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Fact-checking a dead Sanghi – the reason why Indian media stoops so low

Hinduphobia is real, and it has manifested itself when two newspapers decided to discredit the ultimate sacrifice of an 85 years old RSS Swayamsevak.

Amid a raging pandemic, two newspapers decided to invest their resources in proving the grieving family of a deceased 85-year-old RSS Swayamsevak liars. Before we proceed further, note the ‘moral compass’ of the Indian media for all future references.

Nagpur based Narayan Dhabadkar, the octogenarian Swayamsevak, had voluntarily given up his hospital bed for a younger patient on 22nd April as Maharashtra struggles to give every covid patient required healthcare. Narayan Kaka, as he was called affably, felt that he had ‘lived long enough’ while the other patient had little children to take care of. Narayan Kaka died 3 days later.

In order to prove this moving story of sacrifice by an RSS member “fake”, one newspaper published a news report based on statements of an ‘activist’ who talked to some entirely different hospital and claimed that no such patient was ever admitted there, while the other newspaper twisted the quote of a doctor of the actual hospital where Narayan Kaka was admitted.

The doctor reportedly said that he or his staff was not a witness to Narayan Kaka declaring that he was willing to die to let someone else live – as if doctors and nursing staff are supposed to be present all the time and eavesdrop on all conversations between a patient and his/her family.

Neither of these reports prove that the grieving family of Narayan Kaka was lying (though they could successfully make the families shed a tear again), but both these reports – one being out and out fake news by Loksatta while the other being a Goebbels level propaganda by The Indian Express – will be used by ‘secular-liberal’ ecosystem in furthering this lie to demonize RSS and dehumanize RSS workers and their families.

The incident demonstrates two things – firstly, how “fact-checking” is, ironically, the latest tool in spreading fake news and pushing propaganda, and secondly, how media is desperate to deny any good work by a “Sanghi”, and by extension, any person who asserts his identity as a Hindu nationalist.

The reason is rooted in ideology – where most of the journalists are committed foot-soldiers of ideologies that consider Hinduism an essentially and inherently evil and unjust religion, which is the root cause of all the troubles India face (that’s why you see hate against Hindu temples as the Chinese virus kills people). Since many such foot-soldiers can’t openly attack Hinduism, yet – though they do on times and increasingly more frequently – they resort to attacking “Sanghis” and delegitimizing works of “Hindu groups”.

The end goal is the same – to ensure that the Hindu society is enfeebled; it’s easy to get rid of an enfeebled and demoralized group. Attacking and prejudicing terms like “Sanghis” and “Hindu groups” is one of the most critical tools in achieving this end goal.

Apart from maligning the RSS and the Swayamsevaks – like they did in the latest case where they didn’t even want to extend dignity to a dead Sanghi – the media makes sure that ‘Hindu groups’ are invariably in news for something silly—some outlandish statement made by someone, someone being accused of causing trouble or the group organizing some seemingly senseless events.

When any of these Hindu groups happen to do something good, for example, the RSS helping people during a natural calamity or accident, then those are flat reports—if at all such an activity is reported—that would either be headlined as something like, ‘RSS extends a helping hand’ or ‘Local residents come together to help accident victims’ with the body of the report mentioning the RSS. The term ‘Hindu groups’ would be missing even if other Hindu outfits might have joined the RSS in such activities, which they normally do.

As a result, an ordinary Hindu starts thinking that if ‘Hindu groups’ are involved in a case, something has to be wrong. Even if the cause appears to be genuine, the presence of the term ‘Hindu groups’ would make them feel that maybe there is something amiss somewhere. He starts downplaying the causes being championed by them. Even a genuine Hindu cause and concern is reduced to something shady and political in the eyes of an average Hindu because of the prejudicing of this term.

Now this is how it plays up—first of all, the media doesn’t report any hate crime against Hindus because of ‘responsible reporting’ practices, and if at all it’s forced to report it, as Hindus start building the pressure, the reports would invariably read something like ‘Hindu groups protest over XYZ incident’, where XYZ could be a case of desecration of a local temple, or obscene comments against Hindu gods and goddesses, or cases of ‘love jihad’ or sexual harassment on communal lines, or worse, a targeted assassination by Islamist gangs.

All such incidents are real, and rather frequent in many parts of our country, but because the term ‘Hindu groups’ has been maligned so much, an average Hindu starts downplaying those ‘XYZ incidents’ itself, merely because they are being raised by such groups. He starts suspecting that there is ‘something more’ to the story because these Hindu groups rarely make news for the right reason. This is soft ‘genocide denial’ in action against Hindus, where you make the narrative so lopsided that either victims become invisible or victim-blaming becomes normal.

And that’s how you achieve the end goal – by making Hindus blind to existentialist threats, by turning them into dodos. Hindus will be dead and denied dignity, like Narayan Kaka was. Hindus will be killed and blamed for their own murder, like Kamlesh Tiwari was or Kashmiri Pandits were. And if you escape either of this fate and are somehow alive (and don’t thank Nehru that you are breathing), you’d be shamed for your identity so that you are not part of any ‘Hindu group’.

(Legal disclaimer: Some paragraphs of this article are part of the book ‘Sanghi Who Never Went To A Shakha’ authored by Rahul Roushan and published by Rupa Publications. Those are reproduced here in accordance with the copyright laws.)

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Rahul Roushan
Rahul Roushan
A well known expert on nothing. Opinions totally personal. RTs, sometimes even my own tweets, not endorsement. #Sarcasm. As unbiased as any popular journalist.

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