The quote “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it” is widely attributed to a man named Joseph Goebbels, who was appointed Minister of Enlightenment and Propaganda in Hitler’s regime. But in the modern world, Indian Left Liberals truly deserve to be the rightful owners of this quote. And if the Left “Liberals” are so adept at this, one can only imagine how fine the core Left may be in this art.
Today, leftist newspaper The Hindu which has a history of publishing inaccurate news, published an opinion piece, innocuously titled “Taking a leap of taste” by Ruchir Joshi. Joshi, for the uninitiated , is a rabid Modi hater, his coarse and vile writing about Modi in the past shows that he has an irrational perverse hatred for anything and anybody on the “Right”:
1: Ruchir Joshi on what will happen if @narendramodi becomes the PM-Feb 2014
2&3: Ruchir Joshi on PM Modi -Oct 2015 pic.twitter.com/BJoK331jDG
— Revolutionary Monk (@RevolutionMonk) October 10, 2015
In the column, Joshi chose to slip in a small comment on former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee:
Talking about tastes from home, there is a famous story of the Indian Prime Minister of a cow-protecting government who was ‘caught’ eating beef steak in a restaurant abroad. When asked about this, he apparently smiled and said, “These foreign cows have nothing to do with our Indian cows, completely different species!” Like the former Pradhan Mantri-ji, many of us also discern between the beef we find abroad and the beef we find at home.
Joshi, perhaps fearing defamation suits, chickens out from naming Vajpayee explicitly but the reference is clear. A “cow-protecting” Government, can only be one run by the BJP (although in reality, most beef-bans were brought in by Congress Governments). And prior to the current Government, BJP had formed Government only once and has given only one Prime Minister to India: Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who is widely regarded as one of the best Prime Ministers India ever had.
This allusion is proved without doubt when one checks up the past, as there was indeed an incident in 2003, when Vajpayee was accused of eating beef. “Gai hamaari mata hai, Atal Bihari khata hai” (The cow is our mother, but Atal Bihari eats her) read banners held aloft at rallies by members of a youth wing of the Congress Party. The issue of course spiralled into a huge controversy and Vajpayee had to come out to stop these lies. He had said (emphasis added):
I have seen posters, pamphlets saying that Vajpayee eats beef. This is absolutely false and baseless. If the Youth Congress had not indulged in this slander campaign, I would not have brought up the issue. I prefer to die rather than eat beef. If the Congress does not stop this false propaganda at once, it could incite violence across the country. Raising of provocative issues will be a hurdle for democracy and is not going to strengthen it. I have an experience of over fifty years in public life, but nobody has ever hit me below the belt. The Congress has gone too far this time.
Eventually, fearing backlash from the lie being spread, Congress itself back-tracked and claimed innocence. The Congress said that it had not circulated any rumour that Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee eats beef, or any other rumour regarding his eating habits. Addressing a Press conference, AICC spokesperson Anand Sharma said that after cross-checking at every level, it was found that none of the party’s office-bearers, leaders or functionaries had ever made such comments.
In essence it was a rumour started by the Congress, vehemently denied by Vajpayee himself, and then by the Congress itself. Yet, bigots like Ruchir Joshi use such false news to further lies and propaganda. This issue was first brought to fore on social media by this user:
— Ishant Sharma (@CrimeMasterV2) March 26, 2017
This is very much like another false allegation levelled against Vajpayee, in which it was claimed that he had referred to Indira Gandhi as Durga. See the video below where Vajpayee himself denies it:
It is indeed shameful that The Hindu gives space to such lying bigots who propagate falsehoods through “opinion” pieces. Worse, the current lie is against a man respected by all parties and sections of society, and comes at a time when owing to his ill-health, he cannot even personally refute such cheap claims. This shows the depraved mentality of the likes of Ruchir Joshi who will not spare even senior, retired, politicians living out their last few years in solitude.