It is interesting to think about how human beings impact the world, not just in the present, but as a continuous process through the ages. Our species’ ability to cognitively think and ensure the continuity of new thought processes has resulted in a situation that is unprecedented and unparalleled in the animal kingdom. No other animal is capable of fully building upon, let alone concretely transmit acquired knowledge, and that has set us apart.
Remembering this makes a world of difference when it comes to thinking of political events. As much as we like to dismiss political gimmicks and actions as ideology less power-grabbing acts, the truth is that each human being, either consciously or subconsciously driven by a chosen ideology which may or may not be unique. Perhaps that’s why, it becomes of paramount importance to study the socio-cultural influence of the prevalent ideologies and the personalities that inspired them. Ironically, our ability to listen to the other side and the meticulous efforts required in processing information is what drives us apart constantly, because absolutely no one feels it worth their while to neutrally understand a different opinion, as most choose to revert to the defensive human stance of abject criticism.
Reading this book did not change my opinion or stance towards Hindutva or Right wing politics in general. But it definitely did give me crucial insights into a thought process that I demonise and vociferously oppose.
Why does it matter? Largely, and broadly, it doesn’t. But on a micro-level, it does matter vastly. The only way to fix something is to understand the underlying issue and/or the cause of emergence of a grievance if any. I wouldn’t want to take further sides, but simply say that perhaps an ideology might be harmful and incorrect, it’s raison-d’être rarely is, and must be understood to work towards reconciliation of reactionary society politics.