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A Hindu perennially ashamed and guilty: How narrative after Ayodhya verdict is trying to achieve it

It is important to realise that the Jihad apologists don't despise Hindus per se. They simply want that the Hindu community never gets over its insurmountable capacity to absorb hate, humiliation, defeat, murder, rape, conversion and the desecration of their faith. For the capacity to absorb humiliation to continue, the Hindu must be made to carry the burden of undeserved guilt perennially.

The Ayodhya verdict righted a historical wrong. While the Supreme Court treated it as purely a land dispute to ascertain whether Ram Janmabhoomi belonged to the Hindus or the land, where Babri Masjid once stood, (after demolishing a Hindu temple at the site) belonged to the Muslims. The court adjudged that the entire 67-acres belonged to the Hindus and the Muslims would get an alternate site in Ayodhya to build their mosque.

One criticism of the judgement could possibly be that if the court did decide that the land indeed belongs to Hindus, giving Muslims a separate 5-acre plot was futile if the case was being treated purely as a land dispute. For example, if miscreants throw me out of my house and take possession of it, the court is surely not going to accord to miscreants a separate house to compensate for taking away their illegally possessed house and giving it back to its rightful owner.

Hence, the verdict too certainly had an element of faith attached to it and no amount of denying that can possibly help.

So far, the criticism of the verdict has also been the basis of the faith of the Muslim community even though, elements like Owaisi have tried to package it as legal arguments. Personally, I would not fault the Muslim community for feeling upset over the verdict. The issue was a charged one with deep religious, cultural, historic and civilisational underpinnings and it was expected that the community that lost would be upset over it. However, Ram Janmabhoomi has 5-century long struggle attached to it and since the Babri Masjid was built by invaders after tearing down and desecrating a Hindu temple, the civilisational scales are tipped vastly in favour of the Hindu community.

While the Muslim community being upset is understandable, there are several other parallel narratives that are being pushed post the Ayodhya verdict which point towards a deeper issue not just with sections of the Muslim community but also the media, which is often considered the propaganda wing of the Muslim fundamentalist faction.

Walking on egg-shells around the Muslim community post-Ayodhya and did it help?

Even before the Ayodhya verdict was pronounced, there was a host of requests being made for calm to be maintained. While this sounds advice of maturity, the undercurrent was palpable and deeply disturbing. Mostly, due to the historicity of Ram Janmabhoomi, despite the valiant efforts by Left historians, it was almost considered a foregone conclusion that Hindus would get Ram Janmabhoomi back. The only doubt in the mind of the sceptics was perhaps whether the ‘secular’ establishment would play spoilsport and split the land between Hindus and Muslims and these sceptics mostly belonged to the Hindu community itself.

For most belonging to the establishment, the sense of which way the wind was blowing was evident and thus, started the pontification. Hindus were asked to keep calm. Hindus were asked to not offend the Muslim community. Hindus were asked not to celebrate the culmination of a 5 century-old battle for a piece of land their faith was inextricably tied to. Hindus were asked to not consider this a victory. Hindus were asked to maintain ‘marayada’ while celebrating the return of their King, Marayada Purshottum Ram, essentially, Hindus were told that any celebration would mean a direct instigation of the Muslim community.

And Hindus did oblige. There was hardly any celebration other than muted ‘Jai Shree Ram’ tweets. Hindus did not come out on the streets to celebrate. Hindus walked on egg-shells lest they offend the easily provocable Muslim community and let one of the most glorious victories slide with sombre maturity.

Essentially, the assumption here was that Muslims would react in a manner that would be violent. While the assumption by the ‘secularists’ goes against the picture of victimhood they wish to paint of the Muslim community, the narrative was simple. The mighty Hindus must be magnanimous to the scared, demured Muslim community.

Did it help? Not really.

Hindus in general and Hindu leaders specifically have kept a mature stance on the issue. We had Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Baba Ramdev talk about how this is not an issue of a victory or a loss, but in fact, just closure to a chapter in history. Even VHP, interestingly, observed a mature silence on the issue. However, the Muslim leaders and sections of the Muslim population, in general, did not follow suit.

We had Asaddudin Owaisi spew venom and reject the Supreme Court verdict. We had him take to Twitter and claim that he wants his masjid back. We had a group of Muslim women in Telangana hold a “prayer meeting” and should slogans like “Ram Mandir todenge”. While the women were booked, not one ‘liberal’ who had been pontificating to Hindus before the verdict, came forward to condemn such programs or even the utterings of Owaisi.

Essentially, the pontification to the Hindus achieved the first step in a long project for the Muslims and the Liberals.

‘Liberal’ pontification: A project to induce ‘Survivor’s Guilt’

One has to wonder what did all the incessant and annoying pontification actually achieve. Was it merely a force of habit where they pretend to be the harbingers of some lofty, yet ultimately useless virtue? Was it because they just dislike Hindus and want to “civilise the unwashed masses”? Was it because they think Hindus don’t measure up to the elite values of being divorced from faith? Perhaps yes, for many. However, there is a completely different agenda at play here.

Inducing ‘Survivor’s Guilt’.

‘Survivor’s Guilt’ is essentially guilt that consumes a person who survives a traumatic incident, when others don’t. It is often seen in survivors of plane crashes, for example. They wonder why they survived the crash while others didn’t. The guilt often consumes a person to a point where they feel mentally paralysed, incapable of living their life how they should.

When Hindus are told that their victory, one they have fought tooth and nail for over a span of 500 years, is not something that they must celebrate, it is essentially a practice in inducing paralysing guilt. The Ayodhya struggle was a traumatic one for both sides, especially for Hindus. Hindus first lost their temple to invading, barbaric hoards. Then, Indian Muslims refused to recognise that Hindus had a rightful claim over what they lost. When Hindus struggled to get it back, they were called bigots, criminals. They were shot at, killed, maimed. They were branded as terrorists. A neighbouring Islamic country destroyed tens of temples after the Babri demolition. There were widespread riots where Hindus and Muslims both died. On the part of Muslims, they were confronted with a civilisational battle that their indoctrination had rendered them incapable of understanding or handling.

By all standards, the Ayodhya struggle was a traumatic one for both Hindus and Muslims. Eventually, Hindus got their rightful claim while the court made the Muslims realise that their claim was unfounded from the beginning. Hindu claims survived. Muslim claims didn’t.

What the liberals wanted with their elaborate charade is to make Hindus feel guilty. When a people can’t celebrate a victory that they fought for over the span of 500 years, you essentially tell them that they do not ‘deserve’ the victory. That their ‘victory’ was not rightful. There was no justice in their triumph. That while they got what they wanted, they should hang their heads in shame because the other side, the ‘rightful side’, lost. They ensure that Hindus feel guilt so paralysing, so self-deprecating, that they lose sight of how they reclaimed their civilisation. How reclamation of their civilisation was their right. They won.

Hindus did not celebrate. Hindus stayed mute. Hindus tried not to offend the Muslims. Hindus tried to not even let themselves realise the enormity of the civilisational battle that they had just won. Sections of the Muslim community, the AIMPLB and Owaisi in particular, continued to spew venom.

How Media Jihad-apologists helped

It has long been established that the media is the propaganda arm of Jihad. That they are the spokesperson of the worst lot of the Muslim population that prefers to arm-twist the government and the majority population into giving them exactly what they want. They are the ideological backbone and the intellectual shield that the most violent section of the Muslim community depends on for nourishment.

In the aftermath of the Ayodhya verdict, the conduct of the media and the Jihadi elements in the media was no different.

The media launched a 4-point agenda:

  1. Guilt trip the Hindus for winning a 500-year long battle
  2. Paint Muslims as the victim – ‘Hindus took something away from the Muslims’.
  3. Subtly wonder why the Muslim community was not rioting on the roads, and if they are lucky, cajole the Muslim community to rum amock, causing riots, so they can demonise Hindus further and use the riots to beat Hindus into ideological submission.
  4. Exploit the Ayodhya win of the Hindus and the guilt they were working hard to invoke, to arm-twist Hindus into submitting to some unrelated demands of the Muslim community.

To understand how the narrative was built, we analyse the writing of 4 de-facto Jihadi ideologues in the media fraternity.

Rana Ayyub

A night before the verdict was announced, Rana Ayyub, the foremost Jihad apologist in the media space, took to Twitter to launch her narrative early.

On the day of the verdict and before the pronouncement, Rana then took too Twitter to compare Muslims to Jews.

It would be tragic, if not so transparently hilarious. Invading tyrants destroyed a temple, raped and killed and converted Hindus, build a Masjid on the ruins of Hindus faith but Muslims are like Jews. The Babri Masjid, built by invading tyrants who raped, killed and converted Hindus and destroyed a temple to build it in the first place was a monument of faith for Muslims. Its destruction ‘othered Muslims’. However, Ram Janmabhoomi was not a matter of faith for Hindus. If it was, the Jihad apologists didn’t care. If Hindus get their rights back, if Hindus have their faith respected, if the Ayodhya verdict goes in the Hindus’ favour, the country, the entire country disappoints Muslims. That was a precursor to the narrative.

Then came an article in Washington Post headlined “India’s Supreme Court endorses right-wing vision relegating Muslims to second-class citizens”.

In the article, Rana Ayyub mentions that the lawyer chanting ‘Jai Shree Ram’ was akin to Hindus gloating. The guilt-tripping starts early. A Hindu lawyer, fighting tooth and nail in the court of law to reclaim the Hindu faith, the Hindu civilisation, was hate.

She then says, “Like many Indian Muslims back home, I’ve struggled to make sense of the kind of “justice” that is being celebrated, this closure and relief many speak of. Whose closure? As a child of the 1992 anti-Muslim riots that followed the demolition of the holy mosque, I was made to revisit the traumatic decade, when a wake of communalism changed the narrative on secularism in the world’s largest democracy”. 

The Babri Masjid was ‘a holy mosque’. Ram Janmabhoomi, where the Hindu faith resided much before the Babri Masjid even came up, is not ‘Holy’. It is not ‘sacred’. The Hindus are tyrants for taking away a Mosque that was built on the ruins of their faith.

The rest of the article is an attempt to lie and paint Muslims as victims. She falsely claims that there were hundreds of rapes of Muslim women. She forgets the Hindu victims and essentially, paints Hindus as rioting fanatics who desecrated the faith of Muslims.

She further said, “A resounding message has been sent to the more than 200 million Muslims in the country that they must bear every humiliation and injustice with the silence expected of an inferior citizenry.”

She builds the base for any future arm-twisting – “You made us feel like second class citizens then, meet our demands now”.

By this, Rana Ayyub had achieved the vital three steps in the project – guilt-tripping Hindus, painting Muslims as the victims, setting the stage for future arm-twisting.

Then came the crucial final step – subtly wonder why the Muslim community was not rioting on the roads, and if they are lucky, cajole the Muslim community to rum amock, causing riots, so they can demonise Hindus further and use the riots to beat Hindus into ideological submission.

She tweeted:

She wonders why Muslims are silent. Why they are not on the streets. Rioting. So the violence can be used to guilt-trip Hindus further – “Look what you did”.

The loop was complete.

Barkha Dutt

Barkha started with her guilt-tripping, just as the others, with guilt-tripping and cautioning Hindus to not be celebratory.

Then came a masterful article where she achieved all four steps in one swift motion.

Barkha wrote an article headlined “What India owes its Muslim citizens after the Ayodhya temple verdict”.

Barkha writes:

Though the response to the judgment has been muted thus far, it will take time to figure out whether this is due to fatigue, a generational shift or the asymmetry of power between Hindus and Muslims. Once again, the aftermath could be lethal. In fact, real closure will depend on how, going forward, India treats its more than 175 million Muslim citizens. Anything other than equitable justice will only leave deep scars and gaping wounds.

Essentially, Barkha says the following in just 5 lines:

  1. Muslims have been ‘muted’ but there is a chance they will riot in the future
  2. Muslim are not rioting just as yet because they are weak, since Hindus are more in number and hence, the aggressors.
  3. Unless Hindus catapult to Muslim demands, however, unreasonable, they might start rioting.

She further writes (emphasis mine):

Proponents of the campaign argued that 16th-century Mughal invaders desecrated an already existing temple and built a mosque on its ruins. India’s Supreme Court has now said the specifics of this particular argument are hazy. Nevertheless, it has judged that the Hindu groups are better able to establish continuous worship over centuries at the site, where the remains of a structure that is “not Islamic” have been reported beneath the mosque. The decision will allow the BJP and Modi government to bolster its political fortunes further, with the construction of a grand Ram temple possibly just ahead of elections in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most politically significant state.

In an attempt to guilt-trip, Barkha says that there is no proof that Muslim invaders desecrated a Hindu temple to build the mosque. Interestingly, she also mentions how the court held that a ‘non-Islamic’ structure did exist under the Mosque. The Non-Islamic structure could have been a pub or a shopping mall perhaps? Or perhaps the studio of Tiranga TV? Either way, this was an attempt to guilt-trip the Hindus rather effectively. The central argument here that Barkha tried to make was that the Hindus did not win because Ram Janmabhoomi is there civilisational right, but because their lawyers were better.

She then writes:

In this moment, ideologues should also show generosity and compassion to India’s Muslim citizens. On the eve of the Ayodhya verdict, the prime minister appealed for harmony and warned against seeing the outcome as a victory or defeat for either side. One way to nip any majoritarian gloating in the bud is for his party to recast its most contentious Hindutva policies. For starters, proposed new legislation on citizenship rights, which links citizenship to religion and enables only non-Muslim refugees or immigrants from neighbouring countries to become Indian citizens, must be scrapped or altered. It is patently discriminatory against Muslims.

After establishing the guilt of Hindus two ways to Sunday and warning Hindus of possible riots if Hindus don’t concede to other demands by Muslims, Barkha goes on to list those demands,

First demand – scrap Citizenship Amendment Bill that proposes to give citizenship to non-Muslim persecuted minorities from neighbouring Islamic nations. There are several points to be made here. Firstly, India is the natural home for Hindus and that cannot be denied. Secondly, it is the Muslims who are persecuting the non-Muslims in neighbouring Islamic countries and thus, it is only fair that those non-Muslims be given refuge. Thirdly, the Muslims who are being persecuted by fellow-Muslims, not because of their identity but in spite of it. The Muslims consider certain sections of Muslims inferior, Murtads, and hence, they are persecuted. This is the internal strife of the Muslim world and thus, India has no civilisational or moral responsibility to play the arbitrator of the Muslim Ummah.

Since India has no legal obligation to take in refugees, the section of persecuted people it chooses to take in is her prerogative. It would be “Non-Muslim” is Indian Muslims were being discriminated against by CAB. They are not. Hence, Barkha’s demand, that she makes on behalf of the Muslim community, is nothing but pandering to the Muslim Brotherhood and Ummah.

Next, Barkha demands, on behalf of the Ummah, that BJP must ensure that more Muslims contest from their ranks. Though there is no comparison between BJP and extremist political outfit AIMIM, one wonders why after every Hindu-Muslim riot or after every genocidal statement made by either of the Owaisi brothers, Barkha has never demanded that more Hindus be inducted into the party. That demand too would have been asinine since every political party has the right to establish who fights on their ticket. Another attempt by Barkha to arm-twist BJP into following the path that Congress did, during whose regime, Barkha could be an instrumental part of the Radiia Tapes.

Further, she writes some nonsense about multi-faith prayers at Ram Janmabhoomi which is such a moronic suggestion that it should not even be dignified.

Barkha, with her article, plays a dangerous game but sticks to the ‘liberal’ script – guilt-trip Hindus, threaten with Muslims rioting, arm-twist to meet unrelated demands of the Ummah.

The Wire’s Arfa Khanum Sherwani

Arfa Khanum Sherwani is such a rabid Islamist that ideally, her utterings should be ignored. However, those who write about the Media and the embedded Jihad apologists therein, would not be doing justice if they did not analyse how the Jihad-apologist-in-chief furthered the same narrative as Barkha Dutt, which is actually an indictment of Barkha Dutt and not Arfa herself.

Arfa blatantly, more so than others, declared Muslims as the victims and Hindus as the aggressors.

Muslims are the community that has been wronged. Hindus are the ones who have wronged Muslims – as clear a statement as could be. The guilt of Hindus is so evident in her statements, that how she wanted to guilt-trip the Hindus does not even need further examination.

Then, Arfa went on to write an article headlined, “For A Young Girl Who Fled Home in December 1992, Ayodhya Verdict Brings No ‘Closure’”.

Arfa writes (and this is the crux of her article apart from copious amounts of tear-jerking):

The Muslim community has also largely been quiet and non-reactive. A few religious/social leaders maintain that they respect the Supreme Court’s verdict although they disagree with it. But should the lack of reaction from the Muslim community at large be seen as acceptance of the verdict? Has the court been successful in its ultimate objective of delivering a verdict not leading to disturbance of social peace?

Or is this silence emanating from the fear Muslims at large have of a backlash against them from not just the majority community but from a system that has so openly worked against them and their interests since the Narendra Modi government first came to power in 2014? Has the humiliation and helplessness resulting from brazen anti-Muslim politics – including gau raksha and ‘love jihad’ – made them lose hope for justice and parity in their own country?

The rues the “lack of reaction”. She essentially rues that Muslims, as they did in the past, have not spilt on to the streets to intimidate the ruling class with violence. She assumes that the Muslim community is scared simply because they are not out on the streets displaying their strength in numbers and their willingness to perpetrate violence.

This sentiment of Arfa was not only limited to her article, but the out-of-the-closet Jihad apologist went on to say exactly the same on video too.

What is to be noticed here is that she too, like Barkha, brings in unrelated issues that put the Muslim community in a tight spot. In her article, she mentions gau-raksha and love jihad. That love jihad is real has been proved by the innumerable victims who have come out and spoken about how they were duped to convert. That gau-raksha as a cause today exists simply because cattle-smugglers threaten the livelihoods of several Hindus (and Muslims in some cases) is missed. At the end of the day, Arfa wants the Ayodhya verdict to be used as a tool to not only guilt-trip Hindus but to ensure that the ensuing guilt stops Hindus from raising their voice when Muslims commit crimes that affect the Hindus’ livelihood and their faith directly.

Saba Naqvi

Since I have explained the modus-operandi in details while scrutinising the other Jihad-apologists in the media, with Saba, I will simply list out the points and leave it up to the reader to connect the dots.

The poor victims and the mighty aggressors. Saba Naqvi in her article writes:

It had always been a lose-lose situation for the minority community, damned if they win, damned if they don’t. It was the temple issue that most effectively created the template for casting Muslims as the “Other”, in this case for apparently denying the majority community their right to worship Lord Ram in the spot claimed as his birthplace. As Muslims are still the faces against which people are being mobilised on multiple fronts, fighting on about the mandir-masjid after the apex court verdict would be self-defeating. The way politics and debates are framed these days the Muslim community needs to be tactical about issues it allows itself to be dragged into.

Besides, had the Muslim side won, what could they have done? They could not have rebuilt a mosque, but they could have claimed a constitutional victory and that would have counted. At the end of this long journey, there is also a recognition that the only battles the community needs to engage with are for jobs, education and health. But will they be allowed to do so? Is there any guarantee that more issues seeking to extract “historical revenge” will not be resurrected?

Muslims are the faces against which people are being mobilised, Saba writes. She is essentially alluring to all other issues which her comrades and her want to paint as anti-Muslims, including CAB, NRC etc. In the process, she paints the Muslims as victims rather vociferously and might I add, naively. She says that whether the Muslims would have won or lost, conveniently, they would have been the victims.

Further, she writes:

Finally, the onus of making this a moment of national reconciliation rests not on the minority community but with the government and India’s pre-eminent political party.

After alluding to “other issues”, Saba writes that the onus is on BJP to ensure “reconciliation”. Essentially saying that the Muslims have kept quiet and not taken to the streets, hence, now the BJP must compromise on other issues that the Muslim community (more so eminent apologists like Saba) view as contentious.

The Guilty Hindu

Perhaps the vilest, most degenerate emotion is the guilt of an innocent man. It is worse when the ones who have sinned hold the victim by the head, look into their eyes, and in all earnestness, with a firm mask hiding the face of malice, tell the victim that he ought to feel what the sinner must. It is the worst form of treachery since it exploits the innate goodness of the victim. Guilt is not the burden of the guilty. It weighs on the hearts of men and women who still have divine goodness in them. Whose sense of morality becomes their greatest folly. A morality that makes them so vulnerable, that even when have not sinned, they can be made to feel like sinners.

It is important to realise that the Jihad apologists don’t despise Hindus per se. They simply want that the Hindu community never gets over its insurmountable capacity to absorb hate, humiliation, defeat, murder, rape, conversion and the desecration of their faith. For the capacity to absorb humiliation to continue, the Hindu must be made to carry the burden of undeserved guilt perennially.

The guilt that the Jihad apologists wish to root in the Hindu exploits the innate goodness and principles of Sanatan, perhaps that is what makes it so vile. The Hindu mustn’t consider their own land as a natural home for Hindus – it is anti-Muslim. The Hindu must not value the land that has been nurtured by the blood of her brave – it is anti-Muslim. The Hindu must not speak up when they are converted forcefully – it is anti-Muslim. The Hindu must not detest the waves of violence that have been unleashed against it historically till the present day by fundamentalist Muslims – it is anti-Muslim. The Hindu must not value their faith that was historically desecrated by Muslim invaders – it is anti-Muslim. The Hindu must not be proud, must not be vocal, must not be celebratory, must forget history, must be guilt-ridden, must not fight for what is rightfully theirs, must not lift their heads, must, forever, keep their head down and take the injustice, the violence, all in the name of a syncretic culture.

The guilt helps the Muslim community arm-twist a nation-state. the guilt, that is so insurmountable, that the Hindu is forced to pretend like the tyranny never existed.

The Hindu must shut up. The Hindu must roll over and consider himself lucky, that he is only being used as a doormat and not being an example out of – like Kamlesh Tiwari.

What irks them today, is that surely, but slowly, the Hindu is raising his head and shedding the baggage of forced guilt.

The Hindu must be forced into submission again. The question remains – will the Hindu be manipulated yet again.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Nupur J Sharma
Nupur J Sharma
Editor-in-Chief, OpIndia.

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