Following the death of Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui at the hands of the Taliban, Indian liberals began drawing parallels between the Islamic terror outfit and the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS).
It must be mentioned that Siddiqui faced criticism after his death for being insensitive to human emotions during his lifetime. The photojournalist had clicked pictures of burning funeral pyres of Covid-19 victims and also put them up for sale on Alamy. The Indian liberals, who were rejoicing the death of journalist Rohit Sardana, soon began accusing the ‘right-wing sanghis’ of tarnishing the image of Danish Siddiqui. As such, they started comparing the Taliban with the RSS.
Such a frivolous comparison was however unacceptable to their Muslim counterparts. The Islamists felt aghast at the thought of liberals associating the Sangh with their ‘Ummah’ and ‘Taliban.’ Given that maligning the Taliban is blasphemous as per their beliefs, the Islamists took to Twitter to express their outrage. When ‘liberal’ Joydas alleged that Taliban inspired the ‘right-wing scums’, an aggrieved Islamist (@OpusOfAli) asked, “Why the Muslims always have to be the villian?”
Hanan, who has been bleeding for J&K since August 2019, claimed that comparing the Taliban with the RSS was wrong. “It is very funny because RSS is older than Taliban. If anything, it is the Taliban that would have taken some lessons from RSS not vice versa. On a more serious note, such parallels are drawn to show that the standard of any “evil” would always be Muslim,” he lamented.
When Congress worker Srivatsa tried to earn liberal brownie points by likening Afghan Taliban to ‘Indian Taliban’, Islamic terror sympathiser Sarfy tweeted, “The only ironic difference being that Afghans didn’t vote for the Afghan Taliban. They are rogue, created as a tool by the US against the Soviet Union. RSS is mainstream & gets celebrated & glorified. This irony is lost on us.”
Popular Islamist Sidrah was visibly enraged and corrected Srivatsa immediately. She stated, “Hindutva majoritarianism and supremacy. Call it what it is. Please.”
Twitter account ‘Muslim’ pleaded, “Why the false equivalence? It’s the Hindutva Terrorist who are rejoicing. Say as it is.”
Another Islamist, Rehman, wrote, “RSS was founded in 1925, Gandhi was assassinated in 1948. Taliban was emerged in 1994, maybe it’s the other way around. Hindu liberals should learn to criticise their scum without bringing in Muslims, Taliban, Saudi.”
While reacting to the tweet by ‘liberal’ Joydas, Islamist (@Ahmed_Brilliant) claimed, “Lesson 101: How to whitewash your own by drawing a false equivalence with Muslims.”
One Talhan Hussain alleged that every Sanghi was borne out of a liberal father. With that assumption in mind, he slammed Joydas and wrote, “Taliban didn’t inspire RW, you guys enabled them.. Shut the eff up.”
Islamist, who goes by the username @PrinceOfDhamp, insinuated that Veer Savarkar was somehow the one who inspired the Taliban to become radical. In a desperate attempt at sarcasm, he wrote, “Taliban (1994) invested heavily in Science, created time machine went back to Savarkar then influenced his thoughts. Savarkar formed RW organisation (1924) which inspired today’s RW Scums. Phew! Finally connected the dots.”
As evident from the above tweets, Islamists in India were angry at the liberal community for tarnishing the image of the terror outfit Taliban. By drawing a false equivalence between the timelines of RSS and Taliban and eliminating the role of the latter in the death of Danish Siddiqui, Islamists have tried to somehow portray the ‘right wing ecosystem’/ Sangh/ RSS as the ‘greater evil.’ Through bizarre analogies, and the subtle art of humanisation, Islamists have been able to help terror outfits get a new brand makeover of sorts.
It is interesting to point out that several left-wing “liberal-secular” journalists paid tribute to Danish Siddiqui without mentioning the Taliban in their condolence message. Rana Ayyub spoke about Danish Siddiqui and his work revealing how he had a passion for photography. She also shared an image in which she was seen sitting next to the deceased journalist. The tone and tenor of the message, however, were rather perplexing. It appeared as if the photojournalist died as a consequence of some natural disease and was not murdered by Islamic terrorists. A similar strategy was employed by Manisha Pande from Newslaundry, Stuti Mishra, Arfa Khanum Sherwani, Yogendra Yadav, and Ravish Kumar. It is not far-fetched to assume that it was perhaps the fear of Islamists that prevented them from calling a spade – a spade.