Intro : We need wide and vivid ranges of discourses to define, describe and determine the Grand Bharateeya Narrative in consonance with the central civilisational ethos, ideas and reality of Bharat.
Every time a strong political leader emerges on the horizons of a nation state, the indigenous societies replete with their cultural, theosophical and philosophical meanderings find a chance to consolidate and catapult their convictions. At the end of the day, it's all about sovereign societies resounding in their very own vibrant existence, interfacing with each other and organising themselves into a super-structure of larger formulations constituting a nation-state. This dominant aspiration of human existence cannot be more profound and prosaic than the societal mosaic of Bharat. Incidentally, to a significant set of practitioners and adherents this mosaic magnificence is under attack from multifarious quarters which do need a concerted defence.
If the incidents of the quarter gone by are analysed and dissected, a definitive pattern of collusion and coordinated instigations aimed to topple the emerging grand narrative of Bharat can be easily unearthed. From orchestrating a Parliamentary Logjam over the proposed amendments in Land Acquisition Bill, to creating an anti-farmer smear campaign resulting in its roll-over to nurturing a persistent duragrah at FTII; to creating a furore over the lawful hanging of a traitor and enemy of Bharat; to inducing a Patel uprising in the state of Gujarat; to heralding aspersions on the BJP-RSS connect to blowing out the Maharashtra Meat Ban episode out of proportion; to unduly favouring an enemy nation-state complicating the sensitive foreign policy prospects of Bharat and to taking the entire nation to ransom on a stray criminal incident in Dadri, the insidious methods and their underlying motivation of toppling the Grand Narrative of emerging Bharat gets crystal clear.
Ample public attention is sought over the aforesaid disruptors, creating an unprecedented ruckus in a well coordinated fashion. Ripples after ripples somewhere get induced and duly amplified to target the anchor of the chess board. A sinister propaganda warfare over-stretching to the extent of comprising the national security by the very Bharateeya Constituents is unfurled and intensified.
An incident is picked up and the rallying war cry of TV reporters and anchors is fed upon it to make it substantial by attracting the interest of the tribe of offensive public intellectuals and commentators who thereby join the fray invoking their myriad meanings and mystic motifs. This intellectual churning is further fed into this propaganda machinery and is expanded in scale by involving newer stakeholders so as to project it as the unfurling national narrative. The treatment given to the other set of incidents which can challenge this in the first place is deliberately kept bland and tepid.
The perpetrators of this grand strategy are prolific in their skill sets and astutely professional. They have their hawkish eyes on their key objective of sustaining the intensity and spreading the expanse of the propaganda ripple, as they know it for well that it's the intensity and scale which eventually matters in public discourse. Carry it on till a dent is accomplished, till the weaker opposition deflects or deviates or buckles down. Every trick under the arm is deployed to create the furore, the most damaging of it is to indulge in a set of self-contradictory questions having an intrinsic argumentative closure whose answer has to confirm with the question itself. The very attempt to answer the same disempowers the respondent if he/she is not guarded to take on this sophistry. This is nothing new, the mighty Bali used this tactic to win over the physical power of the opponents.
The germinated taxonomy is copied and replicated in due earnest across the members of the orchestra. The chosen narrative angle is repeated again and again to make it the cardinal truth. Half-reporting, mis-reporting and use of multi-connotation linguistic constructs are all a part and parcel of this self-enriching machinery.
The invocation of a message of peace by an active President having deeper political convictions by the Prime Minister in an electoral rally in the battle of Bihar is being seen as an early symbol of fatigue and limitations of the communications machinery of the Government, Party in power and the intellectual spectrum defining and unfurling the Grand Narrative of emerging Bharat. No doubt, there has been a visible and vociferous defence across. Those in the Governmental space have been briefed to be brief and objective to facts. Ministries have got their official spokespersons who are trained titans who just can't be lured to step out of the brief in any circumstance and are fierce in fending their facts. Stray slippages if any are contained very fast and the fort is thereby held stout and strong.
The Party in power has attracted a coterie of high octane, well meaning, widely exposed spokespersons duly trained into the political epistemology, gifted with the twists and turns of the language and presenting an extremely guarded point of view which just can't be exploited under any circumstance of intellectual skulduggery. If there are pacers like Sambit Patras, there are composed spinners like Nalin Kohlis. The feminine smiling faces of Shaina NCs blunt down any attack of any magnitude while the journalistic experience of veterans like M J Akbars stick to the guns and create listening even amidst the die-hard skeptics. The legal hawks in Meenakshi Lekhis keep the spiral on and on repeating the same argument in flowery finesse while the intellectual disposition of G L Narasimha Raos fights fiercely and give a serious sincere touch to the discourse.
The advent of integrated media platforms like Niti Central, Swarajya, India Facts, Bharat Niti, The Nationalist View, The Namo Patrika etc. have brought in a significant spectrum of scholars, intellectuals, commentators and analysts together to unravel the deeper malaise, the deceptions heralded, the intellectual foundations of a paining precept, the historical evolutions, the aberrations induced, the pointers to a much more profound repository of works and people et al.
Nevertheless, the resonant power of an orchestra is far from visible which can present an unimpeachable and impregnable intellectual defence of the Grand Narrative of Emerging Bharat. The power, potential and potency of the offending forces are much more organised, fuelled and well coordinated having the advantage of building a winning progressive popular perception.
There have had been efforts to induce a constant shastratha to this effect, but again, the extent and continuity of the same is still not very well coordinated or continued in timeline. The India Ideas Conclave by the India Foundation was one such exemplary initiative which needs a profound continuity in terms of thought and connections by bringing together these multifarious thinking Tenalis from across the deck. The lavishes can be curtailed, however to the chagrin of the detractors.
The political and organisational training along with the directionality of policy research offered by institutions like Ram Bhau Mhlagi Prabodhini, Vivekananda International Foundation etc. can be further enriched and diversified to profound intellectual discourses led by doyens across the spectrum of Bharateeya Civilisation including the likes of Rajiv Malhotra. There is an entire galaxy of scholars and intellectuals who have put themselves to a serious study of Indic traditions and have been demonstrating their due relevance in the emerging modern narrative.
Due systems and processes would need to be evolved along with delineation of substantial resources to nurture this outer intellectual layer. This would provide the multi-layered stratosphere of thought and action to create the much needed unified defence of Bharateeya Civilisation. The duly spirited and self indulgent army of karyakartas and empathisers – the feet on the street would find it extremely expedient to fall upon this coordinated discourse and continue their canvassing and communications drive across the spectrum in their respective spheres of influence. They are putting out a spectacular show, but given a profound ready backup, they would make the kill to prevent the distortion of the Indic spirit at the hand of mischief mongers. A stupendous synchronisation of efforts and energies resulting into a coherent resonance would defeat the dark designs of the offensive grand narrative aimed at engulfing Bharat into a perpetual cycle of chaos and confusion preventing the due ascendance of her billion plus populace.
Raghav Mittal (The writer is M.Tech from IIT Kharagpur)