Why does India breed so many traitors? – Mrinal Suman

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Mrinal Suman“History stands testimony to the fact that a nation infested with the virus of treachery, deceitfulness and perfidy has always been an easy prey for foreign subjugation. No one knows this bitter truth better than India. Yet, our leaders, media and intelligentsia keep discrediting and harming the country through their seditious utterances and activities.” – Major General Mrinal Suman

While studying Indian history in school days, one was repeatedly told that the foreign invaders resorted to ‘divide and rule’ policy to gain control over India. They were painted as unscrupulous schemers who exploited the simple, trusting and gullible Indians.

It is only at a much later stage that one realised the hollowness of the above assertion. The truth is that we are adept at producing hordes of traitors who revel in India’s ruin. Every victory of the foreign invaders was facilitated by the local collaborators who betrayed their kings for some devious reward or to settle personal scores. No fort was ever conquered without the infidelity of a trusted minister/commander.

Unfortunately, centuries of slavery has taught us nothing. We carry on spawning throngs of people who can stoop down to any level (even imperil national security) for their petty gains. Our leaders, media and intellectuals appear to have a single point agenda: how to generate innovative issues to keep the nation divided and embroiled in petty bickering and internal dissentions; and thereby impede progress and bring a bad name to the country. They abhor India’s rise. Let me elucidate.

First, the leaders: They are the fountainhead of all fissiparous tendencies. For them, vote bank politics take precedence over everything else. One does not have to be a visionary to predict the danger of abetting illegal migration from Bangladesh for garnering votes. But unscrupulous political leaders carry on unconcerned.

One hangs one’s head in shame when political leaders extend their support to a delinquent student leader who seeks destruction of India. Comparing him with martyr Bhagat Singh is by far the most perfidious act.

Perhaps, India is the only country that has an ignominious track record of producing Home Ministers who reveled in shaming the country. One concocted theories of saffron terrorism to please his party bosses.

In so doing, he presented a convenient propaganda tool to Pakistan. Another Home Minister did the unthinkable. He declared a terrorist to be innocent in an affidavit to the court. The aim was to ensnare the opposition leaders in a false case. Sadly, India’s intelligence gathering apparatus suffered immense damage in the process.

When a leader declares ‘it’s safer to be a cow than to be a Muslim in India today’, he puts the whole country to shame. The world media flashes such headlines with sinister pleasure. India’s image takes a terrible beating. Just to score a brownie point against the government, he presents a convenient propaganda handle to the hostile forces. How low can a leader stoop!

Circero QuoteRecently, a renowned advocate and a former law minister told a TV channel that shouting slogans for the destruction of the country is not debarred in the constitution.

According to him, freedom of expression was of paramount importance. Even demand for secession (azadi) was justified. As the interview progressed, one was not only amazed by his perverted reasoning but also shocked to see the brazenness with which he was arguing. Survival of India appeared to be of no concern to him. One wondered if one was watching an Indian or a Pakistani channel.

Secondly, the media personnel: The less said the better. From their conduct, it appears that many of them are foreign plants and India means little to them. When a leading media house invited a vicious and remorseless enemy like General Pervez Musharraf and groveled before him, it marked the lowest depths of shamelessness to which journalism could sink. Instead of castigating him for the Kargil war, he was treated as a peace-loving guest.

Both the electronic and the print media never report ‘positives’ about the country. Ugly India sells (a la ‘Slumdog Millionaire‘); and not progressive India. Remember how a TV reporter failed to digest the popularity of Modi in the US and tried to incite the crowd with provocative remarks. But then they get paid to demean India, and not to extol it.

Immense damage is also being inflicted on the unity of the country by the media through its Machiavellian and skewed reporting. Every news item is deliberately reported with a religious, caste or creed slant—‘a dalit girl molested in a Delhi bus’ (as if other women are not molested in Delhi buses) or ‘church guard killed’ (in reality an argument between two security guards had turned violent) or ‘Muslim driver runs over a boy’ (as if his being a Muslim is of any relevance).

Recently, in a case of cattle stealing, a leading newspaper could not resist the temptation to add that ‘one of the five thieves is learnt to have had connections with a cow protection group in the past’. How cunningly, a simply case of robbery was given a communal taint.

Petty vandals are given the coverage befitting a mass leader. It was obnoxious to see two TV channels airing their interviews with a student leader charged with sedition. The worst was the indulgent demeanor of the TV anchors; as if a national hero was being eulogized. The interviews were repeatedly telecast at prime time.

Did these channels think of interviewing war heroes or martyrs’ families? Forget it; that would have been a pro-India act and that is an act of sacrilege for them.

Thirdly, the self-proclaimed secular intelligentsia: It has done the maximum damage to India’s prestige and standing. Some of them appear to be fifth columnists masquerading as progressive intellectuals. In which country of the world would the intelligentsia write to the US government not to receive their Prime Minister?

Honestly, it is simply loathsome: duly elected representative of 1.25 billion Indians being subjected to indignities by a shameless bunch of foreign-educated and foreign-paid anti-national elements. Unfortunately, their protests get huge publicity abroad, thereby undermining all efforts to raise India’s standing in the world forum.

It can be said with certainty that the well-orchestrated campaign of intolerance was totally malicious in intent. The sole objective was to stall all progressive reforms by tarnishing the image of the government. How else can anti-nationalism be defined? As expected, having dented India’s reputation, sold-out media chose to ignore the true facts as they emerged.

Hundreds of Christians, led by the church leaders, marched in protest on the roads of Delhi against the alleged vandalism of churches and a theft in a Christian school. Routine cases of petty crimes were cited to suggest an anti-minority conspiracy.

They ensured extensive coverage of their protests by the foreign and Indian media, thereby damaging India’s secular image. Foreign channels are only too eager to shame India. Unwisely, even Obama got carried away with his uncalled for advice, losing considerable goodwill in India. Reportedly, he said so on the prodding of an Indian leader, a la J-MJ.

Finally, soldiers and the national symbols: the national flag, the national anthem and the national salutations are representative of a country’s national identity and pride. They symbolize ancient heritage, current challenges and future aspirations. For soldiers, their sanctity is incontestable.

Bharat MataThousands of soldiers have sacrificed their lives to plant our tricolor on the enemy strongholds, thereby earning the ultimate honor of having their bodies draped in the national flag.

Notes of the national anthem make every soldier get goose pimples. The response is instantaneous and the effect is electrifying. Even in their homes, they stand up with their families when the national anthem is played on TV during Independence/Republic Day ceremonies.

Similarly, national salutations like ‘Hindustan Zindabad’, ‘Jai Hind’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ make adrenalin surge through their bodies. The salutations act as a rallying call to inspire the soldiers for the ultimate sacrifice. All military functions conclude with full-throated renditions of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.

Therefore, the current controversy regarding national salutations is highly painful to the soldiers. They fail to understand as to how an Indian can have difficulty in hailing the country. How can ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ be assigned religious overtones.

Finally: History stands testimony to the fact that a nation infested with the virus of treachery, deceitfulness and perfidy has always been an easy prey for foreign subjugation. No one knows this bitter truth better than India. Yet, our leaders, media and intelligentsia keep discrediting and harming the country through their seditious utterances and activities. Under the garb of freedom of speech, they support those felonious speakers who vow not to rest till India is destroyed.

When Paris was hit by the terrorist attacks, the whole country gave a unified response. Compare it with our Batla House encounter against Indian Mujahdeen where two terrorists were killed and two arrested. A brave police officer lost his life. Yet, many seditious elements had the impudence to term the encounter to be ‘fake’.

Therefore, the mystery remains unsolved. Why does India continue to produce so many Jaichands and Mir Jafars? Is India a cursed nation or is treachery a part of our DNA? One wonders. – Sify, 29 March 2016

» Major General Mrinal Suman, AVSM, VSM, PhD, commanded an Engineer Regiment on the Siachen Glacier, the most hostile battlefield in the world. A highly qualified officer (B Tech, MA (Public Administration), MSc (Defence Studies) and a Doctorate in Public Administration) he was also the Task Force Commander at Pokhran and was responsible for designing and sinking shafts for the nuclear tests of May 1998.

Cicero denounces Catiline in the Senate

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VIDEO: The Makarand Paranjape Interview – Newsd

The Makarand Paranjape Interview: Nationalism & Campus Politics.
Prof Makarand Paranjape is an Indian poet and teaches English at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

See also: Some questions for Kanhaiya, Leftists and JNU – Makarand R. Paranjape

 

Some questions for Kanhaiya, Leftists and JNU – Makarand R. Paranjape

Makarand R. Paranjape at JNU

Makarand R. ParanjapeIn the on-going series of teach-in lectures on nationalism, Prof Makarand Paranjape asked if JNU was a ‘democratic space’ or a ‘Left hegemonic space’ and why Leftists had trouble accepting the ‘legitimacy of the Indian state’.

The 15th lecture, “India’s Uncivil Wars: Tagore, Gandhi … JNU and what is ‘Left’ of the nation”, in the teach-in series of lectures on nationalism, titled “What the nation really needs to know” at the Jawaharlal Nehru University administrative block since the controversy over the arrest of its Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar, turned out to be quite different from the earlier 14 lectures in the series.

Makarand Paranjape, a professor of English at JNU’s Centre for English Studies since 1999, began by noting what makes the university where he teaches so special:

I think that one of the things that makes us special or important to the nation is precisely this alternative, performative platform, this stage on which we can demonstrate our ideas, our disagreements—how to think clearly in fact, rather than the other performative, which is, I would say, mesmerising.

When Kanhaiya came out of jail and gave this talk,  I was a convert: I was also swaying and dancing around with everyone. It was a great moment.

But what I am going to do today is to emphasise the other performative—where we talk about ideas, we are objective, we are critical, we do not get carried away, we are open-minded, we interrogate and critique ourselves and not just mount attacks on people we disagree with.

And, indeed, also check factually incorrect statements, the sources of our ideas and so forth. And I do hope there is an occasion to discuss some of these things.

Paranjape spent the first 40 minutes of his lecture on Tagore and Gandhi’s concept of nationalism before coming to the events at JNU since February 9.

This, incidentally, was the first lecture put up by “Stand With JNU Media Group” that, on its YouTube page, was accompanied by a caveat titled “A critical analysis of the lecture” by Anshul Trivedi who began by noting that this lecture made him “learn the difficult art of rationally listening to something which I am viscerally repulsed by.” Trivedi went on to offer his critique which can be read here.

Paranjape had recently been in news for being part of a petition calling for an “unbiased and rigorous new historiography of India” that accused those behind the “closely-linked statements” on tolerance or “award-wapsi” as being “neither intellectual nor academic.” He was also part of those who wanted Sheldon Pollock removed as mentor and general editor of the Murty Classical Library of India.

Paranjape spoke in English, interspersed with some Hindi and began with an epigraph from John Gallagher: “Revolutions devour their children, nationalism eats its parents.”

Tracing the first part, “Revolutions devour their children” to Jacques Mallet du Pan in 1793 after the French Revolution, he went on to discuss the space between the so-called “revolutionaries” and the so-called “ultra-nationalists”.

I am a student of literature and I am deeply interested in how texts are read and interpreted. And texts include so many things, including slogans.

I am deeply interested in hermeneutics and interpretation and I would like to suggest for your consideration today a certain kind of hermeneutic of mediality. And it is interesting that these words—medial, medium—go back to very old roots where they merge with words like madhyam. And for those of you who are interested in classical Indian thought, there is a very famous school of Buddhism which is called Madhyamaka.

So how to mediate? What kind of hermeneutics can we have of mediation? A medial hermeneutic. Perhaps to begin with there has to be an intermedial hermeneutic so you find a way to negotiate or stand between two opposites or two poles to see how these two sides, how these two positions can speak to one another.

But perhaps if this project of mediality really succeeds, then from being intermedial might end up being remedial and the idea of remedy really connected with what we consider our state of health. Our state of health in many ways is about restoring equilibrium really. And of course it is very difficult to do in these times. But this is what we require today. And may I mention that there is an equivalence of this in contemporary thinking and that is called a diatopical hermeneutics.

He said he wanted to go beyond the easy and reductive formulations of pitting friends against the enemies.

What follows is a rough transcript (and translation into English) of the lecture from about the 40-minute point of the video. — Scroll.in Editor

Transcript

So much has been said, so much ink has been spilt—thankfully, not so much blood. When I heard the title of this series, “What the nation really needs to know”—and as my friend Kanhaiya also said, “We will tell them”—I felt we in JNU need to ask: Do we not have to listen? We only have to tell? Have we understood it all?

We too should listen to what they say. This is what I feel. This is the “diatopical intermediality” I was telling you about.

We will speak, but we will also listen.

So when we listen to them—and certainly there are misunderstandings—but it seems as if the discourse that emanates from here—the discussion and debates that come out from here—is very anti: It does not seem constructive. So people have told me, even some of those who think. Everything is very negative and destructive. So then question arises, and these are very important questions.

Someone said here, “We will fight, we will battle, we will do this, we will do that, we will increase the fellowship too….” Wonderful, if you can accomplish it, but this is our state, I mean, we have elected these people. Unless we say, “This bourgeoise democracy we don’t believe in.”

This is the rub. This is where I come to the last part of my talk.

Did you check your facts?

What’s left of the nation—“left” here has a double meaning obviously. But by left of the nation, it means “What remains?” We’ve lost the middle-ground. Only the extremes remain. What is left of the nation? But what is left of the nation also means what the leftists have been saying about nationalism.

Kanhaiya said yesterday, “Ours is the oldest organisation, and we fought for independence.” But I want to ask him: What about the flip flop that happened by the Communist Party of India when they suddenly declared that the imperialist war was a people’s war? They said to the British—the Community Party of India sent a secret letter to the British—that they “will not agitate when you are fighting, we will cooperate with you.”

So when he [Kanhaiya] said, “We fought for India’s independence”—that is the Left students associations—I want to know what the evidence is.

It is very important to ask these questions.

Similarly, I might ask my friend Kanhaiya—he is right here. He said, “[M.S.] Golwalkar met Mussolini.” [Addressing Kanhaiya]: Did you not say that? Did you check your facts? It was Moonje [B.S. Moonje—a leader of the Hindu Mahasabha, and not Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh] who met Mussolini.

I am not saying they [the RSS] were not impressed by the fascists—they were. They thought it is a very good idea to have an authoritarian system. Please let us agree on what is factual and what is not factual.

So, we have to check out facts, that is what I am saying.

Judicial murders

Fascism stands for anti-democratic position—and so does Stalinism. I am proud to belong to a country where one so-called “judicial murder” created such a huge ruckus.

Do you know how many judicial murders were committed from 1920 to 1950s in Stalinist USSR? 799,543. Almost a million.

And how many people were executed for criminal and civil charges? Only 34,000.

How many went to the Gulag? 14 million.

How many perished there? 1.4 million.

Now, my submission is—and where I am getting these facts from? Soviet records—Please look. Please, this too should be discussed. Fascists are anti-democratic. But we have also to look at the record of some of our friends from the Left. They were very anti-democratic—Stalin certainly was. He killed everybody who disagreed with him. He killed Trotsky as well.

Who tolerates dissent?

And this is not new in JNU. 1970s—you read the history of JNU. I think the author is somewhere here—I saw him earlier—oh, there he is. There was a very interesting Trotskyite called Jairus Banaji, and he challenged the most charismatic established Left leader who was none other than Comrade Prakash Karat. And in the following year, Anand Kumar won, defeated Karat in the JNUSU poll as a free-thinker.

So we have to look at our own history and see what has happened. So please let’s examine the details and see:

Who tolerates democracy?

Who tolerates dissent?

And who doesn’t?

Now, we have had so many statements from everywhere, but can you show me a statement from North Korea? Or even from China?

Because in China even today—I have been to China five times—and it is ruled by the Communist Party of India—but it is a capitalist state. I have met many Chinese intellectuals. In a cafe, over a drink, they can tell you whatever you like, how bad certain things were. But ask them to take out a morcha, they can’t.

You go to Tiananmen Square and take out what poster and see what happens. You will be whisked away.

Where? Who knows?

So who is democratic? Who is not democratic? It is something we have to deeply, deeply ask ourselves.

‘Ye Azadi jhooti hai’

Allow me two more things.

I have told you one instance of what happened during the Independence Movement. I will give you two more instances and then I will finish my talk and you can ask me questions.

So India became independent in 1947 and Communist Party of India, which was then not divided, was led by a man called Ranadive [B.T. Ranadive] who gave a slogan—“ye azadi jhooti hai” [This freedom is fake].

Romesh Thapar who edited a journal called Crossroads was trying to smuggle copies—“smuggle” because he was taking them to Telangana—and Nehru invoked sedition. He also invoked sedition against Organiser, let me tell you. Nehru said to both sides “Boss, what is happening?” Both sides, in different ways were saying—were attacking—independence.

So these slogans—about “fake freedom”—ye azadi jhooti hai—have persisted over time.

So the Communist line on India’s independence followed Stalin, where he said revolution in the colonies would be a two-step process: First step, you know, you will have a bourgeoise kind of revolution or a bourgeoise take-over of power and in the second step you’d have a truly communist government in place.

So, this two-step theory was followed in India.

Legitimacy of the Indian State

Another moment when China invaded India [in 1962], E.M.S. Namboodiripad [another Communist leader] said India is the aggressor.

The only thing I am trying to say is: Why is it so difficult to accept the legitimacy of the Indian State? For many people in the established Left. Forget about the Maoists.

The Maoists believe that they have to use armed revolution to dislodge this government, and take over power. And you know the DSU [Democratic Students’ Union that arrested leaders Umar Khalid and Anirban earlier belonged to] is an offshoot of this Maoist party.

And let me also tell you—please also take a look at the letters of resignation that Umar Khalid, Anirban wrote from DSU. They said, “We are resigning because there is no scope for dissent. There is no democracy in DSU.”

Look at the ironies of these situation. I want you to be alive to that. So that is another moment.

Be a critic

And the third moment, if you want to look at it, is what happens after the collapse of the Soviet Union. And you look at the New Left Review issues and it is a great crisis: What to do?

Because the only counter to imperialism—the only counter to capitalism—is now gone.

And then they said, well, within the state, within the bourgeoise state, be a critic. Which I accept, but the point I am trying to make is that different shades of the Left in India have had a great deal of trouble in accepting the legitimacy of the elected government of India, whoever the party is.

Where does the Left derive its legitimacy from?

Now the real question is this: From where does the Left—and there are all kinds of Left, you know.

There is a Congress Left, you know, the Socialists: Aruna Asaf Ali, Achyut Patwardhan, JP [Jayprakash Narayan]. Now, these were branded by the Communist Party of India—look at the dialogues.

There’s a Progressive Left. There are writers—Mulk Raj Anand was thrown out, Manto was thrown out for indecency.

So it’s a complicated story. And I don’t what to simplify it.

But all I want to do to ask you is this: When you say you will overthrow the elected government, where do you derive your legitimacy from?

Is it that all the peasants have been polled—to give you the legitimacy?

I submit for your consideration that the legitimacy that authorises violence in this case, and you know the summary executions of informants—please read what happens: If you are thought to be an informant, you are executed by these people. I can give you figures….

Anyhow, where does it derive its authorisation from?

Where does it derive its legitimacy from?

I submit to you that it derives its authorisation and legitimacy from ideology.

So it’s like a theological authorisation.

It’s not any plebiscite or vote.

So yeah, if people in JNU had voted, if the Student Union had organised an actual debate, like, say the Oxford Union on the eve of the war—World War II—when they said, “This house believes that England, Britain, should not join the war” or something.

And they voted and they won.

That was not sedition.

Debate on Kashmiri separatism

So let’s have a debate.

Let’s say: How many people on this campus support separatism on Kashmir? We can have a debate.

Let’s see how many people—there are 8,000 students in JNU, apparently, according to Professor Sopory’s statement. If you go to the website—the JNU website’s figures are not updated—these are 2009 figures, they are the latest and they say around 7,000 students.

And you know that my friend here, whom I deeply respect, Kanhaiya Kumar, was elected by a little over a thousand votes. And the second person got some 600 and some odd votes. You can correct me as to the actual figures.

And you could have a real debate—I have lived on this campus for over 16 years … and my suspicion is….

[Responds to someone who says something] That’s right, but let’s poll. How many people support Kashmiri separatism?

[People shout]: No, no, not now, let’s have a proper debate, thank you.

But with due respect to you, you will see—you are far outnumbered.

Five people raised their hands.

[At this point the crowd roars and some more—a few more people from what is visible—raise their hands.]

Even so, anyhow, let’s get back to the point: I am saying, that’s another way to do it. And that’s my point.

And then there would be a legitimacy to this kind of movement.

And why not? I mean, every form of opinion should be respected. I don’t think that is the issue.

My question was that when something is authorised, what is it that authorises it?

And to me, social contract—call it Locke, call it Rousseau—is the basis of modern democracy, where people and their rulers have a contract: we vote you and you represent our will.

Left hegemonic space?

Anyhow, I will come to the end of my talk which was simply that when we consider ourselves a democratic space, we should also ask ourselves if this is entirely true.

Isn’t it possible that this is a Left hegemonic space? Well, if you disagree, you are silenced, you are boycotted, you are brow-beaten, or—or, sometimes, you are brainwashed.

[Loud shouts of No!]

I can give you so many examples. But let me just say one thing: I love JNU too. I love JNU as much as anybody else.

[Responds to some shouts that it is not about love] Love is very important [At this point Kanhaiya Kumar intervenes and counsels Paranjape not to get into a one to one with those present as it could go on, to which Paranjape agrees.]

What makes us special, I think, is that we don’t beat the people we disagree with. We can bully them but we don’t beat them. I haven’t been beaten here—as yet. We are not like other people who offer a reward and all….

Autonomy of all institutions

I stand in solidarity of all who want to protect the autonomy, not only of JNU but all educational institutions.

I stand in solidarity of those who demand due process, who believe in the institutions—not of a university, but of a country.

I stand with all of this.

But the only thing I submit to you is that even I have been a victim of a campaign of vilification. Let me tell you there have been open letters against me, and I don’t know what someone is circulating against me today—let me tell you, I have never signed a Hindi petition so far. I don’t know what it is—the entire thing is in Hindi where my name too has been added—I have not yet read it.

The only thing I want to say is this—and this is my last point. After these things happened, you know, I was walking to the department, and I saw this person on a bicycle carrying a placard: “I am not anti-national.”

And I think we are not anti-national. I agree.

And when you hear my views which are critical of what I consider Left hegemonic practices—sometimes bordering on Left dictatorial practices—I hope I don’t have to carry a sign saying, “I am not anti-JNU”.

I am like all of you.

And if you read any book of mine, I acknowledge JNU, I acknowledge my colleagues, I acknowledge my students.

And I stand here before you because I believe that this performative is also important where we discuss ideas, we uphold the right of each other to disagree and we don’t reduce all politics to sloganeering and self-complacency but interrogate our own positions.

This is what I mean by “diatopical hermeneutics” where we acknowledge the incompleteness of our own positions and go forward.

Thank you. – Scroll.in, 8 March 2016

» Prof Dr Makarand Paranjape is an Indian poet and professor of English at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Kanhaiya Kumar

Kanhaiya Kumar

Bravo! Netas strip Rohith Vemula down to his Dalit identity – Sreemoy Talukdar

Rohith Vemula

Sreemoy Talukdar“Like vultures excited by the smell of carrion, party leaders from all over India are now circling over Hyderabad, determined to peck every bit of flesh clean off the bone in an effort to secure their votebanks. … The early bird prize went to Rahul Gandhi who came along with senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh. Amid folk songs and impromptu lyrics, the Gandhi scion spoke before an excited crowd on the campus. Some tried to capture selfies, while others called their parents at home, requesting them to switch on the TV because it was being covered live.” – Sreemoy Talukdar

SuicideThe suicide of a Dalit student in Hyderabad has provided a god-given opportunity to our “secular” netas.

The value of a man was reduced to his identity … to a vote, to a number, to a thing. Never was a man treated as a mind, as a glorious thing made of star dust in every field. In studies, on streets, in politics and in dying and living, wrote Rohith Vemula in a heart-wrenching suicide letter.

His eloquent words seem eerily prophetic now.

In less than the time it took for family members, friends and colleagues to process the news of his shocking death, the erudite science scholar has been stripped down, buck naked, to his Dalit identity. And as the vivacious student activist foresaw, through a well-oiled paradigm of reductive politics, his voice has been reduced to just a vote. One vote that could lead to many votes in the eyes of our congenitally opportunistic political handlers.

Like vultures excited by the smell of carrion, party leaders from all over India are now circling over Hyderabad, determined to peck every bit of flesh clean off the bone in an effort to secure their votebanks.

Vemula wanted to be a writer of science “like Carl Sagan”. He was well-read, meritorious, brilliant. He was spunky, a man of action and an inspiration to co-activists. He tore down posters of ABVP, organised movements in favour of the causes he espoused, inevitably resulting in clashes with students of different ideologies. We learn from a Times of India report that PhD scholar Vemula got his admission to the University of Hyderabad on general merit quota. And although he declared himself as a member of a Scheduled Caste in his admission form, he never felt the need to furnish it.

And from his experience, he was also aware of the structured alienation that Dalits face from society. In his final letter, a veritable treatise on each of his experiences as an individual or part of a collective, Vemula issued a clarion call against disrespect for merit “in studies, on streets, in politics and in dying and living”.

But look at what we have done.

Hardly a day has passed since his suicide that long, sharp knives are being twisted into his memory. All that he stood for stands nullified. Eager to pose with his family members and co-activists in a bid to exploit the sentiment—still raw and powerful—vote-hungry netas are busy trampling Vemula’s dying wish under their foot.

Can’t blame them, really. A tragedy not exploited is an opportunity lost.

Union minister Bandaru Dattatreya, acting on a request from the BJP’s student wing, sent a letter to HRD ministry. He accused the student association at Hyderabad University bearing Ambedkar’s name of “anti-nationalism”. The Smriti Irani-headed ministry shot off four letters to the vice-chancellor. Vemula and four others were expelled and he eventually committed suicide. If the BJP had a death wish, it couldn’t have executed the plan better. For the Opposition, it is an issued served on a platter to paint the ruling party as a reflexively anti-Dalit.

Hence, we find Arvind Kejriwal, who practices throwing secular arrows on the ‘Narendra Modi Dartboard’ when not playing the victim card, jump into the cauldron with alarming alacrity.

Rahul Gandhi & Arvind KejriwalCalling it “not suicide, but murder” and demanding an apology from Modi, the ‘mufflered mango man’ who remained steadfastly silent during the violence in Malda—a district in Bengal, has since been burning in the fire of righteous indignation. The Trinamool Congress sent its emissary Derek O’Brien, the articulate spokesperson. He couldn’t travel the distance from Kolkata to Malda—around 326 kilometres—when it was burning, but wasted no time in taking the first flight to Hyderabad.

Some causes are greater than others.

The early bird prize, though, went to Rahul Gandhi who came along with senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh. Amid folk songs and impromptu lyrics, the Gandhi scion spoke before an excited crowd on the campus. Some tried to capture selfies, while others called their parents at home, requesting them to switch on the TV because it was being covered live.

Seeing all this unfold, Mayawati, whose life and career is centred around Dalit identity politics, sent two emissaries on a fact-finding mission. Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls are not too far away.

As tragedy tourism went on in full swing and the recipe for another ‘Mahagathbandhan’ was being readied, we are reminded yet again of Vemula’s immortal words: “The value of a man was reduced to his immediate identity.

The reductive principle at work behind the stripping down of Vemula to his Dalit identity is effectively the new caste system that the political parties are engaging in. And in this new paradigm, politics is no longer the sphere in which convictions crash or varied interests are shared. It is now just a battlefield for pitting one identity against the other. Dalit against Brahmins. Muslims against Hindus.

Vemula, the PhD scholar, is no longer a thinking individual who was convinced of his ideology and acted on basis of his conviction. That individual, tragically, is now dead. The multi-faceted scholar has been quickly ossified by politicians into a mere keeper of an identity, the very thing he warned us against in his final missive.

Henceforth, Vemula is just ‘that Dalit student who committed suicide’. – Firstpost, 20 January 2016

» Sreemoy Talukdar is a senior editor at Firstpost.

University of Hyderabad

See also

Prashanth Poojary is no Akhlaq and Moodbidri is no Dadri – Pradeep Thyagaraja

Prashanth Poojary

Pradeep Thyagaraja“Incidents like Dadri put India’s delicate yet unique plurality at risk, as per the Indian Secular Media. But incidents like Moobidri don’t.” – Pradeep Thyagaraja

As per the Hindu calendar, we have just concluded the Pitru Paksha for the year 2015. While in most of the families, the sons and daughters were offering shraadh for their deceased elders and ancestors. The unfortunate family of Poojary had to perform the funeral rites for their 29-year-old son, Prashanth Poojary.

From past one month we have seen the widespread coverage of a Muslim man called Aklahq who got lynched by a Hindu mob for allegedly stashing beef at his house in a far-flung village called Dadri in Uttar Pradesh. We have also seen many political parties approaching the bereaved family assuring them all the facilities, cash compensations, etc. Many film fraternities and Secular journalists have written open letters, Facebook posts, tweets expressing their concern over the growing dissent in the country. Surprisingly, we have also seen PETA activists asking Hindus to stop prying in others’ food practices . Even the President and the Prime Minister has come out, addressed the media and expressed their condolences and have appealed for harmony among the communities.

Unfortunately, Prashanth Poojary ‘s murder didn’t get such coverage in the national media. Can there be a more unfortunate life than that in which the parents outlive their children?

What really happened

Prashanth Poojary belongs to a humble Hindu family, which runs a family business of selling flowers in Moodbidri, Karnataka. 29-year-old Prashanth Poojary was also involved in the organized efforts and operations to stop illegal cow slaughter and smuggling of cows. As per a report in a popular print media paper,  Prashanth Poojary was “guilty” of being the member of Bajrang Dal.

As per the reportage, the “alleged” murder of Prashanth Poojary took place like this:

“According to the information, six men in two motorcycles came to the market around 7 AM, to the place where Prashanth Poojary and his father regularly sells flowers. They attacked Poojary with sharp weapons and fled the spot.”

We must prudently look into the selective reporting of such incidents and their choice of words. They were very apprehensive in not revealing the religion of those “alleged” perpetrators. Prashanth’s father gave the names of the “alleged” attackers to the police. Yet, the police didn’t reveal the names of the “alleged” offenders neither they’ve shown progress of any kind as far as the case is concerned. Bajarang Dal’s regional convener Sharan demanded the police to take necessary action. Alok Mohan, the Additional Director-General of Police, assured the public that they are on the trawl of offenders and they will be arrested soon.

VHP and BJP protests

Addressing the press meet in Moodbidri, VHP district president Jagadish Shenava exposed some shocking facts to the public while demanding 25 lakh rupees as a compensation for Prashanth Poojary’s family.

He said, “From past two years in the state, groups like SDPI (Social Democratic Party of India) and PFI (Popular Front India) goons have been involved in anti-national activities, cattle smuggling, slaughtering of cattle, love jihad to disturb the harmony among the communities”.

He also alleged that, “The Congress government in Karnataka has withdrawn many cases that was lodged against PFI and SDPI in which they were allegedly involving in the terrorist activities. Since the case withdrawal, the incident of cow smuggling and slaughtering has increased”.

VHP also said that, they will raise funds of 10 lakh rupees for Prashanth’s family. Karkala BJP MLA Sunil Kumar has urged the state government to give a compensation of 25 lakh. BJP MP Nalin Kumar Kateel also demanded a compensation of 25 lakh rupees to the family of Prashanth Poojary. He also hinted that, the Congress leaders are behind the incident. He criticized the district minister P. Ramanath Rai of Congress for being silence on the issue.

Eyewitness of the murder found dead

Sixty-six-year-old Vaman Poojary, who was an eyewitness of Prashanth Poojary ‘s murder died under mysterious circumstances. Vaman Poojary was a tender coconut vendor that owns the shop right next to the flower shop of Prashanth Poojary.

Circumstantial evidences also reveal that Vaman Poojary was traumatized upon witnessing murder of Prashanth Poojary and he wasn’t conversing with anyone since then. He probably would have been facing threats to his life too. But according to the police, Vaman Poojary “may” have committed suicide for reasons unknown.

Dadri vs. Moodbidri

Our media has no qualms in declaring the religion of the mobs that “allegedly” attacked Aklaqh of Dadri. Even the CM of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal went ahead and called the attackers Hindu. Would he or the media follow a similar standard while reporting Prashanth Poojary’s incident? No.

The attackers became “alleged attackers” and their religion, names, etc. Well … they were concealed like they are always concealed in similar cases!

Incidents like Dadri put India’s delicate yet unique plurality at risk, as per the Indian Secular Media. But incidents like Moobidri don’t. – The Frustrated Indian, 18 October 2015

» Pradeep Thyagaraja is a Technology Specialist at Bengaluru.

Weeping Cow

Hypocrisy of the Indian Left: Anti-Hindu and anti-‘fascist’-Modi – David Frawley

Vamadeva Shastri / David Frawley“The anti-Hindu Left retains a strong place in journalism and academia, which became entrenched during the long period of the Congress rule. We must remember that India’s Left holds positions far to the left of mainstream liberal political parties in the West, and uses the rhetoric of the communist era. The Left is upset that it is losing power since Modi’s unexpected landslide election in 2014 and will do what it can to discredit his attempts to benefit the country.” – Dr David Frawley

Narendra ModiIf one examines the charge of fascist in the media and press of India, it is a standard term of abuse against the RSS and its associates, notably the BJP and now Prime Minister Narendra Modi, extending to almost any Hindu affirmative organisation. It is seldom used for any other political group or religion, not even for recognised terrorist organisations like the ISIS.

This is not surprising because the anti-Hindu Left retains a strong place in journalism and academia, which became entrenched during the long period of the Congress rule. We must remember that India’s Left holds positions far to the left of mainstream liberal political parties in the West, and uses the rhetoric of the communist era. The Left is upset that it is losing power since Modi’s unexpected landslide election in 2014 and will do what it can to discredit his attempts to benefit the country.

The Left has long used the term fascist to denigrate its enemies, much as the old Christian Church called non-Christians “heathens” and “heretics”. Even warring Leftist groups call their conflicting Leftist opponents fascists. European Leftists call the United States a fascist country. The far Left in America calls the Republican right fascist.

Such emotionally charged terms are used to make us stop thinking and condemn the groups so designated without further consideration. Perhaps the best definition of fascist is any group that someone on the Left dislikes and wants to denigrate. For India’s Left that group is the Hindus. Even yoga in India, because of its Hindu connections, is looked down upon suspiciously as Right wing.

Hitler, Stalin & MaoThe historical record of the Left

The Left has produced the same type of violence, genocide and stifling of democracy associated with fascism. Joseph Stalin was as bad as Adolf Hitler and worse than Mussolini, killing millions of his own countrymen.

Stalin signed a non-aggression pact with Hitler in 1939, which cruelly divided Poland between them. This started World War II and allowed Hitler to invade France without the fear of a second front with the Soviets. It was only Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 that ended Stalin’s nexus with the Nazis. Yet the Left conveniently forgets Stalin’s alliance with Hitler that decimated Poland and started World War II.

Mao Tse Tung in China was another communist leader whose policies of dictatorship and state control rival the best of fascists. Millions died, numerous books were burned, and universities throughout the country were closed down under Mao’s cultural revolution from 1966-76. Yet in India, the Left never made an issue of Mao’s atrocities. Some Leftists defend India’s own Maoists and the violence they commit.

Chinese communists call the Dalai Lama a fascist and India’s Marxists support them. Soviet and Chinese communists as atheists destroyed numerous churches, temples and mosques. The Left prefers to criticise Hindus for religious intolerance, though Hindus have never invaded or tried to convert any country. It has no regard for Hindus in Pakistan, who have almost no political or human rights and are being wiped out altogether.

The Left is anti-Israeli to the point of anti-Semitism, in spite of the Jewish holocaust being the main act defining Nazi brutality. Those who sympathise with Israel in any way are likely to be called fascist, and growing attacks on Jews in Europe arouse little concern from the Left.

Left-oriented Indira Gandhi and her Congress party abrogated freedom of the press and democracy under the Emergency she imposed during 1975-1977. Shall we cite her for policies that for Hindu leaders would certainly be called fascist? And for communal violence, the attack on the Sikhs after her assassination remains the largest genocide since the Independence of the country.

Another hero of the Indian Left is Lalu Prasad Yadav, who kept Bihar backward and lawless under his many years of rule. Though Lalu was convicted and served time in prison, those who claim to stand against fascism, communalism and corruption have a political alliance with him in Bihar today.

Idea of India Beyond the rhetoric of the Left

Certainly there is little called fascist that Leftist leaders have not done. And the Left in India still does not adequately condemn its own despots.

Now the Left is criticising Hindus not for alleged terrorist events, but for isolated incidents over cow slaughter, which have occurred for years. We are told that beef banning Hindu groups pose the greatest threat to communal harmony. This borders on the absurd, particularly given the current situation in the Middle East, where multiple civil wars and devastating terrorist attacks are ongoing, and where there are no Hindus!

Of course, no one is beyond scrutiny or criticism. But the Left has its own set of failings and cannot claim to be the voice of truth and justice for humanity.

The selective outrage of the Indian Left that targets Hindus has a political bias and is covering over a greater violence, which the Left has often encouraged.

India—which Leftist groups never succeeded in raising up during their decades of domination—should give up the flawed logic and biased language of the Left and embrace its own dharmic traditions instead. – DailyO, 15 October 2015

» Pandit Vamadeva Shastri (Dr David Frawley) is an author and Sanskrit scholar recognized as a Vedacharya in India. His scope of studies include Ayurveda, Yoga, Vedanta and Vedic astrology, as well as the ancient teachings of the Rigveda. He is the Director of the American Institute of Vedic Studies in Santa  Fe, New Mexico.

 Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot & Kim Jong-il

See also

India’s thought police are angry with Modi – Tufail Ahmad

Tufail Ahmad“Here is the mirror Mr. Mehta: Your secularism is the intellectual barbarism of our age that has divided India’s youth to the benefit of your politics, poisoned the heart of Indians and pushed the Indian youths to the wall from where the only path open for them is to fight back. India’s youth no longer trust your type.” – Tufail Ahmad

Akhilesh YadavIn the last week of September at Dadri not far from the Indian capital, an angry mob lynched to death Mohammad Akhlaq over allegations that a cow was slaughtered and he ate beef.

In the 1970s and 1980s in Bihar where there was no Bharatiya Janata Party, cow slaughter was still banned and there were times when there would be conflicts over beef and policemen would visit homes.

Beef conflicts are not new to contemporary India. Cows are not slaughtered across the Islamic world, but the reason cows are slaughtered mostly in the Indian Subcontinent is because Indian Islamists introduced the practice of cow slaughter here as a challenge to Hindu religious practice of worshiping cows.

Fikr-e-Nau (New Thinking), a newly launched Urdu magazine published by Pakistani Marxists—explores the issue of cow slaughter (a translation will be published soon by the Washington D.C.-based Middle East Media Research Institute).

You can look further back into history.

AkbarDuring the 16th century when the BJP and RSS did not exist, Emperor Akbar outlawed the practice of cow slaughter but the greatest Islamic scholar of the time Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi lambasted the Mughal emperor asking why Muslims couldn’t slaughter cows under a Muslim government.

While Akbar was sensitive towards the majority Hindus’ religious sensibilities, Islamists like Sheikh Sirhindi, much like the present-day commentators, were not bothered about them. Fikr-e-Nau goes on to argue that in the lands comprising Pakistan today, cow slaughter was brought by Indian Islamist organisations arriving there after the Partition in 1947.

But the issue being debated about the Dadri lynching is not a religious one.

At this point in time when India is at the cusp of emerging as a global power, even the most so-called right-wing Hindus hold the following view: any person taking the country’s rule of law should be prosecuted and jailed without delay.

Lawmaker and prominent BJP member Tarun Vijay, in an [Indian Express] article dated 2 October, advocated this line of thinking, calling for handling this issue “via the lawful path that the Constitution has provided” and urging the Akhilesh Yadav government to “take serious note of this”.

A purely secular view requires this: the socialist government of Akhilesh Yadav must act ruthlessly and quickly against anyone taking the law into their hands. However, such a course is not advocated by India’s liberal-secular intelligentsia which loves to engage in religious politics instead—of late, crudely.

On 1 October, celebrity gossip columnist Shobhaa De tweeted: “I just ate beef. Come and murder me.”

For our liberal-secular intellectuals and Islamists, the issue is not the failing of our rule of law: the issue is politics, more of it if it is laced with religion.

For example, instead of writing a piece asking the socialist government of Yadav to prosecute the Dadri mob, noted left-liberal intellectual Pratap Bhanu Mehta trained his guns on 3 October at Tarun Vijay (who was critical of this sort of“secular” politics).

I view Liberals and Conservatives in the following theoretical framework: Conservatives view social realities as they exist on the ground, while Liberals describe social realities as they ought to be, colored in their own leftist vision.

Conservatives are rooted, truthful and pessimistic. Liberals are hopeful, divisive and untruthful when describing realities. John Lloyd, former editor of London’s leftist magazine The New Statesman, observed: Liberals “tell people to ignore their own experience and to think only in approved ways.”

Pratap Bhanu MehtaP. B. Mehta’s ideological-political base is located here: the kind of secular politics his tribe of academics and commentators supported ran the roost in the 1980s when the secular government of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi surrendered before India’s vocal Islamists.

Mehta’s ideological thought police expected that the country’s majority would keep watching this total surrender of secularism before Islamists in broad daylight, but these three decisions helped the Conservatives prosper and seek truth in the nation’s roots. Mr. Mehta, your tribe is responsible for three historic decisions that have damaged the Indian Republic: the Shah Bano law, opening the Ayodhya locks and the notorious ban on The Satanic Verses of Salman Rushdie.

Conservatives are truly Indians, unlike your secular tribesmen who appear to be masquerading as Pakistanis in India’s intellectual mainstream. Your politics is recurring. Notably, the secular Congress government in Rajasthan did not allow Salman Rushdie to visit Jaipur in 2012, surrendering before the Barelvi Islamists of the Raza Academy which had threatened to attack him.

Equally, Mehta’s ideological-historical base can also be located here: his ideological cousins and ancestors supported the Khilafat Movement, an Islamist political enterprise supported by India’s secular politicians led by Mahatma Gandhi and the global Islamists of the era—the Ali Brothers. Along with the Aligarh movement, the Khilafat movement would lead to the division of India in 1947.

The Khilafat Movement’s more violent version is nowadays led by Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State (ISIS), about whom India’s secular journalists and commentators are largely silent while scores of Indian Muslims are getting attracted to and many have joined the ISIS.

Mr. Mehta, your ideological cousins in our television studios and editorial offices recently supported Aurangzeb, the Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi of 17th century at whose orders Guru Teg Bahadur, the Shield of India, was beheaded in the public square of Delhi for refusing to convert to Islam in 1675 CE, much like and exactly for the same reasons the ISIS beheads non-Muslims in public squares of Iraq and Syria today.

In his piece, Mehta takes umbrage at India’s Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma for a slip of the tongue, noting:

“The minister of culture, for example, whose praise for A. P. J. Abdul Kalam was accompanied by a congenital suspicion—‘despite being a Muslim’—and who described Akhlaq’s death as an ‘accident’, prefigures the moral blindness that [Tarun] Vijay represents.”

As a still evolving democracy, Indians are electing members of parliament and state legislatures who might not have gone to universities: such lawmakers are innocent and honest but are being forced to declare their sophistication to suit the viewpoints of tie-clad suited-booted liberals with a felicity for writing glib pieces in dense prose.

Sometimes these lawmakers are asked to declare their degrees (the Election Commission has an explaining to do as to why it wants Indians to declare degrees). Such elected Indians may not be intellectually equipped like the graduates from the St. Stephen’s College; occasionally, they might not be able to distinguish between a certificate and a degree.

To Mr. Mehta: “the moral blindness” that you speak of has another name: political correctness—that is, of your own.

At the Aligarh Muslim University, I was taught sociology by Dr. Rashida Rana Siddiqui who once used the word “uncultured” in some context when teaching a BA first year class. When asked to explain the sociological meaning of “uncultured”—she looked back, pondered deeply and replied, “If you are so sensitive, do not use this word.”

Tunku Varadarajan, in his otherwise decent piece of 20 September, goes on to describe our minister as uncultured:

“Even if it were a slip of the tongue, let’s not forget that a man’s tongue often slips in a direction where a man’s mind has gone already. But when the uncultured politician who is India’s Culture Minister said that India’s late president Abdul Kalam was a great nationalist ‘despite being Muslim’….”

To Varadarajan and P. B. Mehta, India’s Muslim atheists and liberals are routinely dubbed by Islamic clerics as follows: not being Muslim, not sufficiently Muslim, not practising Muslim, not proper Muslim, not even half a Muslim, or murtad (apostate). 

To reverse this definition for a meaningful discussion of India’s discourse, this is what you get: you are not an Indian, you are not sufficiently Indian, you are not an Indian first, you are a Muslim first—the “you” being the Indian Muslim.

This binary—Islam versus Indian—resides in India’s discourse nurtured over the past century by secularists of Mehta’s type. To Varadarajan: the minister’s statement was not a slip of the tongue, it was hard truth of our social reality coming via his tongue. Even if you accept that “a man’s tongue often slips in a direction where a man’s mind” is, it appears there is a single mind from where Varadarajan, P. B. Mehta, and, oh, Amartya Sen speak.

Therefore, Mr. Mehta, it is not incidental that your tribesmen—journalists, academics, and TV anchors posing as objective journalists and commentators—do not like Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, the late scientist and former president loved the most even by our schoolchildren.

The question raised by the Culture Minister Sharma remains relevant. Here is a detailed look-back.

Prophet MuhammadYou can look back much further. In the 7th century CE, the non-Muslims of Mecca urged Prophet Muhammad to join them and share power, but he told them: “For you is your own religion, and for me is mine.” This Verse No. 109:6 from the Quran is often cited by liberals as an explanation of Islam’s co-existence, but the truth is it was revealed as an antithesis to the pluralism of Meccans. During the 1857 war, Muslims and Hindus fought together against the British. Soon after the war, Muslims separated from this togetherness: for example, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan established a university that would give birth to the Pakistan movement. This phenomenon was also evident in the 1980s when the Muslims fought together with the CIA infidels in Afghanistan in the 1980s, but soon after the war ended, the Muslims separated to launch the jihadist project elsewhere, namely in Kashmir, and this time on their own.

This is the precise reason Mahesh Sharma, in an un-secular moment of truth, blurted out the reality. In a very unconscious way, Sharma was juxtaposing Islamism of our times with the Constitution and history of India.

A.P.J. Abdul KalamSince the Amartya Sens and P. B. Mehtas are the power brokers of India’s intellectual discourse, Sharma was speaking truth to that power, and thus his tribe felt offended at the truth being revealed in this way.

It is instructive that the culture minister was speaking in the context of renaming the Aurangzeb Road after A. P. J. Abdul Kalam who is not liked by P. B. Mehta’s clan, who instead love and defend Aurangzeb, the butcher of Hindus.

We can debate whether A. P. J. Abdul Kalam was the right example to give, but Sharma’s speech was not scripted; inadvertently, his way of comparison was straight out of India’s national discourse for which largely the liberal-secular fraternity is responsible.

So, the Varadarajans, Amartya Sens and Mehtas need to do four things.

• First, stop beating up our members of parliament who may not be educated like you from the Presidency of Kolkata or Delhi’s St. Stephens College.

• Second, try to look within the corpus of your liberal knowledge and its moral relevance (for example in the context of 20 million humans butchered by Stalin in USSR and 65 million similarly dead in Mao’s China).

• Third, try to understand rationally and reasonably from where these “uncultured” and “uneducated” lawmakers and ministers come from.

• Fourth, offer reasoned analysis that will educate the Indian youths who are hungry to hear the truth about our society and history.

• If you wish, you can do a fifth point: keep your prejudices from your writings and to yourself.

Our lawmakers are the products of the great Indian democracy that we chose, but Mr. Mehta, your kind of analysts are products of the St. Stephens College, not of India’s College of Democracy.

There are also some Indian commentators who speak like Pakistanis in our media. It is profoundly enlightening that Mehta sees creativity in Pakistan’s chaos when Pakistan’s own writers are describing their social reality in more crystalized ways.

I hate to say this Mr. Mehta, but you appear like a Pakistani national masquerading as Indian in the Indian mainstream much like Gandhi who supported the hardcore Islamists of Turkey right here in India.

You taunt Tarun Vijay for seeing the loss of creativity in Pakistan’s cultural withering, but the true Pakistani and acclaimed historian Ayesha Jalal has described Pakistan for having entered a state of “cognitive disability”.

It also does not appear that your type of commentators are honest. You pose as a neutral analyst in our public discourse but the very first sentence of your article uses vile words that make your intellectual intent clear:

“If you wanted an example of how vile, nauseating and morally odious our public discourse….

Sorry, but this cannot be a way to begin a serious analysis especially given your stature as a serious and insightful commentator. It’s more of an abuse than an analysis. It is more of a vile attack from you on a sitting member of the Indian parliament.

It is interesting that Mehta’s article is titled Dadri Lynching: the Party and Its Poison.

The truth is this: you and your tribesmen in the academia and media industry are—to state it in academically neutral terms—both the seeds and fruit of this poison that this nation’s discourse is afflicted with.

Your article was also published by Huffington Post under the following title: “Dadri Lynching Incident Blame Has To Fall Entirely On Modi: Pratap Bhanu Mehta.”

Your article is published on the website of The Indian Express under the title: Dadri reminds us how PM Narendra Modi bears responsibility for the poison that is being spread.”

Frankly, Mr. Mehta do you really think that Modi was born in the Emperor Akbar’s era when beef conflicts used to occur? 

When spouses of Politburo members take over as editors—the Bihari writer George Orwell would have explained it better—scholarship is the casualty, truth is the George Orwellconcubine of the pen. Nowadays, India’s youth are left wondering if the motto of The Indian Express is “Journalism of Courage” or the “Practice of Cowardice.”

Of liberal intellectuals, George Orwell wrote:

[They] are more totalitarian than the common people…. Most of them are perfectly ready for dictatorial methods, secret police, systematic falsification of history, etc. as long as they feel that it is on ‘our’ side.

It is often noticeable that writers, journalists and commentators in India who have not lived the life of hunger are not on the side of social reality; most often they are secular, liberal and communist, the three-in-one intellectual of India who has forced our daughters to beg at traffic lights by his/her policy advocacy during the past six decades.

Most of India’s Left-Liberal activists are happy to spill blood from their pen from their posh apartments, some of them convert and find professorships, or long to marry a White professor and settle in the West.

The intellectual types of Mehta and Amartya Sens never put poverty on the nation’s agenda during six decades when their secular party was in power. Now, for the first time, a tea-seller has risen to the top but Mehta’s clansmen in our newsrooms are uncomfortable that Modi’s priority is to build toilets, clean our roads, and focus on skill development—in short, the most basic and fundamental reforms that will have a long-term, lasting and positive impact.

I do not want to defend the BJP and the RSS, but it is abundantly clear that at this turn in history, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is tirelessly working to make the BJP the most inclusive party of India, especially as democracy is robustly destroying the dynasty’s Congress party.

Mr. Mehta, it is due to your poison that our youths, especially those with B.Tech and M.Tech degrees, and middle and upper middle class working professionals have begun describing themselves on Twitter profiles in these terms: “Yes, I am a bhakt”; “Proud right-winger”;”Politically Incorrect”; “Right-wing Hindu”; “Nationalist and proud to be Hindu”; “India First”; “I am nationalist”; “Betrayed by Left”; “Indian nationalist national”; “Leftist in the past, Rightist in the present”; “Call me Sanghi”.

The three different titles under which Mehta’s article has been published in the aforementioned outlets remind us clearly that the purpose of his writing is not a concern for India, Indian Muslims or Hindu-Muslim relationship but to launch yet another attack on Modi.

Mr. Mehta, you take umbrage at Tarun Vijay’s comment that seculars don’t care for Dalits: but the fact is Tarun Vijay is correct here, not you.

India’s Constitution and democracy have cared for Dalits and empowered them in millions, but the secular Left has always abandoned them or has fed them with Marxist poison.

The best example of this is the history of India’s Left. For years, India’s Left has denied Dalits any representation in leadership. Generally, Brahmins have risen to the top of the communist parties’ leadership.

The intellectual hypocrisy of the Left was such that when it came to the issue of feminism, Leftists—morphed as “Liberals” today—like you reversed the Marxist principle: economy is the infrastructure and ideas are superstructure of society. You used this argument to deny caste identity and to simultaneously deny Dalits any presence in the Left’s leadership positions. However, you reversed it to accommodate upper caste women into top-posh ranks.

Mr. Mehta, you attack Tarun Vijay for falsehood, but how about looking into your own brand of intellectual heritage of past six-plus decades?

You ask Tarun Vijay to read more novels, but what are you reading? Secularists fail to grasp that your article is pure abuse published in a mainstream newspaper.

If you look within your soul, you will be able to grasp why the so-called rationalists are being murdered: charvakas were always welcome in India’s diversity. When Maoists are arrested, journalists from your tribe describe India’s laws as “draconian” for arresting these terrorists. When Indian’s Muslim youths join the ISIS, Hindus are being urged to go soft, just to please the seculariate.

Shockingly, Mehta writes: “Vegetarianism is an excuse for violence.” As history shows, secularism too, is the birther of riots. You write: “tradition is an excuse to assault freedom.” In India, the press too, is an assault on basic principles of journalism.

Amartya SenYou further write: “ideas are an excuse to curb debate.” I agree: India’s discourse has been poisoned by the likes of you.

You next write: “disagreement is an excuse for provocation.” Yes, disagreements of a personal nature are indeed an excuse for unprovoked intellectual attacks on Modi.

You still write: “facts are an excuse for mendacity.” But of course, this mendacity is rooted in the falsehood of our discourse nurtured by your type of three-in-one intellectuals.

India’s secular-liberal writers who have neither time nor shame to peer into their own hearts, pen such sentences: It is as if the nation is acting out the violent convulsions of a deranged being, with no calm light of reason, or compassion.

Frankly, what kind of seeds that you nurtured over the years that are flowering now? Here is the mirror Mr. Mehta: your secularism is the intellectual barbarism of our age that has divided India’s youth to the benefit of your politics, poisoned the heart of Indians and pushed the Indian youths to the wall from where the only path open for them is to fight back.

India’s youth no longer trust your type.

You write: The blame for this has to fall entirely on Modi. Those who spread this poison enjoy his patronage.

For now, please do enjoy the fruits of said seeds.

It is interesting to observe that social media has come to the aid of India’s common people, and it is more interesting that social media is disliked by India’s three-in-one thought brokers like you. More importantly, speed being the essence, social media can quickly expose your kind.

Narendra Modi & Mark ZuckerbergIt will be good if Narendra Modi worked out a partnership with Facebook to allow every Indian to publish an online newspaper. Such a development will prove a political graveyard for the Mehtas and Amartya Sens. It will demolish the Berlin Wall in India’s public discourse rooted in the half-Italian, half-Indian dynasty that disempowers India’s masses.

Meanwhile, here are your own article’s last sentences with a few alterations.

But we can be grateful to Pratap Bhanu Mehta for reminding us that the threat to India’s soul emanates from the centre of discourse, almost nowhere else. It is for that centre—and Mehta and Sen in particular—to persuade us otherwise. – IndiaFacts, 5 October 2015

» Tufail Ahmad is Director  of South Asian Studies Project at the Middle East Media Research Institute,  Washington D C. E-mail: tufailelif@yahoo.co.uk

A.P. J. Abdul Kalam

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