The Liberal’s New Guide to Engagement on Campus

Your correspondent is surely one of the people criticized in this article. Although he feels strongly about the subject, he concedes that he too is part of the process/ trend that he is going to complain about. He also felt challenged while being member of the PLPDG.

Nothing can be more corrosive and detrimental to the cause of free speech like that of the shrinking space of a diversity of opinions. Homogenization of opinions, fashions, politics etc ultimately results in larger costs for society. For example, the USA finds it extremely difficult to find moderate presidential candidates. The “most” Democrat is pitted against the “most” Republican in the presidential elections and the pitfalls are there for everyone to see. A moderate like Governor Romney found it extremely difficult to be nominated when pitted against hypocrites like Newt Gingrich. Ultimately the nation (not Arnab’s!) lost out in terms of reduced Republican mobilization against Obama.

Back to law school. If one goes around the campus (yes, the small pond we have got), we will find a vociferous political elite comprising mainly English speaking Congress supporters who detest anyone resembling the saffron camp without bothering to engage. The silent majority feel put off for not being “pro-Congress” or “pseudo-secular” (in their own words). (This is simply a sentiment that your correspondent noted without any empirical basis.)


The liberal opinion (in one’s not-so-humble opinion) is being “pseudo-secular”, albeit not for the first time. One fails to understand why liberals don’t embrace the same principles they seek to uphold. They ought to march forth with John Mill’s ideology and accept that the sine qua non of being a liberal is a militant belief in engagement with others who disagree. Liberals often make the mistake of engaging only with other liberals. For example, your correspondent (not that he declares himself to be a liberal) is also a victim of Insaaf ethnocentricity. He was once berating a colleague about the absence of a culture of engagement in terms of public policy; institutions like Harvard, Yale etc were built by public policy contributions with solid academic research and not countrywide expeditions on taxpayer money solving imaginary problems (better known as moots). Your correspondent did not realize that he was preaching to the choir.

Liberalism must keep the tenets of deliberation, moderation and cooperation close to itself if it wants to progress. This is particularly true now, when the liberals find themselves isolated due to the rise of the butcher of Godhra. They must strive to seek out the reluctant supporters of the same Hindu Hitler, but engage with humility instead of embarking on vituperative condemnation. This is the only weapon that the liberal intelligentsia has got in these dangerous times.

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