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Like Jewish people, Hindus need to tell the world about centuries of our suffering

For Hindus, social media was only the first step. One small battle has been won. But the war is still very much going against us. Can we turn it around?

By now, we have all become familiar with the “Day of outrage” phenomenon. It all begins like this: an innocuous headline tucked away in some newspaper or some news portal that seems deliberately vague on the details. Something like “Delhi man dies in mob attack” or “Place of worship attacked by unknown miscreants from a certain community.” Everybody has learned how to decode terms like this anyway.

In an age of social media, such attempts are futile. So their cover is blown in no time. And it is revealed, yet again, that some Hindu somewhere has been the victim of a horrific hate crime. Or a Hindu temple has been desecrated or some such thing.

Then, social media does what it does best. Going into peak outrage mode for an extremely short span of time. The Hinduphobic lobby senses the bad weather and stays indoors, waiting for the storm to blow over. Usually, within 24-48 hours, everything is calm once again.

This is why those insulting headlines never recede even after being ‘exposed’ a hundred times over. Because social media outrage blows over quickly. Nothing is left for future reference. Except stories with headlines like “Delhi man spontaneously evaporated” or something…

Journalism they say is the first draft of history. And so, it must be remembered that anti-Hindu bias in reporting cannot be ‘exposed’ by merely one day of social media outrage. Yes, it is a positive development that nowadays they do get exposed on the day. But unless the writing of history itself is changed, there is no real long term benefit to this.

You might remember those ‘hate crime databases’ and those ‘studies’ that draw from them. Inevitably, their conclusion is the same: something like 95% or so “victims” of hate crime are non-Hindus.

Read: Ready to dance on dead bodies of Hindus: How Raghav Bahl’s website whitewashed Islamist attack on Durga visarjan

It’s easy to see why this happens. Because if some thief breaks into a missionary school in Delhi and manages to steal Rs 8000, it gets reported as a hate crime. If a mob of ‘seculars’ vandalizes a temple in the same city and even desecrates the idols, it is reported as a ‘parking dispute.’

The ones who write these ‘parking dispute’ reports know very well that they will get exposed on social media. Then, why do they do it? Because they also know that the written record of the incident as a ‘parking dispute’ will always remain. The angry tweets will be forgotten. So when history is compiled, every instance of hate crime against Hindus will either be forgotten outright or recorded as disputed. The most effective example of this would be the Godhra carnage, which is still reported as if there is doubt about who was behind the attack. It has now been years since the convicts, all of them from the ‘peaceful religion,’ have been convicted and their sentences confirmed by the Supreme Court.

Let me remind you how ‘secular’ forces achieved this remarkable feat of lying about the Godhra carnage. Just days after the incident, a team of activists and left wing politicians ran to Godhra on what they called a “fact finding mission.” It was they who sowed every vicious rumour about karsevaks not paying for tea, even a rumour about a girl being molested. In small but sure ways, they began undermining the real facts about the carnage and its victims. As soon as UPA came to power in 2004, they created the Banerjee Commission which said the fire was an accident. It didn’t matter that these claims were later debunked in High Court and Supreme Court. As a general rule, historians, even with best of intentions, generally try to present “all sides” of an event. In the case of Godhra carnage, the lie was seeded alongside the truth from Day 1. And it worked.

Like Hindus, the Jewish people have been persecuted for centuries. After World War 2, the Jewish people stood up and resolved that this would never happen again. And they worked hard to cement the memory of the holocaust into history. Memorials were built all across Europe, museums were constructed. The stories of holocaust survivors were documented for all of humanity to remember. International organizations and academic disciplines were created to document the history of anti-Semitism as well as its presence in contemporary society.

India became independent around the same time as Israel was established. However, the Hindus of India, self-governing for the first time in 1000 years, were unable to establish a similar intellectual infrastructure. A Sikh employee at the BBC recently resigned after the organization forbade him to tell the story of Guru Tegh Bahadur, who was executed by Aurangazeb for refusing to convert to Islam. In other words, we have neglected this history for so long that it is going away from us. ‘Secularists’ have come in and rewritten the narrative completely. Startlingly, it is now being suggested that Aurangazeb is a misunderstood man, that he should be credited for the idea of separation of religion and state!

I will wait for the day when there are museums in India and all across the world that show the history of how Hindus were treated at the hands of oppressors. How temples were destroyed, idols broken, places of worship desecrated. How Hindus were made to pay Jaziya tax. How Hindus were massacred in 1947 and chased away from the lands their ancestors had lived in for thousands of years. I will wait for the day when Hinduphobia is studied as an academic discipline, its history and practice is documented by scholars.

For Hindus, social media was only the first step. One small battle has been won. But the war is still very much going against us. Can we turn it around?

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Abhishek Banerjee
Abhishek Banerjee
Abhishek Banerjee is a columnist and author.  

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