Rajiv Malhotra and Vijaya Vishwanathan’s new masterpiece “Snakes in the Ganga”, has recently become the pioneering document and a well-researched body of literature, on how the American intelligentsia, spearheaded by Harvard University is intellectually influencing a new generation of “sepoys”, from research scholars to academicians, and Journalists to top bureaucrats, who make the critical decisions towards policy-making and governance in India. The byline ‘Breaking India 2.0’ explains the new threats and dangers, which come with an elitist sophistication and panache in its outlook and presentation, on how an unfavourable intellectual dissection of ‘India Studies’ is systematically taking place.
By Viswapramod C
Mr Malhotra explains that the battleground of breaking India has changed from its previous avatar, which was propounded a decade ago. In the previous breaking India, the targeting was done at the grassroots by the NGOs, Churches and other institutions which trained and developed the foot soldiers of the Breaking India forces. But in the new breaking India approach, the elites of the Indian society are targeted to be trained with the western left wing’s Universalist ideas, which are not just destructive but also becomes a source for the anarchic disorder of the Indian state and society. The frontrunners of breaking India 2.0 happens to be mainly corporate entities, think tanks, international organizations and a few foundations funded by Indian billionaires and corporate giants.
One of the most crucial things one needs to understand, for decoding the agenda of the breaking Indian forces happens to be the epistemic frameworks in which they operate. The western epistemic framework is that of a Universalist vision; an ideological game plan driven by critical race theory superimposed on the Indian caste system with a neo-Marxist ideology of the oppressor-oppressed dichotomy. Their plan is crystal clear, by falsely equating the American racial perspectives on the Indic Jati-Varna system; they want to target hypothetical brahminical patriarchy, hegemony and exploitation often through revolutionary means, even if it includes violence. Unfortunately, the Indian billionaires who are proudly funding western universities totally unaware of the epistemic and ideological frameworks with which the west is operating. They are completely flattered by the fact that they get a seat on the table in the high-ranking intellectual and elite circles in America. It is quite clear that they seek validation and patronization from these intellectual circuits.
The very fact that there is a nuisance value attached to American Universities in manipulatively enforcing their woke ideological standards, and training human resources with their dangerously divisive theoretical frameworks, becomes a principle concern for any modern progressive society with a relatively higher standard of institutional mechanisms wherein, the intellectual corruption and perversions enter the nerve centres of the decision and policy-making paradigm. One of the classic examples of this happens to be how our honourable Supreme Court Chief Justice Dr Dhananjaya Chandrachud, praises and extols Prof Ajanta Subramanian, a Harvard Anthropology professor who has defamed the renounced IITs as Castist Bhraminical hubs, and how the lower castes are marginalized by the IIT system, in her book “The Caste of Merit: Engineering Education in India”.
The irony is, she ignores the systematic, constitution-sanctified reservation system wherein the Scheduled Castes, tribes and the OBCs are well represented in the IITs like in any other public educational institution. She illogically aligns it with the critical race theory by equating white privilege to caste privilege, which is not just malignant, but also totally irrelevant to the Indian context. But Justice Chandrachud specifically praised this book and suggested it to the student community as a recommended reading, in one of his lectures at IIT Delhi, which indicates that his future judgments might be more influenced by such writings, rather than adhering to the evolutionary standards of the Indian Constitutional law and the prevailing social realities in India.
The frontrunners of breaking India 2.0 happens to be mainly corporate entities, think tanks, international organizations and a few foundations funded by Indian billionaires and corporate giants.
Another three-dimensional framework that the breaking India forces are trying to execute in India is the diversity, equity and inclusion formula, which superimposes the immigrant-racial equations and political nature of the American society onto India and Indians abroad. Especially in the corporate and tech industry where large segments of the Indian population work, the caste sensitivity workshops are being forcefully and strategically pushed in, to bring about a vitriolic confrontation of identity conflict into a meritocracy. The extent of ‘Brahmanical supremacy and patriarchy’ notions is being assessed through the caste census. If these frameworks become a policy in Silicon Valley, they will eventually percolate into India, as the US-based companies would standardize them in India as well. The resource persons and intellectuals running this activism have organized themselves into a multi-billion dollar industry, as the corporate sector in the US is constantly funding them, just to be in good books with the dominant gang of woke liberals. So, therefore, this can be clearly described as woke capitalism.
With the invasion of the new left’s ideologies in America such as post-modernism, post-structuralism and de-constructivism, there has been a rejection of the idea of universal and absolute truth. They dismiss the notion of certainty and structural frameworks as the handmaiden of the oppressive ruling elite. Especially the post-modernists contend that reality is created and constructed by beliefs and human behaviour. Whenever ideas spread and people believe and act on them, the realities are constructed. As certain rules and norms are obeyed, institutionalized and enforced through a variety of social control mechanisms, reality comes into existence, thereby dismissing the traditional evolutionary notion of social norms.
An epistemic realism enforced by the ruling elites is believed to persist. With the dismissal of objective truth, normative systems become either relative or subjective, as they are driven by power. But the real damage is caused by this disturbing belief of post-modernists that, the idea of absolute and universal truth must be discarded as just an “arrogant pretence”. These ideologies which are totally ignorant of the Indic social and political realities, must not be superimposed on India at any cost, otherwise, the risks of heading towards a condition of social and political anarchy might emerge in the future.
Dwelling upon the question of identity, the book stresses how the group Identity and Abrahamisation of the woke identity have become crystallized. We get the impression that wokeism has become a new religion often adopting a set of dreadful dogmas and destabilizing beliefs. The individual and the individualism as an autonomous free being, exercising his free will, has faded away in the recent public and intellectual discourses in America. The woke liberals of the new left, have become successful in exploiting and aggravating the social problems that persist in society, and are deliberately not oriented towards finding workable solutions, as they can thrive in this multi-billion-dollar industry of victimology and oppression networking. By doing so, they have become successful in weaponising victimhood. They have completely lopsided the foundational ideas of classical liberalism, which was the cornerstone of the modern western democratic world. It is now replaced by the critical race theory which claims special concessions dedicated to specific group identities, for their historical oppression.
Mr Malhora brings out the differences between classical liberalism and critical race theory quite lucidly; he says, equality of opportunity has been replaced with equality of outcome and equity, science and rationality have been replaced by the dogmas of critical race theory and most importantly the intellectual freedoms and free speech has been replaced by cancel culture, so on and so forth. The discourse has worsened to such an extent that, even science and scientific development, starting from its intellectual origins in the age of reason, has also been perceived as a western construct developed by the oppressive elite class. As things are panning out in America if this frivolous trend continues, they might be headed for a point of no return, and all of this being superimposed on India, when it is already failing in American society, would be absolutely treacherous.
The woke liberals of the new left, have become successful in exploiting and aggravating the social problems that persist in society, and are deliberately not oriented towards finding workable solutions, as they can thrive in this multi-billion-dollar industry of victimology and oppression networking.
Speaking on the caste system, Mr Malhotra says (page 382 kindle edition), “The collapse of the caste system does not pose a threat to Hinduism’s survival. Hinduism is like a banyan tree with many different systems of roots, trunks, and branches, with no single point of failure, hence those who do not practice Hinduism, are fully capable of being Hindu”. This statement completely debunks the dogmatic theory of the left intellectuals that, the caste system and Brahminical patriarchy are integral to Hinduism. Mr Malhotra believes that Hinduism creates an open architecture of acceptance and mutual respect for all faiths.
He openly accepts and addresses quite extensively, the fault lines in the Hindu society and desires internal solutions which are organically developed in the Indic intellectual frame, without any superimposition of irrelevant western propositions, upon the Indian society. He mentions quite categorically in a podcast with Kushal Mehra that “caste issues must have Indic solutions but not the foreign-funded solutions”. He goes on to say that, Indian social organization, the history of the Indian social structures, the historical evolution of the Jati-Varna system and its complex rigid-fluid variations down the annals of history, must be objectively studied in order to understand the real and actual tension points in the society. In one of his interviews, dwelling on the younger generation, he said, “Indian youth need a systematic education for them to be able to talk back to the opposing point of view with confidence, and should present the facts, in order to put the other guy on spot (Intellectually)”.
By taking a deep dive into breaking India 2.0, one can make an assessment that, Hindutva’s objective epistemology of Hindu unity by neutralizing caste-centric orthodoxy becomes a necessary condition for facing the new breaking India forces. The oppression Olympics and enforced political correctness of the hegemonic American left, with its dogmatic social justice framework where one cannot solve the social problem, is actively stretching its tentacles in India. Rather than engaging in emotionally driven cockfights with the opponent, Indians need to develop a systematic intellectual response through hard-hitting and rigorous academic research, especially in humanities and social sciences. The combination of no objectivity and cancel culture is a dangerous cocktail, as it invariably breeds fanaticism. India needs to watch out so that this dangerous cocktail does not reach its shores.
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