Wednesday, August 20, 2014

On mutually shared hatreds

An observation, an duh a personal one, based on meeting various people over the past half year:

Everyone who has a deep-seated hatred for Muslims, also hates AAP and Arvind Kejriwal.
And the reasons they quote for their hatred of both come across as equally half-baked.

By hate, I mean, like, really hate, as in the "I would rather hand over my country to criminals and murderers and rapists and corrupts and fanatics and crony capitalists than give an iota of support to this bloody Kejriwal and his good for nothing AAP" kinds.

So the same deep-seated and ill-informed hatred : the one where no amount of logical reasoning can work... seems to have been xerox copied.. it was for Muslims and now it's for Kejriwal too.

Oh, and in addition to that, everyone I've met who has an upper-caste / lower-caste attitude, who doesn't think of Dalits and the like as equal human beings, also hates AAP and Arvind Kejriwal fervently.

Also, on a third level, I've seen that everyone who thinks of lower castes as sub-human, also hates Muslims. Figures right? In your own religion if you can't stand some flavours, there's very little chance then of being cool with other religions!

And then, everyone who seriously hates Gandhi, particularly blames him for Pakistan going away and for not sharing the debt with the newly created country, blames him for the Partition riots and a whole load of things.. hates AAP too. Not so much as the above, but yeah.

The level of modern education of the person, only seems to make them more and more hateful of who they were already hating. You'll get to meet people working at top managerial levels in corporates, holding high academic posts, who are proud of their qualifications and show them as proof that they are not subject to any irrational hatreds. And then they hate AAP or Muslims or Dalits or Gandhi or Pakistanis or all or some combination. And they use their high-end academic backgrounds as proof that see, since I am certified to not be an irrational person, hence what I believe must be true.

Among a few Modi supporters, I get a strong feeling that if Arvind Kejriwal had never existed on this planet, then they would not have been supporting Modi so strongly. Maybe they would be more questioning, less loyalistic, less blindly accepting and chorusing.

Does this apply conversely too? Had Modi never existed, would many AAP supporters support them so strongly? I think that holds true for many. This needs some introspection.

This comes in parallel to the general observation about religions that if it weren't for the perceived threat of other religions, some people would not have been identifying themselves so strongly, so fervently with their own religion. A Hindu might have been more open-minded, more questioning of the less noble aspects of his own fraternity if he wasn't so busy hating Muslims.

For that matter, that even applies to nationalism. If Pakistan had never existed, a lot of Indians might have been a little bit more questioning of the glaring human rights and environmental violations of India's own successive governing regimes. But hey, Pakistan is the enemy so let's all blindly support whatever our guys are doing.

Overall, I would say, hatred, especially the kind where you stop treating the targets of your hatred as human beings, has a blinding effect. It disables you from seeing the glaring flaws of the people, institutions and governments you're supporting just because they're against the ones you hate. The physical effect of hate : the near-closing of the eyelids : seems to have an accompanying similar effect on the brain as well : you will simply not notice the other guys when they screw you over because your mind's eye is focusing only on what you hate and neglecting everything else that might really harm you.

Coming back to the starting topic, please note that the converse is not true. Everyone who hates AAP and Arvind Kejriwal, doesn't necessarily hate Muslims, Dalits or Gandhi or Pakistanis. There are genuine failings and drawbacks of AAP of course.

But if there's ever a conference of AAP-haters and these guys meet their peers, they will find themselves in some seriously scary company.

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