All those Indians who consider themselves to be `liberal’ in their thinking are fooling themselves, according to writer Chetan Bhagat. In his column in the Times of India today under the title of `Anatomy of a Liberal’ he lists 15 distinct character traits of the Indian liberals. And if any of these characteristics seem alien, you are better off looking for another adjective to describe yourself.
1) You usually have no clue on what India should actually be like, whether on matters of economic policy or of secularism.
2) You never have solutions, so it is hard to put a finger on what you truly represent.
3) You exist, and operate in a predictable, herd-like manner despite claiming to be freethinking intellectuals.
4) You grew up with a certain amount of privilege compared to your peers. Your class privilege came not only in terms of money but also the level of English medium education you received and the world culture you were exposed to.
5) You were the kid in school who brought hotdogs in his tiffin when others didn’t even know what a hotdog was? You were the boy in class who had been to Disneyland, while others were waiting to go to Appu Ghar.
6) You had better connections, spoke superior English and could blend in well with the upper classes because of your cultural exposure. You were above the riff-raff which ensured you the best jobs, and more importantly, a higher stature in society.
7) You identified yourself with other privileged kids, and liked to stay in each other’s company.
8) You considered vernacular languages as a sign of lower class. You mocked someone speaking English with a local Gujarati or Bihari accent. When someone spoke English with an Italian or French accent you considered it exotic and romantic.
9) You see Hinduism as a backward religion followed by the lower classes. You created your own class and happily lived in that bubble.
10) After India progressed economically you felt insecure. You and your friends ganged up as one and re-branded yourselves as liberals.
11) You called yourselves secular, inclusive, tolerant and conveniently forgot how class conscious you are.
12) You claimed to save India from the Hindu invasion. You are quick to attack any Hindu fundamentalist trespass in the name of secularism. You never attack Islamic fundamentalists the same way.
13) You claim to be modern and fair, but you rarely speak out against Islamic diktats that militate against gender equality. Your discussions on Godhra riots never touch on how Islamic fundamentalists burnt trains with passengers inside.
14) Your agenda is not to be liberal. Your agenda is to look down on the classes that don’t have the global culture advantage.
15) If Prime Minister Modi and Amit Shah had gone to Doon School, or studied in college abroad, or at least spoke English with a refined world accent, your would have been kinder to them.