I was recently talking with friends about the weirdness of Lefties, as I so often do. They really are a weird, incomprehensible bunch. In this instance, though, it was to do with their icons. You know, people like Stalin, Lenin, Mao, Che Guevara….. These are all mass killers, who have killed in millions when they rule, and thousands if they didn’t hold that power. When I said that, I drew a blank stare. These guys, these educated, supposedly well-informed people, had little idea of the misdeeds of these atrocious men.
I reeled, but then realised why. They have simply not been told about this ever! The news media has been so utterly biased towards left that they simply gloss over anything bad by the communist engines, past or present. I learned all this via my exposure to international journalism. Through my involvement in the precursors of social media: the blogs and the forums. But isn’t it the duty of a comprehensive education to give us that knowledge? Think about it, we keep learning about the umpteen “aandolans” by the pre-independence congress and how we owe all to them, but we have little to no idea what the geo-politics of the world are shaped by.
I don’t remember ever reading anything negative about communism in my textbooks. Stalin and his purges led to the death of 25 million people. Thats several times the worst estimates of Jewish deaths during Holocaust. We had no idea. I studied in Kendriya Vidyalaya in 80’s and remember reading about the great prosperity brought to USSR, and about Mao’s ‘Great Leap Forward’ leading to food security for China. I never heard that Mao’s rule led to death of millions and imprisonment/torture of many more.
The truth is, Indian academia is littered with cronies of Left, and that reflects in out textbooks. They pit Communism as a missed opportunity, they pit Indus Valley civilisation as a broken link, and they pit Islamic invasions and “Aryan invasion” as equivalent. They exalt India’s “tryst with socialism” as a grand foundation for prosperity….. In short, they are written by the cronies of people in power for the last 60 odd years.
Is this arrangement set in stone? Of course not. Of course successive congress governments never have brought in enough right wing voices to bring a balance, though. So is it okay for a centre-right government to bring in more right wing voices? If relativists hold sway in cultural realm, would it be a crime to get some nationalists in? Well, of course according to the left it would. Who is comfortable with their monopoly being broken? They will cry bloody murder, of course. They call it an attempt to Saffronise the education, as if referring to a part of the tricolour is a term of derision. They call it revisionism, as if revising incorrect or incomplete history is a sin. They scream in their shrill voices from their high chairs that they alone hold the keys to knowledge and all need to bow to their superior wisdom.
So thats what’s happening. I don’t like fantasies that claim that Indian scientists invented atom bombs, or planes, or mars rovers, but would it be so bad to show the intellectual achievements of Indian civilisation? Whom would it hurt to show that socialism has failed to bring prosperity the world over? Would it really harm the secular fabric too much if the invaders and looters from middle east are called barbarian looters instead of noble rulers? Would it be wrong if people know what the experience of living under a communist dictatorship is really like?
I don’t think so. Lets tell those lefties that they don’t run the country anymore. Like the homosexuals embraced the term ‘gay’ in the West, let’s embrace the word Saffron. Not as a symbol of religious symbolism as intended but as Indian centre-right badge of honor.
Let them realise that this is a diverse country and diverse views include those from the right. They must learn to respect them more, and worship their mass-murdering heroes a little less.