Once Upon a Time in a Land That Was Secular

A high propagandize in Kerala, 1992

On that Dec evening, a 5 of us were unresolved out by a side of a high propagandize playground, perplexing to trounce out an answer to that almighty evidence that 3 generations of Malayalis have managed to keep alive:

“Who’s some-more awesome, Mohanlal or Mammootty?”

We few, we happy few, we rope of brothers – that’s what we were.

Now, this was Dec ’92. Although we were in willing executive Kerala, totally inexperienced by a community poison cloud that had swept opposite India, a review shortly incited to a new dispersion of Babri Masjid by RSS/BJP terrorists – we were still high propagandize kids though though politically wakeful high propagandize kids, standard of 1980s/90s Kerala.

Out of a blue, one of us – let’s call him “Gopi” for now – took a position that attempted to justify, or maybe rationalize a dispersion of a mosque. The rest of us were officious repelled and reacted in a approach people conflict when they incidentally step on uninformed cow excrement.

One of us – let’s call him “Jyothish” for now – reacted roughly vigourously to what Gopi pronounced and gave him a rather charming tongue-lashing. Gopi piped down genuine quick.

Now, to my knowledge, conjunction Gopi nor anyone in his family were members of a RSS or any of a Sangh parivar dependent organisations. And yet, how did a 14/15-year-old middle-class Malayali child consider it was socially excusable to take such a hypocritical position, that too in a pre-internet era? The usually judicious finish is that Gopi competence have been merely repeating a vital room or cooking list conversations during home or during extended family gatherings.

What one’s amicable circles contend or do in public, goes a prolonged approach in last what is excusable behaviour.

In Gopi’s case, a almost-violent greeting from his primary amicable round – his high propagandize buddies with whom he spends a many partial of any given week – overrode whatever license-to-show-bigotry that he picked adult from elsewhere. The section wall of nonacceptance that he barged into contingency have done him realize that prejudice competence finish adult isolating him from his propagandize friends.

Gopi done certain that he never sprouted community s#$t, during slightest in front of us, until a finish of a high propagandize days, after that we all went opposite ways.

High propagandize WhatsApp group, 2018

Gopi stays decent, during slightest in public.

The chairman who floods a WhatsApp organisation with vast Sanghi st – feign news, photoshopped garbage, definition and whataboutery for all from a Dadri lynching to a Kathua rape – is not Gopi.

It is Jyothish, a bro from that aged high propagandize squad in 1992 who had reacted many vigourously to Gopi’s attempted incursion into community thought.

To my knowledge, Jyothish has never been to an RSS shakha or even an ABVP event. After school, he went on to investigate engineering during a college that did not concede any tyro politics, followed shortly by a pursuit in an IT organisation that enclosed a five-year army in a US. In between all this, how did Jyothish get radicalised?

From what we could make out of it, Jyothish’s tour into a duct of Hindutva appears to be a box of online radicalisation by a NRI Sanghi ecosystem – their stories of upper-caste victimhood, communally installed email-forwards, promotion blogs and above all a extended acceptability for displaying prejudice in his primary amicable circle, i.e. colleagues and a American desis – contingency have been a ideal charge for somebody who existed mostly in an apolitical, middle-class burble given he left high school.

As shortly as Jyothish’s Facebook wall started displaying Sanghi promotion behind in 2010 or so when he returned from abroad, we and others should have given him a charming tongue-lashing and abashed him in public, as Jyothish did to Gopi on that Dec dusk in 1992. We should have put adult that section wall of nonacceptance, as we did behind in 1992.

For too long, we have authorised a uncles, aunts, cousins, friends and coworkers to get divided with prejudice since we did not wish to dissapoint relationships. Our overpower is enlivening them. It creates them trust that it is okay, it is acceptable, to arrangement bigotry. Our passivity, a silence, is not merely submissive inaction though it is undisguised complicity.

If we have to bear infrequent prejudice in sequence to ‘not dissapoint a relationship’ with that aged high propagandize crony or that neo-Sanghi uncle, afterwards no matter what else they move to a table, that attribute is not value ‘not upsetting’. Call them a extremist and tell them that they are a cancer that needs to only f^%k off from your life.

This is a fight and it is high time we pull those lines and take sides.

The Last Caveman tweets during @CarDroidusMax, and writes here.

This essay originally appeared on LiveWire.

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