Welcome Rahul Roushan to HMP News! Pleasure to have you with us, and we thank you for giving your valuable time for this interview.
We have tried our best to keep questions short and sweet.
Even more pleasure!
Your main point is that India is witnessing demographic change at a rapid pace and that Hindus should become more aware about future challenges. What do we need to do in real life to address this issue (apart from outraging on Twitter)?
That’s not exactly my main point. My commentary covers, and on occasions deliberately not covers, various issues. However, demography is one of the truths and challenges I want people to be aware of. Truth, because I see people repeating the phrase that ‘India is 80% Hindu’, which is factually incorrect even if we take 2011 census data, where Hindus comprised less than 80% of Indian population. In a couple of years, we’ll have another census and this percentage will further dip. By the way, this is official data, and there is a belief that many who have converted, especially to Christianity, enumerate themselves as Hindus in government records so that they can continue to take benefits like reservations for SCs, for only Indic religions qualify for it. Therefore, the actual percentage is lower.
Furthermore, for all practical purposes, this percentage only reflects numerical strength of people who have Hindu names, and they don’t necessarily have a sense of belonging to the religion or culture. Not many actively opt to list themselves as ‘no religion’ or ‘others’. Thirdly, very aggressively in name of ‘alternative history’ and such, various narratives are being peddled, under effect of which you don’t only cease to feel a part of the Hindu society, but you actually start hating it and work to destroy it. This ranges from woke liberalism to acerbic Periyarism with many shades in between.
So the actual percentage of people who would assertively identify themselves as Hindu in cultural or religious sense will be far less. I will put it around 70% and I’m being optimistic.
However, the real challenge is not weakening numerical strength, but mainstreaming and acceptance of narratives where your mere existence is hated. And I’m not even talking about narratives or ideologies like Islamism, which is easier to identify, and post 9/11, their PR has sunk. But other insidious and hateful ideologies, which are no better than Islamism except that they have not yet raised armed groups – actually they have in form of Naxals – and which masquerade as voice of the voiceless. They have amazing PR and their bigotry has become institutionalized and intellectualized.
The subterfuge adopted by most of these ideologies is to try to brainwash you that everything Hindu is basically ‘Brahmin’. The attempt is to seed the idea, subconsciously, that Hinduism is basically an imperialist ‘impot’ of Brahmins and all non-Brahmins should get rid of it. The ‘Brahmanvaad se aazaadi’ is that war cry. This is why they latch on to any caste-based stuff, however illogical and stupid it might be, say, Hardik Patel. They have invented ‘Brahminism’ and camouflage their Hinduphobia that way. This is a huge challenge that not many realize. We are essentially looking at cultural genocide and far from battling it, we are enabling it.
While there is no doubt that caste-based inequalities and injustice are something Hindus can hardly be proud of, but don’t get guilt-tripped by this and buy every shit being dished out in name of criticism of ‘Brahminism’.
I’ll give just one thumb rule. Take any statement by so-called liberals and ‘intellectuals’ that has Brahmins or Brahminism in it. Replace ‘Brahmins’ with ‘Muslims’ and ‘Brahminism’ with ‘Islam’ – will the resultant statement be acceptable to that ‘liberal’ or will it be declared a bigotry or hate speech? Do what the ‘liberal’ would do in such cases 😉
So far as your question about what should we be doing about it apart from outraging – which actually I just might have suggested in the above paragraph as liberals at pro at outraging – the first thing to do is to be aware and read. Don’t necessarily read just tweets of likes of me, but read books. Books of Sita Ram Goel for example, which have been carefully hidden from you and maligned by the ‘ecosystem’. Honestly, even I have not read much, but when you read, you realize that you could have saved so much time reinventing the wheel. We are facing the same challenges since decades and we have done zilch about it. The first step is awareness.
When we try to create awareness among Hindus about the rising threat of Islam, narratives may peek in saying that we are alienating good Muslims in this process. What is your take on this?
Well, you may find it shocking coming from me because of my Twitter persona, but I don’t consider ‘Islam’ as the primary threat. I have just used your term, though I would qualify it as ‘political Islam’ which is the problem rather than the religion itself, to which someone like APJ Abdul Kalam or Bismillah Khan also belonged. I am hardly politically correct and I have even said that Islam in itself has some inherent problems. but still, the real challenges come from the more insidious narratives trying to destroy you from within, and not from Islam.
Consider an Islamist like a mad man throwing stones at your concrete house, while you have someone living inside your house who regularly paints that mad man as poor person who needs love and care, and who regularly sweet poisons your food in moderate amount to accelerate your death. For me, that person inside my house is the bigger threat. We are not yet so weak that the mad man is going to overrun us. Yet.
And yes, this issue of alienating ‘good Muslims’ is a tricky one. India indeed had a different version of Islam but a very radical version of Islam has been replacing it for some decades now. Even the educated ones among them find this version more attractive, say that Wire journalist who went all out saying Bharat Mata Ki Jai is communal. The educated among them actually appear even more radicalized. Obviously the ‘liberals’ pin it as if it’s all due to Babri, but truth is something else. This radical version of Islam has raised its head globally and we can not defeat it by talking sweet in politically correct language or worse, by sweeping the issue under the carpet of Babri.
The great ‘liberal’s themselves kept averring that down south, unlike in “cow-belt”, everything is hunky dory. Some of them are also now waking up to the fact how Kerala has far more burqa clad women now and the situation is changing. Radical Islamist outfits like PFI has grown and killed people for blasphemy. Guys have gone joined ISIS. Only recently a Tamil Nadu activist was killed by Islamic radicals. Many ‘liberals’ are so shameless that they will still blame it all on Babri and RSS, but the truth is that yes, there are some inherent problems with Islam, which forms the basis of Islamism. We need to be aware of it and talk about it without caring much about how it might hurt someone’s sentiments.
But I still have some old romance alive that Kalam’s or Bismillah Khan’s Islam can still exist and co-exist.
SwarajyaMag columnists are always restless that Modi’s term is ending, but he hasn’t done anything meaningful for Hindutva. Whereas Opindia columnists are more like ‘Keep calm & trust Modi’
This is all mahaul about Swarajya vs OpIndia. Give me data and then I will respond!
So far as my personal belief is concerned, yes, Modi government hasn’t done quite a lot for Hindutva policy wise, and that criticism is fair. So, you see, I actually might sound more like Swarajya here as per you! In fact, to shock you more, but temporarily, I would say that I don’t even believe in ‘Keep calm & trust Modi’.
I believe in “Run for your life & support Modi!”. He is the last hope. If 2019 is gone, a civilizational war will be lost. Not just a battle that comes every 5th year, the war will be lost.
a) Are you satisfied with what Modi has done in this regard?
You mean in term of strengthening Hindutva? Well, Hindutva itself has various aspects and there are various issues begging attention. A common criticism is that poison (the sweet poison that I talked about earlier) in education sector has not been removed and no major ‘detoxification’ (ironically Congress uses this term when they undo any steps taken by any previous BJP government) has happened, and yes, that’s unfortunately true.
However, I am not too worried about that because thanks to Congress rules since independence, our education is so fucked up that no education policy will work wonders so soon. Lol. They might write ‘secular’ shit in textbooks but not many are actually reading them! Students are just mugging it up to get good grades, not to get some ‘education’. Look at ourselves, we also grew up in the same education system but we could salvage ourselves, and this is where awareness becomes important. Nonetheless, this is no excuse for not being aggressive on the cultural issues in the education sector.
However, for any ideology to succeed, you first need to have the confidence that you are here for a long run. Murli Manohar Joshi took some steps in education sector under Vajpayee government and all was undone in 5 years. So winning elections matter. If you want a Hardik Pandya to hit sixes like crazy, he needs to have confidence and assurance that he won’t be dropped from the team if he fails once or worse, he will be kicked out of team because he said some shit on some chat show.
Hindutva supporters on social media need to realize that getting electoral muscle is very important. Look at ‘Gau Raksha sammelan’ and such things being organized by new Congress governments in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. There is now a growing sense that Hindutva projects can’t be treated as anathema as armchair ‘liberal’s want to do, and this is the biggest service BJP under Modi has done – being unapologetic about their beliefs. Policy wise not much might have been done, but politics wise, a lot has been done. One more term to Modi, and things will change even more.
b) Do you think Swarajyamag & Opindia are complementing well in this regard?
I don’t think I understand the question. We are two independent organizations but share many common beliefs and ideals. There are no pre-planned roles for either of the organizations and we don’t strategize jointly. How we are fitting – in course of our operations, not as part of some grand plan designed by someone – into overall scheme of things is for the readers to decide and give feedback. I’ll be blunt and say that not all of them could be implemented as at the end of the day there is a real business to run and that becomes the primary concern. As individuals of course, different people have different priorities. Say for me, as an individual, I try my best to make sure I contribute to the ideological battle. Many others do too.
As per our information, unlike Left/Congress, BJP doesn’t fund any pro-RW/nationalist news portals. What’s your comment on this?
Apart from National Herald, Congress has not ‘officially’ funded any portals. Their leaders in individual capacities have invested in likes of Tehelka, NDTV, that Marathi media org where that guy Nikhil Wagle worked, and so on and so forth. Latest example obviously is of Kapil Sibal backed TV channel where Barkha Dutt has a show. Nothing stops BJP leaders from similarly supporting any organization they like and I’m sure some are doing it too. Yes, the scale would be hugely imbalanced for sure with quantum of support available to the ‘other side’ vs ‘our side’.
What RW however needs to realize is that it’s not a party’s sole responsibility to create such an ‘ecosystem’. When we talk about Congress ecosystem, it is important to realize that it is not that they created it after independence, they inherited it. The ecosystem was already structured and nurtured by the British. It’s a very rich – figuratively and literally – ecosystem, and one needs to learn the ‘best practices’ it adopts.
So, yes, the party needs to observe and learn from how the Congress supports the ecosystem. And the ‘RW’ also needs to observe and learn. It will be foolish to think that all of those on the other side are surviving on Congress money. Just like very stupid journalist thinks every pro-BJP or pro-Hindutva twitter account is part of BJP IT cell, we shouldn’t similarly think that everyone is getting money from Congress. That’s not an ecosystem actually, that’s a syndicate.
You need an ecosystem. You need to support each other and be accommodative. And I think people have started realizing it, especially the former one. I was never bullish when people used to tell me to accept payments from common public on OpIndia. But people have been supporting us since we launched voluntary payments a few weeks back. The quantum is decent, even though it doesn’t meet our expenses big way, but at least there is a beginning.
We are curious to know your hobbies, favourite past time.
Favorite pastime is doing nothing with some good music on. Hobby is stamp collection. No, obviously not. Hobbies include many things like randomly reading on some issues and trends, travel (this one I picked up after marriage), and watching absolutely useless movies like Tarzan The Wonder Car.
Which is more closer to your heart – Opindia or Faking News?
Right now, my t-shirt.