SONIA Gandhi and the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty are the holy cows for the Congress party. The party doesn’t tolerate any author, producer or editor that dares to make any critical remark against the boss that she may perceive to be “offensive”. The party and the Government run by it go into censor mode at the slightest pretext. It is not bothered that a movie or a novel is not a biography but a piece of art and a fictional depiction of history that may have some resemblance with the lady that rules the country with remote control. On her part, she is arrogant and had made extremely derogatory remarks against the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee by calling him a “traitor” and calling popular Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi “maut ka saudagar”. She didn’t have the decency to apologise for these derogatory remarks that have no place in public discourse. But she and her party is totally intolerant if any critical reference is made to the Italian-born lady’ personality or personal life. It, therefore, surprises no one that the party has sent legal notices to the Madrid-based Javior Moro, the author of a famous novel The Red Sari, and the Italian and Spanish publishers of the book. Not only that, Abhishek Singhvi, the noted lawyer and official spokesman of the Congress, has demanded the withdrawal of the book that has been in circulation since 2008 on the premise that the work was “completely unauthorised, defamatory and salacious”. These threats had had no effect on the author who obviously needed no permission from anybody to write a novel. He is amused by the outbursts and claims that the Congress leaders were unhappy with the recreation of Sonia’s life in Italy as narrated by him in his book. He defends his right to write a fictional version on the life of the Congress leader. It would be interesting to watch the Congress-led Government’s response to the publication of the English translation of the book in India by Roli Books.
Similarly, Prakash Jha’s movie – Rajneeti – faced problems with the Censor Board obviously because the Congress Government was uncomfortable with certain scenes and dialogues on Indian politics.
The film maker was forced to remove and curtail certain parts of the film to get clearance from the censors. In J&K, the Congress-led Government has banned a newspaper – the first in the troubled state – for carrying a picture of the leader with a derogatory caption. The newspaper appears to be guilty of indulging in obscenity. But isn’t it worrisome that the State Government acted against a newspaper for carrying an indecent caption but not against many others that have been spreading treason for the last so many years?
While the Government is too sensitive to any derogatory remark against a politician – Sonia Gandhi in this case – it is most insensitive to insults heaped on Hindu society, its ethos and icons. Prof. Wendy Doniger of Chicago University is the latest in the series of foreign writers who routinely denigrate Hindu thought and literature. Her book, The Hindus-An Alternative History is an extremely superficial narration and a distorted presentation of Hinduism. She confesses her focus in exploring Hindu scriptures was sexual. Her malice and contempt for our great religion is evident from her observation that the motto of her book was “follow the monkey” or more often, “follow the horse”. Her interpretation of certain historical women getting children by the blessings of gods is disgusting. Her attempt to project the birth of Karna as a result of Sun raping Kunti is a product of a sick mind. Not many in the academia and the media attacked Prof. Wendy for her offensive interpretation of Hindu history. Of course, some journals carried critical reviews of the book but it was left to Shiksha Sanskriti Uthan Nyas led by an eminent educationist, Dina Nath Batra, to launch a vigorous movement to educate the masses about the evil designs of non-state American actor.
The Nyas and its outfit Shiksha Bachao Andolan did organise some demonstrations and launched a signature campaign against the author and her book. They have also petitioned the American Ambassador in India requesting him to convey to the American President their demand that the offending book be withdrawn from circulation that is likely to adversely affect friendly relations between the largest and the most powerful democracies. Certain groups of Indo-Americans have also petitioned the US Government against the offensive book. US Administration is most unlikely to ban the book as that is not the norm in that country. What needs to be done is to launch an agitation in India to force the Government of India to withdraw the insulting and obnoxious book from circulation. Will Hindu nationalists that run countless outfits with the aim to serve the society and uphold great Hindu traditions and ethos launch a massive agitation to bring the Government to its senses? Tolerance is so ingrained in our psyche that we Hindus take too long to wake up to insults heaped on us by both Indians and foreigners. It is high time; we realise our duty to punish those who are accomplice to the attacks on our values, beliefs and great traditions.
The attack on Hindu values and icon by MF Husain, the notorious painter was extremely hurting. It took us decades to stand up against him. He persisted with painting Hindu icons and Bharat Mata in nude and disgraceful positions. When sections of enraged Hindus woke up to the evil designs of the painter and held peaceful demonstrations against exhibition of his insulting paintings, “liberal” brigade and human rights industry rose in his defence claiming it was the artist’s right to interpret. They didn’t for a moment realise that the evil soul was purposely insulting Hindu psyche by depicting Hindu gods in naked and that he never painted Muslim or Christian Gods and icons in similar fashion. Now, he has given up his Indian citizenship, the “liberals” accuse Hindus of hounding out country’s “greatest” artist.
So much for our commitment to defend national honour and dignity!