Late November winter of 1984, I made my way through a slum area near Karol Bagh, as I walked to a friend’s place on the other side. It was a slum with small tent like dwellings with residents who always had meager possessions. I am not sure what religion they belonged to or what their ideology was. Just that they were poor.
TVs in the slums sponsored by political religious hate games
But this time as I walked past those dwellings, I found something interesting. They suddenly seemed to have color TVs and some other gadgets in those small huts. Quite obviously the electricity was stolen. But, I immediately realized, that so were these gadgets! And I knew the source!
Just a few weeks back, several mobs had descended on the market in Karol Bagh and broken open shops belonging to Sikhs. There was one store selling appliances and TVs. It was run by a Sikh gentleman. It was ransacked in front of our own eyes. I will never forget the scene where one teenager picked up a brand new TV and walked out, and in the rush of the mob it fell from his hands and broke. He went back in to get another one. Such was the bastardization of the whole collective morality.
Those slum dwellers probably had absolutely nothing to do with Congress and surely had nothing against the Sikhs in particular! They were doing what they were doing because One, they were sponsored and backed by some powerful Congress politicians, and Second – they got a chance to snatch what they had just dreamed of from a “rich man”.
I can bet that none of the people in that slum had any hatred for the Sikhs. Whom they hit or whom they stole from was dictated by their sponsors.
India, you see, is a country where the veneer of religious hatred can be bought and sold. At that time, the slum dwellers were showcased as those hurt by Indira Gandhi’s killing so wanted to take revenge from Sikhs, Congress having nothing to do with it. The truth was something completely different. Just as in Kashmir, it is not always the religious hatred but the money from Pakistan that creates the veneer of religious hatred.
In such a country, we have an explosive situation in West Bengal, where Mamata Bannerjee had started persecuting people for simply uttering Jai Shri Ram. So what did the people do? They, in defiance, chanted it back. Jai Shri Ram was becoming a cry of defiance. Not hurting the other.
How do you know lynching mobs are Hindus?
Suddenly, we find, all of a sudden, in multiple places – some unknown groups killing people of one religion and asking them to chant Jai Shri Ram. Not just that, they are recording things on camera and uploading it to the social media networks.
Is it only me or does it sound fishy?
First of all, the subjugation of the Hindus has been going on since independence. Yes, it has increased with the killings of RSS, BJP workers and other prominent Hindus in Bengal, Kerala and Karnataka. But any Hindu group, even the loony ones who are loud mouth and stupid to begin with, will be downright stupid to share the evidence of their crime on the social media.
Unless, this is propaganda material.
We know now that many of the so-called lynching cases have been dubious. The Junaid case was a fake one. So was Pehlu Khan’s case. Tabrez Ansari’s death leaves many questions that need to be answered.
When so many of these cases are of dubious nature. When so many of these cases seem rather incredulous to even begin with. How can someone so confidently say that lynching is a real issue? Yes, sponsoring of violence has been an issue and modus operandi of some in the Indian state since the independence.
Heck, India was created via partition on the back of sponsored and targeted violence. Muslim League, then Pakistani establishment (Kashmir attack of 1947) and the Indian National Congress were the greatest masters of this art.
You see there is absolutely NO evidence that any of the perpetrators of the so-called lynching incidents were Hindus. There is no way to know. Any one can buy cheap actors off the street to do just that. Or do it the old fashioned way of Congress. Pay the slum guys enough so they can do your job – a la 1984 killings!
So when those 49 so-called celebrities wrote a letter on how “Jai Shri Ram” is being used as a war cry, they were creating the second level defense for those who sponsor these attacks. Because, all over the world, it is Allahu Akbar (nara-i-takbir, as it is called by Muslims) that has been used as a war cry. Read this, this and this. Yet, there was no mention of it!
Rebranding voice of defiance into a weapon of lynching…
Jai Shri Ram, on the other hand, was fast becoming a call for defiance against the Bengal dictator, Mamata Bannerjee. It is an expression by the subjugated that their rights matter and defy her fascist authority when her government jails those who chant Jai Shri Ram!!
To change the narrative and crush the use of Jai Shri Ram by those defiant of Mamata Bannerjee, these 49 “celebrities”, many of whom are from West Bengal have spearheaded this campaign to rebrand it to a violent ‘war cry’.
An exercise that is cloaked in the old “Intolerance” bottle in reality has a sinister aim to it. To snuff the voice of defiance against the Bengal CM’s dictatorship and rebrand an entire community!
It is a way to hit back with the same tool of non-violence that Mamata’s critics were using, against them. The shield of the defiant is now being deemed as the weapon. This is not a debate against intolerance. This is a rebranding exercise!
Throughout the 1400 years of violent religious history globally – nara-i-takbir Allahu Akbar has been the war cry of those who killed with impunity. That is the 800 pound gorilla in the room, that the “Open letter” completely omitted and missed. And, none of these 49 so-called celebrities talked about that. You see, they did not even feign to be “even handed” or “balanced” in condemning the religious chants in such lynchings, because no one questioned them on it. They focused on a specific chant and no one asked why?
Here was a chant that the defiant in Bengal used. Lest it become the defiant call of the oppressed Hindus around the country – whether it is Kerala or Karnataka or West Bengal, this rebranding exercise was imperative to make it into a pejorative. Just like “bhakti” and “bhakt” was fashioned into. Now, the defiant have no way to express their angst in the powerful manner they could! Where the arrests and imprisonment did not work, rebranding and demonizing will work!
…and the clueless ranting Hindu “activists”!
And, in this, the Hindus have displayed what utterly ignorant fools they are. Specially, when they only keep ranting about the “intolerance” brigade (and performance of folks like Ashok Pandit on TV shows is pathetic and can easily be used as the reaction of the “angry Hindu fundamentalist”). Yes, all that – intolerance et all – is there. But there is a nuance.
The ranting against the intolerance brigade, only helps those who are masterminding this rebranding exercise and turning the tables on the oppressed Hindus who have shown defiance to the so-called secular dictators. The power of those fascists is at stake. And they are using your shields, your own tools of security against you. And you are simply ranting about stereotypes.
Meanwhile, a far more long term and far more sinister game is underway.
Now, it is up to the society at large to see where the real issue is or to keep allowing these privileged few to dictate the lessons in morality to all while bastardizing the very foundations on which the nation was built.