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The exclusion and ostracisation of a writer because of his political leanings – in Soumya’s case an admirer of Namo – was the unkindest cut of all, confesses the writer. An exclusive for Different Truths.
The political pundits have been analysing the recent Tsunamo that caught them by surprise, and have concluded that the all-knowing Janta has rejected the entitled class, the drawing room socialists, the Lutyens crowd, the Khan Market gang, the English speaking intellectuals, the self-proclaimed liberals, and the English medium elitists.
Now that puts me in a quandary. Because, you see, I fit into every one of these categories, and so do most of my friends and relatives. My forefathers include professionals and civil servants, MNC honchos and Burra Sahibs. They were among the first natives to get these degrees and hold these posts and have titles like Rai Bahadur and have roads named after them. I have studied in the most snobbish elitist English-speaking institutions. I was a member of leftist student organisations when in the university. I live in Lutyens Delhi and eat out in Khan Market.
Being a Bong I am genetically predisposed to be a left-liberal secular intellectual, although my left activism is confined to verbose arguments in the drawing rooms or clubs over good scotch.
Being a Bong I am genetically predisposed to be a left-liberal secular intellectual, although my left activism is confined to verbose arguments in the drawing rooms or clubs over good scotch. I also have pretensions of being a writer, and thus belong to book clubs and fan clubs of writers and other such groups of self-proclaimed creative intellectuals. In fact, I am exactly the type that pundits proclaim are allergic to Namo.
It is also true that most of my friends and relatives, and members of these arty-farty circles are as allergic to Namo as the pundits proclaim. The legions of bright intellectual ladies I have had crushes on during various stages of my life also fit in to this stereotyping and have the same stereotypical political leanings. The professions of these brilliant men and women are usually academics, media, art, bureaucracy, law, diplomacy and most importantly, glamorous social work.
We, the elite English-speaking intellectuals who have studied abroad or at least picked up the accent and the slang, can do so. The intolerance of democracy is unbearable, and we should all migrate.
But despite all this, I happen to be a great admirer of Namo, and am optimistic about the New India, which he promises to bring. Nor have I been very secretive about my optimism. Now, it is expected in these exclusive circles of the intelligentsia, that everyone must have the exact same ideas, ideology, and views, and can only differ on the nuances. Having a different idea and actually expressing it is definitely against all tenets of liberalism and is considered heretical if not downright blasphemous. And differing on such a fundamental thing, considering a lowly Hindi speaking right wing petty bourgeoisie and who is so crass as to not be embarrassed about being a Hindu; to be someone considered fit to lead India just because the masses voted him to power! That is a cardinal sin. What do these great unwashed hoi polloi know about governance? We, the elite English-speaking intellectuals who have studied abroad or at least picked up the accent and the slang, can do so. The intolerance of democracy is unbearable, and we should all migrate.
So, when my cultured buddies discovered to their dismay my heretical blasphemous and insidious optimism I was shunned.
So, when my cultured buddies discovered to their dismay my heretical blasphemous and insidious optimism I was shunned. I was unfriended on social media, number blocked, uninvited to parties, removed from WhatsApp groups, and generally given the icy shoulder, something the glitterati excel in. But the unkindest cut of all, they, the greatest and perhaps only admirers of my frivolous stories and limericks, stopped reading and appreciating them.
Initially most of them came around to accepting it as one of my many eccentricities, and tolerated me with an indulgence because, as a very erudite friend so aptly put it, that despite this inexcusable lapse of judgment, because of my many redeeming virtues like wit, erudition and my way with words, I can be tolerated.
This would have continued to be the case had the ruling party, as the pundits knew with their usual certainty, were going to be wiped out. But the uneducated Indian public did the unforgivable. They wiped out the privileged blue-blooded party and their leftist and social justice warrior courtiers, along with the self-avowed champions of the downtrodden minorities and underprivileged communities.
My exquisite pieces of fiction go unappreciated. But the tragedy that really broke my heart is that the cultured and erudite beauties whom I doted on, and who allowed me a position of privilege in their hallowed circles… shunned me completely.
Utter gloom descended in the ivory towers. I, on the other hand, could not conceal my glee. More so because the stalwarts of the opposition were such rich material for satire that it was impossible to resist the temptation. Therefore, my banishment from the charmed circles was complete. My brilliant wit receives no accolades. My exquisite pieces of fiction go unappreciated. But the tragedy that really broke my heart is that the cultured and erudite beauties whom I doted on, and who allowed me a position of privilege in their hallowed circles and were public in their appreciation of me as a writer, shunned me completely.
Thus, please heed all aspiring writers, intellectuals and creative people, the wrath of your tribe is terrible, and admire Namo at your own peril.
Photo from the Internet