The way a ruling class keeps its power is by sowing fear in the minds of dissenters. The trick is to maintain a zero-tolerance policy, by handing down swift and ruthless punishment to anyone who steps out of line and creating a public spectacle out of it.
For example, the BJP recently put up a spirited performance in panchayat polls in Purulia in West Bengal. India’s liberal establishment was not amused. The response was chilling.
The message sent to the people of Bengal, in the words of George Orwell, could be described thus:
“Thoughtcrime does not entail death. Thoughtcrime IS death.”
Remember that hanging opponents as a public spectacle is a time-honoured tactic of oppressors: slaves who tried to escape were often punished this way in the American south. The Taliban and ISIS took to public hanging of their enemies when they seized control of some area.
But Trilochon Mahato and Dulal Kumar were both poor. The secular establishment hunted both men for sport without facing any consequences. But what does the establishment do when the offender happens to be a rich celebrity chef like Atul Kochchar?
They can’t do to him what they did to Trilochon Mahato and Dulal Kumar. He is too rich for that.
So how do they hunt him down? Luckily for them, Atul Kochhar happens to work in UAE (Dubai), an absolute monarchy run by Islamic law. And now, it might so happen that Kochhar will face five years in jail. For a tweet. For a tweet that spoke of how Hindus have been terrorised by Islam for centuries.
If only he had been insulting some other religion, say Hinduism, you know that Atul Kochhar would have 10-20 Thinkfest invitations piling up in his inbox by now. He would have become an instant intellectual, perhaps even a “free speech warrior.” But he chose to speak out against the wrong religion and paid the price.
Soon after, Kochhar began apologizing profusely. But it was already too late. Thought leaders of Lutyens’ Delhi took great relish in his predicament.
That’s right. Praise from a ‘liberal’ for those parts of the world where there could be a five-year jail sentence for a tweet.
Fortunately, Kochhar does not have the misfortune to be in Saudi Arabia or he might have been executed for insulting Islam. There is a possibility liberals would have applauded that too.
Soon after, Rana Ayyub shared with the world the news that Atul Kochhar has been fired by J W Mariott in Dubai.
A celebrity chef, Atul Kochhar, taken down by the perfect combination of liberalism and Sharia law.
You might remember that a few days ago, Rana Ayyub had approached the UN Human Rights Organization to speak on her behalf. This time, however, she wasn’t interested in free speech and human rights and all that. This time she wanted to talk to a big multi-national corporation whose business depends on the whims of the Islamic monarchy that rules the UAE.
Observe that the end result is always the same: that kafirs are bad. Depending on the issue at hand, either human rights laws or Sharia laws are used to justify this end.
This scissor-like approach, with liberalism being one jaw and Islamism being the other, has proved devastatingly effective in subduing the civilized world.
Ask them if elements on JNU campus who raised “Bharat ke tukde” slogans should face punishment for their actions?
They would say “No,” because, you know, free speech.
But Aligarh Muslim University recently banned one student and four ex-students from any campus activity because they made fun of an Islamic religious slogan. Ask them about that.
They will turn their faces away. Because, you know, Aligarh Muslim University exists outside the framework of the Indian Constitution.
Because it’s a one-way street. What is theirs is theirs? What is ours is negotiable?
The same applies to America. There is a furore when America decides to temporarily ban citizens from seven Muslim majority nations from entering their territory. But what about 16 Islamic countries that have permanently banned all Israeli citizens from entering their territory?
Well, that doesn’t matter. Because these countries never claimed to be secular, no moral standards apply to them whatsoever. They can do whatever they want. How convenient!
By the way, the list of nations that permanently bar Israeli citizens from entry includes our dear neighbours Pakistan and Bangladesh, as also the UAE that our liberals are currently swooning over. Because, you know, “bigotry is non-negotiable” in the UAE.
But the best example of this pincer-like movement crushing non-believers around the world is what happened with Germany and the Syrian refugees. The rich Gulf states wouldn’t take in a single refugee. So the onus was on Europe to take all the Syrian refugees in. This cartoon explains it best.
Because Germans have a heart and the rich Islamic states of the Gulf never claimed to have a heart. In fact, the voices of the many waves of refugees who now live in Germany are being magnified by the liberal establishment to create a vocal pressure group to force their European hosts to bend over even more backwards than they already have.
On the other hand, the Islamic world faces no moral imperative to help their fellow human beings. In other words, the joint forces of Islamism and liberalism have created a penalty for tolerance rather than for intolerance.
Today they have made an example out of Atul Kochchar for stepping out of line against the liberal-Islamist consensus. Tomorrow it could be you. The liberal establishment demands total obedience and total conformity. Are you prepared to live like this for the rest of your life? And leave your children and their children after them to live under the establishment boot?
Or will you dare to dream?
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or not be an Assistant Professor at IISc Bangalore.