We are not disposed to identify with liberal causes. The imagined portraits of a liberal society may often inspire sudden bouts of inclusiveness. Mumbai is for all Indians, New Jersey is for all Americans, Madras is for all Amits, the views expressed in this post is for all liberals and Rajan Zed's statements are from all Indians and so on. Delusions of universal citizenship and a "global community" do not start or end here.
Upon this premise of tolerance in all contexts and places rests a presumed neutrality; the urge to place all cultural blemishes on an equal footing. A statement like "A citizen of Riyadh gouged the eyes of a cabbie who dared to look at his fifth wife. This is barbarous" needs to tempered with "just like the villagers in the Chambal forest ostracizing a widow for sleeping with her brother in law." While a logical man may baulk at equating Math errors in Rutherford's atomic model to the'thappu kanakku' put by Mannangatti when he placed his hand on the hips of inspector Sengootuvan's wife - a liberal, who thinks neutrality is everything, such equations are axioms. Such self-assumed global citizens also have the propensity to hunt for causes and third party outrage. Result: A presumably straight man in Bombay gets wet dreams about Chuck and Larry in Dublin.
And there is more.
Consider fictitious liberal - a Mylapore "cross-belt"/desi export to the New World who tend to do the below, while keeping in mind that truth is more annoying than fiction:
This liberal tosses the unfashionable Thiru Mangalyam into a cupboard. Exchanging rings are suddenly a tradition, a must and very cool because the anything from the west is cool (P. Vasu is remaking Chinna Thambi where Prabhu unknowingly slides a ring up Ghusboo's finger). They Insist that golu is too 'desi' or for 'conservatives' and act all environmental about 'Deepavali' (wonder incredulously as to why child laborers aren't forced into spelling bee or "Sun TV dance shows" instead. After all survival is so over-rated.). When they visit the temple, they aresure to apologize for it: "The Food there is good, you know". Whatever they do they will never wish "Happy Pongal' to the Thamizhan in the next cubicle. But they will croak "Happy Holidays" and celebrate "the Christmas spirit." In order to get laid they will make asinine claims such as "honesty is God" (the inevtiable conclusion from that is - Krishna and Christ were moonangilass arai-drowser buddies), and visit the neighborhood church on New Years. The ones featured in Dan Brown's novels are in their "10 places to visit before the visa expires" list and photos of solitary birds on big Churches find their way into Flickr stream). When they do get married to "spiritual but not religious (or) traditional with modern outlook and broad-minded" partner they will buy holiday trees and Santa-gifts for their children while protecting them from a shocking secret about Santa : He is not real. Like it were some Thangamalai ragasiyam. The non cross-belt liberal go a little bit more to ape the west by abandoning "amma/appa" for "mummi thittum" and "enga daddy'kku karuvaadu'na romba ishtam..".
Naturally, an illiberal organization like the Shiv Sena appeals to us. My Name is Khan is funded by Javed Miandad's Sambandhi aathu Manushaal. Bollywood tries hard to convince the uneducated Indian that all Indians and Pakistanis too are bhai-bhai, fractured by the scheming British*. Not to mention that such stunning sophistry is constructed on the similarity in the taste of Biriyani across the border. We may even forgive the Sena for riots against Thamizhs and cheer them on as they burn the effigies of the Khans.
* We think that British saved India from the Mughals and prevented it from being plundered by Aurangazeb but that is for a different post.