Thoughts on the Civilizational War

When was the last time you enjoyed a dance without adding a political connotation to it? When was the last time you listened to a song without commenting on its language? When was the last time you went to a movie without checking the political leanings of the actor, the director, the producer or even that of the movie theatre owner? When was the last time you saw a Disney movie, and didn’t comment “subliminal liberal messaging”? When was the last time anything in life, existed without an underlying message or meaning? There was such a time, you know!! Question is, do you remember it? For men and women alike, do you remember a time when you looked and admired a person of the opposite sex, without wondering about their political / social leanings? Ever remember a time when you didn’t say “oh! she / he is beautiful / handsome, but … “? 

We are quick to blame the left for hating. And it is legitimate. But, the question remains - are we becoming quicker? In our pursuit for our political goals, have we become insulated from day-to-day pleasures? In exposing the hatred the the Church and other religious institutions have for our way of life, are we getting to a point where we start hating their children? In our battle to fight the crimes of Islam against humanity, are we forgetting that there may be humans on the other side that are likely to be innocent? In short, are we mixing up our battles with ideologies and institutions with our battles with people? 

We take offense when someone celebrates Diwali and Halloween with the same joy. We are quick to point out that one is a crass commercialization of a long lost pagan festival - and in the same breath, we go out shopping for Diwali. It is our festival - and hence shopping is necessary. Halloween is US commercial trick, so it is evil. Have we forgotten along the way to extend the benefit - nay - courtesy of doubt, that maybe the Americans actually enjoy celebrating their Halloween? We are miffed when kids that return from US go trick or treating. Have we forgotten, that while in USA the parents will have to accommodate all the festivals of the land too? Halloween and USA are just examples. I am sure we can find other scenarios within.

When we complain about degeneracy in the current generation, when we complain about women being “characterless”, when we complain about kids being unrooted, and about parents being materialistic, do we stop and think what we are ranting about? Who are we to certify the “character” of a woman who is dressed in shorts? Who are we to comment on the rootedness of a child whom we don’t know? Who are we to decide the materialism quotient of a parent who is spending all his / her life saving for their child/ren? Why are we becoming the arbiters of individual behavior? Isn’t it exactly what your ideological enemies do? Isn’t it why you hate them? Isn’t it our claim to fame that we are far superior to others because we don’t impose individual morality on others?

If you think imposing individual morality is the game you need to be in, here are some questions to ponder: the Church has been playing this game since Constantinople. Islam has been playing this game more aggressively since 7th century. What makes you think you - a late entrant to this game - will play it better than either of the two? Why is it that imposition of morality is acceptable when you do it, but not when others do it? Why is your set of morals better than others’? You want modesty? It doesn’t get any more modest than a Burkha. You want piety? Doesn’t get more pious than a five times a day compulsory prayer. You want politico-religious power - doesn’t get more powerful than the Church. What exactly is your USP that you think you will burn through this established market space for minds? Those that you call enemies, have been ruling this space for more than a millennium now, with more money and power and people than you could muster.

Last but not least - do you think imposing individual morality is how Sanatana dharma survived through its darkest ages? Yes - I hear you sniggering “we have only 40% of the land left”. Let me counter: this is the only - I repeat, only land that managed to keep its culture after invasion by both of the Abrahamic religions.

In the heat of this ideological battle, it is increasingly evident that we as a people, are losing sight of the war. These are the heady early days of the battle for revival, and we are getting cocky after a brief victory. We have not seen the power of the entrenched enemy - and even when it is visible, we take solace in our utopian ideas about the battle, and blame the enemy’s strength on someone on our side. In the midst of the battle, we lack a unified goal. We lack strategy. We yearn for a golden period that is likely to be a figment of our imagination based on what we read in the remains of our Shrutis and Itihasas. 

In that yearning, we tend to forget the reality of here and now. The battle is not happening between the Vishnu avatar Rama, and Shiva Bhakta Ravana. It is not happening in an age where we were probably the only civilization in the world. It is not happening in a place where there were universally accepted rules of war. None of our current assumptions for a reviving a glorious past are likely to be valid. When China hits us in a real war with their AI and their EMP weapons, the only time period we will be, is the late stone age. When the Church instigates a million mutinies through NGOs, you won’t be fighting an outsider - you will likely be fighting your own brother, or sister, or your favorite niece and nephew. Do you have what it is takes to put them to sword? Unless you have held a new born in your hand, any answer to this question is likely to be meaningless.

In our compulsion to fight what we think hates us, we have forgotten the ambitions and inspirations of a common person. We have started hating back. In that melee, we are slowly transforming into what we hate. There in lies the real worry: we might start hating ourselves. Hope we find some sanity before that transpires.


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