This is how HuffPost presented the news of murder of a 65 years old Hindu man Kartik Ghosh in West Bengal riots on their homepage:
Unmissable irony between the header and the footer in that one.
Yeah, politicians should stop pointing fingers at each other. Leave it to the liberal HuffPost to tell us where we should point fingers. Because all their fingers always point at one and only one man : MODI.
In the wake of communal riots in Bengal that have become frequent of late and where Hindus bear the brunt of rampaging Islamist mobs, secular-liberal media such as HuffPost and The Wire have spent so much time talking about the BJP that they have barely managed to get in a word about the ruling party in the state.
Can anybody remember the name of Bengal’s ruling party at all?
Yeah and the Chief Minister of Bengal, who is locked … almost literally… in a “he said/she said” battle with the Governor has nothing to realize. What a poor victim she is, no?
Let’s get it straight:
Who is rioting? Muslims.
Who died? A Hindu.
Who rules Bengal? Trinamool Congress.
Whose fault? Modi.
Or if you follow the lead of the HuffPost, you should write ‘MODI’ in all caps, preferably in a size 500 font.
It is clear that Hindu lives don’t matter to the ‘secular-liberal’ media. Not a word for the man who was killed. Contrast that to copious tears they shed when a victim is Muslim.
The only thing remaining for liberals to do is to organise hashtag protests against “Hindu terror”, gau rakshaks, Bhakts, RSS, whatever to show how much they care about the loss of innocent human life in Bengal.
Apparently, this violence broke out over a Facebook post by a young boy that some Muslims did not like. As this article in The Indian Express describes, the boy who is a minor, was actually detained by police and subjected to an actual investigation and interrogation. Even though there were violent mobs out in the streets baying for his blood.
In sifting through all the reports about the subsequent violence, I am yet to come across one intellectual taking issue with the fact that the West Bengal police is taking action against the victim (a minor no less!) instead of going out and containing the rioters. How is this different from the police checking the meat in Akhlaque’s fridge?
Instead, I have seen media reporting on the original FB post calling it anything from “objectionable” to “blasphemous”. Is “blasphemy” a thing in India now? Define it for me, please.
If a woman were to become the victim of a sexual assault, can you imagine a media report in a civilized society saying that the woman was wearing “objectionable” clothes?
No, it doesn’t matter what the woman was wearing. That’s an absolute. Just like it doesn’t matter what the boy wrote on Facebook about some religion. There is no excuse whatsoever for threatening him with violence. Another absolute.
Instead, they report on the arrest of the boy as a matter of course. I can’t seem to be able to find any liberal news outlets willing to take a clear and unequivocal stand that the boy is 100% innocent, that his arrest is a disastrous injustice and the only only people who should be arrested here are the rioters in the streets.
And neither can I find anyone willing to meet with the family of Kartik Ghosh and report on the tragedy they have faced. It is as if Kartik Ghosh’s life was less real. No one wants to ask who is responsible for the loss of Kartik Ghosh’s life. Meanwhile, the death of Junaid Khan is being blamed collectively on the 1 billion Hindus of this country. Don’t believe me? See here:
The author here is no less an authority than Rajinder Sachar, the former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, who headed the famous Sachar Committee report on the condition of Indian Muslims during the UPA years.
The handful of actual condemnations that have tumbled out of the liberal brigade have all come with the heartfelt requests to malcontents within the Muslim community to stop rioting in Bengal because this is giving an opportunity to Hindu majoritarianism, to Gau Rakshaks, to BJP, to RSS (see examples here and here).
What they are really complaining about is not the atrocities being committed on Hindus in West Bengal, but the fact that it’s ruining their #NotInMyName narrative. A natural corollary of this is an admission that these liberals would have been totally silent about violence against Hindus if the BJP were not in a position to use it to their advantage.
Some top liberals have been fairly open about this argument :
Ok, who benefitted most from Partition? Who benefits most from dividing Hindus by caste? Which party benefits most if the corrupt old order in India stays intact?
For other liberals, even the handful of condemnations of Muslim mobs in Bengal are offensive. Instead their demand is a total free hand for Muslim mobs to commit as much violence as they please. Can you believe this appeared in an Indian publication?
The rage of murderous mobs over a Facebook post is morally equivalent to citizens peacefully expressing their anger over gangrape! Now, we really have seen everything. Personally, I call upon India Today group to delete this article and issue an apology.
But they will not. Because they are not in opinion or journalism, they are into politics. The only thing they can see here is BJP, not a man who lost his life or not a minor who has virtually lost his future career.
Of late, as the BJP has made forays into Bengal, I have seen a stream of articles in the media discussing the so called secular ethos of Bengal and how it has never humoured Hindutva elements in the past.
Which is hilarious (in a dark way) when you consider the history of how Indian secularism has treated Bengal. This is a simple pie chart that shows what happened to the territory of Bengal in the last one hundred years.
On August 16, 1946, the workers of the Muslim League spilled onto the streets of Calcutta to observe “Direct Action Day”. In a few hours, some 4000 people lay dead. Almost exactly one year later, “India” became an independent nation. Minus Eastern Bengal, Western Punjab and the whole of Sind.
Now, it’s a wonderful truth that Bengali greats such as Swami Vivekananda and Ramkrishna Paramhamsa were all for a Bengal where all faiths flourish in harmony, as Rajinder Sachar points out, while acting as if he is scoring a point by throwing it in our faces:
But Swami Vivekananda passed away in 1902. And he was not an ostrich who would have refused to see how radical Islam refuses to co-exist with other religions, and how radical Islam was becoming a norm in India, so much so, that a mythical Sufi Islam exists perhaps only in Narendra Modi’s tweets.
What hope is left for secularism once a people see nearly two thirds of their ancient land snatched away and handed over to those of one religious faith?
Is it not rational for dispossessed Bengali Hindus to worry about keeping their little leftover slice of Bengal? If Bengali Hindus don’t worry about that, it is not something to be proud about. What is so great about ceding land and dignity to a mob that demands you to be in total submission?
It is clear that these concerns don’t matter to the so-called secular-liberal establishment, which has a hold over media and academia in a way that even Modi doesn’t have over BJP. They are not thinking how to free a teenager from jail, what they are thinking is how to assassinate his character. Death of a Hindu doesn’t bother them, what bothers them is who benefits.
But I want to ask fellow Bengali Hindus; are you happy with this arrangement? Do you care for your life and dignity? Or those are blasphemous concepts against secularism?
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or not be an Assistant Professor at IISc Bangalore.