Despite recent wins, hypocrisy will rob liberals of a big victory over Modi – Firstpost

Posted: May 9, 2021 at 11:16 am

It won't hurt the 'liberal' order to criticise its own for their egregious mistakes. Trying to cover them up, however, will snatch defeat where victory is eminently in sight

File image of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. Twitter/@MamataOfficial

This is the golden hour of the so-called liberal-secular establishment in India.

Narendra Modis government is losing the perception battle in the war against the COVID-19 second wave, despite doing quite well in the first wave. Mamata Banerjees TMC has whipped his party, the BJP, in the Bengal state elections and put in motion brutal, violence against her opponents, cocking a snook at the prime minister and home minister Amit Shahs formidable influence.

Even Hemant Soren, the chief minister of Jharkhand, has mocked a private conversation on controlling COVID-19 with the prime minister in a late-night tweet. Something unthinkable even a couple of years ago.

But in spite of all this, it is unlikely that the self-proclaimed liberal establishment will come back to power at the Centre in the next elections. In fact, it may even lose more political ground. The only reason is its enduring hypocrisy and refusal to let go of it.

The liberal ecosystem, for instance, shouts from rooftops about fascism and breach of freedom of expression by the ruling Hindutva proponents. But how does it respond to an advertisement making fun of Congress president-forever-in-waiting Rahul Gandhi?

Comedian Sanket Bhosale and actor Sugandha Mishra had acted in an ad which made fun of Congress' first family Sonia and Rahul Gandhi. The two, who got married in a private ceremony in Punjab, have been booked by the Congress-led Punjab government for allegedly violating COVID-19 norms.

They were booked on the charge of allegedly breaching the Punjab governments COVID-19 restrictions during their wedding event on 26 April. The state authorities have also booked the manager of the venue, the Club Cabana Resort.

It is difficult to believe that this was not retaliatory. Earlier, popular anchor and owner of Republic TV Arnab Goswami was hounded and even sent to jail by the Maharashtra government, of which Congress is a part. While the facile official reason was TRP manipulation (although Republic TV has not yet been named as an accused) and a suicide of a vendor, it is well-known that Goswami openly took on Sonia over the lack of action on the killing of sadhus in Palghar.

The liberal establishment recently displayed brazen hypocrisy over the post-election killings, arson, and alleged molestation of BJP and Left activists in Bengal by goons as reprisal for working against the TMC. Liberal champions like Shashi Tharoor and Pritish Nandy cheered Mamata Banerjees victory as the victory of Bengals culture, inclusiveness and the idea of India. All this while, the TMCs opponents were hunted down, their houses set on fire, women dragged out and assaulted, and men murdered with the assuredness of the perpatrators getting away with it.

This crass, opportunistic and violent hypocrisy is most likely to stop the liberals from returning to power even when Modi fumbles. Hypocrisy cannot be hidden by even its masters for long, and does not invoke public trust.

It won't hurt the 'liberal' order to criticise its own for their egregious mistakes. Trying to cover them up, however, will snatch defeat where victory is eminently in sight.

Continued here:

Despite recent wins, hypocrisy will rob liberals of a big victory over Modi - Firstpost

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