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‘Loony Left’ takes up generalised global ‘mental health’ concerns and vomits a word salad to blame it on Hindus of India, BJP, and Modi

It is pertinent to note that the link between political ideology and mental health outcomes is complex and cannot be reduced to a simple cause-and-effect relationship. While political rhetoric and policies can influence societal attitudes towards mental health, in attributing mental health challenges solely to the ‘rise’ of the far-right the IHP piece deliberately overlooks the broader structural issues at play.

Amid the Lok Sabha elections, the left-liberal propagandist media outlets have played every trick at their hand to defame and vilify Hindus, Hindutva, the BJP-RSS and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. From fear-mongering that Indian democracy is dying under Modi, Muslims are in danger, media voice being muzzled, EVM-VVPAT hacking, Modi being a Hindu nationalist dictator to whatnot, the leftist propaganda outlets and pens for hire over has been desperately trying to establish the narrative that somehow Modi, BJP, RSS, and Hindu nationalism is ‘destroying’ the ‘secular India’. Now, the International Health Policies (IHP) Network has joined the league of anti-Hindu propagandists to blame the Hindus, BJP-RSS and Modi for mental health issues.

On the 23rd of May, IHP published an article titled: The Rise of the far-right in India and mental health ‘left’ in the lurch”. Relying on critical debates, the article situates mental health as  “psychological preconditions necessary (but not sufficient) for the conception of a good life, including well-being.” Before launching its tirade against Indian Hindus and the ‘right-wing’, the article says that the necessary psychological preconditions for good life and well-being are also determined by “political ideologies, discourses, and subsequent state policies”.

IHP report

While the initially arouses interest in finding out how it will connect mental and political ideologies, it turned out to be a typical anti-Hindu and anti-BJP propaganda piece with sine qua non-projection of Muslim ‘minorities’ as victims. “We argue that the weakening of democracy in India, accompanied by rampant communal polarization, has a bearing on the psychological preconditions required for the positive mental health of citizens.

The article somehow connected suicide rates, depressive disorders, neurotic and stress-related disorders, addictions, impact on mental health during Covid lockdowns, exposure to phones and social media as well as unemployment to the Modi government’s mission to ascend India to the position of the “Vishwaguru”.

IHP cites a George Soros-funded V-Dem Institute report to assert that Indian democracy is weakening under the Modi government and contributing to a ‘dire mental health’ situation

To make a case that somehow the political climate in the country could be a contributing factor in the “dire mental health” mental health situation in India, the IHP article cites V-Dem Institute’s Democracy Report 2024. The V-Dem report called India an “electoral autocracy” insinuating that India’s democracy is weakening under Narendra Modi-led government. The V-Dem report called the Modi government an “anti-pluralist, Hindu nationalist using UAPA, sedition, defamation and counter-terrorism laws to silence ‘critics’ and that it suppresses religious rights freedom and so on.

“…Over the years, India’s autocratization process has been well documented, including gradual but substantial deterioration of freedom of expression, compromising the independence of the media, crackdowns on social media, harassments of journalists critical of the government, as well as attacks on civil society and intimidation of the opposition. The ruling anti-pluralist, Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with Prime Minister Modi at the helm has for example used laws on sedition, defamation, and counterterrorism to silence critics…” the V-Dem report says.

Excerpt from V-Dem report

Now, the V-Dem [Varieties of Democracy] Institute is funded by the regime change enthusiast, and philanthropist George Soros’s Open Society Foundations (OSF) and has been involved in anti-India propaganda for several years. Citing an anti-India Soros-funded institute’s report and insinuating that ‘communal polarisation, the rise of ‘far-right’ and weakening of democracy contributes to India’s mental health situation.

IHP exploits a serious issue to peddle its cheap anti-Hindu politics

In attributing mental health challenges solely to the rise of the so-called far-right, the IHP piece deliberately overlooks the multifaceted nature of mental health issues in India since the objective perhaps is not to address mental health concerns but to add a new dimension to how Modi and Hindu nationalism are behind everything wrong in India.

Many countries are facing mental health challenges due to myriad factors, including social isolation, lifestyle changes, workplace stress, poor work-life balance, substance abuse, technology overuse, irregular eating patterns, traumatic incidents, political instability and humanitarian crises among others. Now these factors are not exclusive to India, literally every country is faced with these issues and is taking steps to improve the mental health of its citizens.

Besides India, the United States, the UK, Brazil, Australia and many more countries have and continue to face such challenges. Does IHP blame it on their majority community, governments, and elected leaders? In the USA, more than 1 in 5 adults live with a mental illness and 1 in 25 adults live with a serious mental illness, including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and depression. Does IHP blame the US government led by democrats for the mental health situation in the USA?

While stigmatisation and discrimination also harm the mental health of those discriminated against, in India’s case, particularly in a decade of Modi rule, the government has on no occasion through its policies mistreated the ‘minorities’, rather its policies have benefitted the masses across religious and regional lines.

The IHP report in its pursuit to vilify the Hindus and paint Muslims as poor victims of Hindu majoritarianism propagated by the ‘far-right’, ended up mocking a serious issue like mental health.

Interestingly, in line with the sinister narrative peddled by the opposition parties, their media allies, propagandist YouTubers and the extended ‘ecosystem’, the International Health Policies report also invoked the Nazi regime to draw an equivalence between the rule of Adolf Hitler, the notorious German dictator with that of a democratically elected popular leader like Narendra Modi. The IHP article brings Hitler and the Nazi regime in the context to insinuate that much like how Hitler’s hatred for Jews culminated in their otherization and Holocaust, the Indian Muslims are somehow being ‘otherised’ and ‘villains’ and face mental health challenges.

Far-right insecure Hindus perpetrate crimes against Muslim minorities, inflicting adverse mental health implications‘, IHP slanders Hindus to shield Islamists

“The far-right ideology has been recruiting citizens from the Hindu community (the majority), among others by exploiting their socio-economic and political vulnerabilities (cfr. the inequality, poverty and employment crisis),” the article states. The propaganda article linked to back this insinuation suggests that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is exploiting the ‘political vulnerabilities’ of Hindus. This, however, is far from reality as RSS does not teach its volunteers to hate, harass or attack any particular community but instils patriotism, discipline and a sense of national duty in them. RSS has a rich history of undertaking relief campaigns whenever the country faces any crisis as was seen during the Covid pandemic.

The IHP article invokes inequality and unemployment to claim that false narratives are designed to lure vulnerable Hindus many of whom turn into perpetrators of gross violations against Muslims. From projecting Hindus as perpetrators of crimes including lynching against Muslims to labelling them ‘insecure’ the leitmotif of IHP’s propaganda piece is to portray the Hindu majority as perpetrators attacking the ‘oppressed’ and ‘terrified’ Muslim minority due to their insecurity and vulnerability.

While the left-liberal propaganda outlets take delight in cherry-picking incidents of violence and blaming far-right, Hindutva, and Hindus for the same, they downplay and often dismiss crimes against Hindus including the brutal murder of Hindu Kanhaiyalal, Umesh Kolhe, among others. They dismiss grooming jihad [love jihad] as fiction, hoax, conspiracy theory and whatnot. Moreover, they even pass off incidents of planned violence against Hindus such as the 2020 anti-Hindu Delhi riots as violence against Muslim ‘minority’. There have been incidents when several Muslims resorted to mob violence attacking Hindu religious processions on festivals like Ram Navami taking offence to either Hindu religious songs, and slogans or merely because they entered the ‘Muslim area’. Would IHP discuss the psychological implications inherently peaceful and welcoming Hindus suffer due to targeted violence by religiously motivated mobs?

The propaganda piece authored by Malu Mohan and Sapna Mishra appears to be a cheap AI chatbot production with a word jumble.  Probably, the author duo randomly gave the “Hey ChatGPT, take keywords Hindus, BJP, Right-wing, Modi, India, Muslims and produce an article on mental health”  prompt to the AI chatbot and linked biased reports and news articles published in leftist propaganda portals to reinforce their malicious allegations against Hindutva and the BJP-RSS.

It is pertinent to note that the link between political ideology and mental health outcomes is complex and cannot be reduced to a simple cause-and-effect relationship. While political rhetoric and policies can influence societal attitudes towards mental health, in attributing mental health challenges solely to the ‘rise’ of the far-right the IHP piece deliberately overlooks the broader structural issues at play.

The mockery of mental health issues to garner sympathy for anti-CAA protestors

The IHP article goes on to project the 2019 anti-CAA protest demonstrators, particularly, ‘student activists’ as ‘politically conscious’ individuals opposing state repression who suffered “political depression” during the protests. Instead of hailing the anti-CAA protestors as ‘politically conscious’ activists, IHP should have advised them not to harbour pathological disdain for Hindus, especially in the case of CAA where the provision only intended to grant citizenship to Hindus and other religious minorities who were persecuted in India’s three Muslim majority neighbours—Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

In conclusion the International Health Policies (IHP) article ‘hypothesises’ that rising mental health challenges in India in recent years could also be due to a ‘weakening democracy’. “We hypothesize that the rising mental health concerns (including addictions) in recent years could partially be explained by how citizens mentally “process” the political unrest they experience, especially in the wake of weakening democracy,” the article says and suggests the research community to approach mental health from a “political lens”.

While IHP sees Indian democracy turning ‘weak’, the country remains a vibrant democracy and people are actively partaking in the greatest festival of democracy—general elections.

Instead of advising the research community to approach mental health from a “political lens” the authors of IHP’s propaganda piece should shun their bias against Hindus and the ‘far-right’ at least while addressing serious issues like mental health, depression, PTSD etc. IHP should refrain from making a mockery of mental health issues just to peddle anti-Hindu and anti-Modi/RSS-BJP narratives, and instead of a political lens, IHP should approach mental health from a humane, holistic, sensitive and unbiased approach.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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