What is tolerance? What is neo-colonialism? These terms need not be re-defined here as a lot of literature already exists on the subject. Interested people can use the available literature to better appreciate the emerging challenges. Direct military takeover (Imperialism), political takeover ( hegemony), economic takeover (market globalization), and religious takeover (conversions by force or inducement) are part of human history by now. Almost every country has experienced one or more of these. What has not been understood, appreciated, critiqued and assessed is the new form of imperialism that has almost captured the whole world. It is cultural takeover (writers, poets, critics, dramatists, film producers, journalists and all media formats). Its potent bomb is a simple word: tolerance.
For those who have ignored the implication of the word “tolerance”, it is advisable to survey the literature generated in the last 5 years on the subject. Such tolerance helps establish a new kind of imperialism. The rhetoric is liberal but the goals are hard. The new imperialism uses the soft power instead of hard power. Taking over a country culturally is cheap, profitable and sustainable. It does not require physical presence of the colonizer or pumping capital. All that needs to be done is to establish the superiority of the colonial power’s writers, poets, journalists, judges, thinkers, scientists, technologists and professors, and drill inferiority in the minds of these elite in the target country. Everything from nationalism to beliefs, values, traditions, customs, thoughts are portrayed as inferior. It is carried out in such a smooth and smart manner that the target peoples don’t even become aware of it till lapse of considerable time, by which the colonial power is already securely established. It is now a test bed. It has already won the loyalty of the large numbers of the practitioners of the culture of the target country, who have become too loyal to break ranks with them. The colonial power is in a position to directly interfere in the elections, government formation and functioning now to subserve its own interests through the media, films, political supporters and market manipulators. They need not invade a country militarily. It is enough to invade them culturally.
It is being tested on a very large scale in India, because the stakes are very high in this large market for everything from hard to soft products and processes. Whatever is being orchestrated in the name of tolerance in India since the Obama visit to New Delhi in January 2015, is now a full blast campaign for tolerance. President Obama dropped the third American atomic bomb in New Delhi without the government or the people being alert to its fatal consequences. The charade of returning the Sahitya Akademy awards by Indian writers and civilian awards by others just at the start of the Assembly election in Bihar is evidence of direct interference in political affairs beyond mere hegemony through highly skilled manipulations of these awardees.
We have no moral right to question the moves other intelligent people or nations make. We too can emulate them. Cultural wars in the 21st century will not be bloody wars. These wars are left to the Jehadists by intelligent design. If the majority of the world remains engaged in armed conflicts between the terrorists and their opponents, it only serves the interests of the colonial powers additionally. The gap between the jehadi and the culture superpower is as wide as between the 9th century and the 21st century. In the contemporary times, technology will rule the roost. It has the power to capture the whole world and rule through remote control. People capable of enjoying political humour have enjoyed the unexpected events in the last 15 months in India. India the original sponsor of the NAM (Non Aligned Movement) had high aspirations as a member of the comity of nations, which was not liked by the NATO Block of nations. The last one decade (2004-2014) saw a very weak India. It was established that the Indian people are tolerant to covert invasions through sabotage of the constitutional form of government without as much as a murmur. The lawful government (de jure) was headed by Dr. Man Mohan Singh as Prime Minister, but the unlawful government (de facto) was run by an outsider (one not a member of the Council of Ministers) under a dubious mechanism of NAC (National Advisory Council). When the elections to the parliament of India were announced in 2014, the cultural colonizers had let out their full force against Narendra Modi and his party, using all print & television journalists, and others, many of whom are those who have been commanded to return the awards now in a show against “growing intolerance” even though there is none. The masses, decried as illiterate, backward and poor, saw the dirty game and defeated the Congress party decisively and mandated Narendra Modi to form the government. Those who enjoy political humour enjoyed that turn of events but others have been sulking since then. So, they took their revenge in the Delhi Assembly elections in February this year by voting a baby of a political party to power whose chief himself termed it a “scaring” majority of 67/70. That was humour No. 2. Now it is humour No. 3- this charade by awardees returning the awards. There is no provision for return- one should refuse to accept it if not liked. That kind of action presumes a moral act. When politics helped them wangle the award earlier, politics spurs them now to return it too.
But that is a minor point; the big thing is the atom bomb called “tolerance”. It will be used to needle, bleed and stain the image of the government, especially the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. The powers that be must have come to the conclusion that Narendra Modi needs to be dislodged before he becomes the darling of the people. He has already implemented several people oriented schemes like the Jan Dhan Yojana, Gas Subsidy and Insurance. He is out to make an immoral (corrupt) system morally strong. A cultural colonizer sees his biggest hurdle in such a leader and people. He succeeds only when the masses consider everyone corrupt or immoral as they viewed them before Narendra Modi re-established the moral values in public life. Establishing its moral superiority over the target and driving a sense of inferiority in it about its own moral standards is the sine qua non of such colonization mission. It needs a veil to hide its true colours. What can be a better tool than denigrating a society as “intolerant” and demand of it “tolerance”? That brings us to the beauty of the English language- in fact, the power of the American English.
America has already colonized the world: computers, Face Book, Google,Internet, World Wide Web, Apps, smart phones and a number of other tools have brought the users the world over under American Technological Hegemony. There is no doubt about it and there is no substitute for it. The world will stop the moment these power tools are down. And America knows every single detail about its users. Has the world witnessed this level of colonization earlier? What facilitates this colonization is equally interesting: it is the American English. My computer not only confuses me repeatedly but keeps on harassing me until I use the American English, not only spelling but meaning. The meaning part I accept because it is undoubtedly the better one, the spelling only partly. The British get the credit for teaching the world the English language, derided by the British themselves till Churchill imparted it some amount of self respect and lifted its status. It has helped the Americans better than any other peoples. So, America today is in direct communication with the users, bypassing national sovereignty and carries on business as it desires. The sheer power of its cultural assets is enough to overawe any country, short on culture or Dollars. Indians from the scientific and technology streams have long been employed on American jobs and assignments. The culture wing was embraced by the Americans slightly late because of the writers’ pretensions of progressivism (communism/ leftism) and overt anti-American writings and speeches. Television exposed the soft belly of the Indian writers soon and America just grabbed them by offering exchange visits, literary festivals, publication & sale of their books, conferences, seminars and other lollipops. Who will refuse to visit America on a fellowship? Even Narendra Modi visited America at the first available opportunity after becoming Prime Minister, as the chorus of same intellectuals had been petitioning in writing the American Establishment not to grant Modi a visa to visit America! The man has proved himself smarter than everyone in the rival camp; they are stumped, so to say. But weapons are out. This time the shots are being fired from the shoulders of the writers, who are blissfully ignorant that tolerance is not a simple word but a charm bomb! It is a Vashikaran Mantra of immense power!
The situation is dangerously complex. The success or failure of the attempts at cultural colonization of India would depend on how the heirs of the Indian culture behave. As of now, they have given proof of their terrible ignorance and lack of understanding of complex issues of the contemporary Post Neo-Colonialism. They are lost in hatred, their language is soaked in hatred, their actions are ill advised, their arrogance is too offending, their egos are too inflated, their vision of the world cultural scenario is extremely narrow, their capacity to absorb new ideas inhibited, their capacity for exchange of ideas very low, their skills in listening to others limited and their morals abysmally deplorable. They have proved themselves a liability to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They refuse to grow. They could have grown had they walked with Modi. On the contrary, they want to drag Modi to their stalled walk. Is it not a matter of great concern that India has so far not appointed a stalwart to the office of the minister for culture? Only insignificant persons have so far been appointed as minister and secretary culture!
Will the Indian intelligentsia rise to the occasion? Will the elite Indians ponder over this creeping cultural colonialism. Today Zukerberg can control governments from America. He represents the power of technology. Go farther and assess the situation in a really smart world, operating from above in the sky, where all traffic is one way. Be smart or the tolerance bomb will put to hypnosis all- writers and readers for ever.