I consider myself to be a liberal. And I have often seen that a lot of mainstream (pseudo)-liberals are either conservatives who hate BJP/RSS and/or are very opportunistic.
So let me give my perspective to this unfortunate incident. I don’t miss the media silence on this incident, which speaks volumes in itself.
In Oregon, USA , when an armed group of white people take over a federal building over a dispute on land use, they are called “armed protesters” and receive very low coverage in USA mainstream media. Had it been a group of black people, they would have been called thugs, or much worse than that, it would have been covered 24×7, and the national guard would have been called on the evict them by now.
In Malda, India, a group of tens of thousands (or lakhs) of Muslims attacks Hindu places of worship, police stations, buses, cars, yet in what little “liberal” media coverage they get, they are called “protesters”.
The entire incident happened over an avoidable comment, where the prophet of Islam was called a homosexual. I support rights of LGBT people, and I don’t consider calling a historical figure homosexual to be hate speech. I am no fool, I know Mr Tiwari is no friend of the LGBT community. But as a liberal, I would have used the headline “Homophobic Muslim Mob indulges in violence, communal tensions high in Malda region”. But it seems to me that the homophobia of Muslims (not all Muslims obviously) is not homophobia, the religious bigotry of some Muslims is not bigotry at all.
Freedom of speech isn’t for the Tiwaris. I don’t agree with what Tiwari said, but I support his freedom of speech. Now I know that he said it to incite communal tensions, but perhaps calling a higher caste historical person with some lower caste name will also incite tensions in some conservative parts of India, that does not mean that those tensions are right. Had a Muslim called Shiva/Vishnu/Durga/Ganesh a homosexual, and Hindus indulged in similar behavior over that I can assure you that the pseudo-liberals would have given a very different reaction. Those Hindus would have been called homophobes who haven’t made the transition to 21st century yet.
As a liberal, I believe that pseudo-liberals and the fake liberal media have betrayed Muslims more than anyone else, because unless the conservative Muslim bigots are attacked and the progressive Muslims are celebrated; we cannot hope for Muslim LGBT people, Muslim women to have rights on par with heterosexual Muslim Men. Muslims are Indian citizens as well, and pseudo-liberals should treat them as such. I believe that Muslim LGBT people, Muslim women, deserve rights as well, but feminism has not attacked the heteronormative patriarchy among Muslims yet.
The liberals are yet to attack the caste system that Muslims unfortunately follow as well. It is unquestionably true that a poor Muslim woman in rural India, born in a low caste family, who is homosexual is going to have a very tough life ahead of her, and a liberal who does not speak for her is no liberal at all, a feminist who doesn’t fight for her rights is no feminist at all, because as MK Gandhi said, “Recall the face of the poorest and weakest man you have seen and ask yourself if this step you contemplate is going to be any use to him”.