Although Hinduphobia is on the rise in India, it often remains immune to public scrutiny. Several posts, openly peddling Hindu hatred, are either overlooked or talked about in hushed voices, so much so that it has now become a part of the mainstream public discourse. Such is the case of one Niharika Singh aka Misha Thakur. According to her Facebook profile, she works as a public speaker and a media consultant with the Ministry of Ayush, Government of India.
On the occasion of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, Sinha had shared a post on Twitter to claim that Lord Ram was ‘timid’, ‘patriarch’ and a ‘misogynist’.
She wrote, “Diwali is a festival when women should get reminded of the fact that Sita should have divorced Rama when he asked her to prove her purity by giving “Aghani pareeksha” the fire examination. That it is not OKAY for a man to ask any woman to BURN herself in order to be pure enough.”
While continuing her bizarre rant, without proper understanding the historical perspective behind the Agnipareeksha or the cultural nuances of that era, she continued, “That sex and morality are not related and if they are: both the sides need to prove what they are asking from the other. That Rama was timid man, a Patriarch a MISOGYNIST and Sita got succumbed into her conditionings even without a FIGHT FOR HER OWN RACE. And the writer was a MALE. SUCH GOD AND GODDESSES, I TELL YOU, They only deserve to be DETHRONED not CELEBRATED. HAPPY DIWALI, PERIOD.”
Niharika Singh claims rapes occur because Hindus celebrate Lord Ram
On being called out on social media, the self-proclaimed media consultant in the Ayush Ministry remained unperturbed and unapologetic about her objectionable Facebook post. She instead thanked supposedly ‘jobless Bhakts’ for increasing the reach of her Facebook post. “Woohoo, seems like you guys are following my commands, here I like to repeat: do overtime Bhakts, anyway you are jobless…Everyone commenting on my post, thank you in advance for increasing its reach. I really want this message to reach maximum reach.”
After being caught off guard for her Facebook post, Niharika Singh decided to justify the ‘rationale’ behind her Facebook post. She stated, “89 women get raped and mutilated because we celebrate misogynist like Rama. Go on guys, keep barking. I am in agreement of using Right wing to defeat right wing.”
Hinduphobia at large
But Niharika Singh, who claims to work with the Indian government, is however not new to this. In a Twitter post on October 23, the ‘Marxist’ demanded the burning of Manusmriti again, by citing examples of BR Ambedkar and anti-Hindu Periyar.
She had also peddled the fake news that the Hathras victim, who was strangulated by one Sandeep, was also allegedly raped, while the case itself is more complicated than it seems. She tweeted, “Hindurashtra is rapist.” While she could have the named the accused instead, Niharika had deliberately used the word Hindurashtra to propagate her vicious message. She also went a stape ahead and branded India as a “rape nation”, and judging from her rant, she did this because Hindus are supposedly a majority population in India.
The Cry against Fascism and whitewashing Islamists
One of the recurrent themes of the left-liberal ecosystem in India is the perpetual cry of fascism and whitewashing of crimes by Islamists against the Hindu population. In an Instagram post dated October 17, she quoted American novelist Philip Roth and tweaked his statement to claim that Hindutvavadis may her lock her up in concentration camps but cannot take away her supposed love for India. She had demanded the repeal of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the release of Delhi riot conspirator and radical Islamist Umar Khalid.
She wrote, “Quoting Philip Roth in the Indian context: They can even lock you away in a concentration camp to shut you up. And I hope by now that you damn well know that. But what our homegrown HINDUVTAS cannot take away is my love for INDIA and YOURS. My love for democracy and yours. My love for freedom and yours. What they cannot take away – unless the gullible and the sheepish and the terrified are patsies enough to return them to DELHI one more time – is the power of the ballot box.”
Niharika Singh claims she is the media consultant of Ayush Ministry
Singh, who claims to be the media consultant of the Ayush Ministry has been a vocal critic of the BJP government. She had often resorted to fake news and peddling leftist propaganda to insinuate that the BJP government is indeed ‘fascist’. In a Twitter post shared on October 22, she cited ‘journalist’ and serial fake news peddler Rohini Singh to suggest that the Modi government was demanding votes in exchange of immunisation against the deadly Coronavirus. She questioned, “Vote ke badla vaccine? Aur kitna giroge? (Vaccine in exchange of votes? How low will you stoop?).” Her uninformed rant was followed with hashtags that read, ‘#shameonbjp’ and ‘#shameonModi’
It is important to note that the fake news by Rohini was debunked. It was not the central government that was offering free vaccines only to Bihar. Health is a state subject and hence, BJP as a party can offer free vaccines to a state if it forms the government in that state. Similarly, any state government can also offer free vaccines to its residents.
In a Facebook post on June 19, Niharika Singh dismissed the Indian government’s stand that the Chinese PLA army did not intrude into the Indian territory. She wrote, “Modi is just out of my zone of comprehension. How shameless one has to be to officially say that there is no intrusion by the side of China in Galwan Valley region after the death of 20 soldiers? China officially claimed the Galwan Valley after this speech. Gutless. Mindless. Sold.” She further claimed, “BJP and its existence is a blatant lie to this country and its future.”
From her Facebook posts, it also becomes clear that she is an ardent fan of ‘historian’ Ramachandra Guha. Quoting his delusional statement that India will take an undefined time to recover from the supposed damage caused by the Modi government to the economy, moral fabric, social life and institutions of India, Niharika wrote, “RIP democracy.” This has made netizens wonder as to why she still works with a government that is tyrannical and fascist in her imagination.
Media consultant of Ayush Ministry celebrates arrest of Arnab Goswami, resorts to whataboutery
Besides her blatant Hinduphobia and whitewashing of Islamists such as Umar Khalid, Niharika Singh has also championed the cause of selective outrage. While effectively demanding the release of a riot accused, she hails the illegal detention of a journalist falsely implicated in a 2-year-old closed case of abetment of suicide. On November 5, the media consultant expressed glee and happiness over the helplessness of Arnab Goswami in preventing the illegal detention by the Mumbai police, on the behest of the Maharashtra government. She had also prayed for the shutting down of the Republic TV channel.
“The day went so well, Arnab Goswami got arrested, so happy to see how helpless he felt Against the power. Amit Shah calls it undemocratic while arresting student activists like Umar Khalid because they do the most democratic thing of “QUESTIONING” the government in power. Every fascist has its day. The happiest part is two fascists are calling out each other and trying to demolish each other. Left is happy today. Ban entire Republic channel, I don’t give a damn, well deserved,” she wrote on Facebook.
A day later, Niharika Singh was seen doing whataboutery to deviate public discourse from the arrest of Arnab Goswami. She wrote, “More than 55 journalists got arrested Because they were exposing BJP’s corruption and communalism, students activities and farmers are in jail because they protest against barbaric bills passed by BJP and then there wasn’t any harm to freedom of speech, there was no FASCISM then.”
Niharika continued, “Haha all BJP ministers are so hurt because now who will do their Hinduvta propaganda Journalism and who will spread Islamophobia and Misogyny in the country ? Umar Khalid is Jail on what grounds? Why Anurag Thakur and Kapil Mishra still not in Jail after their hate speech? Why Vinod dua got arrest?”
The revolutionary media consultant further emphasised, “Also, you can never discount a fact that Arnab’s name was mentioned in someone’s suicide letter. It was BJP’s government two years back because of which the case got dismissed, now it is time for Arnab to pay for whatever he has done. Cold-blooded murderer who killed rationalism and Journalism both and Arnab Goswami is not the 4th pillar of Democracy but definitely a central pillar of BJP. It must fall. Long live Revolution long live Democracy.”
It becomes evident from the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts of Niharika Singh that she is a rabid Hinduphobe, a sympathiser of Islamists such as Umar Khalid, believer of selective press freedom as observed in the Arnab Goswami case and a hater of the current political dispensation at the Centre.
Netizens are therefore questioning the absence of ‘background checks’ of individuals working in high-profile Ministries in the Central government. And Niharika Singh isn’t the only one. Earlier, government-run Doordarshan came under fire for hiring a Yoga specialist named Ira Trivedi, who had promoted beef consumption in the past and hurt Hindu religious sentiments. Following a social media backlash, her contract with the channel was terminated.
Update: After this article was published, Union minister for state in AYUSH Shripad Naik said that Niharika Singh is not a consultant with the ministry. The minister tweeted that “there is no such Consultant with the AYUSH Ministry.”
The minister didn’t say whether any action was being taken against Niharika Singh for claiming on her Facebook profile that she works with the ministry.
It may be noted that according to one Facebook post by Niharika Singh, she was allowed to speak at the Yoga Mahotsav 2019 organised by the AYUSH ministry. She had also posted an image showing her addressing the event.