Monday, October 17, 2011

Anna Hazare and Hindutva and the lurking danger

Hazare is the leader of 'banal Hindutva'. He has no moral centre and his scruples are his misunderstandings. He typically is the kind of person described so eloquently by Hannah Arendt in her account of Eichmann's trial: the pathetic, selfserving individual, who attains to a position of power and influence by accident.


He is not demonic but just spectacularly mediocre. And he attracts a sizable number of those who are either his kind, or, if they are not necessarily mediocre, are just plainly opportunists, who find a state of political and moral anarchy convenient for their own ends. He is attractive because he does not challenge anyone intellectually or morally. All he asks anyone is to bask in his moral superiority. Like Krishna asking Arjuna to suspend everything and come unto him, Hazare too wants us to suspend judgement and follow him.

Will 'banal Hindutva'replace the more formal versions of the Hindu nationalist ideology? The answer is that it is unlikely. What Hazare is knowingly or unknowingly doing is to become the informal recruitment centre for the harder versions of Hindutva. By making 'banal Hindutva'honourable, Hazare has begun the process of making the harder versions of Hindutva more acceptable and legitimate. The collateral damage, as stated earlier, will be Indian democracy. But does he care? 
Jyotirmaya Sharma in India Today. Here

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