Friday, October 23, 2020
Home Opinions The elite apathy of self-consumed Indians and self-identified 'South Asians'

The elite apathy of self-consumed Indians and self-identified ‘South Asians’

Don't be selfish, dear elite Hindus and non-non-Hindus. Think of the 90% "Hindus" who are not like you. Who are poor, 'lower caste,' women, children, farmers, co-dependent.

Recently, I outpaced the return of Karl the Fog (yes, San Francisco names its fogs), and library closing time to walk several blocks quick-speed without my ankle strap even, just to reach the library and photograph the New York Times.

I saw an image of the web version of the story shared by friends earlier in the day, but I had to see the real thing, the newspaper, that word in ink, chaapoed like a death sentence on us, a Jewish star we had to wear before being marched off into extinction, into the eyes and minds of millions of innocent readers in little libraries in small-town America.

You see, I take these military assaults on the word “Hindu” very seriously, like someone is dropping a bomb on my own house and family.

Do you think I exaggerate?

Do you think I dramatize the situation because I am too “sensitive”? Or I cannot handle criticism of my “religion”? Or I am vain about my tribe’s “image”?

If you do you can’t read English or at least you haven’t written a word of what I’ve written all these years.

But if you are reading this, it is perhaps safe to assume you don’t judge me thus. You either agree with me, or you think perhaps while I may remotely have a point or two, I am still, well, “over-reacting.” Hindus don’t have problems, you will say. There’s really no such thing as Hindus you will say (except of course when they are labelled as such in crime news etc.).

My key question is this: if you saw a headline saying “Blacks are Dangerous, Violent People” would you be as indifferent to it as you presently are to the SYSTEMATIC, relentless, tidal wave of demonizing labels about Hindus in the Western press? No. I think not. You’d say it’s racist. Not because you fear that such a headline necessarily affects you, or maybe you do, a bit, but largely because it’s the right thing to do, and you have been taught it’s the right thing to do.

But why do you resist seeing that what is going on in the Western media is exactly the same thing? Do you not notice, that “Hindus are Dangerous, Violent People”/ “Hinduism is Evil” is overwhelmingly the only thing being said (btw, I have the data, and it’s true, the bias is real and extreme)? Or do you excuse each instance saying “but it’s true, those Hindus in Kashmir really did kill that girl”, or maybe even adding “because Hinduism is a patriarchal religion and The Daily Beast published an article consistent with research by the eminent Hinduism expert Wendy Doniger proving that Vishnu raped Tulsi.” (all these are facts btw).

I do not know why you, as an Indian, a PoC (Person of Color), a Hindu — the last one perhaps only by default-definition of history and postcoloniality if not personal choice or belief — fail to see that hate is hate. Especially hate that is aimed at people very much like you.

Actually, I think I have finally understood why this is so.

The answer occurred to me in the context of organized Hindu activism in the US. Why has it been only marginally effective? Is it the famous Indian infighting and such? No. I think, and this is what I have seen, the problem is that even some of the people who float around in great Hindoo gatherings and such fail to see, process, or act on the DANGER upon them. Maybe it’s changing now because the media is getting far more intense in its anti-Hindu hatred. But in the early 2000s, when I first started hearing about Hindu groups and initiatives here, I don’t recall anyone feeling scared – they were at best angry (the ones with some honour), but the rest, for them this organizing was actually yet another NRI social status “we have arrived” status-signaling thing. “The Jews have a lobby!” They would say. “We are rich and educated like them and so we must have a lobby too!” That was the vibe. And obviously, on this vital front of media and cultural warfare, I do consider that vibe a problem, a cause of failure.

Anyway, that’s just the problem within self-identified Hindus in America, even well-meaning ones who know/agree there is a bit of a problem at least.

But what of the wider community? The million or two Indians in the US, or the tens of millions or so that are to be found in the Phoenix malls and pubs on weekends in India who do not actively feel that there is such a problem, the elite Indians, SISAs (Self Identified South-Asians), non-non-Hindus?

At best, some of them go announcing health updates on the state of their “Josh,” and do stand up for Jana Gana Mana in the theatre, and I don’t knock them for that.

But what of the rest, the rest of the non-non-Hindu upper and middle classes of India and the US diaspora who DON”T like this stuff at all? Who abhors “nationalism” and “RW” and “Modi” and “Hindu” this or that? SISAs and their followers?

(Well I don’t like the label “RW” either but a different time for that…)

The truth is that none of this lot feels a thing when the name Hindu is napalmed, no, irradiated like Chernobyl actually, because it doesn’t affect them much.

Okay. Good for you. You are post-religious, post-national, cosmopolitan, liberal and equally opposed to RSS and ISIS and whatever else you kid yourself with.

That is unimportant. What is vitally important though is that you realize WHY it doesn’t bother you a bit that there’s a WAR. ON. “HINDU.”

You don’t realize it because you are the frigging upper class.

You are not in the basthi being swallowed by another basthi, violently.

You are not in the villages of Pakistan or Bangladesh.

You are not in parts of Bengal or Kerala.

You did not have to flee your home in Kashmir one Friday afternoon which started the same way most Friday afternoons do in India. Did they know even how it could change, on a dime, as they say?

Your physical and economic safety is okay, for now. Whether you are Hindu, or non-non-Hindu, or la-di-da, you are safe.

Of course, even if you are la-di-da rich in some US suburb or Indian IT posh colony, your well-being and image are not as rosy as you think. The war raging in media, schools and colleges upon your dignity and that of your progeny has eviscerated you and you don’t even see it.

Your posh English your clothes your secular credo least of all, none of it matters.

You are the buffoon Hindoo in the eyes of the world. Just watch one fellow called Pa Ranjith Tamil pictures with Rajnikanth. The movie Peta, where every scene with the villain shows him doing Hindu prayers, including Ganga arathi, and the good people are all either non-religious Hindus or pious Muslims.

It ends with Rajni-sir doing psycho laugh and dance that he tricked a Hindu youth into killing his own dad by telling him his daddy didn’t love him.

Then, Rajni-sir shoots the Hindu duffer too.

This is the story a whole bunch of whoever isn’t thinking of themselves as Hindus is thinking about you, dear “all-izz-well in my shopping mall and in the posh school my kids go to” la-di-da Hindus and non-non-Hindus!

It doesn’t matter at all if you want to be “religious” or “traditional” or what not.

But if you are not aware that you are being conned, big time, by the same forces pushing the planet to overheated extinction, you better beg Goddess Saraswati or Charles Darwin or Ayn Rand or whoever is your hero to give you some brains. And a heart.

Don’t be selfish, dear elite Hindus and non-non-Hindus. Think of the 90% “Hindus” who are not like you. Who are poor, ‘lower caste,’ women, children, farmers, co-dependent.

Stand for them.

It may not bother you, but learn to resist the anti-Hindu hate machine in media and education and the whole wide world –  at least for them.

If this is still too unclear, for one example, please read my essay on how media’s mocking of Hinduism is usually not about mocking superstition but about mocking thirst and hunger and the lives of the poor and simple people of our country.

Resist the media.

Resist genocide.

Resist ecocide.

And that other -cide which is what you are doing right now.

(This article has been written by Vamsee Juluri, writer and USF Media Studies Professor)

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Related Articles

Trending now

Remembering Lalu’s Jungle Raj in Bihar: When an IAS officer’s wife was raped for two years by an RJD leader

During Lalu's Jungle Raj in Bihar, IAS Officer BB Vishwas's wife Chamba Biswas was raped for 2 years by RJD leader Mrityunjay Yadav

“Your outrage against Hinduphobic content on OTT platforms may actually be fuelling more such content”- Here is what an industry insider says

OTT platforms are not hit if a movie or a series if boycotted for Hinduphobic content as people have already paid for subscription

No, India Today, Katrina Kaif in yellow saree for Navratri is not offensive to Hindus, this is where you got it wrong

India Today tries to be holier than thou while trying to paint Hindus as trolls over Eros Now's vulgar Navratri posts

CM Yogi distributes relief amount of Rs 113.21 crore among the flood-affected farmers in Uttar Pradesh

CM Yogi distributed the relief amount to the flood-affected farmers in 19 districts of the state by online transaction.

‘Mughal Prince Tucy’ lashes out on AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi, calls him ‘Bewakoof, and Gadha’

Prince Tucy said that when the people of Hyderabad are dealing with horrific floods, MP Asaduddin Owaisi is busy doing poll campaign in Bihar.

Is Modi govt giving Coronavirus vaccines for ‘free’ only to Bihar? No, that’s not how it works

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday while releasing the BJP manifesto in Bihar for upcoming elections said that the BJP promises free coronavirus vaccines in Bihar, whenever the vaccine is made available.

Recently Popular

France: Charlie Hebdo cartoons projected on government building to express solidarity with deceased teacher who was beheaded by Islamic terrorist

Days after the barbaric beheading of teacher Samuel Paty on the streets of Paris by a terrorist for showing the cartoons of Prophet Mohammad to his students, support continues to pour in for the deceased teacher.

UK: 37-year-old paedophile named Rehan Baig jailed for raping chickens to death while his wife filmed it

Rhan Baig's wife had also joined him in the videos and at one point he alternated between having sex with his wife and the chickens.

Eros Now apologises for publishing vulgar Hinduphobic content on Navratri

After netizens outraged over vulgar posts on Navratri, Eros Now issued an apology.

Remember Sheena Bora case? Param Bir Singh was the IG of Konkan range, the site where her body was dumped

Param Bir Singh knew that Sheena Bora was missing. He had asked Rahul Mukerjea to file a 'missing persons' report. Sheena, however, was never reported as 'missing'.

‘Comedian’ Agrima Joshua, who calls herself ‘feminist’, passes offensive sexual comments against woman due to political differences

Agrima Joshua had earlier found herself in a controversy after insulting the Shivaji Maharaj memorial during a performance.

Paris: Two Muslim women stabbed under Eiffel Tower by white women shouting “dirty Arabs”

Two Muslim women were stabbed repeatedly under the Eiffel Tower on Sunday night by two white women who called them "dirty Arabs".
- Advertisement -

Complaints filed against Eros Now and Arré for vulgar social media posts related to Navratri

Both Eros Now and Arre had published social media posts linking Navratri festival with sex and vulgarity

Chhattisgarh police file FIR against video journalist who had reported on farmer protests based on an allegedly edited video

Video journalist Manish Soni had reported about the plight of farmers whose paddy crops were ruined due to anti-encroachment drive

Reducing Navratri to ‘mating dance’, comparing Holi with terrorism— how the Indian media has turned Hinduphobic

After Eros Now posted series of vulgar messages associated with Navratri, far-left site Arre posted a Hinduphobic tweet on Durga puja

Remembering Lalu’s Jungle Raj in Bihar: When an IAS officer’s wife was raped for two years by an RJD leader

During Lalu's Jungle Raj in Bihar, IAS Officer BB Vishwas's wife Chamba Biswas was raped for 2 years by RJD leader Mrityunjay Yadav

“Your outrage against Hinduphobic content on OTT platforms may actually be fuelling more such content”- Here is what an industry insider says

OTT platforms are not hit if a movie or a series if boycotted for Hinduphobic content as people have already paid for subscription

Mumbai Police threatens Republic TV executive editor with imprisonment for refusing to reveal source of Hansa report in TRP scam

Republic TV Executive Editor warned by Mumabi Police that he will be booked under IPC sections 174 and 179 if does not give source of Hansa report

No, India Today, Katrina Kaif in yellow saree for Navratri is not offensive to Hindus, this is where you got it wrong

India Today tries to be holier than thou while trying to paint Hindus as trolls over Eros Now's vulgar Navratri posts

UP: Police find conversion of over 200 people to Buddhism fake, people were asked to sign conversion papers disguised as govt scheme

After reports of 236 Valmiki community members converting to Buddhisim, police find no evidence of conversion in Karehra village

Lucknow: Jama Mazar caretaker ‘Kale Baba’ caught running sex racket, video goes viral

The caretaker has allegedly confessed to police that he was sexually exploiting women and engaging them in illicit activities in the name of curing infertility and other ailments.

Meghalaya: Khasi student body puts up racist posters saying “All Meghalaya Bengalis are Bangladeshis”

The banners put up by Khasi Students Union read, ''All Meghalaya Bengalis are Bangladeshis'' and "Khasiland for Khasis; Foreigners Go Away".

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
466,035FollowersFollow
18,800SubscribersSubscribe