In the India of the liberal imagination, this is ‘barbarism’.
This, however, is ‘democracy’.
You probably already know what happened. The Airports Authority of India was organizing a 2 day music program in Delhi. And then the AAI decided to postpone the entire 2 day event.
Among the persons who were expected to perform at this event was musician T M Krishna. Now because T M Krishna just happens to have a pathological hatred for RSS/BJP and because unverified allegations are always better than real news, the media now alleges that the cancellation of the entire event was singularly targeted against this one person.
You just imagine something is wrong, make something up in your head and then run with it. Go around collecting opinions, views and counter views on the matter that you just dreamed up. And before you know it, the fruit of your paranoid imagination has ripened into a real issue. This is how media works. This is how the ecosystem drives the conversation.
And so it goes on and on.
But when outlets like The Indian Express and folks like Ram Guha start using words like ‘barbarism’ and ‘uncivilized’ to describe our nation, it becomes necessary to show them the mirror.
So why would I put up the disturbing image of 18-year-old boy Trilochan Mahato, murdered and hung from a tree in Bengal for supporting the BJP? Because T M Krishna had this to say about the murder of RSS/BJP workers:
“Us vs Them” and boldly declaring that he cannot empathize when someone on the other side is murdered.
Tell me, Ram Guha, what is this? Is it ‘intolerance’, ‘barbarism’ or just the ‘idea of India’?
I see that T M Krishna chose to reference George Orwell’s dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty Four to castigate the current BJP government. In case we forget, Orwell’s book Nineteen Eighty Four was actually based on the horrors of Communist government. Incidentally, we have actual Stalinist political parties in this country. You can identify them easily. They are usually the ones giving lectures on free speech.
The only thing Orwellian here is how people like T M Krishna can still refer to themselves as ‘liberals’. Just like in the novel Nineteen Eighty Four, the department in charge of torturing dissenters was called the ‘Ministry of Love’. Seriously, T M Krishna should actually read the book. Or ask a ‘scholar’ like Ram Guha to explain it to him.
The brutal murder of Trilochan Mahato is hardly one of a kind. Neither is the lack of empathy among our liberals. Day after day, RSS workers are found with their heads split open, throats cut up, drowned in lakes, sadhus with their tongues cut off. Day after day, the liberal media looks the other way with scorn and disdain. Some celebrity liberals go a step further and choose to spit in the eye of the dead man and his family: they write articles in prominent outlets providing “political context”, explaining why those murders don’t deserve outrage.
The men who slit RSS worker Rudresh’s throat in the heart of Bangalore received formal training at secular camps in Kerala. They practised on dogs until they perfected the art of slitting a throat with a single cut.
Intolerance? No. Barbarism? No. Liberal apathy? Yes.
What kind of world is it where the murder of young boys could become music to liberal ears?
What kind of world is it where Trilochan cannot open his eyes?
Music is Saraswati. Can somebody sing with so much hatred in his heart?
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or not be an Assistant Professor at IISc Bangalore.