“I was born on September 29, 1947—just 45 days after Independence. My entire life has been wasted by the pro-poverty agenda of the Congress Party (disguised as a “pro-poor” agenda). Each time a potential saviour appears on the horizon, be it Jayaprakash Narayan in 1975, or the first NDA government in 1998, or now the Narendra Modi government, the dynasty strikes back with ever greater force.” – Prof M. Vidyasagar
India is at present undergoing a civil war. This civil war is not being fought on a conventional battlefield, but in the battlefield of people’s minds. The armaments used to fight this war are not conventional weapons, but rather, the weapons of disinformation.
On one side is the present government led by Narendra Modi and its well-wishers. On the other side is a horde that is unwilling to accept the democratic verdict of the people of India, and/or unable to accept that a person starting his life in humble circumstances has risen to the position of Prime Minister.
By now it is clear that the dynastic Congress Party has systematically entrenched poverty as a permanent feature of the Indian landscape. In order to perpetuate the poverty of Indians, the Congress party consciously imprisoned Indian citizens in a vast web of government rules and regulations, and perverted every institution in democratic India, including the judiciary and the media.
In order to legitimize its stranglehold on Indian society, the dynasty has also created a vast ecosystem consisting of “the poverty industry” in the form of NGOs whose survival demands that India remain a desperately poor country, or at the very least, is perceived to be so. Thus, when the outcome of the 2014 election was not in favour of the dynasty, the Congress could summon up all of its foot soldiers in the judiciary, the media, and the most inappropriately named “civil society.”
What else can explain the daily dose of misinformation in the media? For the past many months, we have had a plethora of accounts of “church attacks,” most of which were debunked as being either inside jobs or simple law and order problems. The rape of a nun in West Bengal was instantly attributed to “militant Hindus emboldened by the election of Modi,” until it was discovered that the perpetrators were Bangladeshi Muslims.
Just a couple of days ago, we had one Misbah Quadri claiming that she was denied housing in an apartment complex merely because she was a Muslim. Even the most inexperienced cub reporter would have gone to the housing complex in question and verified in person whether in fact the complex was “Muslim-free.” But our journalists sitting in their air-conditioned offices were happy to enough to accept this victimhood narrative at face value and play it up for all it was worth.
A minor newspaper, Mid-Day in Mumbai, was apparently the only media agency to take the trouble of visiting the complex in question, to find that there are already Muslims living there (thus blowing Quadri’s story to smithereens), and unearthing the fact that Quadri was being evicted because she did not maintain her payments.
But the rest found it all too expedient to persist with their false narrative of Muslim persecution in “Modi’s India.”
Even as that particular hatchet job on the government blew up in the faces of its perpetrators, comes another one that IIT Madras “banned” a “student group” for “having criticized the Prime Minister.” The Dean of Students at IITM has already stated that the group was provisionally de-recognized because it did not follow procedures, but none of that could be heard in the din.
By jumping into the fray at IITM merely to score some cheap points against the HRD Minister, opposition parties and the corrupted media are again showing that they do not care a whit for the welfare of Indian society, and that their sole interest is in regaining power by hook or crook.
The IITs are among our finest educational institutions, a stark contrast to JNU which is a cesspool of politics and mediocrity. Over-politicization of the “student body” at any institution can have only one outcome: JNU-ization, if I might coin a phrase. This is why I was adamantly opposed to the introduction of humanities departments in the IITs. While in theory, these subjects are supposed to broaden the minds of the students, the reality is that such departments attract intellectually inferior minds for the most part.
Let us not remain under any illusion that the Quadri affair or the IITM affair will be the last. As soon as one issue gets resolved, the media will throw up 10 others, like a hydra-headed monster for which it is a proxy. This is why I call it a civil war. Or perhaps one should borrow from Christian mythology and call it Armageddon, the final decisive battle between the forces of good and evil.
I was born on September 29, 1947—just 45 days after Independence. My entire life has been wasted by the pro-poverty agenda of the Congress Party (disguised as a “pro-poor” agenda). Each time a potential saviour appears on the horizon, be it Jayaprakash Narayan in 1975, or the first NDA government in 1998, or now the Narendra Modi government, the dynasty strikes back with ever greater force.
Each one of these prospective saviours has had a more difficult task compared to his predecessor, because the forces of evil get more and more entrenched after each victory. For me, the present government offers the last hope that India would become a worthwhile country within my lifetime. If we as a nation miss this opportunity to uproot the forces of evil once and for all, then I at least won’t be around for our next opportunity, assuming that it will come at all.
There is only one glimmer of hope on the horizon. Until now, the corrupt media has had a monopoly on information dissemination, and could thus control the narrative. With the rise of social media, that monopoly has been broken. But the breaking of the monopoly does NOT, by itself, weaken the hold that the corrupt media has on our collective fortunes. The rest of us must seize that opening and provide a fully competitive alternative to the distorted, anti-national garbage that is constantly being put out by the media. We cannot afford to be complacent, nor can we afford to underestimate the magnitude of the task at hand.
To repeat: India is in a civil war. As Lord Krishna told Arjuna: “Yuddhaaya krita nischayah.” You must fight with full vigour. – Swarajya, 30 May 2015
» Prof Mathukumalli Vidyasagar is a leading control theorist and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He is currently the Cecil & Ida Green (II) Professor of Systems Biology Science at the University of Texas at Dallas.