June 14, 2007Public Policy

A critique by a cultural nationalist

But freedom does not come at the cost of patriotism

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

Gaurav (the doubting one), in his own style, writes why he thinks a rightist, secular, libertarian national Party” cannot make an impact.

The liberal discourse may have promise in the beginning, but end result is always delusion of epic proportions.

Since our honourable liberals are too busy pontificating about self evident truths and logical fallacies, these most venerable maharishis can not even deign to consider the idea, that may be life is not clock work, to be explained by elegant mathematical expressions, or nice looking economic models, or self-interest”. Or that context matters, or that India is a civilization, that this civilization is a force for good,worth cherishing, worth preserving, and that this must be taken into account when constructing social and political arguments. And may be, dare I suggest, 42 is not the answer.

This marked indifference and attitude of dismissal towards Indic civilization is the best case. In the worst case, any mention of Indian culture in liberal circles result in automatic contempt and ridicule. [Something like life]There are some important takeaways there for those interested in the current discourse over strengthening the political narrative in India. Especially, the dangers of adopting labels” like conservative, liberal, libertarian or secular, for that matter, nationalist—cultural or any other kind. Labels are misleading, not least because they mean different things to different people. It is small wonder that any label to enter Indian political discourse is distorted beyond recognition, to the point that no one—not least its proponents—quite knows exactly what they mean. Like secular”, communal”, social justice”, Hindu”, backward”, liberal” and the list goes on.

Gaurav’s alternative title for his post is from India lovers to freedom lovers”. Yet the two are hardly mutually exclusive. It is possible to be an India lover and a Kannada lover and a Ghazal lover and a Hilsa lover and a Mac lover and a Scotch lover and a freedom lover at the same time. But is possible only if India remains a country of freedom lovers.

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