Integrity and truth have never been the allies of Bollywood actress Swara Bhasker. From whitewashing Islamist violence and radicalism to now engaging in plain denial of it, the entertainer has come a long way. On Tuesday, Swara Bhasker claimed that photographs of Islamists attacking the Amar Jawan Memorial during the Azad Maidan riots in Mumbai are ‘photoshopped’.
Swara Bhasker made the preposterous claim while responding to a comment made by a user on Twitter. “Cheap Photoshop” was the comment she made when the user remarked that photographs such as these had turned him into an ‘Islamophobe’. The only problem is that the photographs are not photoshopped and not even liberal media outlets have been shameless enough to claim that they were.
The now-famous photographs were clicked by Mid-Day photographer Atul Kamble on the 11th of August, 2012. The Azad Maidan Riots broke out after the Islamist organisation Raza Academy called for a demonstration in protest against the Rakhine riots in Myanmar. The Rohingya Muslims are believed to have suffered much damage during the said riots.
It really needs to be emphasized here that no one disputes the authenticity of these photographs. The intense violence and rioting occurred before the full view of the public and Azad Maidan riots remain a blot on the history of Mumbai even after all these years. The Raza Academy faced severe criticism even though liberals have been trying hard to whitewash their sins.
But not even liberals have been shameless enough to deny outright that the violence occurred or allege that these photographs are inauthentic. Swara Bhasker has really marched into territory hitherto uncharted by any other individual with regards to the Azad Maidan Riots. Of course, it could very well be that she is so out of touch with reality that she is truly clueless about the violence that ensued in 2012.
But given the manner in which she lectures everyone else about everything else, it appears unlikely that it is the case. It is far more likely that Swara Bhasker genuinely believed that she could get away with making such an absurd claim. Perhaps she relied on social media platforms to come in to her rescue and label every tweet disagreeing with her as ‘disputed’. But clearly, she is not remotely as important as the US President.
Meanwhile, other journalists are actually ‘liking’ that tweet by Swara Bhasker. Screenshots have emerged where Arfa Khanum Sherwani, another propagandist that whitewashes Islamist violence for The Wire, could be seen hitting the ‘like’ button on the fake news tweet. Since then, however, the entertainer has offered a correction for her shameful denial and admitted that the photographs are, in fact, not photoshopped. But her initial denial of it reveals a lot about her worldview.
All of this does reveal, however, how utterly clueless and out-of-touch our celebrities are with the realities of public life. If someone could seriously claim that photographs of the Azad Maidan Riots, what is next? The day is not far when some of them will claim that not a single Muslim mob rioted in the aftermath of the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act. Oh wait. They already do that.
The instinctive urge of the liberal to deny every manner of wrongdoing by Islamists and claim that it is ‘fake news’ spread by ‘Islamophobic bigots’ is perfectly captured by Swara Bhasker in that moment. It also reveals that if they could have their way, they would also deny that beheadings in France ever occurred or the existence of Islamic terror organisations themselves.
But we already knew that given the manner in which liberals deny the genocide of Kashmiri Pandits and the genocides Hindus have suffered in the past under barbaric Islamic regimes. However, it is only Swara Bhasker who demonstrated the shamelessness required to outright deny outright that the Amar Jawan Memorial was attacked during the Azad Maidan riots.