Wednesday, 18 May 2016

On The Uncivil Totalitarian Ideas Of ‘The Civil Society’

Children of Road Workers
Arundhati Roy, a Civil Society socialite, has written an article in which the phrase ‘Gandhians with guns’ is used in context of the Naxalites. She uses the term ‘Gandhians’ for them despite the fact that thousands of Indians have lost their lives in Naxalite related violence during the last 20 years. The Naxalites are responsible not only for the wanton destruction of life and property, but also for hindering development activity in the areas that they control.

The Civil Society pulpit, from which the likes of Arundhati Roy pontificate, is like an Orwellian Animal Farm, where everyone is supposedly equal but the totalitarian left is more equal than the others. The Civil Society intellectuals claim that they want people to live in peace and harmony, yet they provide intellectual, moral and political support to the Naxalite groups, whose political goal is to establish a Maoist-style communist dictatorship in the country.

The paradox about Civil Society intellectuals is that their ideas have seldom helped the marginalized people on whose behalf they claim to be working:

1) Civil Society activists claim that they provide financial support to needy people, but many of these activists are guilty of financial improprieties. Teesta Setalvad, who is often described as a Civil Society member, has allegedly misused the funds that her nongovernmental organization (NGO) collected for providing relief to the Gujarat riot victims. Another high-profile NGO, Greenpeace India, has been accused by the government of violating the rules of foreign funding and withholding information on transactions.

2) Civil Society activists claim that their ideas are based on scientific evidence, but they use pseudoscientific agitprop to oppose genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Vandana Shiva, an environmental activist, leads several NGOs that are engaged in protesting against GMOs like Bt cotton, although Bt cotton is resistant to bollworm and leads to a dramatically increased cotton yield. Many developed countries have been using Bt cotton for decades without any adverse effect. But Vandana Shiva claims that growing Bt cotton in India will lead to genocide. Due to her efforts, Indian farmers were banned from using Bt cotton seeds for many years.

3) Civil Society activists claim that they favor development, but they try to scuttle every major infrastructure project. Megha Patekar, the star Civll Society activist, is chief of the NGO called Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), which is famous for organizing vitriolic campaigns against the Sardar Sarovar Dam project. Started in 1979 with the idea of increasing water availability to drought-prone areas, improving irrigation and producing hydroelectricity for millions of people, the Sardar Sarovar Dam project continues to be held up. Arundhati Roy was associated with the NBA in the past. She has written several emotional articles, which make use of distorted data, to show that the Sardar Sarovar Dam is bad for the environment and the people.

4) Civil Society activists claim that they are the liberal voice of India. They claim to represent the interests of the poor. However, you will never find landless laborers or displaced people participating in Civil Society deliberations. Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi says that some of the NGOs are working for the Naxalites and spreading intellectual pollution in the country. He accuses the NGOs of showing no concern for the village poor in whose name they collect millions in donations.

An important aspect of the rise of Civil Society activism in India is the proliferation of NGOs. According to a survey done by the Central Bureau of Investigation, India has around 3.1 million NGOs, which means that there is one NGO for every 600 Indians. The number of NGOs in the country is many times the number of primary schools and primary health centers. NGO leaders are part of the Civil Society bandwagon, which also includes human rights activists, academics, high-profile journalists, celebrities and representatives of left-leaning think tanks.

The Civil Society is a coalition of the totalitarian left. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, many leftist intellectuals realized that communism was now thoroughly discredited and a communist regime may never come to power in most countries. To retain their grip on power, the communists developed the idea of the Civil Society. They claimed that it would serve as the public space between the state, the market and the ordinary household, in which people could debate and develop ideas for action.

The Civil Society is a collectivist concept. Its sole purpose is to transfer power from individuals and businessmen to intellectuals and certain leftist groups. Civil Society intellectuals have no direct stake in the government or the markets, so they can’t be blamed when the implementation of their ideas results in devastating consequences for millions of people. These intellectuals enjoy power without responsibility.

If you are in favor of modernity, urbanization, better law and order, industrial development and free markets, the elites of the Civil Society will dub you barbarian, despotic and premodern. They believe that they are smarter than others. They believe that their left-wing ideology makes them equipped to reach the truth. Even though they are far less rational than the average man on the street, they have a high opinion of their intellectualism.

The leftist intellectuals who have branded themselves as the Civil Society dwell in a make-believe world. They portray themselves as well meaning idealists, but in reality they are the agents of irrationalism, totalitarianism, disinformation, poverty, hopelessness and violence. The flaws in their ideas do not get exposed because powerful interests in the mainstream media and academia are part of the Civil Society setup. But now there are indications that the Civil Society’s monopoly on intellectual discourse in the country may be ending.

With the rise of social media platforms and web-based publishing, India’s intellectual center of gravity is shifting away from the mainstream media and academia. On the Internet, there is now a lot of support for free markets and industrial development. Many Indians have now begun to understand that millions of people in the country will remain trapped in poverty if we do not reject Civil Society intellectuals, whose bread and butter comes from propagating false ideas, opposing development and supporting terror groups such as the Naxalites.

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