Priyanka Mukherjee
Of Rights and Wrongs in a Non Moral Sense
This article originally appeared in CRI content has now been subsumed in The views expressed here are personal and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors of

I tend to incline towards the Right side of the political spectrum and I’m wrong by default. How could I? A stray soul, a politically incorrect aberrant, a deviant who defiles the shrine of academia, a misfit…Oh! How could I dare to contaminate the sanctum sanctorum of Liberal Arts that stands so firmly on years of effortless tomfoolery? Not that I have enough gray matters at my disposal to shake the grounds, but you see my fellow researchers are sensitive to pinpricks too. And why shouldn’t they be? Wouldn’t you care to be sensitive about a system that so remarkably covers up your ignorance and even favours your brand of folly as ‘progressive’?

My Liberal friends claim to be Post Structuralists, the sorts who claim to debunk binary opposition. That is they don’t quite believe that whatever is not white, is necessarily black. They claim to be the sorts who have done away with tags. The theoretical premise of Post Structuralism is however, kept at bay when they deploy labels. In the past one and a half years I have been showered with quite a few epithets:

Chauvinist: I’m a woman and I’m in academics, but I don’t identify myself with Feminism! Now that’s what calls for a disaster! Even Lucifer wasn’t such an anomaly! And if not this then that. If not a Feminist, I must be a chauvinist. Doesn’t quite matter even if I believe in individual rights irrespective of gender. Raising a ruckus over how women are invariably victims or walking a slutwalk perhaps can redeem me, but I refuse to.

Casteist: I despise caste based discrimination, but I never had a choice upon which household to born in. My ‘original sin’ eh? Given my upper caste Hindu identity, everything I say or do must be dissected by Liberal intellectuals. So much so that a rather innocent comment on how relevant the Natyashastra could be in the Literary Theory syllabus deems me casteist. How on earth could I endorse a text written by a Brahmin sage?!

Communal: It had just been a few months that I’ve been around in the campus at Hyderabad Central University and it was time for the Students’ Union election. My Bengali senior, who is also a SFI activist approached me to do campaign for them. Taken aback I asked what made him feel that I support them. My senior retorted ” You won’t support a group as communal as ABVP for sure. You are a woman and you stay alone in the campus, what if you ever need some help from us? The entire Bengali community here supports SFI”. It’s up to my readers to decide who spoke the communal tongue.

Fascist: This is the latest of the accolades. I admire the aggression with which Israel confronts terrorism and that makes me a Fascist. My secular friends profess that a terrorist doesn’t have a religion if he happens to be an Islamist, but when it comes to Israel, it’s rather progressive to use a term as communal as ‘Zionist-terrorism’. Strange are their ways or perhaps I lack the intellect to admire their benevolence. Perhaps the fact that they never utter a word against Turkey despite its ruthlessness againstSyriais purely incidental. Of course I don’t condone the deaths of innocent children, but what is a country suppose to do if 800 rockets have been hurled at her in just one year? Unfortunate but unavoidable civilian deaths in a war against an enemy that operates from densely populated residential bases or unprecedented torture on people accused of espionage, which is more brutal? I’ll leave it up to my readers again to arrive at a conclusion. Records say that Israeli missiles have always kept the military camps as their target whereas highly populated cities of South Israel like Ashdod and Ashkelon (let me not again reiterate the name of Jerusalem) have been repeatedly targeted by Hamas. But let us not talk logic, that’s hardly thrilling. My fellow researchers love Chomsky and quote him every now and then. I would like to drop in just a small piece of information for those who call Israel a murderer perpetrating terror against a weaker side; Hamas has graduated from Quassams to Grads.

One of my teachers known for his sardonic sense of humour once quipped “We must not eradicate poverty altogether. We would rather curse the rich than make the poor any better because once the urchins are well off, we wouldn’t have anyone to pity.” Be it Palestine or whomsoever, weaklings make the intellectuals feel good. As they feel sorry for those with a purported victimhood, they subconsciously gratify themselves. That they can sympathise, automatically catapults them to a hierarchically superior position. You pity only those that are below you, you see. If you are an underdog you can bark as loud as you want. Even if you go rabid, my Liberal friends will romanticise you. This brings me to Ajmal Kasav. Kasav was an Islamist, hailing from  Pakistan, reasons enough to empathise with him and my friends are in mourning. If one is quoting Desmond Tutu on how hanging a heinous criminal has not been justice but an act of revenge the other is weeping saying Kasav was once an innocent kid. Well, so was every Tom, Dick, Harry and even Hitler. There is something called amputation that my humanitarian Liberal friends haven’t quite heard of I suppose. An ignoramous who claims to be a filmmaker, Aniket Chatterjee is all set to make a movie that will try to decipher why a martyr like Ajmal Kasav must be hung. Well, some day, I would want to make a movie on how stupidity coupled with mediocrity is a must have to make a name in this strange country.

Some have been comparing  Bal Thackeray with Ajmal Kasav. I wonder what validates such a comparison! I don’t support despotism or nativist politics. Won’t ever claim that whatever Thackeray did have always been right. Shiv Sainiks have been wayward in a number of occasions and the recent case involving two girls and their Facebook posts is nothing less than hooliganism to me. But I hate vilification as much as I hate vandalism. Even if it was to secure his own personal interests, Thackeray’s consistent struggle against the trade unions and the D-gang must be acknowledged. We can’t be deliberately oblivious about how this ‘psychotic’, as one of my friends label him, stood beside the Kashmiri Pandits when no one dared to. A critique of his methods is welcome, but someone who stood for the Hindu cause is inevitably on the wrong side of political correctness and hence doesn’t deserve an unbiased posthumous re-assessment.

My views aren’t worth two pence. I don’t claim to be a know-it-all, but what I see around me makes me feel nauseated and triggers off my migraine. I shudder at the thought of an academia in the absolute grip of those who at present dictate the discourse. I hope people leap out of their slumber before it’s too late.

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