Credit where credit is due. The opposition to the Narendra Modi government continues unabated, after the elections in 2019 in which he was voted back to power with overwhelming support. Not a bad thing in itself. The worry is not the opposition political party. A healthy, thriving political opposition if necessary for a democracy. Unfortunately, as we can see in many events and seminars organized post the 2019 mandate is that the media and intellectuals consider themselves as a potent political force and consider the legitimate political opposition merely their tool or foot soldiers.
Media does not think that it has the job of reporting the truth. We can often find top journalists discussing how ‘they’ got the elections wrong and how ‘they’ were let down by the opposition which did not rise to the occasion and help them overthrow the government. One analyst wants to hold the people by the collar for the electoral choices they have made. The government was formed, and Modi being Modi, it hit the tracks running.
The political opposition of the country remains in disarray. Head of the largest political party goes out for vacations, comes back and claims to want to resign from the post of Party president. He wants to appoint a president, who would, being appointed by the family, owe loyalty to the family and allow the family to enjoy the power without accountability as a figurehead of the party. He, who had claimed his commitment to unravelling the ‘truth’ of Rafale has not uttered the word since, which demonstrates the hollowness of the primary charge of corruption, Rahul Gandhi had made before Elections merely to create cracks in the image of impeccable integrity of Narendra Modi, even in the face of rejection of those charges by constitutional and judicial bodies.
But that does not mean that NDA 2.0 has no opposition. Being disappointed with the prince of the Congress, media has organised itself into a potent political force and as things unravel, they have no qualms in shedding the façade of neutrality. Since elections, articles have been written in leading dailies, quoting cases of unfortunate death of Muslims, from 2014-15, to create a sense of doom and to manufacture an environment of insecurity among Indian minorities. That they had to go back few years to find cases of crime against Muslims, in a country of 125 Crore people, illustrates, in itself, how good or bad the things are as there is nothing in the near vicinity that they could report about.
There has been a spate of violence, undoubtedly, on the ground, post-election. But as statistics would tell us, it is directed mostly against the majority religion, which would be an odd thing, had it not been for the inherently peaceful nature of Hindus. The pattern, if one looks at it dispassionately, seems almost like a revenge for the massive mandate for Modi. International media often calls BJP as a Hindu nationalist party. Which is a funny thing as to one wonders why would they not call an AIMIM or IUML a Muslim party, which brazenly, in the name itself, calls themselves a party for the Muslims?
In spite of what appears to be a pattern of violence against Hindus, the Right‑Wing has been circumspect in its reaction and while pointed out the pattern, has neither blamed the government for pussyfooting nor has blamed the majority of the second-largest religions on the whole for them. The left-liberals on the other hand, have been totally unforgiving. When it comes to propaganda, the lies of Left-Liberals know no limits. They have had quite a successful run in the past, bringing fake beef angle to a fight for the seat in a crowded train in case Junaid and creating a Dalit angle and holding the government responsible for the unfortunate death of a student Rohith Vemula who turned out to be a non-Dalit and whose suicide turned out to be on account of his personal disenchantment with the Left which used the Dalits but had no place for Dalits in its highest positions.
When lies are shrill, the truth cannot be heard. So Vemula and Junaid became hashtag and rallying points. All said one cannot ignore the strength of propaganda that this coterie has. Junaid keeps coming back as a poster-boy of Muslim victimhood and Rohit Vemula as a symbol of upper-caste vengeance against Dalits, in spite of truth being otherwise. The lie has been spoken so many times and with such confidence that it still appears to many as truth.
The Left-Liberals, anti-Hindu forces have been at it, trying to use stray acts of crime to embarrass the Hindu faith as if the faith itself has been responsible for it. Earlier an unfortunate crime, sad and shameful as it was, was used to attack Hinduism merely on account of the fact that the crime allegedly happened in a temple. Multiple rapes have been reported in religious places of worship of other religion, but it has not been used to attack and embarrass the believers. I suppose the design with which Hinduism has been attacked in the past, seems similar to the way Paganism was attacked and eventually eliminated in Rome by the Church. Whether the Hindu revivalism has triggered it or it was a plan always there is a question which remains unanswered.
After a couple of false starts, which were quickly exposed to be fake cases, the media has found a new victim in Tabrez Ansari. Tabrez Ansari was a small-time thief who was caught by the people in the act and handed over to the police. A few days later, he dies in police custody. As reports are emerging, he died on account of Cardiac arrest. Around the same time, a little girl, 7 years old was raped, kidnapped and killed in Delhi. This was largely greeted with silence. There was some outrage about the murder and rape of a little girl in Aligarh, but not as well organized as that in case of Tabrez, from hashtag attacking Hinduism arising from Southern India (well, where for instance a Hindu man, Ramalingam was lynched sometime back for objecting conversion activities) to a message from USCIRF (US Commission for International Religious Freedom).
Around the same time, a man called Gangaram objected to the molestation of his daughter and was lynched by Muslim criminals responsible. Same happened to Dhruv Tyagi in Delhi. The brazenness behind the selective outrage is disturbing. The efforts are on to transform a thief into a martyr and to paint the innocent tribal into blood-thirsty Hindus. The hashtags are not against the crime, rather against the faith. It is not an innocent man’s outrage against crime. It is an organized attack against a polytheist faith, which accommodates multiple Gods, by faiths which say only our God and no other God.
Non-fiction writing is not an easy thing. The Right-Wing media or rather non-leftist, neutral media thinks that the job of media is to report the facts. So they list out fifty crimes against Hindus. This is where it is mistaken. The problem with such reporting is that it reduces human beings and their losses to the data point. Some time back, Shivam Vij had reported how the Right is full of people with Math and Science background, unlike left which has more of humanities people. So, the non-left reporting is factual and unfortunately lacks the heart. It speaks in data and numbers. It tries to inform. The reportage on Dhruv Tyagi and Gangaram lack heart while the report on Tabrez Ansari lacks facts.
E. L. Doctorow wrote, “Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader, not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.” When one reads how the reports on the lynching of Gangaram or Dhruv Tyagi and how Tabrez’s custodial death is converted to religious lynching and reported, one can see the contrast. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom too has jumped into it, without knowing or ascertaining the facts.
But then, facts were never a strong point for intellectual imperialists. That is another story which I would like to write about another time. Right now the point is how the political journalists have found another Junaid in Tabrez Ansari after the skull-cap stories of Gurugram went wrong. Going by the facts of the matter, this story too might go Junaid way and turn out to be well-cooked propaganda to malign Hindu faith. See how quickly it has spread pan-India. How the South of India, which remained silent on the lynching of Ramalingam in their backyard has taken to the protest on something which happened in Ranchi? The protests are not spontaneous. There is a design to it and I hope, the Government is not in any confusion on it. It is no longer political, it seems, it is more and more religious.
In a political protest, the anger would be against legal and administrative authority, where the hashtag running, in this case, is “No to Jai Shri Ram” and “I am not a Hindu”. We all need to think what the motive behind this well-organized propaganda is. Is it to cover up what appears to be a pattern of revenge crimes against Hindus who seem to have voted in favour of large numbers for Modi, or is it a larger design of discrediting a polytheist faith which accepts other faith as another way to reach salvation or truth?
A technology worker, writer and poet, and a concerned Indian. Saket writes in Hindi and English. He writes on socio-political matters and routinely writes Hindi satire in print as well in leading newspaper like Jagaran. His recently published Hindi satire collection “Ganjhon Ki Goshthi” is on amazon and getting excellent reception and readership.