I am trying to identify certain patterns/symptoms that I have observed while I have debated Regressive Left Liberals. In the last few years of my life while I have been active on Facebook and Twitter I have seen a very interesting pattern that emerges when someone tries to debate a Regressive Left Liberal. I have to clarify one thing, though. The term “Regressive Left Liberal” used by me is referred to a certain group of people you find on social media who associate with a certain set of regressive values and are usually supporters of AAP and Congress. I am not trying to brand all the supporters of AAP or Congress in this category as I personally know some of them to be very reasonable. But for lack of appropriate words available, I am sticking to this generalized category. In fact, if someone spent time with me and started taking my views on a variety of issues they would probably end up branding me as a “liberal” too:-) (Although I personally call myself Dharmic and reject the liberal tag completely).
1. The Regressive Left Liberals do not accept an article unless and until it is not from what they perceive is “Main Stream Media”. So the newspaper report has to be from NDTV, Times of India, India Today Group etc. If you share a report from a blogger who has painstakingly tried to assess the facts and report them they will dismiss it as insufficient proof. If you share an article from Swarajya, OpIndia or MyInd Makers they will dismiss them as right-wing mouthpieces.
2. If you somehow end up sharing an article from what the Regressive Left Liberals perceive as Main Stream Media that is still not good enough!! Because in their world no proof is enough if that proof does not support their line of thought.
3. Regressive Left Liberals will always try to digress from the topic of discussion. For eg. If you share an article over something being misreported about the RSS in the media they will not counter you with the facts pertaining to that article. Instead, they will share another article about RSS which has nothing to do with what you have shared on your wall. That way they do not have to debate the facts of that article which does not suit their agenda.
4. If you refuse to fall into their trap set in point 3 they will start using words like “Fascist” “Bigot” “Nazi” “Communal” “Sanghi” “Bhakt” to divert the issue. By labeling you via ad hominems they again try to gain the moral high ground. They don’t like to debate on issues because then they might lose.The standard Regressive Left Liberal strategy is ” If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance you baffle them with bullshit “.
5. Regressive Left Liberals suffer from a superiority complex. They are like those school bullies who don’t like to be questioned back. They have somehow convinced themselves cognitively that they hold superior values in comparison to everyone else. They are extremely intolerant towards ideas/individuals that challenge them and try to show them an alternative line of thought. On the one hand, they claim to be open minded and accommodating but they find the idea of dissent very disturbing. You cannot disagree with a Regressive Left Liberal. Most of the times the attitude is more along the lines of how dare you disagree with me!!!!!
6. Regressive Left Liberals do not understand the difference between critiquing ideas vs critiquing individuals especially when it comes to Abrahamic religions. For eg. If you criticize a tenet of Islam or Christianity, you will be branded as someone who hates Muslims and Christians.
7. Regressive Left Liberals in India are experts in compartmentalizing everything into different groups/sets. Post the compartmentalization they then set out to frame a victim hierarchy. Each victim is not equally important in the world of a Regressive Left Liberal. So if a poor Muslim man gets lynched in a village in India it is a travesty of justice and is a highly condemnable act. But say if a poor Brahmin goes through the same act it will not be newsworthy/outrage worthy. Also, there is the classical strategy of flipping identities of the group/set. So if a Muslim is attacked by a group of Dalits it will be reported as Muslims attacked by Hindus. At that time in their table of victim hierarchy, the Muslim is the most important one. But if it is a Dalit attacked by another caste it becomes a completely different scenario. At that time, the Dalit goes up in the table of the victim hierarchy. You will never see a Regressive Left Liberal equally condemning all acts of violence. But at the same time, Regressive Left Liberals will go on criticizing each and every aspect of Hinduism. If you question them on their “Selective Amnesia” they will accuse you of “Whataboutery”.
Now how do we counter these Regressive Left Liberals? I have been thinking about this for a very long time.
How to deal with the symptom raised in Point No 1.
If someone refuses to accept your blogs/articles as sufficient proof then you ask them their reasons. If they say XYZ is a mouthpiece of a political party you ask them to prove that these portals are mouthpieces of that political outfit. Also, ask them even if some portal is a “so called mouthpiece” of a political party how does that matter? Say if an article on this “so called mouthpiece” suggests gravity exists will the Regressive Left Liberal reject gravity because this “so called mouthpiece” says gravity exists? If they still deny that articles credibility then you use the same line of defense with the article they have shared. Tell them why should I believe anything that NDTV, Times of India, India Today Group etc say? Just because something is in circulation for x number of years one should blindly believe whatever comes out of those news portals? And how are these news portals not mouth pieces of a political outfit? To make your point stronger use this wonderful data bank provided by OpIndia http://www.opindia.com/tag/media-lies-lists/ . If they still don’t believe you stop wasting you’re time. You will probably need a drink or two at the end of it all:-)
How to deal with the symptom raised in Point No 2.
There is no way if you ask me. Only a moron and a completely delusion human being will use this line of argument.
How to deal with the symptom raised in Point No 3.
If someone tries to digress from the topic of discussion do not let them get away with it. Point it out to them in a civilized manner that what they are trying to do will not work with you. If they still persist with this line of action tell them you are more than willing to discuss that topic with them in another thread. But don’t let your thread where you have shared a specific article get hijacked. Play the game on the terms set by you and not of the opposing side.
How to deal with the symptom raised in Point No 4.
If someone starts labeling you with terms like “Fascist” “Bigot” “Nazi” “Communal” “Sanghi” “Bhakt” etc stop engaging with them. Tell them to get rid of the ad hominems while they debate and if they still persist simply block them. I know many people get tempted to counter back with terms like “Libtard” “Aaptard” “Khangressi” etc. I personally feel that it is a waste of time and energy. I’d rather have a healthy meaningful debate with someone then get into a mudslinging contest.
How to deal with the symptom raised in Point No 5.
The only way to deal with someone with a Superiority Complex is to show them they are not that special. Make them realize that what they have is a just a proposition/idea/opinion and, like all other propositions/ideas/opinions theirs are equally open to be questioned. I personally always use the line “Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one and your opinions are very stinky :-)”.
How to deal with the symptom raised in Point No 6.
This is something that people who constantly criticize organized religions have to face a lot. Whenever someone accuses you of hating Muslims or Christians you should counter them with this question. When people criticize Marxism or Hindutva should I assume that the person who is criticizing these ideas dislikes all Marxists and Hindutvavadis? Follow it up by explaining to them how one has to learn to distinguish between ideas and people. There might be billions of Muslims/Christians that are peaceful but that does not mean that Islam/Christianity are peaceful doctrinally. Because not everyone amongst those billions has a. Read their holy books completely or partially, b. Even if they have read them they don’t take them very seriously. But that does not mean those books don’t have violent verses. The day people realize that religious books were not the word of God but were the word of some men who wrote things according to their personal moral compass we will stop having this problem. Also, this argument that there are millions or billions of people who follow x or y thought in a certain way and that directly means x or y thought is good is ridiculous. There were millions who believed the earth was flat at one point in time. But scientific discovery proved those millions wrong. Each idea deserves to be scrutinized at its core level.
How to deal with the symptom raised in Point No 7.
Every time Regressive Left Liberals go about setting a victim hierarchy and picking and choosing the victim they feel sad for reminding them of this horrible act. Don’t shy away from pointing it out to them that they are bigots of the highest order. I personally accuse the Regressive Left Liberals of India of trying to score brownie points over deaths of innocent people. I recommend each and every person to call out this atrocious act of theirs. Do not let them get away with this intellectual fraud.
Through this blog, I have tried to identify a few traits/symptoms of The Regressive Left Liberals of India. My answers to the symptoms I have shared above are based on my expertise and experiences. I don’t claim to be the final authority on this. What I expect from people who read this blog is that they will take these ideas up and refine them further and add more aspects to it. All we need is perseverance and tenacity. This is a battle of ideas and we will win it eventually. You might ask me who is “We”. “We” for me is each and every person who is one the side of Dharma. It is each and every person who values basic human life. It is each and every person who does not look at everything through the prism of an ism. It is each and every person who believes in a united India.