Left-lib intellectuals neither get development nor human rights

modi

By Amrit Hallan

The left-liberal intellectuals in India and abroad seem to have come up with a new catchphrase when it comes to opposing Narendra Modi, “Do we want development at the cost of human rights?”

A motley group of artists, writers, activists and intellectuals including Salman Rushdie, Deepa Mehta, Nandita Das, Mahesh Bhatt and Shabana Azmi (just to name a few) are releasing open letters and making collective statements advising people not to vote for divisiveness and instead vote to save secularism and human rights.

In one of the letters released to the UK newspaper Guardian, the signatories say:

“Such a failure of moral character and political ethics on the part of Modi is incompatible with India’s secular constitution, which, in advance of many constitutions across the world, is founded on pluralist principles. Were he to be elected prime minister, it would bode ill for India’s future as a country that cherishes the ideals of inclusion and protection for all its peoples and communities.”

Although it’s very noble of them to raise the flag of human rights on national and international forums and carry the burden of India’s pluralism on their highly sensitive shoulders, if you try to gauge their intentions from a common man’s (or woman’s) perspective you are left a bit confused and clueless. You are made to wonder, do these people have any idea of what development is and what human rights mean to a common person toiling on the road? Do they really comprehend what ideals like secularism and pluralism actually entail? From a common citizen’s perspective, it doesn’t seem so.

Irshad Ali is a roadside tailor in Indirapuram, Ghaziabad. Come winter or summer, rain or sunshine, from morning till evening he toils on his sewing machine under a youngish Banyan tree while automobiles whiz past him from both the sides. When I asked him whom he supports his immediate answer was, “Narendra Modi”.

“Why?” I asked because I was expecting something like Mulayam Singh Yadav, or even Mayawati. “Don’t you think he’s anti-Muslim? – Musalmano ke khilaf?”

“What have politicians who say that they are pro-Muslims done for Muslims aside from keeping them poor and illiterate?” he replied, stopping his machine that he operates with his foot for a while and then continuing. “The rehnumas of Muslims only remember us when there are elections. With Modi at least you know he prefers development. He continuously says that he neither talks about Hindus nor about Muslims, he talks about Indians, which politician does that? For once, a person who talks about Indians and not about Hindus and Muslims should become the PM. Almost all my customers are Hindus and I have never seen a customer returning without giving me work after reading my name on the board. Only politicians are bothered about different religions.”

This is the reality on the roads that the so-called intellectuals fail to know. They fail to realise that development does matter to an average Indian and it is a big deal, not a subject to be talked about in an economic forum or a conclave.

Development and human rights are intertwined and it is immature to talk about them as two mutually exclusive subjects. Development, if you look at it from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid, comes somewhere just above the bottom section. Without development, the higher notions of human qualities such as freedom of speech and expression and human rights hold no meaning. In poverty, in backwardness, human rights are violated every hour. In a backward country that is passive towards development, quality of life takes backseat and if you disregard quality of life, how can you talk about human rights?

Recently a policeman died defusing a bomb planted by the Maoists. He was not wearing protective gear so don’t you think that his human rights were violated? He was not provided medical attention and a helicopter could be arranged only after three hours, didn’t this violate his human rights? He died. No intellectual was outraged that the policeman didn’t have access to appropriate protective gear and he didn’t get proper medical attention. Why? Just because the subject is not secular enough?

Every day labourers work in different Indian cities and towns without any protection constructing high-rise buildings going up to 16-20 floors, jeopardising their lives in the process. Nobody bothers if they are wearing helmets or if the platforms that are hoisted over the scaffolding are secure enough. During welding they don’t even cover their eyes. In the developed parts of the world like Europe and America, these things are taken for granted.

These are just two instances, but this is the sort of wretchedness that lack of development brings. The quality of life and consequently, the human rights track record, is much better in developed countries because their basic needs are already taken care of and now they can move onto the next level.

For more than six decades Modi hasn’t been here so we can safely say that India has been a secular and pluralistic country. People are still starving. People are still crawling on hospital floors like insects and small animals. An average Indian is malnourished and demotivated. We’re still a Third World country and even smaller countries are way ahead of us. 100s of communal riots have happened under the so-called secular governments. Emergency was imposed on the country by a secular Prime Minister. The biggest pogrom was unleashed on a minority in 1984 by a secular government. Did you ever find these luminaries issuing letters crying danger to secularism and pluralism?

Why did Salman Rushdie move from England to America? Because he thought that his human rights were protected better in America compared to England. If without Modi India was doing a stellar job at maintaining human rights, why didn’t he come to India? Didn’t a secular PM get The Satanic Verse banned? There was no Modi when his book was banned and which in turn motivated Ayatollah Khamenei of Iran to issue a fatwa on him – was India secular enough and was India’s pluralism thriving back them, with Modi nowhere in the picture?

Sooner or later these intellectuals will learn that their worldview of development and human rights is totally different from people who actually live under circumstances that don’t even afford them with two meals leave aside human rights. They will learn that the pluralism they just talk about is actually practised in the villages, towns and cities and it is an ingrained subject and not something esoteric and novel.

Amrit Hallan is a professional content writer with strong political and social views that he likes to express on social media as well as through his writings. You can connect with him on Twitter at @amrithallan

  • http://nuclearsupremacyforindiaoverus.blogspot.com Satish Chandra

    NO GOONDAS AND CRIMINALS LIKE VAJPAYEE, MODI AND SONIA-RAHUL; WORSHIP “INSANELY HANDSOME” AVATAR OF SHIVA, SATISH CHANDRA

    (April 15 ‘14) Bharatiya Janata Party is a Goonda Party which chases a Goonda (Modi) instead of worshipping this Avatar who can make India the supreme military and economic power in the world immediately (see below); it must be destroyed. Regarding the BJP president’s statement about not changing the “no first use” of nuclear weapons: what these Goondas (including Goondas like K. Subrahmanyam; see ‘Offer to Me by CIA Director and K. Subrahmanyam‘: HaydenSubrahmanyamDOTblogspotDOTcom ) working for the CIA say does not matter, only what Satish Chandra says matters. I have made abundantly clear India’s plans (see below) for the first use of nuclear weapons against the United States without itself suffering a single casualty. And see what I have said below about the Goonda M. K. Gandhi.

    (April 9 ‘14) Azam Khan says India’s Muslim soldiers won the Kargil war for India. I have said for years that the Kargil war was started by Pakistan’s army chief Musharraf on the CIA’s orders to make Vajpayee win the election that was pending after he had lost a vote of confidence as prime minister; that Hindu-Muslim conflict before 1947 was created and managed by the Intelligence Bureau leading to the partition of the country and its Indian and Pakistani successors (RAW & ISI which cooperated in the Kargil war & terror attacks such as the November 26, 2008 attack on Mumbai, etc.) continue to do so after 1947.

    (April 4-6 ‘14) The opinions and votes of India’s slave population suffering from mass-psychosis (below) do not matter; only nuclear weapons matter — to simultaneously destroy Washington, New York, RAW headquarters, South Block and North Block with a warning that additional U.S. cities will be destroyed, with nuclear warheads already emplaced in them, if there is any retaliation or sign of retaliation. In a letter dated July 27, 1982 to Indira Gandhi as prime minister I referred to an act, by American Jews, that was “the equivalent of an annihilatory nuclear first strike on India”. In her reply dated July 29, 1982 she wrote “Dear Mr. Chandra, I have received your letter dated July 27, 1982 and am passing it on to my Principal Secretary to deal with it. Sincerely, Indira Gandhi”. In December, 1982 I wrote to her “There was sudden, terminal, overwhelming violence against me during a seminar at Harvard University and rather similar occurrences earlier… India can expect sudden, annihilatory violence … with nuclear weapons … against its population … unless it can mount a decisively superior force to stop it”. Following my advice, India’s strategic program, including the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme and the Centre for Advanced Technology, was started to give India victory in a nuclear war with the United States and because of my influence on her, Indira Gandhi as prime minister was assassinated by CIA-RAW and later when Rajiv Gandhi realized the truth of what I had written to her after the American invasion of Iraq which was the first Gulf War, he was also assassinated by CIA-RAW. In the past few years, I have had India’s nuclear forces emplace nuclear warheads in Washington, New York and other U.S. cities and India is now in a position to destroy the United States without being destroyed. In fact, India is in a position now to destroy the United States without itself suffering a single casualty by triggering its nuclear warheads emplaced in Washington and New York with a warning that additional U.S. cities will be similarly destroyed if there is any retaliation or sign of retaliation. Note that Vajpayee could not have done that because of his relationship with the CIA which brought and kept him in office. The same is the case with all other Indian politicians because of their participation in the CIA’s crimes against me which the CIA can threaten to expose.

    This is what I said when asked if India is just a pawn. “Yes, it is a pawn, a slave, a society suffering from mass-psychosis. Despite the recent revelations about M. K. Gandhi being a homosexual who reveled in his “slavery with a vengeance” to the white man, who engaged in a fake ‘freedom struggle” with the British managed by the Intelligence Bureau, the entire Indian government went to his memorial on his death anniversary this January 30, 2012 to pay tribute. India is a very sick society. (I had urged that all his portraits in government offices, etc. be burned). … By saying that India is suffering from mass-psychosis, I am being generous and kind of giving it the excuse of being ill (of the several hats I wear, I am also a mental health professional) but a country of 1.2 billion people being so terrified of much smaller numbers of people from half way around the world cannot really be excused. … ” (see RAWsTraffickingOfIndianChildrenDOTblogspotDOTcom ).

    (The above is about one-fifth of my comment; the full comment can be found at IndiasLegitimateRulerSatishChandraDOTblogspotDOTcom ).

    • Dheeraj K

      I think you are the true illegitimate son of Mohammed Bhat.

  • http://nuclearsupremacyforindiaoverus.blogspot.com Satish Chandra

    NO GOONDAS AND CRIMINALS LIKE VAJPAYEE, MODI AND SONIA-RAHUL; WORSHIP “INSANELY HANDSOME” AVATAR OF SHIVA, SATISH CHANDRA

    (April 15 ‘14) Bharatiya Janata Party is a Goonda Party which chases a Goonda (Modi) instead of worshipping this Avatar who can make India the supreme military and economic power in the world immediately (see below); it must be destroyed. Regarding the BJP president’s statement about not changing the “no first use” of nuclear weapons: what these Goondas (including Goondas like K. Subrahmanyam; see ‘Offer to Me by CIA Director and K. Subrahmanyam‘: HaydenSubrahmanyamDOTblogspotDOTcom ) working for the CIA say does not matter, only what Satish Chandra says matters. I have made abundantly clear India’s plans (see below) for the first use of nuclear weapons against the United States without itself suffering a single casualty. And see what I have said below about the Goonda M. K. Gandhi..

    (April 9 ‘14) Azam Khan says India’s Muslim soldiers won the Kargil war for India. I have said for years that the Kargil war was started by Pakistan’s army chief Musharraf on the CIA’s orders to make Vajpayee win the election that was pending after he had lost a vote of confidence as prime minister; that Hindu-Muslim conflict before 1947 was created and managed by the Intelligence Bureau leading to the partition of the country and its Indian and Pakistani successors (RAW & ISI which cooperated in the Kargil war & terror attacks such as the November 26, 2008 attack on Mumbai, etc.) continue to do so after 1947.

    (April 4-6 ‘14) The opinions and votes of India’s slave population suffering from mass-psychosis (below) do not matter; only nuclear weapons matter — to simultaneously destroy Washington, New York, RAW headquarters, South Block and North Block with a warning that additional U.S. cities will be destroyed, with nuclear warheads already emplaced in them, if there is any retaliation or sign of retaliation. In a letter dated July 27, 1982 to Indira Gandhi as prime minister I referred to an act, by American Jews, that was “the equivalent of an annihilatory nuclear first strike on India”. In her reply dated July 29, 1982 she wrote “Dear Mr. Chandra, I have received your letter dated July 27, 1982 and am passing it on to my Principal Secretary to deal with it. Sincerely, Indira Gandhi”. In December, 1982 I wrote to her “There was sudden, terminal, overwhelming violence against me during a seminar at Harvard University and rather similar occurrences earlier… India can expect sudden, annihilatory violence … with nuclear weapons … against its population … unless it can mount a decisively superior force to stop it”. Following my advice, India’s strategic program, including the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme and the Centre for Advanced Technology, was started to give India victory in a nuclear war with the United States and because of my influence on her, Indira Gandhi as prime minister was assassinated by CIA-RAW and later when Rajiv Gandhi realized the truth of what I had written to her after the American invasion of Iraq which was the first Gulf War, he was also assassinated by CIA-RAW. In the past few years, I have had India’s nuclear forces emplace nuclear warheads in Washington, New York and other U.S. cities and India is now in a position to destroy the United States without being destroyed. In fact, India is in a position now to destroy the United States without itself suffering a single casualty by triggering its nuclear warheads emplaced in Washington and New York with a warning that additional U.S. cities will be similarly destroyed if there is any retaliation or sign of retaliation. Note that Vajpayee could not have done that because of his relationship with the CIA which brought and kept him in office. The same is the case with all other Indian politicians because of their participation in the CIA’s crimes against me which the CIA can threaten to expose.

    This is what I said when asked if India is just a pawn. “Yes, it is a pawn, a slave, a society suffering from mass-psychosis. Despite the recent revelations about M. K. Gandhi being a homosexual who reveled in his “slavery with a vengeance” to the white man, who engaged in a fake ‘freedom struggle” with the British managed by the Intelligence Bureau, the entire Indian government went to his memorial on his death anniversary this January 30, 2012 to pay tribute. India is a very sick society. (I had urged that all his portraits in government offices, etc. be burned). … By saying that India is suffering from mass-psychosis, I am being generous and kind of giving it the excuse of being ill (of the several hats I wear, I am also a mental health professional) but a country of 1.2 billion people being so terrified of much smaller numbers of people from half way around the world cannot really be excused. … ” (see RAWsTraffickingOfIndianChildrenDOTblogspotDOTcom ).

    (The above is about one-fifth of my comment; the full comment can be found at IndiasLegitimateRulerSatishChandraDOTblogspotDOTcom ).