Two days ago, it came to light that 52 unfortunate people, members of Dalit and tribal communities, had been held in slave-like conditions in Karnataka, some for as many as three years. Some were made to work as labourers for 19 hours a day, hardly ever paid any wages and the women were exploited sexually as well.
As we come to terms with the realities of this shocking tale of barbarism, the most deafening of all is the silence of the social justice warriors and sections of the political, media and NGO complex that claim to speak for the marginalized and oppressed in our society.
The reason is not far to seek. Karnataka, after all, has been a Congress/JDS ruled state for about six years now. There is no BJP to blame. One can easily compare with the tenor and intensity of the media coverage and political outrage that followed a shocking caste atrocity against Dalits in Gujarat’s Una in 2016.
This is only the latest reason to conclude that every purported liberal principle in India lies stretched out at the feet of the Congress Party.
What are the so-called liberal principles that our elites claim as their own?
Is social justice one of these liberal principles? Then, how come the social justice crowd has nothing to say about this barbaric act that has come to light in Karnataka? Why have all the ‘caravans’ of social justice that are active on Twitter and outside done a U-turn and driven away? Why is the radical anti-caste rhetoric limited to headline catching placards and photo ops with global CEOs? And to anti-Hindu sloganeering by Communist student activists who have probably never had a non-upper caste leader in seven decades?
Someone said on Twitter that this incident in Karnataka would have made it to the pages of New York Times, Washington Post and Guardian if only it had happened in UP or Gujarat. Can anybody deny this?
How about feminism then? Anybody remember Bishop Franco Mulakkal? Took the Kerala Police three months to initiate some action against him. Meanwhile, the aggrieved nuns ran from pillar to post begging to be heard even as powerful church officials and politicians spread the worst possible smears about their character. And then, in three short weeks, Bishop Franco Mulakkal got bail and walked out to a hero’s welcome by the Church in Jalandhar. India’s liberals could not care less. Because Bishop Franco was wearing three levels of magic armour: he worked for the Catholic Church, the crime allegedly happened in CPI(M) ruled Kerala and Franco now resides in Congress-ruled Punjab! Soon after Bishop Franco walked out on bail, a key witness in the case died under mysterious circumstances. That was news … for about half a day.
What else can we expect in a country where the Editor’s Guild waited five years to suspend Tarun Tejpal despite the nature of the allegations against him. Tejpal was suspended along with M J Akbar, who has found out the hard way what happens when you leave the mothership and try to defect. The ghosts of your past lie asleep only as long as you toe the line of the secular liberal establishment.
And don’t you dare speak of Triple Talaq and the absence of rights of Muslim women in divorce? Indian liberals are quite happy to throw both secularism and feminism under the bus.
In India, the fashionable way to show your support for gender equality and dignity of women is to oppose Hindu festivals like Rakshabandhan and Bhaidooj. Bishop Franco Mulakkal can do whatever he wants.
Let’s take gay rights, another much celebrated liberal cause. All three organizations who opposed the legalization of homosexual relationships in the Supreme Court were from a Christian background, but for some reason, liberals were seen taking out their anger against Hindutva! It is worthwhile to point out that contrary to popular perception, gay relationships have NOT been legalized all across the nation. Homosexuality continues to be criminal in Jammu and Kashmir, owing to the special status of this state as per Article 370. If you haven’t heard many liberals highlighting the issue of gay rights in Jammu and Kashmir, the only Muslim majority state in India, you know exactly why.
How about the environment? In India, liberals are happy to be champions of beef consumption, even though it is an accepted scientific fact that beef is one of the biggest drivers of global warming. Rather, the liberal concern for the “environment” in India manifests itself in a desire for curbs on Hindu festivals and usually peaks around Diwali.
And don’t get me started on ‘secularism’, the most highly regarded of all liberal principles in India. The so-called secularism is thrown into cold storage when Kamal 1984 Nath becomes Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh.
The secularism exists only as a stick to beat the BJP if some drunk guy breaks a window pane of a church somewhere in Maharashtra.
The issue of privacy and data has been in the news again, recently. Just imagine how big the Cambridge Analytica data theft story would have been in India if the Congress symbol had not been found in the office of their CEO.
Did I forget to talk about liberals and ‘free speech’? There is perhaps a no bigger joke in India than this. Right now the TMC government in Bengal has placed outright curbs on the BJP from holding a yatra but no liberal sees this as a free speech issue. Can somebody give an example of a single law passed by Modi sarkar that is anti-free speech? In all the celebrated cases where anti-nationals have been booked for sedition, the government has used laws that were conceived and passed and repeatedly abused over the years by the self-appointed Bharat Ratna Prime Ministers of the Congress Party.
The great Nehru was so stung by criticism from the RSS that he tried to order restrictions on the RSS mouthpiece Organizer. The RSS went to court … and won. That didn’t stop Nehru, who decided to amend the constitution immediately to get his way. But objective fact matters little and baseless allegations about ‘undeclared emergency’ rule the narrative. Because at the end of the day, every purported principle of Indian liberals is existed purely to serve the political ends of the Congress Party.