The Protest!!!

By Dr Oscar Rebelo
02 November 2015 20:55 IST

Fear is in the air & Fear is the key!! For any full-fledged, fascist government to succeed in pursuing its agenda, FEAR among the population, it lords over, is a paramount prerequisite.

The moment there is fear, all fall in line and there is a deathly silence that stifles voices, opinions, ideas, creativity, music and most critically, opposition.

So are we like the Germans under the Nazis, or like the Cambodians under Pol Pot? Are we cowering down, waiting to be tied to the stake as in medieval Europe or trembling with terror, all set to be beheaded as in the Islamic caliphate?

Most certainly NOT. Not yet that is!! . But eerie winds blow and the sky is overcast.

Let us be crystal clear about one thing. The trigger may be pulled by the killers of Kalburgi or the club may have been wielded to brutal effect on that innocent man in Dadri, by a mob.

But the gun was loaded by bullets of a toxic ideology. And therein lies our fundamental problem. Don’t put the bullets in the gun, and presto, even if a madman pulls the trigger, there will be no shot. It is that ridiculously simple.

I have many friends in the RSS and blind Modi bhakt, who constantly wrestle with me, that their ideology and indeed their God and master, is nothing of the sort, that “sickularists” paint them to be.

I am in complete agreement, with them, that every country, every people have a right to be proud of their religion, their faith & their culture-short of declaring themselves as a Hindu Rashtra - It’s happened through the ages and will continue to do so, with even more vigour, as our modern day lives turn ever more complex, and we turn to spirituality/religion for answers and solutions.

The issue with the RSS ideology is not its attempt to preserve an ancient civilisational history and culture, the way it deems correct. That is a legitimate conservative political position, the Republicans (packed with Evangelical Christians) in the US or the Tories in the UK adopt in modern democracies. It is a perfectly valid political corner to occupy, even if the left liberal constituency (the Democrats in the US; the Labour in the UK) reflexly opposes this with all its might.

The problem with the Sangh Parivar is in the methods it tries to use, to achieve its objective. There can be no question that violence and intolerance; bigotry and vitriolic hate speeches, the calling cards of many of its affiliates like the VHP and the Sanatan Sanstha or the extreme lunatics in the various Dals and Senas, is completely unacceptable criminal behaviour that is at direct odds with our guiding principles in the Constitution.

The BJP/RSS may well claim as indeed, they do that you can’t blame them for the acts of a few madmen in their midst. But madmen don’t become mad, only on whim.

In  its objective to achieve their Hindu conservative political space (which is fine,  I reiterate) they have insidiously and assiduously, built up a hate campaign against the Muslim and Christian faith in particular  and against the Left leaning establishments, as existential threats to their ideology. The vitriol, the whisper campaigns, the innuvendo, the “pink revolution” and “haraamzaade” rhetoric, the systematic attempt to downgrade Christian and Muslim citizenship, is hammered down our throats unchecked almost on a daily basis.

So when the madman, gets the chemicals in his brains all wired up, he knows exactly whom to target.

Hence, when sensitive and creative minds in the country throw the awards back at the government’s face, it is not just in protest against Mr Modi’s defending silence or against the callous motor mouths in the Government. The awardees are fundamentally protesting an ideology, which provokes hatred and enmity among communities and stokes fear and terror in the dissenters.

The fight is against this ideology. That needs to be corrected. The language has to be mature and responsible when one is in power. And the Constitution must be genuinely respected in words and deeds; not just with rhetoric, spin and high theatre.

I particularly salute and admire the courage of literary stalwarts from Goa like the incredibly ageless Maria Aurora Couto, the epitome of left Liberalism Datta Naik and Damodar Mauzo, and even noted conservatives like Nagesh Karmali and Pundalik Naik who came together on one platform to condemn these dastardly violent attacks on freedom of thought and expression.

Many people ask me, where will violent Hindutwa meet its nemesis? The BJP/RSS must realise, that if this level of intolerance and violence goes unchecked and unpunished within its ranks, the biggest backlash will not come from the left liberals and the minorities. That has already begun.

They will meet their waterloo, at the hands of the very constituency, they believe is automatically theirs. The Hindus themselves. This level of medieval, barbaric behaviour is completely at odds with the inclusive, tolerant and democratic traditions of Hinduism itself. And when that rejection reaches a crescendo, the cookie will truly crumble.

In sum, let me give you the analogy of a mother-in-law and her protesting daughters-in-law.

Fed up of the constant bullying, physical and mental violence, even killing by a lady’s wayward and truly despicable sons, the daughters in law of the house unitedly decided to return the marriage certificates, gold jewellery and gifts back to the mother- in-law in agonised protest.

There could be three responses of the mother-in-law to the daughters-in-law:

1. The Hysterical response: She could go out into the  public square, beat her breasts and wail that the daughters-in-law have brought disrepute and dishonour to the family (nation?); and this is an evil plot by the neighbours to defame them and that the protests were “manufactured” by Vixen of the highest order.

2. The indifferent response: The mother- in-law could care a damn about the fights between her sons and daughters- in -law. She would cock a snoot at the hullabaloo, dress in her finest and go for lunch with the queen at Buckingham Palace.

3. The truly compassionate and wise response: The mother- in-law would call both the warring factions to the table, reprimand her moronic sons, draw a thick red line, as far as violence and hate speech were concerned and ask them to settle their issues in a civilised, dignified manner.

This would bring peace to the squabbling family and the mother- in-law would go back to fixing the broken economy and dipping family finances.

After all credit rating agencies like Moody’s are getting very very angry. And that ultimately is the real God, worshipped by all our governments, both past and present.

Blogger's Profile

Dr Oscar Rebelo

Dr Oscar Rebelo is one of the leading social activist of Goa and a practicing doctor. He led the historic peoples’ movement in 2006-07 to get the anti-Goa Regional Plan scrapped and save Goa from total destruction of Goa’s ecology and natural beauty. He is a Goa-based leader of Aam Aadmi Party. He is also a columnist.

Drop a comment

Enter The Code Displayed hereRefresh Image

Previous Comments

Bang on target Oscar. A very nice article. Thanks for writing.

- Guruprasad Naik, Goa | 04 th November 2015 22:32


Mr. Bastodker and Mr mahta are missing the where does Dr.Rebelo say Hindus and Indians are intolerant..but violent hindutva certainly is .If the above two gentlemen feel happy when an innocent man is lynched because he eats beef or they endorse all the VHP ram sena say and do they obviously belong to the violent hindutva brigade and deserve to be condemned as intolerant..

- Atmaram Naik, Margao | 04 th November 2015 18:53


In aug 2008 Swamy Laxmananda Saraswati was mercilessly muredred in Orissa. It was a secular and tolerant regime. It was an all inclusive regime. Swamy's fault was that his presence and service among tribals of Khandamhal was gojng against secular activities of World Vision an evangelucal NGO. The suspected actor was Congress RS member Radhakant Nayak (hindu name a camouflage). No protests. Why? Their masters' dictats.Double standards or absence of standards?

- Madhav Bastodker, Ponda | 03 rd November 2015 03:57


Why specific instances of insanity, intolerance and belligerence are not given? Mere adjectives high sounding figurative words is not proof. India's tolerance is assured and guaranteed by virtue of its hindu majority character. This is rock solid guarantee that there will neither be Hindu dictated inquisition.

- Madhav Bastodker, Ponda | 03 rd November 2015 03:35


Just the other way round Dr

Only you can call Hindus communal 80 per cent Hindus mollycoddling minorities Let each be left to his own religion and beliefs No need to convert anybody and fool them with the carrot of salvation especially the tribals and the downtrodden Help them rise with your help not religion

- DINESH MATHA, Margao | 02 nd November 2015 21:32


Related Blogs