India – the eclectic country we live in, encompasses diversified elements of culture, traditions and rituals, weaving an integrating, all-inclusive fabric. What propels me to question, ‘is the Indian civilisation really safe, heterogeneous or multifarious trapped in the clutches of a few people who wish to de-emphasize, defile the essence of Indianness for the motive being really political?’
An ad circulating on our cell phones before Holi, preaching us secularism, as a gesture of peace and harmony for some, an anti-Hindu gesture for some, with multiple opinions and ambivalent feelings about the ad whooping onto the fest. Let us question, where is the problem? In the Ad? Not really! The problem is in the pattern; the chain of such events. Events that are found disturbing to the existing traditions, that provoke communal sentiments by selectively targeting Hindu festivals (festivals that draw origin from the tales of Hindu Gods and deities)
Surrounding the Hindu festivals, the moot argument attacking it, remains: Diwali causes air pollution, save water on Holi, save animals on Jallikattu, stop fasting on Karwachauth. My write-up doesn’t limit to the conventional arguments of the Right Wing. But advances into how international media outlet ‘The Guardian’, propagates an anti-Hindu agenda which fairly contributes in defaming and stigmatizing everything that is related to Hinduism.
Let us first start with what The Guardian has to write about fasting during Ramadan in a recent article: ‘Muslims will be fasting no food no water from sunrise to sunset getting on with life while taking on one of the greatest acts of faith. Love charity and prayer are prioritized, consider it a spiritual detox.’
Which is definitely okay. But what is surprising, is to see their contrasting take on vegan Muslims and vegetarian Hindus.
In an article titled ‘You are what you Eid: Ramadan for vegan’ says ‘Ali, the prophet’s cousin, is said to have stated: “Do not make your stomach a graveyard of animals”, and the caliph Umar warned against the addictive nature of meat’
Let us of course not expect The Guardian’s gospel of Ali or any Hindu priest on giving up meat during Navratri. But this is all they have to comment on Hindus not consuming meat: ‘The idea that we might seek to forgo certain foods for moral improvement seems bizarrely anachronistic’.
After all discriminating towards vegetarian Hindus and biased towards Vegan Muslims, quite suits their agenda of portraying practices in Hinduism as stupid and vacuous but those in Islam as logical, spiritual and commendable.
Not to astound, if any and every event in India has a Modi flavour to it. It’s an old habit and obsession of the leftist outlets. So while fasting on Ramadan is spiritual detox, Modi’s fast in Navratri stated by the guardian is:
“In a 2012 blog, Modi called his annual fast an act of self-purification.
Fasts in Indian politics were pioneered by Mahatma Gandhi as a moral weapon against the British empire as well as his compatriots. He also fasted as a means of penance when he felt he or the freedom movement had erred.
The British regarded the high-profile fasts as political blackmail but feared riotous consequences if Gandhi were ever to die during one”
Now the propaganda gambit is two way round, either conflate fasting in Navratri with other intuitive political hunger strikes with Modi in it. Or sprinkle Gandhian political perspective of moral war and English arm of political blackmail to a simple act of spirituality.
Here’s how kumbh mela is Modi’s political project: ‘But the Kumbh Mela is indisputably moment of unity for Hindus, and that dovetails nicely with Modi’s political project, and so it can’t hurt to have such a giant iteration of the festival in an election year – especially if his picture is all over it’
Preferential quoting in articles:
In the same article ‘You are what you Eid: Ramadan for vegans’ quotes “I think about that when I consider how a dairy cow is separated from its calf and the mother cries for her baby – just so we humans can take its milk,” says Anita Nayyar.
From an article that reports ban on Tamil Nadu’s popular sport jallikattu in India, quotes “Legally an animal cannot be forced to do something that does not come naturally to it,” said Anjali Sharma
But from a story covering London’s halal (meat) food festival quotes a foodie Imran Kausar who says ‘Halal should be available everywhere. Fine for people not to want it, of course; there should always be a choice. But it should be available for those who want it.”
But the whole notion of halal, Kausar points out, is founded on Islamic ideals of purity and cleanliness, on the promotion of health and wholesomeness, a set of ethical values about food production known as tayyab that should, these days, appeal to all consumers who care about provenance, sustainability, respect for the environment and humane animal husbandry.
One article titled ‘The true meaning of halal’ presents the Quranic justification for halal slaughter portraying animal slaughter good and pure. But giving no insights into reasons why is jallikattu practised as a popular sport in Tamil Nadu, of course not expecting them to support any customary practise.
The problem isn’t with glorification of halal to me, it is with ‘how animals cannot be forced to do something’ only being preached to Hindus, to malign a specific religion.
Quotations defaming Diwali, Dushera, Janmashtami:
Article titled ‘Hindus for Trump; behind the uneasy alliance with right wing US politics’ quotes an American activist Soundaranjan: “Diwali and Dussehra are both upper-caste holidays that celebrate the death of tribals and the ascent of Aryan culture over Dravidian culture,” said Soundararajan, a Dalit American artist and activist. “In many ways Dalit communities do not celebrate this event – it’s literally about the killing of our people.”
The same article which reports ban on jallikaatu says: In August, revellers flouted restrictions on dahi-handi, a Hindu ritual where children ascend a human pyramid up to 30-feet high, and smash a pot of curd or milk to mark Lord Krishna’s birthday.
Not an inch of balanced journalism, this international website, dear to the left liberals, can’t get enough of spreading hatred against hindus. Hinduphobia I call it!
3rd year bachelor’s student in Journalism and Mass communication. Keenly interested in exploring political ideologies.