining ground as people have turned racist, communal, misogynists or xenophobics. This can never be a complete analysis. The arc of march of freedom, as enunciated by Martin Luther King jr, envisaged ever widening ambit of freedom. Democratic rights kept on deepening and expanding to an ever-widening circle of humanity. Fight against, racism, human bondage, ascriptive identities like caste, dynastic rule, divine theory of kingship; women rights, LGBTQ struggles etc have seen newer groups gaining political status and agency. This democratic project has underlined the trajectory of left-liberal movement which emphasized plurality, tolerance and ever-widening democracy. Conservatives all over the world emphasized the role of traditions, smaller government and gradual change. However, even conservatives accepted the need for plurality, tolerance and ever-widening democracy with slightly different emphasis on methods. This democratic project, as illustrated by the arc of democracy, has some stunning successes to its credit. Reach and spread of democracy, recently emancipated groups, freedom from want, disease, tyranny; prosperity and technological development all can be attributed to a significant degree to the democratic project. A large swathe of humanity has been brought out of the dark ages, there is no doubt about it. However, as explained earlier paragraphs, there have been serious deficiencies and the accumulation of internal contradictions has reached a level that it has started taking its toll. Rise of right-wing populism is being seen as a reversal of the arc of democratic march. There is a need to acknowledge the failures of the left-liberal thinking in recent times. That only will complete our understanding of the current moment and will guide the left-liberal coalition out of the morass in which they find themselves in.
All is not well with liberalism
One key reality that needs to be understood is the eternal fluidity of ideologies, philosophies and theories. Changing situations, aspirations of the masses and technological developments make new demands and intellectual paradigms respond to these demands. Liberal democracy has shown remarkable responsiveness to the demands of various challenges. Industrialization and Communist challenge were met with a strong push of socialist democrats who created a credible social safety network for the emerging classes of workers and urban poor while opting for direct intervention for poverty reduction. Aspirations of women, workers, dalits, racial and religious minorities were incorporated in the democratic project. Left liberal parties like Congress in India developed an umbrella-like quality to carry all shades along in their democratic enterprise. Similarly, threats of Nazism and Fascism were met with a renewed emphasis on the moral core of democracy that provided relief from brute majoritarianism and an emphasis on pluralism, limited government through checks and balances and tolerance were treated as essential features of governance. Result was an enduring era of peace, prosperity and development. Having said that, it is stressed that today’s challenge of right-wing populism requires the same magnanimity and nimbleness on the part of left-liberal set up. However, so far, bruised liberalism is not even realizing its areas of weakness let alone working to address them. Lashing out at the ugly aspect of the right-wing populism is alright but that will not guide liberalism on the path of recovery as it did in the face of communist or Nazi challenge.
Firstly, liberalism did not work very successfully in the realm of emotions as opposed to rationality where it has great achievements in the framework of enlightenment. This point was discussed in great detail in a previous post. The point mentioned in the article is as follows:
“Devotion to rationality and impartiality required a relentless focus on elimination of emotions and accommodation. Which was simply impossible in the human chaos. Humans and, more so, democracy can never fully avoid accommodation based on special needs and preferences. This and actual utility of emotions in life, most importantly for association, inspiration, mobilization and above all making choices can never be accommodated in the dichotomous system that emerged after the 17th century. 300 years of thinking and mulling led to apparently settled liberal philosophy based on pluralism, separation of power, majority principles with minority rights and protection and human and citizen rights in a republican system. However, this long and impressive achievement could not tide over the primal need of emotions. An unavoidable possibility of exploitation of emotional faultlines by any savvy politician remained alive. In fact, this possibility, ironically, was strengthened by rational and democratic foundations of the post 17th century intellectual climate.
It was democracy that created an aware citizenry which could consolidate and weaponize its resentment and apprehensions at the hustings. Resentment, that got its initial impulse from emotional trigger of anger and disappointment later refined into full-fledged theory of discrimination worthy of being called an ideology. Rational principles of impartiality and fairness were deployed to attack one-sided institutions, pitfalls of political correctness and what was perceived as danger to majorities due to seeming partiality to minorities and immigrants. The point is the place of truth, science and rationality is always changing in the cycles of internal contradictions.”
This is not to say that liberalism is cold, joyless and devoid of fine emotions. In fact, fine emotions like empathy, care for the deprived, magnanimity which are the forte of liberal thinking are often overwhelmed by the negative emotions which are not burdened with the weight of rationality. This analysis (deficient grasp over emotions) is about a vulnerability that makes liberalism ill equipped to handle emotional aspects of mobilization. Mobilization, the soul of democracy, ironically, requires heavy doses of emotions and rational thought is often of limited use there. Right-wing on the other hand, goes for the core of resentment, primal appeals of religion and survival without much regard for evidentiary robustness of their arguments. In today’s fragmented and over stretched public sphere, they score, at least in short run, much better traction in the mobilization of masses. For whatever reasons, may be technological developments in communication, social media, democratization of the public sphere; emotions have taken over the world and liberalism is lagging behind in this emotion-dominated world.
Failures of left-liberal parties
Secondly, as mentioned in the first paragraph, left-liberal political parties abdicated their role of protecting the masses from the extreme effects of capitalism. This is particularly true of the last four decades. Reagan-Thatcher created the foundation of neo liberalism and in their wake whole edifice of Washington consensus/capital driven development. Relegating many gains of social democratic movement to the back burner in the pursuit of a globalized profit driven economy. Regimes of Bill Clinton-Blair-Schrodder-Narsimha Rao bear testimony to this tendency. This article deals extensively with the capitulation to the neo-liberal consensus leading to a left liberal intellectual climate barely distinguishable from exploitative proposals of supporters of efficiency at the cost of equity. The article elucidated a few dangers of this apparent consensus. Firstly, the voter was deprived of real choices, as offerings by parties stopped differing in any significant way. Secondly, this muddled middle path led to a situation where politics became bereft of emotional hooks and a mood of political apathy pervaded. Both political parties and people need an ideological anchor that defines them. In the absence of real differences, this anchoring becomes hazy and individual and organizational investedness in politics gets diluted. Thirdly, this middle path-third way politics prepares a ground for extremists on both sides. If extreme left and right both are not represented in the middle or people don’t have their choice in the mainstream parties to express their left or right leanings, the situation becomes ripe for an outsider political entrepreneur to seize the moment. If the fault lines of resentment and deprivation are addressed adroitly, the demagogue has a fair chance of succeeding.
Pratap Bhanu Mehta has also elaborated the dangers of economic consensus in recent times. According to him, due to lack of confrontation on economic issues, the arena of conflict shifted to identity and emotions and that gave a fertile opportunity to the right-wing. Another fallout of this consensus was concentration of capital and that is never good for open democracy. This concentration creates a strong presence of money power in governance and so-called ‘free market’ rules get lopsided. In recent decades, rules of antitrust, bankruptcy, intellectual property, inheritance have turned the philosophy of free market into a tool of preserving economic dominance. The resentment created by snatching even bare minimum chances of decent livelihood due this concentration is very skilfully exploited by the right-wing.
Myth of Meritocracy and right-wing
This brings us to the inherent arrogance that has crept in the left-liberal paradigm and of which Michael Sandel speaks so eloquently. Sandel has focussed the resentment that intentionally or, mostly, unintentionally is created by the implicit insults of the meritocratic system that has come to be espoused by the left liberal parties in post Reagan-Thatcher era. Sandel has built his argument about the credentials of education i.e. ivy league degree but his basic premise is about philosophy of success. He is weary of people moralizing success and failure and unwittingly promoting credentialism. Success leads to hubris among the achievers that they have succeeded solely by the dint of their efforts and talent. This implies that those who are not successful or left behind are responsible for their failure. The argument will be better explained in Sandle’s own words
“At the heart of this project (meritocratic project) are two ideas: First, in a global, technological age, higher education is the key to upward mobility, material success and social esteem. Second, if everyone has an equal chance to rise, those who land on top deserve the rewards their talents bring. ……despite its inspiring promise of success based on merit, it has a dark side…..Building a politics around the idea that a college degree is a precondition for dignified work and social esteem has a corrosive effect on democratic life. It devalues the contributions of those without a diploma, fuels prejudice against less-educated members of society, effectively excludes most working people from elective government and provokes political backlash….The rhetoric of rising through educational achievement has echoed across the political spectrum — from Bill Clinton to George W. Bush to Barack Obama to Hillary Clinton. But the politicians espousing it have missed the insult implicit in the meritocratic society they are offering: If you did not go to college, and if you are not flourishing in the new economy, your failure must be your own fault.
Michael Sandel Continues
“If the rhetoric of rising and the reign of technocratic merit have led us astray, how might we recast the terms of moral and political aspiration? We should focus less on arming people for a meritocratic race and more on making life better for those who lack a diploma but who make important contributions to our society — through the work they do, the families they raise and the communities they serve. This requires renewing the dignity of work and putting it at the centre of our politics.
It also requires reconsidering the meaning of success and questioning our meritocratic hubris: Is it my doing that I have the talents that society happens to prize — or is it my good luck?
Appreciating the role of luck in life can prompt a certain humility: There, but for an accident of birth, or the grace of God, or the mystery of fate, go I. This spirit of humility is the civic virtue we need now. It is the beginning of the way back from the harsh ethic of success that drives us apart. It points beyond the tyranny of merit toward a less rancorous, more generous public life.”
He blamed left-liberal parties for abandoning their historical project of protecting the masses from the excesses of capitalism and falling for the notion that the market is the best arbiter of morality. Another key takeaway of his theory is that the implicit insults of the meritocratic system lead to resentment and political backlash. Sandel is not rejecting merit. While acknowledging the place of merit in the system he is insisting that equal acknowledgement should be given to the role of chance in success. There is a need to understand that talent and efforts are not sui generis and are not always a measure of desert or contribution which again is measured in financial terms rather than actual benefits to the common good. He warns about the hubris among those who have achieved success He has also proved with the help of studies that left-liberals are totally oblivious of the unfairness of their disdain for the less educated. This insult, hubris and obliviousness to the hurt has created hierarchies which don’t correspond to the contribution to the common good but to the credentials like college degrees etc. This has led to resentment among the classes that were not successful on the parameters laid down by society and assiduously promoted by the liberal-left consensus on merit (to be fair they might have been finding merit better than the prevalent measures of the time like nepotism and dynasty). This resentment has come to haunt liberalism in many ways, not just in the field of education. In India, it has taken many corrosive forms.
Credentialism in India
First Indian manifestation may be seen in the field of education which was the primary arena of Michael Sandel’s analysis. Indian education system, like the Ivy League system, has created islands of success with disproportionate rewards and entrance exams so tough that they border on random selection after a point. This may look particularly galling seeing the contributions that elite institutions like IIT, IIM and other premiere institutions in the field (NIFT, FTII, IIMC, NLU, JNU etc) have made. There is no denying of the contribution and the calibre of the students that they have shaped. However, there is a need to understand the kind of rat race, competition and discrimination this hankering for such institutions create. The entrance exams are the toughest in the world by the degree of difficulty and the sheer number of applicants. Selected students are celebrated on the front pages of the newspapers and among their peers. When the selection of a few thousands is being done from millions of applicants, can anyone say with guarantee that among those who did not make it to the final cut, they all put in less effort or were less talented? The factor of chance needs to be acknowledged. Then there is the old debate whether real equality of opportunity really exists. People differ in their circumstances which have a bearing on the chances of their success. The exam is not fully testing efforts (many who failed must have put in more effort) or talent (many talented students may not have put enough effort or were not in position to hone their innate talent to the maximum level). If that is true, should the successful ones not acknowledge this and refrain from what Sandel says ‘inhaling their success too deeply’. Fact is neither the society, nor the parameters of decency or character of the successful candidate require them to acknowledge the role of chance in their success and be humble about it. The incentives are skewed after that. IIT, IIM students are assured of a great career path which is great but, are they really worth that much more than the students from other professional institutes? Thus, apart from the hubris among the successful ones there is an implicit insult for those who could not make it – that you were not good enough- totally ignoring the factor of chance in a lottery like exam beyond a point. This leads to de-privileging of other reasonably good institutes where students are comparatively looked down upon and get much lesser career avenues. This results in a situation where few are successful and most are suffering a degree of resentment.
This de-privileging has not only happened with the institutes of education but with the streams of education also. Over the period of last three to four decades humanities and related streams lost out to science, computers and other similar fields. From school onwards, some streams are marked as ‘also rans’ and a situation ripe for resentment ensues. Not only streams but systems of learning also got in a kind of hierarchy. Traditional knowledge, religious learning which was the mainstay of traditional pathshala and madarsa learning got relegated to backwaters where unsavoury orthodox elements got firm hold of those systems and turned them into dens of fundamentalism and obscurantist thought. These knowledge streams which were source of native cultural confidence became fodder for right-wing techno nationalism at best or citadel of radicalisation and terrorism at worst. In either case they provided latent and not so latent energy to right-wing populism either as base or excuse.
Furthermore, academia cannot absolve itself from the accusation of reducing diversity by actively sabotaging rightist scholarship. Left-liberal strand of academia due to its richness and initial patronage grew very strong and life for right leaning scholars and scholarship became very difficult. There was active as well as unintentional discrimination against such scholars. This intolerant milieu had acquired a normalcy that inherent unfairness of it all was not even noticed even including in well-meaning circles. Resentment was seething among those who suffered due to their right-wing leanings or affiliations. Education institutes have seen the backlash of mediocre right-wing scholars in almost all academic institutions. The arrogance once again proved liberalism’s nemesis.
In Indian context it is important to talk about the situation in the Hindi belt, the area where right-wing populism has had spectacular successes. Pratap Bhanu Mehta talked of this in his video on populism. Hindi speaking area is perhaps the only area in India where elites have disowned or divorced the native language. Other regional languages like Bangla, Malayalam, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil or even Punjabi, due to historical, political, religious or cultural reasons get elite patronage, attention or at least lip-service. Hindi on the other hand, is totally deprived of the status in its own home. It might appear odd for Raj Bhasha to be termed as deprived of status. However, the fact remains that the elite in the Hindi heartland have taken leave of the language. Among the elite circle and also in the aspiring masses the language languishes and enjoys no position of prestige. Despite being the language of news channels, films, and the common people, it is not a medium to credential someone. This situation has introduced a degree of inferiority complex and a resultant aggressive bravado has crept in the section that could not transcend the language and is still away from the cozy club of English speaking elites. This may be the cause of the creation of a class that is not confident in their learnings and ability to tackle a world that treats their skills and knowledge with much less weightage. No wonder, Hindi heartland is one of those rare areas where their film industry is not based outside their linguistic area. Bollywood is not in Noida, Bhopal, Lucknow, Jaipur or Patna (which has its own regional film industry) but in Mumbai, Maharashtra. If there are proofs of lack of cultural confidence, this fact is as good as any. With this level of disenfranchisement of the masses, the Hindi heartland has proved to be an easy target for right-wing mobilization.
The arrogant steel frame
Another example of credentialism is what is seen as the steel frame of the country, the IAS. The Civil services examination popularly known as IAS exam or UPSC exam is once again one of the toughest exams in the world. However, like IIT and IIM exams this too, beyond a level, is about luck and other factors that depend upon the circumstances, such as academic environment, city of education, family in which you are born. Like other examinations of this nature, there are more people of the same calibre who don’t make it to the list than who actually are successful. Still the stamp of success in the exam creates a class of generalist bureaucrats who perhaps have the most condensed power in the modern public administration anywhere in the world. The top rankers who are in the IAS start enjoying a very high degree of revenue, administrative, judicial and managerial power from the word go. They get to direct the seasoned technocrats of the fields like agriculture, medical, revenue, electrical- almost everything in the life of a district. Same applies to the other services recruited through the Civil Services exam. However, IAS get to lord over their colleagues recruited with them. In an exam of million odd people if the top hundred think that they got their rank due to their merit and others did not get it due to lack of merit is sure shot recipe of creating a resentful professional class who is forever envious and feel insulted by the achievers who are not ready to acknowledge the role of luck and other factors and ‘inhale their success rather deeply’. In the eyes of top bureaucrats, no other class is worthy of respect, reward and privileges that come to them by clearing one exam – a classic case of credentialism. This system not only raises a class with credentials of UPSC success to an unreasonable level it also puts the entire system with specialists, and equally adept individuals in a subordinate situation. Add the colonial hangover of mai-baap sarkaar, the corrosive credentialism is ready to propel the disaffection in the society. .
Mysterious ways of right-wing anger
A question may be asked that given the dynamics of credentialism and arrogant failures of the liberalism, the right-wing venom should have been directed towards these big targets like IIM, IIT, big industrialists or tech czars who have garnered unprecedented wealth making many jobs that contribute to the common good almost unsustainable for a respectful livelihood, even bureaucracy that can be seen as symbols of most stark failings of liberalism. MBA, economics, wealth as such is not being attacked by right-wing populism. Main targets of their hatred have been minorities, immigrants, and gender categories that are trying to break the cycle of traditional exploitation. This indicates that the purpose of right-wing populism is not to correct the anomalies created by internal contradictions of liberalism but to have rigidities and inequities in accordance with its agenda of hatred.
Nowhere, the newly emerged right-wing regimes have attacked the real cause of resentment. Meritocratic hierarchy has not been touched anywhere (A limp, communalism infused Khan Market Gang and Lutyens Delhi has been tried in India but focus resolutely has been on minorities). Leaders of right-wing rise, world over have used xenophobic and racist appeals to tap the resentment created by the credentialism. They have attacked institutions like academia, journalism and judiciary primarily using either anti-elite or anti minority stance. However, these attacks were never directed to achieve corrections of the anomalies created by left-liberal arrogance. For example, if right wing was opposing discrimination against rightist scholarship, they were not looking for fairer and discrimination-free academia, they went for right-wing dominance. Their attack was on the foundation of academia. Opposing trends in science, laws and rules as biased may have been healthy initially but gradually it turned into outright denial of possibility of accepted academic truth or academic consensus. In the emerging tribal epistemology, more than evidentiary robustness or scientific ability to replicate the experiment, it was the degree of consonance with the view-point of the side/tribe or the views of the demagogue became the primary criterion for truth. Maybe despite being the real cause of resentment, status and economic decline of the masses did not have the matching emotional appeal of religion or xenophobia.
Another explanation of not going for the obvious targets of credentialism induced resentment, may be the success of liberalism with gender, minority rights and international cooperation. Despite appalling inequities between genders, minorities, dalits, one has to give credit to the ideology of liberalism for creating an arc of ever improving trajectory for these deprived categories. Despite failures, welfare of these depressed categories was never off agenda in liberal democracies and world-over there are stupendous achievements in women rights, dalit, minority rights and dignity for LGBTQ. Right-wing attacks these achievements and tries to convert them into liabilities to deprive liberalism of the high-ground in a moral battle. That is why one can see the venom being directed to JNU and FTII and not on IITs and IIMs as they (IIT-IIM) are not part of more ‘dangerous’ achievements of liberalism. Communalism, misogyny, racism or xenophobia are used for attacking achievements of liberalism. This attack became possible as right-wing had enough ammunition to link the liberalism’s achievements with more emotionally volatile constructs of appeasement to the detriment of the majority.
Once the basic premise of insulting social structure due to meritocracy takes root due to the arrogance of liberalism on one hand and right wing’s political savvy of using emotions on the other, right-wing attacks on institutions get the critical mass. Hatred gets a bit of justification. An insulted or simply directionless person gets the status of soldier, due to the veneer of historical resentment and every institution and value becomes fair game for attack. Smart women, valentine couples, meat carrying vehicles, vibrant student discussions, dissenting teachers, lawyers, scientists, artists; all of them can be attacked by the soldier who has found his calling as his resentment and complexes have been leveraged by an ideology with superior handle on emotions.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the personal opinion of the author and do not reflect the views of raagdelhi.com which does not assume any responsibility for the same.
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