ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Left Ideology, Ends and Means and Hindutva

and Hindutva P R Ram ROMESH DIWAN (EPW, August 24-31, 1996) starting from his dissatisfaction with the articles on 1996 elections, 'On Election Eve' in EPW, has gone on to condemn the left ideology and uphold the ideology of hindutva. One partly concedes his initial point that the articles on the elections carried by EPW may not have totally matched with the 'result' of elections, i e, they were not accurate psephological pieces. As I understand, these articles were trying to articulate deeper societal changes and their likely impact on the forthcoming elections. Given the diversity of Indian society, to be able to link up the two is a Herculean task in light of the fact that even the so-called surveys based on the science of psephology, carried by major papers came a cropper this time as their predictions were 'off the mark', biased in favour of the urban opinion and thereby giving a heavy weightage in favour of the BJP. The BJP has succeeded in dropping its anchor in sections of urban population, more so in last decade, pari passu with the religiously coloured political campaigns conducted by different wings of the Sangh parivar (RSS and its progeny) in general, and VHP and BJP itself, in particular, For Diwan the projection of the reality of society, the complex interactions of different castes, sub-castes, minorities, dalits, adivasis and other disadvantaged sections, which is the emphasis of the left-leaning writers, does not have much meaning as these are precisely the social forces which derail the applecart of 'status quo', which oppose the onslaught of fascistoid forces, whose advocacy is the raison detre of Diwans article. Our society is not value neutral: loss of credibility of the approach of left scholarship is definitely a part of the game, as what is in the interests of subalterns may be an anathema to the upper caste/class interests. So loss of credibility of left writings amongst the elite does not mean a loss of objectivity, but only 'elite intolerance' of the deeper dynamics of society, the logical, long-term outcome of which is detrimental to the interests of the elite.

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