Diwali (or Deepavali) is a time for celebration. Diwali is also a time for welcoming the return of the annual Great Derangement Syndrome. It is a rabid affliction which is marked by the apogee of a ritual that many Indians punctuate with long, haunting howls of dirges, for several nights at a stretch, every night, their penned faces pointed towards the west, the words contorted into a grotesque visage that seems to beg forgiveness for collective sins unknown. The climax of this annual ritual is a long, unbroken shriek of guilt that is somewhat quaintly reminiscent of the atavistic call of dogs to their savage masters out on their hunts. So powerful is this ritual that several people who have witnessed this ritual have lost their sanity. Let us take a look at once such recent example.It all began with a tweet on the 27th of October by @padhalikha that I was pointed to:
Yes, Eid and Christmas are festivities that do not entail large gatherings. Hindus, you and your dirty mind festivals! pic.twitter.com/S9RqSHER9O
— Eminent Intellectual (@padhalikha) October 27, 2016
The screenshot embedded in @padhalikha‘s tweet was of a tweet by the controversial news channel, @NDTV, of a five-day awareness campaign on child sexual abuse launched by the The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (@NCPCR_), and which was jointly launched in Delhi by the AAP led Delhi government and the Childline Foundation (@CHILDLINE1098). .
|Screenshot of tweet from NDTV|
The campaign on awareness of child abuse is in itself is neither objectionable nor controversial. In fact, it should be lauded. What was controversial, or eye-brow raising at the very least, was this statement, attributed to the NCPCR in the news article:
“The awareness campaign is being undertaken in the city around Diwali as during this time children become susceptible to sexual abuses in large gatherings and as parents leave them in the custody of others while taking part in festivities,”
On a second reading, the insinuation was unmistakable – “around Diwali as during this time children become susceptible to sexual abuses.” The assertions were manifold.
- First, that Diwali is a time when the sexual abuse of children rises.
- Second, it is imputed that Diwali facilitates the sexual abuse of children because of “large gatherings” that leaves children “in the custody of others.“
- Third, that Delhi as a city is more susceptible to the sexual abuse of children.
- Fourth, the unsaid but clear assertion was that it was the Hindu festival of Diwali that made children more susceptible to sexual abuse than festivals of other religions.
The statement had been carefully constructed to establish an association between Diwali, and by association, Hindus, with child sexual abuse, and yet cloak it in a message of awareness. Why would anyone in their sane minds want to do something as egregious as associating the Hindu festival of Diwali with child sex abuse?
I tried to ascertain the veracity of the statement attributed to the NCPCR. My first suspicion was that it was either an outright lie, a distortion, or a mis-attribution on the part of NDTV. It would not have been the first instance when NDTV would have done so, but I wanted to be sure.
Therefore, I looked around for other news sites that may have carried the same story. Sure enough, there was a story in the Business Standard on the 25th of October – a syndicated feed from PTI – with the same quote attributed to the NCPCR. So that it was a hit-job from NDTV could be ruled out.
I now went to the NCPCR’s website. After all, if this was a statement made by the NCPCR, and if the campaign had been launched by the NCPCR, there would have to be some mention of it on the Commission’s website. The NCPCR’s “Press Release” page had no mention of this campaign. I accessed the page on Oct 28th, and the page itself mentions it having been last updated on the 28th of October (“Last Updated On: 28/10/2016”). No press release on the NCPCR website. I even tried using a search engine to search the entire site for the statement. Nothing.
The third option was to tweet to the Women and Child Development Minister, Ms Maneka Sanjay Gandhi. Why Ms Maneka Gandhi? Because, as per the website of the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD), the NCPCR is an “associated organization” of the WCD. While it would be unreasonable to expect her to have direct knowledge of everything that goes on in the NCPCR, my hope was that she would notice the tweet and at least direct her ministry to get a clarification and thus close the matter.
Dear @Manekagandhibjp can you confirm that @NCPCR_ made the statement implying that Diwali is a time for sexual abuse of children? pic.twitter.com/naYwZEhzVm
— Abhinav Agarwal (@AbhinavAgarwal) October 27, 2016
As of writing this post, there had been no response or acknowledgment of the tweet.
Hence, it is important to summarize what I learnt:
- I have not been able to verify with certainty that this is indeed a statement made by the NCPCR, as asserted by the PTI story. Evidence suggests that the NCPCR did in fact make this statement.
- Neither the NCPCR nor the NWCD minister have chosen to issue a clarification.
- The “campaign”, titled “Jagruk Raho, Chuppi Todo” has been launched jointly with the @AamAadmiParty Delhi Govt and @CHILDLINE1098.
- The NCPCR is an associated organization of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, which is headed by Ms Maneka Gandhi.
- Ms Maneka Gandhi recently met with the Delhi Chief Minister, Mr Arvind Kejriwal. She tweeted about the meeting.
- The state of Uttar Pradesh goes to the polls in 2017. People widely believe the BJP has a good chance of coming to power in the most populous state in the Indian Union. The political stakes are huge for all parties involved.
- There has been speculation that Ms Maneka Gandhi is strongly in favour of her son, Varun Gandhi, being annointed as the BJP’s Chief Ministerial candidate for the UP state elections (see Has the fight for Uttar Pradesh begun within BJP? for example)
- There is a relationship between the NCPCR and WorldVision. (More on this later)
The Great Indian Derangement Syndrome (GIDS)
Diwali, or any Hindu festival and activity, is a legitimate target for assault in the eyes of an assorted gang of evangelicals, liberals, racists, Hinduphobes – many of whom are difficult to tell apart. While in the early days of this assault on Hinduism the masters and and agents were the same – as in the manufacture of atrocity literature around Sati for example – today a sophisticated level of separation and plausible deniability has been established between the two. The fanatical evangelist, the rabid liberal, none need to come to India to do their dirty work. They only need send their money to Indians, who gladly carry out the bidding of their paymasters. This model has now been perfected – these paymasters need not send huge sums of money. By infiltrating every arm of the government, these paymasters get the government – you, the taxpayer – to pay the bulk of the money required to exterminate the way of life, the culture, the religion of the very people who pay these breaking India forces.
In infiltrating and hollowing out a nation and culture from within, the modern-day educated Indian has been more than a willing tool, because of a near-complete lack of self-respect and awareness.
“The educated Indian, particularly the Hindu, suffers from such a deep loss of self-respect that he is unwilling to be recognized as such. He feels, in fact, deeply threatened by any surfacing or manifestation of the identity that he has worked so hard to, and has been trained to reject. … It is these people wearing various garbs – liberal, left, secular, modern – who oppose, more often than not from sheer ignorance, any attempt to introduce Indian traditions of thought in the mainstream education system – a classic case of self-hate taking the form of mother-hate.” [Kapil Kapoor, quoted in “Indian Culture and India’s Future”, by Michel Danino]
The great Indian sage and philosopher, Sri Aurobindo, had said this about the class of “educated Indians” – “They will not allow things or ideas contrary to the European notions to be anything but superstitious, barbarous, harmful and benighted, they will not suffer what is praised and practised in Europe to be anything but rational and enlightened.” [Sri Aurobindo, reproduced in Michel Danino, “Indian Culture and India’s Future”]
“The child is taken to school, and the first thing he learns is that his father is a fool, the second thing that his grandfather is a lunatic, the third thing that all his teachers are hypocrites, the fourth that all the sacred books are lies! By the time he is sixteen he is a mass of negation, lifeless and boneless.” [Swami Vivekananda, “On India And Her Problems”, reproduced in Michel Danino, “Indian Culture and India’s Future”]
And yes, I still await a clarification from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, or the Ministry of Women and Child Development, on its insinuating that Diwali causes a rise in the sexual abuse of children.
(The views expressed are personal)