While the vast majority of our country is rejoicing at the bold move by the Modi government on Jammu and Kashmir, the self-proclaimed liberal intellectuals have gone into a tizzy. Their OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) levels have been consistently rising. But, this week, there is someone whose OCD levels have peaked! None other than “India’s National Newspaper”, The Hindu. You think I am exaggerating? Let’s take a look at their opinion pieces, published in their print edition, in this week.
- Monday, August 19th:‘The Idea of India’ is failing
- Monday, August 19th: Journalism counters manufactured ignorance
- Tuesday, August 20th: Democracy under siege
- Wednesday, August 21st: Choppy waters lie ahead
- Wednesday, August 21st: Recognising fair criticism
- Wednesday, August 21st: The monk who shaped India’s secularism
- Thursday, August 22nd: State-breaking is not nation making
The lack of creativity is really amusing! For how many more years do they want to continue with the same “Democracy under siege” and “Idea of India” phrases? For all the talent at their disposal, can’t they really do better than repeating these boring phrases? Most articles say the same and mean the same. However, there are two articles that are quite upsetting, because they seem to assume that the reader is naïve and will believe anything that is written.
The first such article was published on Wednesday, August 21st: Choppy waters lie ahead. The author of this article is a former National Security Advisor of India, Shri M.K. Narayan. In the section titled “Global reactions and lessons”, he begins thus: “International opinion is unlikely — whatever gloss we may apply — to accept at face value our reasons as to why the steps taken in Kashmir were necessary.”
I was immediately reminded of this awesome tweet of Ashok Mallik where he roasted Sadanand Dhume’s vague definition of “internationalization”. But since I was reading a piece by a former National Security Advisor, I was really expecting more depth than Sadanand Dhume. He continues by telling us that “Already, voices critical of India’s actions are beginning to be heard. China made its views clear…”
Yes, China is not happy, we know that. We want to know from the former NSA who else is not happy? He enlightens us that “Most nations across the world may adopt a similar line…”. So we have a grand total of one country not happy with what we did. No other nation has adopted a “similar line” like China. If this article came in a piece of advice within a day or two of the monumental decision, then it made sense. This advice came a full three weeks after no country commented on India. And yet the former NSA found it fit to continue the fear-mongering that the alleged liberals bank on!
The fear-mongering by the former NSA doesn’t stop. Weeks after the government had emphatically clarified that there will be no impact on Articles 371, he chooses to write that “It could also induce fears across the entire Northeast, even though Article 371 still holds sway there.”
To top it all, we are also told by him that “It would be an error of judgment, however, to believe that “all is well” in J&K.”. Slowly, but surely, all is getting well in Ladakh, Jammu and parts of Kashmir. Why can’t he acknowledge the areas where things are getting normal and the areas which are still problematic? He was NSA for quite some period of time – why can’t he tell us what is it that he did to resolve the problem of Kashmiris? Why, instead, resort to this fear-mongering?
The second such article was also published on Wednesday, August 21st: Recognising fair criticism.
The Lancet is a reputed medical journal. They, however, chose to comment on India’s decision to remove Article 370 from J&K. This invited a rebuke from many in India and also the Indian Medical Association. And this rebuke hurt these self-proclaimed intellectuals, so much that R. Prasad wrote in The Hindu– “The editorial is not an “act of commission” by The Lancet, as the IMA calls it, but what the journal considers as its beholden duty to speak up for people in health distress.”
The Lancet editorial has only one mention of a “formidable health crisis”. This is based on a study done in two districts of J&K which concluded that “that nearly half of Kashmiris rarely felt safe and of those who had lost a family member to violence, one in five had witnessed the death firsthand. Therefore, it is unsurprising that people in the region have increased anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.”
There needed no study to be done to understand that Kashmiris live in fear because of the terrorism infested violence. There needed no magazine to tell us that people living in conflict areas suffer from anxiety. And there is only one way to solve this problem – end the violence! And that is precisely what India is aiming to do now. The Modi government is reaching out to Kashmiris to put an end to all their woes, “health distress” included. The Lancet finds this move “controversial” is even more surprising.
What’s even more surprising is that R. Prasad repeatedly comes to The Lancet’s defence on grounds that Lancet focused on health! Sample another line from his article – “But the central focus has always been on health, and the editorial on J&K is no different.” Slow claps for the ingenuity, (over)confidence and the staggering boldness of the author when he emphatically declares that the editorial on J&K is about health. Does the author, R.Prasad, really think that people today will not have access to Lancet’s editorial; will read it and understand how the focus is anything but health?
Then we have an article on “State breaking is not nation-making”. This, after repeated assurances by the government that while Ladakh will continue to be a UT (a long-pending people’s demand that was finally met), full state status will be restored to J&K at the earliest possible opportunity. Yet this ilk continues to perpetuate the same old argument, only to spread fear and rumours.
The icing on the cake though is the following conclusion by The Hindu’s readers editor in his Monday’s article – “A cursory reading of the responses to critical voices in the comment section of this newspaper proves that there is an explosion of ignorance.” In my opinion, no one can beat The Hindu in their legendary arrogance. They will continue to display this in abundance in the days to come