Debate around Nasiruddin Shah raises few questions

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Image- Indian Express

The pattern of Indian society has changed a lot with explosion of information, communication and expression which provides various methods for it and this explosion has provided the ways to use it and misuse it too. The curiosity to know more and communicate or express it in more faster and restless way has opened the window to those elements in politics and society who want to exploit this pace and restlessness in expression and communication to their advantage.

The political debate in country for last almost five years has been in direct proportion to the transition of society on ideological division with more polarized and aggressive way. In last five years the issue of tolerance and intolerance in society and politics has surfaced on many occasions more than any other period of time in last memories. Every time the debate begins the triggering point of the debate easily slips into unhealthy polarization with inherent message of pointing fingers towards few people and raising serious questions about their patriotism and devotion for the country.  

This pattern of debate has taken an ugly turn as not only supporters of certain political parties and people associated with certain point of view jump into this debate without going into the details, but the most of the people sitting on the fence too jumps into this debate with certain point of view with preoccupied mind set with their targeted judgments.

This change in Indian society is not the result of the political atmosphere in country for last five years it has only made people more vocal about it on both sides, but the phenomenon of this debate in Indian society has its foot prints in the changing dynamics of the politics around the globe with its direct consequences on the society.

In last two decades and more the classical division of right and left in politics and ideology across the world started to change in more drastic way but the people from both sides of status quo tried everything to not only shut their eyes from this simmering but tried to deflect the attention of common masses in their countries from this issue to other issues as long as they could do.

Since first world war a certain ideological and political shape stabilized in international relations and even second world war would not destabilized this shape, but worked to stabilized it even further and the territories for right , left and liberal were defined and they nurtured their working relations between them even having their ideological differences . As the left learned to live with right without their hard left and communist manifesto is being practiced in political framework and right learned to live with left without their hardcore issues of their ideology could not become part of political culture and liberals too worked out to influence the politics, society and policies with some give and take formula.

In last two decades the whole coalition of right, left and liberal with some working relations between them had been challenged with emergence of populist movements from every side right, left and liberal and the working relations between these groups faced severe challenge as populist movements from every section right, left and liberal targets the elites of all three ideological groups to replace them with their own vision and definitions for their ideology.

This surge of populism from right, left and liberal has made the elites from every side jittery and their nervousness to lose their position to some new populist forces compel  them to raise the new issues in old fashion which is not in sync with modern realities and it results in more communication gap and confusion as no one is able to understand each other because the generation gap in every ideological camp has made them unable to trust each other and understand each other.

As per example the populist surge in far right wing across the globe has made the centre right more jittery and they find this movement as totally rogue and fascists in its nature but they are unable to understand the logic of their growing appeal to the masses with their issues which they find rogue and fascist in their nature.

The same challenge left and liberal faces too with their populist movements.

Indian politics along with other parts of the world faces the same challenge and due to this transition the communication gap in raising the issues and understanding those issues has made the whole issue more complicated. In Indian context along with other parts of the world the liberal left phenomenon which dominated the political narrative as the elite group of ideological part, always pleads for a political culture and political narrative where minorities would be given fair treatment and secularism become the torch bearer for policy making along with faith takes backseat in policy making and international relations.  This political narrative dominated the whole dialogue but in last two decades the new generational shift begins in every sphere of life and the new generation confronted with some stark realty everywhere in every part of the world.

In western part of the world the new generation realized that their previous generation was too generous to follow the path of Multiculturalism  and liberalism to avid the talk to assert  their faith and do whatever they could do to assimilate other faiths with them and work for a word where every free person would get the fair chance for their life and no person would intrude into others faith and space , but it did not work as it was thought and the people from other identity and faith who entered in their countries and were welcomed  as their fellow citizens did not assimilate and stuck to their identity and faith in more assertive way to look them different , on the contrary whose previous generations followed the principles of multiculturalism and liberalism in its true spirit find them on the losing side as they could see them the group of people whose faith and identity confronted with big challenge in coming days as their numbers dwindles rapidly in compare to others.

If we compare the situation of Indian society and politics in global phenomenon the surge of populist movements in other parts of world has influenced the mindset of Indian people as well and the generational shift with some new radical questions has changed the ideological narrative in India too. The shift in Indian generation too demands some radical answers from their previous generation and challenges the elites in every ideological sphere to concede their ground to new generation.

In Indian context the radical shift has not taken place in right wing camp alone the left, liberal and socialist everywhere something simmers which elites want to bury but more they try to avoid the questions the more they lose their ground to new populist groups.

The right in India wants some serious revisit to the concept of secularism in India to make it look more balanced to put some tough questions before the concept of minorities and their rights and accountability to the nation building as per example their role in stabilizing the explosion of population of country and bring them out from the pre partition syndrome to cry for victimhood for being Minority in country.  The populist left demands more honest approach to work for the poor and more accountable leadership on left side to be honest to their ideas. The socialist and Dalit leadership confronted with new populist movements to address the real issues of dalit and Socialism.

The transition in Indian politics and society along with other parts of the world has made the whole debate in India so abusive and intolerant but any particular political dispensation cannot be blamed for this entirely. The real reason behind this development is the communication gap between generations and particularly the trust deficit between each of them is making things even more worse as each of them not ready to realize that they need to work with each other and the elites blame the new populist surge and populist group think they belong to the popular appeal.