For those who may have missed our last issue, here is a podcast of the main introduction of that issue, that discusses how those who try to conquer a society or a civilization use obnoxiousness as a weapon along with violence. There is a need to counter it for preserving what is worth passing on to our next generation.
When the first Christian century - the 5th century AD - began, the Church, which had hitherto played the role of insurgency was now bringing its agenda center stage. A society which would ‘render unto Caesar what was Caesar’s and to God what was Gods’, was now challenged. As Catherine Nixey writes in her seminal book “The Darkening Age,” Augustine asked people to revolt against the Roman law if it violated that of God - “to dissent and to become obnoxious to those who think differently,” was his call.
It wasn’t just enough to dissent. But to be obnoxious to those who think differently.
A revolt that is structured to take over a society cannot be complete unless it makes being obnoxious and abusive a legitimate expression against the incumbent social norms, beliefs, and customs.
When CPI(M) members hacked Pranab and Malay Kumar Sain in 1970 and forced their mother to eat rice smeared in her sons’ blood, the Communists were legitimizing hatred, abuse, and obnoxious ways against those who did not agree with them.
Yet, the state of Bengal tolerated these cadres and handed them the reigns of the state to lead it to its ruin.
For any civil society, and more so a civilization to survive and thrive, it is as critical to have intellectual guards as armed forces for security. For, Communism and Naxalism which was funded by India’s enemies should have been defeated at the very cradle of its birth through a strong and powerful intellectual challenge. Obnoxiousness should have been met by an equally potent force of intellectual dismission and physical challenge on the streets, where the whole play of murder was being unleashed.
That slumber. That self-loathing, self-delusional, and masochistic cynicism has become our national character now. The fight is now within if something useful has to be passed on to the coming generations.
Here is the link to the full issue: Issue #212 - Rule of the Obnoxious
Share this podcast with your friends, specifically in Bengal.