“SECULAR-liberal” brigade, notorious for demonizing Hindu nationalists on contemporary, historical and social issues, is hugely worried over nationalists domination of the new media/Internet. They now realize that their fake claims, false accusations and prejudiced interpretation of information and events are challenged on social media by net-savvy citizens forcefully and with sound arguments. A motley group of intellectuals flourished under the patronage of Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru – a self-confessed socialist – and occupied positions of strength in academia, media and literary fields. It monopolized public discourse and introduced countless distortions in narratives of national identity, value system, culture and history.
They have now discovered to their discomfiture that their alien ideology, values and morals are under severe attack from well informed and educated citizenry. Biased discourse on secularism, liberal values and modernity are fast losing ground to traditional concepts of dharma and sarva pantha sambhav, cultural nationalism and Hindu consolidation, social harmony and democratic values. While carrying democracy and pluralism on their sleeves, the “secularists” pushed out from public discourse all views and beliefs contrary to their own. Their hypocrisy is phenomenal. They preach lofty liberalism but practice a worse form of ill-liberalism. Day in and day out, they abuse nationalists in foul language and have the cheeks to call them “abrasive, abusive, pesky and hostile”. Of course, nationalists are angry over pseudo-secularist’s double standards and tell them, at times bluntly, that they are wrong and have no right to insult others simply because they are not willing to let go unchallenged their biased and factually wrong interpretations of events and historical facts. Sagarika Ghose of CNN-IBN denigrates Hindu nationalists as swarms of bees who come swarming after you at any mention of “Modi, Muslims and Pakistan” or words to that effect. The lady, like her cahoots in media, who mentally tortured millions of well meaning citizens by broadcasting lies and biased commentaries 24×7, now feels the pinch. Does she now realize how offended a large section of viewers are when she relentlessly goes on and on without conceding a minute to a different viewpoint?
May be some of the internet users get so provoked by Ramachandra Guha’s hypocrisy and rabid opposition to Hindu causes that they responded to him in the language they think he understands. Such mails are totally unacceptable as these are neither in good taste nor make desired impact. My take on such mails is: Make your facts deadly, keep your language soft. Most net-savvy nationalists are well-educated and bright persons unburdened with regional, caste or gender biases. They are amazingly well informed on national and international issues. They ignore hate mails sent to them by pseudo-secularists and try to engage them in informed debates on issues that concern the nation and the society.
New media’s biggest asset is that it has democratized dissemination of information. It has given voice to the voiceless and liberated people from the tyranny of traditional media that had for too long imposed undeclared censorship on information and ideas. It is justifiably argued that new media’s tremendous growth is not merely because of technology but more importantly because of inadequacies of traditional media that led to rapid erosion in its credibility. Vested interests, in-built ideological and personal biases and narrow ambit of the traditional media are among the major factors for its decline. Publishers/owners and editors no longer believe that newspapers and news channels are not pieces of property but have a living personality with a character and tradition driving not only from those who own or edit them but also from its readers/viewers, the causes they historically served and the community of which they are a part. Consequently large sections of mainstream media are no longer instruments of social change and guardian of democratic values. New media is filling the space traditional media is vacating.
One of the most galling impacts of Nehruvian socialism was that mainstream media eliminated all contrary view points and alternative policy frameworks. Newspapers with large circulation were owned by corporate houses but the editors were largely Marxists. There was a curious unwritten understanding between leftist editors supporting Nehru’s socialistic pattern of society and money bags owning newspapers. Editors were free to write against anything, including capitalism, but would refrain from writing or allowing any editorial content in their newspapers that could be even remotely inimical to the proprietor’s business interests. Editors enjoyed fat salaries and wrote poignant stories and editorials about the extreme poverty and illiteracy in the country while demonizing nationalists adhering to their beliefs, ideology and policies as “extreme right”, “fascists” and “communalists”. This unholy alliance between the exploiting classes and phony socialists never allowed the masses to access correct information and balanced interpretation of government policies and events. The leftist gang succeeded in creating an atmosphere for extreme hostility against rival view points and alternate policy-frame works. New media changed all that. It democratized information and provided a forum to all citizens to raise critical issues and spread information to counter the misinformation fished out by self-serving groups masquerading as “liberals and secularists”. Nationalist voices that were pushed out of public discourse have found their voice in the new media. People fed up with traditional media for its hypocrisy and sensationalism, frivolous reporting and distortions and lack of balance and objectivity found a solace in social media. It is this media that has empowered the citizens to comment on policies and performance of not only the Government but all segments of public life. It gave citizens the freedom to express their opinions without any editorial barriers and other narrow interests. Thinking Indians have discovered a new freedom to voice their hopes, aspirations and frustrations. New media has put to end traditional media’s monopoly over what and how to report. It has emerged as a platform for free exchange for views and ideas. Nationalists have gained ground in the new media. Let them lead all the way. Amen.