The liberal version of Indian history mandates that the Nehru-Gandhi parivar can do no wrong. The Parivar and the Congress party are glorified beyond all measure and paraded as paragons of virtue while any party that’s remotely sympathetic to Hindus is demonized.
On Tuesday, ‘liberal’ propagandist Nikhil Wagle claimed on Twitter that Indira Gandhi had specifically lifted the censorship on R.K. Laxman’s cartoons during the Emergency. He then asked others how Prime Minister Modi reacts to cartoons.
Everyday I see superb cartoons on today’s situation. Indira Gandhi used to appreciate R.K.Laxman’s cartoons and lifted censorship on him during emergency. Can somebody tell me how Modi reacts to cartoons? @MANJULtoons @satishacharya @CartoonistSan
— nikhil wagle (@waglenikhil) March 5, 2019
Cartoonist Manjul had to inform Wagle that Indira Gandhi had, in fact, not lifted the censorship on Laxman’s cartoons and the latter had to leave the country during the Emergency. He ultimately returned when elections were announced. And no cartoons were published during the Emergency. Invariably, while trying to praise Indira Gandhi for appreciating humour, he exposed that Indira Gandhi herself was a hypocrite who cracked down on freedom of expression when it did not suit the political climate.
— MANJUL (@MANJULtoons) March 5, 2019
Initially, Wagle tried to stick to his narrative but appeared to concede the point only when he realized that there was space available for manoeuvres.
Yes. And he he has also written what happened after that. Disappointed Laxman left the country and was thinking of changing profession. It is in his book.
— MANJUL (@MANJULtoons) March 5, 2019
Incidentally, Wagle is the same person who had claimed earlier that Prime Minister Modi is the ‘worst human being’ among the Prime Ministers he had seen in his lifetime.
Let me say this publicly: I have seen all the Prime Ministers from 1971. From Indira to Modi. But Modi is the worst human being amongst them. #modi_is_not_India
— nikhil wagle (@waglenikhil) March 2, 2019
Ever since Narendra Modi took office, there has been a concerted attempt to portray his government as intolerant towards criticism and freedom of expression. As it turns out, the most hue and cry is raised by the same people who spent the entirety of their time criticizing the Prime Minister without any apparent consequences.
In this particular instance, Wagle tried to pompously demonstrate that Narendra Modi is intolerant towards mockery while Indira Gandhi was ever willing to tolerate humour at her expense. As it turns out, Wagle’s little stunt failed spectacularly. It only demonstrated the extremely little knowledge that liberals have about the true nature of their heroes. We have documented Indira Gandhi’s long tryst with freedom in this comprehensive article.
The Nehru-Gandhi parivar, of course, has a glorious history of curbing freedom of expression. Poet and lyricist Majrooh Sultanpuri was jailed for two years for writing a poem calling Jawaharlal Nehru ‘Hitler’. Rajiv Gandhi, for his part, brought the Indian Post Office Amendment Bill (1986) which gave the government sweeping censuring rights, allowing it to read and interrupt the letters between any two private individuals.
Then, during Manmohan Singh’s tenure as the Prime Minister when actual control lied with Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi, the draconian Section 66A was passed without any debate, another gross attempt at censorship. The act was, in fact, scrapped during the tenure of the current government and was welcomed by it.
Contrast this with the current ruling dispensation where journalists who expressed glee at the prospect of Prime Minister Modi suffering from swine flu get invited to events organized by his own government.
In the ‘liberal’ world, feelings of ‘intellectuals’ among those opposed to Narendra Modi matter more than facts. Therefore, even though Wagle’s lies were strongly rebuffed in this particular instance, it would not change his opinion of Narendra Modi or even Indira Gandhi, for that matter. Indira Gandhi here was being hailed as the paragon of leadership. Waghle tried to show that while Modi is a “fascist”, Indira appreciated humour directed at herself. While this sychophancy itself exposed that Indira Gandhi was a hypocrite when it came to FoE, Waghle is not likely to change his opinion of Gandhi. The narrative has already been decided, if facts do not conform to the desired narrative, then they must be ignored.