Thinking of Indian Right
Being Indian Right means various things to various people – even for those who consider themselves part of Indian Right. There are those who consider core Hindu values of inclusiveness, modesty, prudence, and forbearance as societal ideal that needs to be practiced, supported, and promoted. They are comfortable, usually due to lack of understanding of alternative economic models, with socialism. They conflate core Indian values with piousness of simple living and consider wealth a necessary evil only to be achieved for greater community good, ideally, with a strong government hand in the economy. It’s pertinent to remember that RSS was started on Vijayadasami in 1925 – the period of evolutionary peak of global socialism movement. They are comfortable with Gandhi’s religious values and with anti-capital, anti-wealth creation values of socialism. And they are nationalist. Considerable number of BJP supporters fall into this category. Integral Humanism or Ekatmata Manavavad, a socialist hand book for nationalists, written by Deedayal Upadhyaya, along with nationalist books of Vinayak Savarkar and Madhav Golwalkar, provide the broad intellectual framework of this group of Indian Right. Let’s call them Social Right, for convenience.
Social Right differ with leftists and self-proclaimed liberals (’liberal’ in Indian context is now largely a label disingenously assumed by many erstwhile leftist ideologically stranded after collapse of Soviet Union) on religious values and nationalism, but agree with them on socialism as an ideal. Indian Left has a deep disdain for Hindu values and regard them as backward, degraded, feudal, and restrictive to modernism and seeks to initiate societal building with a clean slate. All communist revolutions have tried to do this by killing tens of millions in the process of establishing a perverse set ‘progressive’ values or anything as long they approved by the vanguard. Much like their global counterparts, Indian Left too tends to be transnational with ‘extraterritorial’ allegiance and almost abhor nation-state and nationalism. Many right thinking people, who could saw through Indian Left agenda, have joined or supported the Social Right movement of RSS and BJP (and its previous avatar of Jana Sangh). Social Right movement (with the exception Balraj Madhok whom partyman Atal Vajpayee, presumably, helped defeat in elections) has always been comfortable with ethos of restrictive economic freedom, that socialism engenders. Beginning with imposition of Nehru’s Fabian socialist economic model where profit was a dirty word to Indira’s wholesale nationalization of means of production, Social Right appears to be comfortable with the socialist economic agenda even as they fight for political freedom, agitate for uniform civil code and repeal of Article 370 to make the nation whole.
It’s important to recognize that there did exist a strong strand in Indian right that who not only saw through the Indian Left agenda of cleansing core Indian values and transnationalism but also through the hollow, devastatingly corrupt and economic, cultural, and moral degradation of socialism. Let’s call them, rightly, Free Right for convenience. There are many thinkers and their supporters on Free Right. Foremost among them was Sardar Vallahbhai Patel himself – probably one reason he is not on the recent list of founding fathers created by historian Ramachandra Guha. A political party called Swatantra Party did espouse these ideas with C. R. Rajagopalachari in helm of affairs drawing support from industrialists and royalty. But thanks to the Congress party‘s powerful paid propaganda machinery which managed to paint the party in the most unflattering light to the masses, it was reduced to electoral irrelevance.
While there were several writers and thinkers in the Free Right mould, the intellectual heavy weights of Free Right – those who fought the Indian Left through careful intellectual arguments across their spectrum of ideas of erasing Hindu values, promoting transnationalism at the cost of nation, and suffocating and dismantling wealth creation and ensuing quality of life – were few and far between.
One individual stands head and shoulders above the rest. Ram Swarup was a prolific writer on the dangers of communism, the shallowness of Nehru Fabian socialism, on assaults on practicing Hindus by leftists and liberals and their support of Islam and Christianity over Hinduism, on aggressive missionary proselytization, and on whole range of subjects in.His scholalry interventions have manifested as books and pamphlets.
Sitaram Goel sustained the“Intellectual Kshatriya” tradition pioneered by Ram Swarup. He continued to expand on the contours of intellectual challenge that was mounted against prevailing dominant leftist’s political agenda. Sitaram Goel was also actively engaged with political process of process and deeply involved in social causes unlike Ram Swarup. Ram Swarup was a pure intellectual whereas Goel was a man of action as well.
After these two pioneering intellectuals emerged Arun Shourie. Besides being a brilliant journalist, Shourie was an outstanding public intellectual and a prolific writer. Relatively low-profile Rajiv Malhotra too can justifiably claim credit for fashioning a coherent intellectual challenge t prevailing intellectual ‘consensus’. While Arun Shourie followed Ram Swarup and Sita Ram Goel lead at pushing the wrecking ball to dismantle entrenched Indian Left in media, universities, and NGOs, Rajiv Malhotra has taken on the global collaborators of anti-Hindu and anti-India leftists agitators in universities, NGOs, foreign Abrahamic religious entities, and media. In many ways Rajiv Malhotra’s current task is the toughest because while many in Free Right understand Indian media, universities, and NGO role in leftist anti-national and anti-Hindu activities, they don’t see the role of Indology/history departments in foreign universities, NGOs, especially those associated human rights, religious entities under guise of benign activities, and international media as collaborators spreading myths and canards that are recycled from their respective Indian counterparts.
Another person of note, in news lately, is Dr. Subramanian Swamy, a long time free market proponent, who increasingly disturbed by the power of anti-Hindu activities in India followed his own path of using existing laws and courts to thwart the corruption emanating from socialism and leftist ideology. The man who drove young Dr. Swamy to his lifelong of crusade against socialist corruption was none other than poster boy of Indian left-liberal commentarial Dr. Amartya Sen who arbitrarily refused to give already promised teaching post to Dr. Swamy because of his pro-free market economic ideas.
One has to specially mention, before naming several columnists and writers who contribute to intellectual thought of Free Right, the level headed surveyor of Indian Right, both Social and Free Right groups, since pre-independence: Dr. Koenraad Elst. While he understands intellectual dishonesty of Indian Left in India’s ideological landscape, he also mocks Social Right for allowing leftists to set the terms of the debate and narrative. Social Right is always ready to prove it is “not” what Indian Left says it is without providing a coherent and intellectual counter ideological argument of what it stands for. Free Right, standing on the shoulders pioneering intellectual giants, has to make that case.
Few well know Indian Right writers and columnists in newspapers such as Pioneer, rediff.com, New Indian Express, and elsewhere such as Swapan Dasgupta,Kanchan Gupta,Ashok Malik, S. Gurumurthy,Chandan Mitra, Aditya Sinha, T. V. R. Shenoy, Cho Ramaswamy ,Sandhya Jain, Rajeev Srinivasn, and Colonel Anil Athale (retd) along with several active blogs contribute to Indian Right intellectual and policy debates. Most, if not all, while see socialism in dim light, are not outright proponents of small, non-interventionist government allowing free private competitive market place and free trade with the rest of the world.
Proponents of Free Right have the task of providing the intellectual argument against existing, and ever growing, large economically interventionist government with the corrupt and patronage ridden welfare appendage. Because free markets ideas are societal incentive and human behaviour based in a modern free economy, most of fundamental research work on the upside and down of free markets can be readily borrowed from the west, even as specific cases of intrusive economic and welfare system failures and ensuing corruption have to presented to people at large to win the argument for Free Right. The free market agenda has to be the key differentiator between Indian Right and Indian Left because free market is the only to way efficiently organize an economy to archive its maximum jobs and wealth creation potential without the corruption and patronage ridden economies that the interventionist social democratic welfare state economies are. It is the only way to have non-corrupt, wealthy, and free people who become an obvious Free Right and Indian Right constituents. And it’s the only Indian Right can win values and nationalist agenda as well. Pursing this agenda would be opposed not only the entrenched corrupt Indian Left but also the entrenched Social Right that currently claim the Right for themselves, with some justification.
Ram Swarup and Sita Ram Goel can provide the guiding intellectual light to see fact from fiction, results from innuendo, economic freedom from heavy hand of governance, and personal freedom from shallow shifting arguments of “social justice.”
Finally, thinking for Indian Right will not be complete without contributions of several brilliant historians who take on core of Indian Left argument that Indians are not even Indians and gross cover up of Islamic history in India. The myth perpetuated of Aryans invading from elsewhere in intellectual and popular imagination, despite significant scientific evidence to the contratary shows the sustaining power of the existing leftist narrative. Excellent books by Kishori Lal, Shrikant Talageri, Sita Ram Goel, N.S. Rajaram and several others go on to dispel the imagined history weaved by leftists historians and their liberal supporters, in India and across the globe, to establish and promote their liberal anti-freedom agenda in universities, politics, media, and elsewhere.
1) Soon we will compile a list, partial one at least, of books by Ram Swarup, Sita Ram Goel, Arun Shourie, and few others on subjects and ideology that concerns Indian Right that provide a intellectual frame work to argue and win debates in positive, fair, and grown up way that Indian Right is without indulging in the same shrill tactics used by leftists and liberals to impose their nonsensical and fabricated agenda on inherently conservative, modest, prudent, and free minded nation.
2) Few people mentioned above do by no measure make an exhaustive list. Please includes all those you consider thinkers and writers of Indian Right that contribute to dismantling the hold of Left on most aspect of Indian public life.