The Character of Leftist Language
CHAPTER 4 - The Character of Leftist Language
Ever since its inauguration in the opening years of this century, the language of Leftism has been the loudest in denouncing this or that imperialism. Quite often, it has imagined or invented an imperialism where none existed. This exercise has helped it to hide the fact that it itself is the latest language of imperialism.
Imperialism down the ages has evolved and employed a number of languages. The verbiage has varied according to differences of time and clime. But all languages of imperialism have shared certain characteristics in common. The language of Leftism passes this test quite creditably.
To start with, every language of imperialism invokes an inscrutable entity as its source and sanction. This entity reveals its final and irreversible will to an incomparable person. All pronouncements of this person are placed beyond the reach of human reason or experience. They have to be accepted on faith. Compared to faith, reason and experience are found to be faulty faculties. These faculties can fulfil themselves only if they follow and fortify faith.
Second, every language of imperialism divides human history into two sharply separated periods - an age of darkness which prevailed before the birth of the incomparable person, and an age of light which followed thereafter. The entire past history of every nation preceding the age of light is painted black so that nothing in which a nation can take pride is left unscathed.
Third, every language of imperialism divides mankind into two mutually exclusive camps – the believers who accept the dogmas propoundded by the incomparable person, and the unbelievers who doubt or reject those dogmas. The believers are placed under a categorical imperative to make war on the unbelievere till the latter are either converted or killed off. The believers do not have to be better human beings in terms of morality or character. It is sufficient if they have fervour and ferocity born of faith.
Fourth, every language of imperialism bands together all believers everywhere into a world brotherhood which cuts across all national bounds of geography, history and culture. As a corollary, every nuance of nationalism gets denounced as narrow and out of date. For all practical purposes, it is an invitation to every nation to renounce its independent identity and become a colony where the incomparable person was born or where his dogmas first acquired the backing of armed force. This dead uniformity into which nations are stream-rollered is hailed as universality.
Fifth, every language of imperialism propounds that the inscrutable entity has mandated the whole earth to the incomparable person who, in his turn, has bequeathed it to the brotherhood. So when the brotherhood or any section of it mounts an aggression, it automatically becomes a war of liberation. The brotherhood is only claiming what already belongs to it. Sixth, every language of imperialism lays down two inevitabilities – an inevitable victory of the believers, and an inevitable defeat of the unbelievers. The believers are told that the inscrutable entity is on their side and no power on earth can stop their onward march. The intention is to enthuse the believers so that they spare no effort and demoralise the unbelievers so that they surrender or offer only half-hearted resistance.
Seventh, every language of imperialism equips the believers with an immeasurable degree of self-righteousness. They are told that the lives, liberties, properties and honour of the unbelievers have already been forefeited by the inscrutable entity. The believers, therefore, commit no crime when they kill, enslave, plunder and humiliate the unbelievers. This gives a good conscience to the believers while they indulge in an endless spree of bloodshed and vandalism. In fact, their crimes become meritorious deeds.
Lastly, the unbelievers are accused of all sorts of crimes committed by them by the very fact of being what they are. In fact, the whole life-history of every unbeliever becomes a catalogue of crimes. The intention is to debar the unbelievers from any sympathy from any quarters. At the sme time, the crimes committed against them are explained away in terms of their own crimes.
In the lines that follow, I will present a panoramic view of those languages of imperialism which have invaded India, at one time or the other. Incidentally, the list is almost exhaustive. India has been plagued by every principal language of imperialism invented by human ingenuity so far.
Language of Islamic Imperialism
The language of Islamic imperialism was the first language of imperialism to invade India. Its standard-bearers were the Arab and the Turkish armies which came in successive waves from the middle of the 7th to the middle of the 18th century. It had proclaimed that
Allah had revealed his final and irreversible will to prophet Muhammad born in Mecca in 570 A.D. and buried in Medina in 632 A.D;
Human history before the prophethood of Muhammad was jahiliya (era of ignorance) and the light of truth dawned on earth only after that date;
That date divided mankind into momins (believers) and kafirs (unbelievers) and the momins should become mujahids (holy warriors) by making war on the kafirs;
All momins everywhere were members of the millat (brotherhood) which recognised no national frontiers or peculiarities of national culture;
Allah had mandated the entire earth, including Sind and Hind, to prophet Muhammad who, in his turn, had bequeathed it to the millat which had thus acquired an inalienable right to conquer Sind and Hind and cleanse them of kafir (infidelism);
The triumph of the millat was inevitable in Sind and Hind, as elsewhere and the mujahids should make all efforts to expedite that end;
Allah al-Rahman, al-Rahim (the Compassionate, the Merciful) had already forefeited the lives, liberties, properties and honour of hindu kafirs and the mijahids should kill the Hindus, capture their women and children, plunder their properties, demolish their temples desecrate their idols, burn their scriptures, humiliate their holy men and extirpate every vestige of their culture;
Hindu were kafirs wallowing in the sin of shirk (idolatory) and fully deserved the punishment meted out to them by the momins.
This is not the place to tell the story of Islamic imperialism in India – how Hindus refused to be impressed by Allah and his gibberish and how they waged a long-drawn-out war of resistance till the barbarians were brought to book. What is relevant in our present context is that although Hindus overcame Islamic imperialism, they failed to see through the language of that imperialism. Hindu masses continued to react with revulsion towards everything Islamic. But Hindu saints, scholars social reformers and scribes came to accept Islam as a religion as good as their own Sanatana Dharma. This self-deception is still working as a potent poison in whatever remains of India after more than thirteen hundred years of Islamic aggression.
Language of Christian Imperialism
The next language of imperialism to plague India was that of Christian imperialism. It first came to this country in the company of Portuguese pirates in the opening years of the 16th century. Some of these pirates were dressed as priests and friars and introduced themselves as missionaries of Jesus Christ. It was this latter tribe which trumpeted that
- The only True God had sent his Only Son, Jesus, to atone for the sins of all mankind by dying on the Cross in Jerusalem in 33 A.D.;
- Human history before the Crucifixion of Jesus was an era of darkness and the light of divinity descended on earth exactly on that date;
- Mankind became divided into Christians and heathens after the death of Jesus and the Christians were under a divine obligation to wage a constant crusade against the Heathens;
- All Christians everywhere were united in the Catholic Church, the holy Mother of Mankind, which recognised no national divisions or distinctions;
- The Only True God had mandated the entire earth including India to his Only Son who, in his turn had bequeathed it to the Catholic Church which had thus inherited an inalienable right to liberate India, as all other lands, from the horrors of Heathenism;
- The victory of the Catholic Church over India as elsewhere, was inevitable and Christian soldiers and missionaries should endeavour to expedite that end;
- The Only True God, in his infinite mercy, had forefeited the lives, liberties, properties and honour of the Gentoo (Hindu) heathers and the Catholic Church was authorised to demolish their temples, to smash their idols, to burn their scriptures, to persecute their priests, to close down their schools and seminaries, to prohibit their public celebrations, to sequester their movable and immovable possessions, to separate them from their children, to convert their women into concubines for Christian soldiers and priests, to exile those sections of their population which proved recalcitrant, and to massacre those who offered armed resistance;
- The Gentoo heathens had lived for long in the sin and shame of polytheism and pantheism and their crimes deserved drastic punishment.
This is not the place to narrate why conversions to Christianity remained confined to some small sections of Hindu society and how the bulk of that society repudiated the falsehoods retailed by the misionaries. What is relevant in the present context is that in spite of the warnings from a succession of Hindu sages - Maharshi Dayananda Bankim Chandra, Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo and Mahatma Gandhi - a section of the Endlish-educated Hindu elite became enamoured of Christianity and recognised it as a religion. That mistake has enabled Christian imperialism to continue making inroads onto Hindu society.
Language of Western Imperialism
The language of Western imperialism came to India as the language of British imperialism. But it was shared in common by the French, the Dutch, the Portuguese, the Belgians, the Italians the Germans and Russians who had enslaved many nations in Asia and Africa by force of superior arms. Essentially, it was the old language of Christian imperialism. But it was dressed up in a secular verbiage. Its tenets were as follows.
- March of human history had proved the cultural superiority of the white man and placed him in the vanguard of human progress;
- Human history before the 16th and 17th centuries was an age of barbarism, and an era of enlightenment had commenced since then;
- Mankind was divided into the civilised people of Europe on the one hand, and the savage races of asia and Africa on the other.
- The white race was a disticnt fraternity designated by history to dominate the whole world, including India;
- History had placed the people of India in charge of the white man from Britain who should bear the burden of his civilising mission without bothering about the negative attitudes of the natives.
- History was heading towards an inevitable triumph of the Western civilisation and the British should work towards that fulfilment in India;
- History had rendered out of date the political system, social order, economic organisation and cultural traditions of India, and the British should smash them be by force or reform them out of recognition without any hesitation.
- Hindus had lived for long in a medley of primitive superstitions and amply deserved whatever suffering the British civilising mission had imposed upon them.
This is not the place to tell how the British proceeded with their civilising mission in this country and what havoc they wrought in course of a hundred and fifty years. What is relevant in the present context is that althought the British Raj has departed, the language of British imperialsim has survived almost intact in the language of our present-day ruling class which has inherited the British mantle. India to them is a backward or underdeveloped or developing country which should look to the West for ideological inspiration as well as concrete models in all matters of major importance. This has reduced the Indian elite to brown apes of the West and the Indian people to a pack of handicapped children. The havoc which the language of British imperialism is still continuing to work in all spheres of Indian life belies description.
Language of Communist Imperialism
The language of Communist imperialism started trickling into India soon after the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia in November, 1917. Leading Western thinkers like Bertrand Russell have identified Communism as a Christian heresy. Small wonder that the language of Communist imperialism is the same as that of Christian imperialism, except for the Marxist trappings in which Lenin has disguised it. This becomes obvious when we contemplate its following features:
- Forces of Production, maturing in the womb of human history became self-conscious in Lenin and enabled him to snap the chain of world capitalism in Russia;
- Human history which had so far been a history of class oppression and class struggle now took a decisive turn towards a classless communist society;
- The whole world, including India, now became a battle ground between forces of capitalist reaction on the one hand and forces of proletarian revolution on the other;
- The proletariat in every country including India, became part of an international comraderie which had no use for nationalism in any shape or form;
- The Communist International, the vanguard of the world proletariat, had inherited the entire earth, including India, from the Forces of Production and it was its inalienable right to promote a proletarian revolution in every country;
- The victory of the International was inevitable and its Sections in different countries, including India, should endeavour to expedite that end;
- The existing political, social, cultural and economic institutions in India had been rendered outmoded by the Forces of Production and the Communist Party of India, a Section of the Communist International, should smash them so that the last vestiges of feudalism capitalism and colonialism were wiped out;
- The fedual lords and capitalists in India had conspired with British imperialism in order to keep the Indian people enslaved and they deserved to be destroyed together with their political party, the Indian National Congress.
This is not the place to tell how the Communist Party of India has functioned as a fifth-column of Soviet Russia for nearly sixty-seven years. What is relevant in the present context is that, although the Communist Party of India has failed to consolidate any substantial political base, the spread of the language of Communist imperialism has been phenomenal due to causes which we have described in a previous chapter. By now, this language has become the standard language of Leftism in india, whatever the names by which various Leftist parties and factions describe themselves.
What is still more significant, the language of Communist imperialism operates in close cooperation with the languages of Islamic, Christian and Western imperialism and has succeeded, for the time being, in driving away or putting on the defensive the language of Indian nationalism. This becomes crystal clear when we examine the history and role of the Leftist language ever since it invaded India in the early twenties of this century.