By Dr Irfan Ahmad
In a stunning new academic work, Dr Irfan Ahmad of IRPS, Australian Catholic University Melbourne, Australia, engages in a conversation with a private security guard, Dharmendra Panchal. The conversation serves as a window to understand contemporary India from the perspective of an “ordinary” or “common” man, an ardent and articulate supporter of the current ruling party and its worldview. At the centre of this conversation is the salience of Hinduism in politics, not only at the national level but also internationally.
Addressing such issues as the visibility and assertion of Dalits(ex-untouchables) in the public realms, inter-caste and inter-religious marriages prostitution, development, technology, corruption, terrorism, the notions and practices of war, the United Nations and the current world order, in this conversation Panchal describes his worldview according to which the current dark time of Kaliyug marked as it is by untruth (adharma) is about to end. The advent of Kalkī , future avatar of god Vishnu, will end the present Kaliyuga and herald the age of truth (Satya Yuga) which Panchal saw actualized well in his own lifetime.
The new age of truth led by Hindus will establish a righteous and prosperous order at domestic as well as at the world level. Panchal skilfully connects the Hindu metaphysical postulates to the empirical world of politics to present a description and narrative that invite analytical attention.