We are living in a culture of denial of the obvious. Even if truth danced naked in front of us screaming verses from the Bhagavad Gita, we would much rather close our eyes to it and comfort ourselves in the cocoon of falsehood that we have constructed over time. “Facts don’t care about your feelings,” we might say emphatically but when the time comes for us to walk the talk, we would much rather bend our knee to public sentiment abandoning our prior commitments to righteousness. And there are pertinent lessons to be learnt from the responses to the murder of Rahul Rajput.
It is these aspects of our prevalent public discourse that the Aam Aadmi Party encapsulated perfectly when they proudly declared that the brutal murder of the 18-year-old Hindu boy in Delhi ought not to be communalised. There was certain dark humour to the whole affair. The implication of the assertion was that the murder was not communal in itself and only morally inferior human being would reach that conclusion.
We are expected to believe that the murder of a Hindu boy by Mohammad Afroz, Mohammad Raj and three others for a romantic relationship with a Muslim girl was not communal in nature. A young boy is murdered because he dared to love someone from a different religious community and we are expected to believe there are no communal motivations involved.
Would Rahul Rajput have been murdered if he was not a Hindu? Would he have been murdered if his girlfriend was not a Muslim? Would he have been murdered if his killers did not believe it was scripturally forbidden for a Muslim woman to love and marry someone from a different religious community? The answer is clearly no. If the murderers were not so intent upon upholding the religious tenets of their faith, Rahul Rajput would have been alive today.
It is abundantly clear and extremely obvious that Rahul Rajput was murdered solely because he was a Hindu who was courting a Muslim woman. There is no reason for us to think that the AAP actually believes that the murder did not have any communal motivation. It is perfectly reasonable for us to assume that they, too, consider it to be a hate crime. They are not mentally challenged, of course.
However, in public life, they would assert the exact opposite because we have made a virtue out of the denial of the obvious. It is by denying the obvious that political actors assume the mantle of moral superiority. Denial of the obvious has verily become the most preferred avenue for political actors to pretend that they are morally superior to the rest of us. It is by endorsing positions that are antithetical to observable reality that political actors lay claim to moral superiority. It is quite disgusting, to put it mildly.
It is not merely political actors who resort to such antics. It is a plague that afflicts all our major institutions. The media, which claims to speak truth to power and but never actually does, is perhaps most guilty of it. Even our police and the judiciary and every other social institution has made a virtue out of outright lying. The greater the magnitude of the lie endorsed, the greater is the sense of moral superiority that the individual feels.
We have seen such a mentality manifest itself over and over again, whenever an event transpires that betrays the worldview of our cultural elites. The media works overtime to shield the core features of the identity of the perpetrators and the victims whenever a Hindu is murdered by a Muslim due to communal reasons.
For instance, when Ankit Saxena was murdered by the family of his Muslim girlfriend, India Today refrained from highlighting the communal nature of the crime in their headline. The news network stayed true to its traditions after the recent murder of the Delhi boy for similar reasons as well. And it will surprise no one if they observe the same rituals after the next such murder.
But this is a feature of our public discourse and not a bug. After Kamlesh Tiwari was murdered by Islamists, Uttar Pradesh DGP OP Singh claimed that his murderers were radicalised by the comment on prophet Mohammed he made. All of us know that is not true. Someone with IQ as low as me knows that is not true, so surely, DGP OP Singh knows it well. But he lied flatly and others did not call him out on it and even furthered it because denial of the obvious is how the cultural elites of our country maintain their credentials in their social circles.
It is for the same reason that Zomato could prance away on social media after claiming that food has no religion even after making provisions for Halal food and incite little to no adverse comments from their peers. It is for the same reason that media and politicians feel no compunction while pretending that Gau Rakshaks are more of a threat than cow smugglers. It is for the same reason that petitioners can pretend that marriage is not only between a man and a woman and genuinely expect the Courts to take them seriously. It is a farce that we are living through and it is a farce that we will have to endure because our cultural elites have given up on the truth.
The reason for such denial is as much political as it is cultural. People who engage in such denials do so because that is how they sustain and increase their political capital. Hindus must be fed the nonsense of Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb because that is the myth upon which the edifice of Nehruvian Secularism stands. If the myth is not constantly nourished with propaganda and whitewashing of hate crimes against Hindus, then the edifice will start crumbling and everyone who has built their mansion on it will lose their clout. And that cannot be allowed to happen.
It is for the same reason that fake hate crimes against the Muslim community are invented while actual hate crimes against Hindus are whitewashed. For the edifice of Secularism to sustain itself, Hindus can never be allowed to be victims. Because painting the Hindu community as oppressor and the Muslim community as the victim is how Secularism is sustained in this country. Every crime, every incident that violates this assumption must be whitewashed and brushed under the carpet. The myth of ‘Dara Hua Musalman’ and evil ‘Upper Caste Hindus’ must be preserved at all cost for secular politicians to continue to hold their control over power.
Of course, the individuals who indulge in such blatant denial of reality do so because they wish to believe they are in the ‘right side of history’. At least in some parts, they appear to believe that by lying outright, they are contributing positively to society. But how does it benefit anyone when such lies are designed to antagonise one community at the expense of the other?
Such individuals also appear to believe that the minority community is genuinely on a morally superior pedestal than Hindus, especially ‘Upper Caste’ Hindus. Consequently, the worst is assumed in case of the latter while every transgression of the former is subsequently whitewashed. However, we do know that significant sections of the Muslim community harbour remarkably intolerant opinions towards other faiths.
We do know that significant sections of the Muslim community believes that the punishment for blasphemy could only ever be death. We do know that they believe women of other communities are valid grounds for sexual predation. We do know that they believe that murdering a man of different faith for courting a Muslim woman is justified. Therefore, in such cases, when authorities and institutions go out of their way to deny a communal link to the crime, they are only exposing their own moral frailties.
All of us know why Rahul Rajput was murdered. He was murdered because Islamic zealots, perennially insecure about their own masculinity, cannot tolerate the fact that a Muslim woman chose a chivalrous Hindu man over someone from their community. He was murdered because Islamic zealots believe ‘kaafirs’ who seek to marry a Muslim woman is worthy of only death. These are obvious realities and it is precisely because it is obvious that our cultural elites must stand in staunch denial of them.
It is of paramount importance that we refuse to allow such clowns to suffer no criticism when they indulge in such buffoonery. It is so because if they can get us to believe Rahul Rajput was not murdered due to communal reasons, they can make us believe absolutely anything. The distance between having us convinced that the 18 year old boy was not murdered due to communal reasons and “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength” is far smaller than we assume it to be.
If we are not motivated enough by the honour of the victim to speak out against the attempts to deny the obvious here, then we must do so for the sake of our own sanity. If the cultural elites attempt to weaponize our social institutions against us by a radical inversion of the truth, then it is imperative upon us to stand our ground and declare in imperious fashion: “Thus far and no further”.