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Feminism and investigative journalism has been misappropriated by ‘champions’ of Indian public discourse

‘Feminism’ for one is a word piggybacked by elitist today with utter disregard to the scores of women who over centuries have risked their lives for the cause of empowering women.

India is the second largest English speaking country in the world. Albeit having a behemoth of English speakers their competency varies across the board and only a limited number is skilled in the flow of this foreign language. This is what the spokespersons, representatives, glitterati and PR machinery of a certain ideology bank on.

So the masses look doe-eyed towards these ‘Champions’ of a vernacular in the hope to be as fluid in conversation as them for we have made English the unofficial cultural marker of success, intelligence, and confidence in our country. These public speakers who work under the guise of propagating the framework of our democracy and its principles have become the unsought half-baked teachers of socio-political movements, and are self-appointed to a position of authority simply for being skilled in a vernacular.

When one is regularly on television and storms up a verbose sesquipedalian tirade of philosophically twisted tales of morality it sounds like music to the ears, they sound ‘intellectual’. Beware! This music has melody but lacks harmony; it is not based on facts, testimonies, ground reporting, evidence, or even the overwhelming throb of public opinion. For who cares about public opinion when it can easily be influenced to match the ‘Champions’ rhetoric? Who cares about facts when it can be dismissed with morphed definitions, whataboutery, and the rules of the game can be changed on whim?

Crimes are being rubbished on a mass platform despite evidences being revealed on that same platform. The whataboutism of armchair-philosophers is to drone on about the technicalities of definitions while drowning out people who point towards evidential reality. ‘Feminism’ for one is a word piggybacked by elitist today with utter disregard to the scores of women who over centuries have risked their lives for the cause of empowering women. Feminism is now misappropriated by women as a fallback strawman argument, a fallacy, and to justify personal agenda.

While we get sucked into this leeway sinking ship of cyclical-degenerative psy-ops, a living and breathing human being’s life’s toil was decimated before her eyes. Kangana Ranaut’s story is popular right now as a woman singled out and life savings destroyed for being a curt and outspoken individual. The visual proof of this act is ingrained in the minds of the masses yet the disillusioned elitist believe their aphrodisiac, whataboutism, and flair for language is potent enough to hypnotize and blind the masses.

They claim she does not deserve the support of feminists and label her ‘crazy’, ‘motor mouth’ and have thrown a further slew of degrading terms best not written or thought about. Busy in their clapbacks and running their baseless campaigns they have forgotten that Kangana is entitled to the term feminism and its bylines of empowerment by default due to her gender. The elitist have forgotten that they are not the keepers of the Oxford Dictionary and do not define the historical legacy of the term ‘feminism’, they have never made a dent in propagating feminism, and will continually flounder in their palace of illusions where words speak louder than action.

We have witnessed how feminism misappropriated is slyly backtracked from Kangana selectively marginalizing her, curses are lurched, a slew of FIR’s are lodged, she is called out for being brazen and rough around the edges, mud is thrown on her as her fraternity deems her ‘ungrateful’ towards them for they imagine they have built her success. The glitterati admit that they are in a position of power and have outcast Kangana from their ‘fraternity’, they have even taken to the floor of the Parliament flexing their political pull. The elitist have openly claimed that the breaking of Kangana’s office is ‘revenge’ and they feel justice has been served.

These are the same open minded, easy-going people who carry Gandhi’s vigil of ‘Ahimsa’ on their invisible mantle, the same people who claim others carry too much anger and cannot imagine living that way while they overflow with hatred. It is a vindictive and manipulative war of words hidden behind a thinly veiled passive aggressive and overtly aggressive stance, a multifaceted war on a single being. This is what feminism fights and the masses detest – privilege. The elitist sitting on the throne of their God Complex feel they know better, that they are better, and openly play the power card to intimidate others. They are high-end bullies.

‘Investigative journalism is a media trial’, is the fallacy of a negative conclusion from an affirmative premise. It is another strawman argument picked up from the title of an entertaining Netflix series ‘Trial by Media’, a borrowed ideologue which doesn’t apply to the Indian context. ‘Trial by Media’ was a series that showed how Jury duty (12 commoners selected to judge a crime with no experience in jurisprudence) in the United States of America is influenced by the media.

There is no jury duty in India, we have a Bench of Honourable Judges. To state that our Honourable Judges in the High Court and Supreme Court will be influenced by the media and by popular opinion, that they will ignore all the testimonies and evidences presented to them to appease the masses is an insult to their education, intelligence, and accomplishments of the Bench.   

The fact is our ‘Champions’ suddenly do not understand that ‘investigative journalism’ is just that, it is journalism that requires investigation and the divulgence of information irrespective of appeasing the powers that may be. There will be new information unearthed through interviews and data collection. It is also known as, ‘a journalist is doing their job.’ To have a debate on national television on the job description of a journalist is a Kamikaze attack. Our Chamipons, elitists and spokespersons have realized the bitter truth of their failing PR machinery and are now flying towards us with fuel drained, ready to sacrifice themselves in the battle field as long as they go out swinging.  

The kryptonite of the masses is a cocktail of influence and power resulting in a potent aphrodisiac wielded as the ultimate weapon to achieve mass persuasion. Add to that a simple marketing tool where you constantly bombard words to create a morphed ideological standing army. An army that is ready to spew the trickled down catchphrases when logical arguments fail. Let’s change the topsy-turvy narrative that furthers personal political agendas. Let’s not be disillusion by a world where words speak louder than action. Let’s put an end to being foolishly misguided by self-proclaimed torchbearers of justice who distort past-present-future through misappropriation.

“You bring me the man, I’ll find you the crime.” Lavrentiy Beria, chief of the Soviet secret police.

The article has been authored by Lalita Nijhawan, convenor of GIA.

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