This happened again yesterday, a group of ‘liberals’ surrounding a Republic TV reporter, chanting slogans, intimidating her:
— Republic (@republic) January 9, 2018
The journalist in question had gone to cover Jignesh Mevani’s “Yuva Hunkar Rally”. Now, the “yuva” of the country mostly stayed away from the so called rally, possibly because not everyone gets (nor wants) a lifetime scholarship from the government to study “Hindu Zionist fascism” or something. As such, the handful of career protesters at the venue were left to direct their “hunkaar” at Republic TV reporters.
By standards of Communist violence (mass murder of 400 lakh people), what Shivani Gupta faced is relatively little.
But incidents such as this are mounting in frequency, turning almost into a norm. The reporters of perceived right wing channels such as Republic TV, Times Now and Zee TV are being booed and intimidated and even physically harassed by ‘liberals’, sometimes even by members of the journalist fraternity.
Who can forget Mani Shankar Aiyar last month snatching the Republic TV mike and journalist Mausumi Singh of India Today backing him up.
Incidents such as this, have brought to the fore the real truth about the liberals and their much vaunted “tolerance.”
The real truth is that liberals are extremely thin skinned. The mere existence of Republic TV and Times Now is driving them over the edge.
When was the last time you saw Modi supporters intimidate say an NDTV reporter the way Republic’s Shivani Gupta was treated at Jignesh Mevani’s rally yesterday. In case the left wingers haven’t noticed, the crowds at Narendra Modi’s Hunkar Rally in, say Patna in Oct 2013, were slightly bigger than Jignesh Mevani’s Hunkar rally.
I must mention here that I am in no way endorsing or suggesting that BJP supporters should go out and intimidate left wing journalists. I am merely acknowledging the obvious fact that we observe all around us. There are hundreds of BJP rallies drawing lakhs of supporters, but none of them is threatening or intimidating left wing journalists.
It simply doesn’t happen. The closest we have come is ONE instance with Rajdeep Sardesai in New York. And even there, it was Rajdeep who threw the first punch and got violent.
Meanwhile, Republic and Times Now reporters are facing threatening mobs of ‘liberals’ whenever they show up at an event with an opposing view. And this is not just coming from faceless mobs, it is coming right from top Congress leaders and journalists from other channels.
And ‘liberals’ come back home and brazenly celebrate their conduct:
— Mausami Singh (@mausamii2u) December 7, 2017
This confirms what I have always suspected. Liberals may harangue you with their discourses on “tolerance” and allowing “dissent”, but there is nobody more thin skinned in the whole world than liberals themselves.
The reasons for this are simple. Contrary to what intellectuals want you to believe, a Hindu right winger learns tolerance as a way of life. As a child, he/she reads textbooks by Romila Thapar that belittle his culture in every way possible. On the 14th of November, all his friends must assemble in school to venerate Prime Minister Nehru, a ritual that would be considered horrifying and North Korea like if it had not become the norm over decades. One day, the child grows up and goes off to college where he/she meets more and more left wing professors.
As part of growing up, the person hears over and over again about the fascism of Hindus. Even though Hindus have never actually ruled India in the last 1000 years. Even though he sees temples all across his land that have been destroyed and desecrated by invaders, the apparent brutality of Hindu society is the only thing worth talking about. Even though the Professors who tell him that are Communists, fans of Stalin. So what if Stalin murdered 30 lakh people? But, Hindutva is ‘fascism’., of course!
The key here is that while the right winger may not agree with most of these views of the elite, he/she has no choice but to hear them every single day. Much like the blaring of Azaan from loudspeakers.
And thus, for the right winger, tolerance for opposing views becomes ingrained in their daily life in a way no liberal will ever understand.
Asking a Hindu right winger if he/she can tolerate opposing views is like asking a fish if it can “tolerate” the water it lives in. We grow up in it, we are constantly immersed in it, we have never known any state of existence other than constant immersion in a sea of left wing views.
The liberal leaning person has the exact opposite experience. Every school textbook, every college lecture, every newspaper column and every TV show has always told him that he is correct, that he is nothing but always correct all of the time. That anybody with an opposing view, if they exist at all, is either mentally retarded, of unsound mind or somebody with a diabolical agenda of destroying the world.
That’s why liberals have begun to act so crazy the moment they see a Republic TV reporter hanging around. Relax, liberals, it’s just a TV channel and the reporter is just a person. Believe me, he/she breathes in air just like you.
Liberals had gotten used to a monopoly in the intellectual space. Suddenly there is a right wing government with a Lok Sabha majority. With power behind them, suddenly there are all these new guys and girls in the media who have showed up with dissenting views.
It’s making liberal heads explode everywhere! A channel that can actually criticize Sonia Gandhi? WHAT!! No way! They never thought it was possible. And now that it’s become a reality, liberals are going absolutely nuts.
This is why I have always held that the best way to expose liberals in India is to get rid of every single law that restricts freedom of expression. Disband the censor board, repeal the laws against hurting religious sentiments, laws against defamation and the like.
There’s no downside here for right wingers. What new humiliation can possibly be heaped on Hindus? Our goddesses are drawn naked and they already chant Bharat ki barbaadi. If these laws go away, is there something new that the liberals can do that they haven’t already done before?
But the day we have real freedom of expression in India, I say with confidence that liberals will find it hard to live here. Can liberals live with cartoons of “….. ” (you know who) ? Can they tolerate a Charlie Hebdo style takedown of their icons?
Of course not! Today a liberal can’t stop crying for a year if some anonymous trolls calls him/her a “presstitute” on Twitter. They rush to the police station to file a complaint. Have you seen how much liberals cry about an army of “Bhakts” mocking them on Twitter? All they have to do is press the Mute or Block button to make all the criticism go away. But the mere existence of criticism somewhere out there gets under their thin skins. I have two words for you: “Chaitanya Kunte.”
Ha! These snowflakes will melt under the heat of free expression.
Give us total freedom of expression and watch the masks of liberalism slip away. We will have liberals begging in the streets for a return of censorship.
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or not be an Assistant Professor at IISc Bangalore.