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Clipped or not, Barkha mirrored the Nazis in her video by giving genocide a convenient context

That Barkha Dutt used the economic argument to attribute the genocide to, makes her no different from a fascist and her argument is eerily similar to the Nazis.

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Nupur J Sharma
Editor, OpIndia.com since October 2017

It has almost become fashionable these days for the “liberal” cabal to invoke Nazis and Hitler when they talk about right-leaning individuals and Prime Minister Narendra Modi respectively. Their sinister agenda has been to equate Patriotism and Nationalism to Fascism without stopping to consider the distinct differences or the facts at hand.

However, several incidents where the “liberals” and their poster boys and girls have themselves displayed stark similarities to the Nazis have been ignored and shrugged under the rug because facts should never come in the way of a good, lip-smacking narrative.

A video has been doing the rounds for many years now where Barkha Dutt, in 2004 had contextualised the genocide of Kashmiri Pandits. In the video, Barkha Dutt can be seen talking about how the Kashmiri Pandits were wealthy in the valley and that might have been the reason of the disenchantment of the Kashmiri Muslims.

This 23-second clip just had to be defended lest the narrative crumbles. That is the way of the cabal. The Leftist propaganda website and self-proclaimed fact-checkers Altnews.com, which is funded by fake news peddler Arundhati Roy and have regularly been caught spreading lies themselves, published an article saying that the full video presents a different context and the clipped video was misleading.

However, if you tear through the “liberal” propaganda, was the full video any different from the clipped snippet?

In 2004, when Barkha Dutt had been in journalism for almost 10 years, a show called “Kashmiri Pandits: The forgotten minority” was aired. A full-length video of that can be found here, published in 2013 by NDTV.

Barkha Dutt starts the show by showing ravaged colonies of the Kashmiri Pandits and some sound bytes from the persecuted Hindus. As soon as the tragedy porn was over, Barkha, in the background, talks about the possible reasons for the exodus. She says that according to Kashmiri Separatists, the exodus was engineered by then governor Jagmohan because he wanted a reason to crack down on the separatists. Barkha Dutt admits that the Kashmiri Hindus don’t buy that argument. And interviews Dr Shakti Bhan who is a part of Panun Kashmir Organisation who talks about how the Kashmiri Muslims approached her house and were forcing her to be a human shield for them. She talks about how she fled the fanatics.

Through the video, Barkha narrates the tales of Kashmiri Pandits and the shoddy camps they live in. But there are subtle hints of Barkha “contextualising” the genocide of Hindus. In the video, when Barkha talks about how Kashmiri Pandits’ numbers are dwindling, subtly, she adds the phrase “it may sound paranoid”.

Barkha Dutt says something interesting which is not there in the 24-second clipped video, after talking about the plight of Hindus.

She says:

“What all this has bred is a violent and relentless hatred. Personal friendships between Hindus and Muslims have survived over the decades, but politics in the state is completely polarised along religious lines. In fact, some say if there was a plebiscite in Kashmir today it would be worse than partition because voting would be completely along religious lines”. 

Interestingly, this quote was missing from the Altnews.com report.

The genocide of the Kashmiri Pandits at the hands of Kashmiri Muslims was a result of religious indoctrination and Jihad. There was no ‘politics’ which led to this exodus. It was fanaticism. When Barkha Dutt talks about ‘friendship between Hindus and Muslims” and “Politics of hate ruining that friendship”, one has to sit up and truthfully admit that Barkha toed the line of Kashmiri separatists who wanted to blame Governor Jagmohan for the genocide. One has to also understand that Barkha’s line of reasoning only goes to shield murderers like Yasin Mallick who killed and maimed owing to their religious hate. What was this if not separatist propaganda?

Now, coming to the specific “clipped” video that Altnews and Barkha have gone hammer and tongs against.

The Altnews report says:

At 5:15, a representative of an organization of displaced Kashmiri Pandits ‘Panun Kashmir’  can be heard saying, “A Kashmiri Pandit monetarily may not be so well-off that’s not important. It is the identity, the ethnic identity of the Kashmiri Pandit… Kashmir Pandit was a well-known identity in India. A Kashmiri Pandit has different rituals, it has a different language, it has a different culture. We think we have lost that.”

The aforementioned quote of Dr Shakti Bhan provides context to the part (5:36) where Dutt says, “In fact, history has turned full circle for the Kashmiri Pandits…”This statement was intentionally clipped before Dutt begins to say – “Today hapless victims, they were once privileged elites of the valley. They may have been a minority but at that time, they had monopolised government jobs, plum postings and other such social benefits…” Just reading these lines gives the impression that Dutt’s commentary portrays Kashmiri Pandits in poor light, however, the journalist was attempting to give her viewers a contrast between their lives before and after their exodus.

Here is the treachery of self-proclaimed fact-checkers and Barkha Dutt herself who spoke to Altnews and endorsed this jugglery.

Altnews quotes the first half of Barkha’s statement and asserts that it was her commentary owing to what Dr Shakti Bhan said. However, they craftily leave out the second part of her statement. The second part of her statement is as follows:

“…In fact, the sharp economic disparity between the Pandits and the poor Muslim majority was one of the earliest reasons for popular discontent in the state”.

It is actually the second half of the statement that was problematic and where Barkha Dutt proceeded to contextualise the heinous genocide of Hindus. She asserted that one of the reasons for the genocide of Hindus by religious fanatics was because of the economic disparity.

A similar rationale was given by the Nazis of Germany to justify their anti-Semitism and genocide of Jews.

I quote from the Holocaust Encyclopedia (emphasis mine):

In the context of the economic depression of the 1930s, the Nazi Party gained popularity in part by presenting “Jews” as the source for a variety of political, social, economic, and ethical problems facing the German people. The Nazis used racist and also older social, economic, and religious imagery to this end. After seizing power, they continued to use the same means to gain legitimacy.

Inspired by Adolf Hitler’s theories of racial struggle and the “intent” of the Jews to survive and expand at the expense of Germans, the Nazis, as a governing party from 1933-1938, ordered anti-Jewish boycotts, staged book burnings, and enacted anti-Jewish legislation. In 1935, the Nuremberg Laws defined Jews by race and mandated the total separation of “Aryans” and “non-Aryans.” On November 9, 1938, the Nazis destroyed synagogues and the shop windows of Jewish-owned stores throughout Germany and Austria (Kristallnacht). These measures aimed at both legal and social segregation of Jews from Germans and Austrians.

Kristallnacht, the initiation of World War II in 1939, and the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 marked the transition to the era of destruction, in which genocide would become the key focus of Nazi antisemitism. To justify the murder of the Jews both to the perpetrators and to bystanders in Germany and Europe, the Nazis used not only racist arguments but also arguments derived from older negative stereotypes, including Jews as communist subversives, as war profiteers and hoarders, and as a danger to internal security because of their inherent disloyalty and opposition to Germany.

Firstly, the Nazis used economic, religious and racist arguments to traumatise and kill the Jews. How is that different from what happened in Kashmir to the Hindus, or what Barkha Dutt said in her video? She said that the initial reason for discord was economic, interestingly, that is exactly what the Nazis said against Jews.

The Nazis had laws that basically separated the Jews from the Germans. How is Kashmir different when they have laws that prohibit Hindus from even owning land in Kashmir? That the fanaticism creates an environment which is not even conducive to Hindus surviving there? Just like the Jews in Nazi Germany.

The Kashmiri Muslims wanted a religious land where Hindus had no place. If Hindus are replaced with Jews, the situation would be exactly the same as Nazi Germany.

That Barkha Dutt used the economic argument to attribute the genocide to, makes her no different from a fascist and her argument is eerily similar to the Nazis.

This chicanery by Altnews and Barkha Dutt didn’t escape Rahul Pandita too, who is a Kashmiri Pandit himself.

Barkha has always had an agenda in her reporting and that has been proven time and again. This was no different. It is interesting to note that self-proclaimed fact-checkers too selectively left out quotes that could contradict their asinine defence of a bad report by a motivated journalist.

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Nupur J Sharma
Editor, OpIndia.com since October 2017

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