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Monstrous Propagandists

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat

23 August, 2013

As the reach of web world is being recognized and realized across the political spectrum, the hate mongers have also started working on their agenda. Political debate must confine on the principles and policies of political parties and their performances but unfortunately now the personalized nature of targeting is being done by the multi-headed propaganda machinery of the Sangh Parivar. These offshoots may or may not be registered but every day, you will find a new ‘national’ organization preaching us to be united and fight against corruption and false ‘secularists’ who do not speak against Muslims.

Muslims are the favorite target of the Hindu communalists because it gives them the strength to spread their vicious agenda. They know the compulsion of ‘Hindu secularists’ who hails from the upper caste-class segments and have at their heart of heart the feeling of Islam being a problem. It is this class who feel that Muslims cannot be secular and Hindus are ‘too’ ‘liberals’. I have been forced feed on this issue of Islam many times that I am too ‘liberal’ to Muslims and too harsh on ‘Hindus by many of my secular-humanist friends. It is not just the ordinary souls but academically sound people too have the same idea. One of them once said that a Muslim cannot be secular to which I countered as which religious person can be secular. The person further argued that Quran cannot be a secular book and I responded how Gita or Ramayana can be different then. To this, he suggested that Gita is a secular book, it does not spread animosity and that great scholar like S.Radhakrishnan and others around world actually spoke highly of ‘Gita’. I asked him to read the analysis of Baba Saheb Ambedkar and Periyar and I realized the deep contempt for them. The whole issue then reached to reservation. And unfortunately on the issue of reservation the attitude of Muslim elite who may look secular, Hindu elite, Communist elite, and Humanists elite look the same. It is disgusting how there are are point of convergence in India among the elite masquerading to follow different ideologies and yet find their common convergence in looking down upon the Dalits and rarely speak against the caste atrocities.

My point is not the glorification of Islam but definitely a legend like M.N.Roy looked to Islam in a different way in India and wrote ‘The Historic Role of Islam’. Yes, the role of Islam in India was of social change and bringing a voice of dignity to many of the marginalized. And therefore, the secular humanist breeds in India have two varieties. One who lead ‘Muslims’ through fighting for their rights particularly during the communal disturbances but does not bother to speak about the ‘internal’ issues of the community which actually are very useful in strengthening the stereotype that the Hindutva’s thugs have created about them that everything that they do is ‘appeasement’. So, India considers ‘not speaking’ as an appeasement while a majority of the community languishes in poverty. The issue of Pasmanda Muslims is out of bound for the ‘seculars’ at the moment. The ‘seculars’ represent ‘tolerant’ Hindus who feel that India has suddenly being communalized and hence the conceptualization and myths being built up around ‘Hindu tolerance’ which is farcical.

It is important therefore to visualize what is invisible and how media plays with names and stereotype thing very similar to what the Bombay films did long back. A Brahmin in any of the Bombay film would always be poor but honest and hardworking while a Dalit or a black as ‘kamchor’ or a cunning caste-ist gangster. People with disability and dark skinned were to be laughed at and look down upon in contempt. The media story is dirtier here and need to be analysed. How they create ‘identities’, make hero of a ‘community’ and create ‘villain’ of others. Durga Shakti Nagpal is clearly a name which helps media to promote the idea of ‘honest’ officer, ‘meritorious’ who is upright and has taken on the ‘Bhatis’ who will definitely an OBC. The problem is that there are numerous other local mafias who may be Sharmas , Tyagis, Aggarwals and others but they will not be in the ‘hit list’. Similarly, when a blast occurs anywhere, it is the people related to Islam or Muslims whose name is chanted from the very beginning quoting extraordinarily on those ‘home ministry’ or ‘intelligence’ reports which are nothing but thoroughly communalized but at the same point of time when Pakistan does the same tactics, parade Indian national or a Hindu as a terrorist then our ‘nationalism’ wakes up. You can make it from the arrest of Abdul Karim Tunda and the way he is being ‘projected’ despite the known fact that our own ‘Tundas’ in Pakistan would be treated as ‘nationalist’.

The communal Hindutva agenda has many facets and one need to understand it deeply. They are hand in glove with crony capitalists and hence media shamelessly and nakedly coming in their support. Now, media because of its very nature cannot really chant Sangh’s anti- Muslim rhetoric’s openly hence playing with the story indirectly. For that perceptions are developed carefully and news is built in a way that does not show you propagating the ‘Hindutva’ but demolishing all those who stand against the communal fascists. So, an Arnab Goswami will scream for the right of Durga Shakti Nagpal and ask question on behalf of ‘India’ as why is she not being instated but the fact is does the state government has right about her or not. Can she decide about things on her own? So justify her act, we will bring stories of that she ‘demolished’ a temple too but nobody asked her anything. That shows the ‘Hindu’ ‘tolerance’. Then, we ‘break’ the story of a Muslim MLA’s father in Rajasthan and how he is engaged in ‘anti national’ activities and an ‘honest’ officer has been shunted just for taking him. It means that every transfer needs to go to Arnab Goswami’s table first for clearance otherwise he will scream on TV and call Madhu Kishwar for ‘justification’.

In this country, the bureaucrats never actually treat people as ‘sovereign’ but mostly as servant. Anybody, who is working with the government institutions in this country, is a my-baap of the ordinary citizen. There is no doubt that the Uttar-Pradesh government has mishandled the Durga Nagpal’s case but just to make her a demigod the media is showing its true colour. This trend is turning into other farce which media has tried to create in the past five years. After the Anna-Kejriwal farce, they went to every sound bite by him who also fizzled out. For a long period we found that the notorious Subrahmanyam Swami is the ‘model’ for our media and they lapped up each word that he spoke against the Gandhis and Muslims. If Amartya Sen has to be condemned then bring frustrated Jagdish Bhagwati whose only problem with Sen is his Nobel Prize. Is this the job of the media to discredit the political institutions and boss over us through unaccountable arrogant bureaucratic institutions?

Yes, the political leadership is going through crisis but it reflects our society. We need to protect our democracy and change the social system to make it more equitable. Democracy can’t be strengthened if we discredit the entire process of democracy and allow the supremacy to be non-elected unaccountable bureaucratic classes in India who have developed contempt towards democracy. It is ironical that the classes which glorify Indian democracy abroad have deep contempt towards it and to understand that we must revisit the post mandal India when the political parties have been mandalised. A decision on August 7th, 1990 for the acceptance of Mandal Commision report by V P Singh’s government jolted the entire nation. They tried to create anarchy in the country but failed. The upper caste forces have persistently tried to create anarchy in the country whenever their hegemony is challenged. Mandal was the biggest threat to them. Mandal’s biggest contribution may not be the rising number of OBC bureaucrats but the growth of the new leadership which emerged. As the demand for fair representation grew, the apprehensive caste forces used all the tricks to thwart that change process and ensure that some areas remain out of bound for the majority of this country, just in the name of ‘merit’.

India’s parliament is the best representative of Indian people. No other Indian institutions really represent people of India and what is the merit of the ‘selection’ process of these unaccountable ‘meritorious’ ‘experts’ in media, judiciary and academic world. Most of the appointments are done through connections whether they have political, bureaucratic or media itself. Was there a national examination organized for getting some one into Times Now or NDTV ? What was the process of appointment of Arnab Goswami or Rajdeep Sardesai ? How did Chandan Mitra got ‘Pioneer’ and haven’t we forgotten a former chief justice appointing his sister as judge of high court and attempted to bring her to Supreme Court just before he retired. Find out the family history of those who are donning our judiciary? Are there no other meritorious people in this country except those selected? These are the very similar process in the universities and colleges who have thwarted every attempt to bring diversity inside their campuses in the name of ‘merit’.

We talk of transparency for everyone. Yes in the name of transparency create anarchy, make people fight with each other. None will ask the food bills of Ambanis or Amitabh Bachchan as they have ‘fundamental right’ to spend money of their choice as the billions and trillions they have is ‘their money’ but if Sonia Gandhi organize a party then file cases. What about Arnab’s party and the high society parties organized by the Jain brothers of Times of India. Can we seek RTI for many newspapers whose circulations are not even thousands yet their budget is in crores? How are they running their empire?

So, news is being created here very carefully. It is created to discredit some and make other benefit. Nobody is shouting when Modi government discriminate against Sikhs and decide to throw them away from Kutch, in Gujarat. These are the people who developed that region as a wonderful place but now Modi’s Gujarati nationalism and pure business sense feel that these people should be thrown away but no hue and cry, no campaign to save people.

Soni Sori’s is languishing in Indian jail. The policeman who butchered her, violated her, tortured her has got presidential medal. Her husband died of torture. Soni Sori is a tribal so our heart doesn’t melt for her. Crime against her does not melt the heart of these women who were in Jantar Mantar. Yes, we make a rape victim as ‘symbol’ of bravery because she happens to be an upper caste but the woman who fought for her right, for her people, is languishing in Jail. None ask question to Indian state. Nobody seek inquiry. No court issue any warrant. No government fall, no heart-break, no dharnas, no tears, nothing moves. Why the nation does not question the state’s brutality? Is Soni Sori not a woman? Is she not a citizen of the country? Yes, the argument they would give is that she is a Maoist but then the jailed persons too have right to defend themselves.

The Hindutva propaganda machinery is expert in distorting facts as over centuries they have expertise in lies and deceits. The analogy is selective and so are the campaigns so that the fence sitters are influenced. The Madhya Pradesh government ordered Gita to be taught in Madarasas and we find justification. ‘Muslims and Christians can teach their religious books in their schools then why are Hindus denied to teach their holy-books in their schools’, they say. The problem is that RSS and Sangh Parivar have very cleverly converted all the government and national institutions as ‘Hindu’ institutions and hence when the minority institutions teach their values, they counter it that we too have a right to do so. Secondly, Madarasas are not Hindu institutions but Muslim religious institution but the tragedy is that such fascist imposition are being ordered in the name of ‘culture’ of tolerance and there is no hue and cry by those who have been speaking.

A number of Hindutva leaders have been caught on various scandals but that does not become an issue and therefore it is clearly visible that media is fighting the battle on behalf of Sangh Parivar today. Fortunately, the people of this country know very well the brahmanical nature of media and hence have learnt the tricks of the game. Now the news is coming clearly how and why a big staff at a famous news channel is being shunted just to make way for more saffronised journalists to be recruited who can campaign for Modi and his team.

It will be deeply disturbing if media remain unaccountable in the name of freedom of expression propagating the business interest of companies and hiding facts from the people. Political class must reflect on themselves as the goons and musclemen will only discredit them further. We desperately need political statesmen today who can rise up and speak without their own narrow sectarian interest. The middle classes may enjoy the mocking of political class who anyway can be changed but who will seek accountability from these loudspeakers who are spreading lies and spreading hatred. The day political system in India collapse, the fascist communal forces will take away all our liberties and this ‘free’ media will never come for our rescue that time. We have seen their criminal silence on Soni Sori, on Kashmir, on AFSPA and hence it is time that people must change their polity. Politicians are bad, they are corrupt ( but media men are not holy cows and many of them have turned ‘successful’ politicians too) but sweeping generalization will be dangerous and secondly if idea of India has to survive fighting against communalism and sectarianism is no less importance then fight against corruption. Do Indians really love those who fought against corruption. who are the role model? Will they love VP Singh, RamSwroop Verma, Narendra Dev, Madhu Dandwate, Ramdhan, Indrajeet Gupta, Manik Sarkar and many like them who lived their life in honesty? There are hundreds of political workers silently committed to their work without media galore but the past 20 years have degenerated political system because of media reach and we have film stars, business tycoons, media monarchs jumping in the political bandwagon and enjoying the power. It is a challenge. The biggest challenge is to expose the corrupt crony media and its unaccountable power. If India has to be saved from fascist communal onslaught, the people must understand and expose the role of these crony journalists who have nothing but khaki shorts underneath and their disinformation campaign against the poor and marginalized. If politics became the symbol of change even if it might have been negative at many places, the media, judiciary and academia are the biggest obstacle to social change and propagandist for status quo. They are simply pushing their casteist, communal agenda in the absence of a political consensus on major issues of saving the democracy. Democracy is endangered today as it will only create more problems and isolation for the marginalized and those who believe in freedom of expression and political thoughts. We must be careful of those propagandists who are using this political vacuum to strengthen their sinister fascist designs.

Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social and human rights activist. He blogs at www.manukhsi.blogspot.com twitter @freetohumanity Email: [email protected]







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