Published a defamatory article against Swami Vivekananda
MORE than 200 people belonging to various RSS associated organisations staged a silent demonstration outside The Hindu office in Chennai on January 6 condemning the newspaper’s attempt to denigrate Swami Vivekananda. The demonstrators protested without any sloganeering, only to meet the editor of the newspaper and demanding public apology for the misconduct.
The protestors included quite a few netizens as well. Soon the visual media began covering the incident at the gates of The Hindu. Quickly the police arrested 35 protestors, who were released in the evening. Incidentally, the editor was not available that day. Later, The Hindu informed the protestors that the editor could meet the representatives of the protestors only on January 8. The police also assured that they would see that appointment to meet the editor is fixed for meeting. Ramakrishna Math of Chennai also registered its protest through a letter sent to the editor.
The Hindu published the article ‘Taking the aggression out of masculinity’ written by Sanjay Srivastava denigrating Swami Vivekananda on January 3. The atrocious part of the forbid affair was the photograph of Swami Vivekananda with caption ‘Swami Vivekananda’s masculine photographic-pose was only one aspect of the cult of masculinity encouraged and tolerated by nationalism’.
As soon as the readers found the obnoxious piece of writing in The Hindu they shot hundreds of e-mails to the editor, demanding an apology. A stream of phone calls from readers registering their protest shook The Hindu office. A number of comments were posted on the website of the newspaper pilloried the article were promptly posted by the readers. A few letters had to be published by the newspaper objecting to the article in the ‘Letters to Editor Column’ the following day. The column also published some of the protest letters written by the supporters. It is not Swami Vivekananda being degraded, but Indian culture, familyhood and highly respectable Indian motherhood was also attacked in the article.
In Sant Sammelan organised by the VHP, which was attended bv leading saints like Kanchi Shankaracharya Swami Jayendra Saraswati, Pejawar Swami Shri Vishveshwara Teertha, also condemned the article. They also demanded a public apology from the editor.
Meanwhile, The Hindu editor Siddharth Varadarajan on January 9 expressed regret for the article as well as the photo published about Swami Vivekananda and said the views expressed in the article were of the author and not of the newspaper. “Any offence caused to the readers was inadvertent and is regretted,” the editor said.