Cover Story : Selective Amnesia
Literary and intellectual personalities have an important role to play in the society, especially when it comes to change. They have every right to protest against certain government policies. While doing so they have to be righteous, equal and committed to certain principles rather than political parties. If they avail benefits of political patronage and cry foul when the monopoly over certain institutions is crumbling, their credibility and intent for protests come under question. The present award returning spree in the name of ‘freedom’ and ‘secularism’ depict the symptoms of selective amnesia of Left liberal intellectuals and literary figures. These double standards demean the individuals, awards and the institutions they represent.
Intro : Left-secular lobby is aghast to see a rural upstart like Modi take position of power in spite of their negative efforts. They know their perks and privileges are no more guaranteed. It’s a last ditch battle to save their privileges and right to tell people what is right or wrong for them.
Left secular lobby with the help of electronic media has succeeded in creating an atmosphere in the country and also outside since last a few weeks as if all the Hindus are out on the street killing ‘minorities’ – read Muslims – to save ‘mother cow’ and stop beef eating. It seems Bharat is in a time warp for more than 15 days. All TV channels seem to have plumbed to pessimistic depth. There has been outrage all round as if Bharat is up in flames with one person’s reprehensible killing; as if before that Bharat was living in blissful harmony for earlier 67 years. ‘Sahitya Akademi’ awardees drama has added fuel to fire.
Plenty of information is available about the awardees in public domain:
However, there have been many more headline making events which are hot in Social Media (SM) but shrouded into silence by Main Stream Media (MSM). So, now I realise that all this outrage is not about Beef or Freedom of Speech. Here is a sample of incidents that took place in these same 7-10 days
- Muslim cow smugglers killed a police officer who tried to stop their truck carrying cows.
- Muslim goons killed a young man in Delhi who honked to clear road.
- Dalit family in UP was disrobed in front of police or as some said, disrobed themselves because police won’t file FIR.
- A girl was murdered in Jharkhand by Maoists for daring to study and not joining them. By Left definition, they belong to ‘Marxist parivar’.
- Restraints on Durga immersion in Bengal.
- A Congress MLA allegedly engineered riots in Varanasi in the name of Ganesh immersion.
- An English play, ‘Agnes of God’ has been banned in Hyderabad; more could follow, on demand of Christian bodies.
Nary a debate, nor a hint of outrage! No discussion about suffering poor or carriers of torch of freedom.
Then, we see a concerted drama of a network of Sahitya Akademi award winners returning their awards, mostly not moneys. As numbers swelled I was convinced with my theory that it was well planned strategy to embarrass Modi government and strengthen their effort to illustrate that Modi is a disaster as they had predicted he would be before and after his election as PM.
It is payback time for the Left-secular brigade that had supped, dined and enjoyed perks from their benefactors, viz. Congress. Some writers went to the extent saying that they are protesting now as writer, Kalburgi has been killed. As if a common citizen’s life was less valued. They forgot that many more incidences of such nature had happened earlier too. So-called rationalists, who could dictate rationalism only to Hindus but not to other religions had been killed since years. The favourite Left mascot, Safdar Hashmi’s murderers are undergoing 14 year jail term, one of them is a Congress member of that time. Riots and lynching had happened earlier too. Voices contrary to Left-Secular thinkers had been throttled, people bludgeoned to death especially in Left ruled states of Kerala and Bengal. RSS was the chosen target. I won’t list out riots and pogroms abetted by Congress over years. Every intelligent reader is aware about them. But, nobody resigned, nobody felt threatened.
Touch stone of freedom has been reduced to freedom to eat beef, freedom to watch porn. I may point out that the defining trait of Fascism is forcing one’s thoughts on people and arresting or silencing the people who don’t agree with their ideology. This is what Left-secular lobby has been doing for years. But, none of these conscience keepers has been harassed or stopped from demeaning, insulting or criticising the chosen PM of Bharat, who had been hounded for 13 years in every possible way, but came out unscathed in due process of law.
Many writers and self-proclaimed intellectuals openly abused Modi during elections, even later. One gentleman from Mumbai said he will run naked in Mumbai if Modi won! It’s a different matter he never did it.
These worthies sat peacefully when a Christian teacher’s hands were chopped off for asking supposedly inflammatory questions in exam paper about Prophet Mohammed. Their conscience was not pricked when worst riots took place in Congress regime, including infamous 1984 pogrom against Sikhs. Most of these people are those who signed mercy petition for Afzal Guru and late lamented Yakub Memon. They forget that law and order is a State subject and nothing stops those governments to take action against perpetrators of crime, of whichever political hue they may be.
Then, what’s the underlying story? Underlying story as Americans would say, “it is not about Beef, nor about Freedom of Speech, stupid!”
Writers Condemn Politics on Literature
In a joint statement released in Delhi on October 15, 26 eminent writers, intellectuals and literary persons and four literary organisations from different parts of the country while coming down heavily on the award return drama, termed it as the insult of the both the Sahitya and the Akademi. They wondered why the people who have till now been playing key role in the functioning of the Sahitya Akademi and manipulating awards for each other are now raising fingers on the same Akademi.
The underlying idea is to somehow prove at any cost that Modi and BJP are a disaster for the country, as they had predicted. The elite class brought up on west oriented education and trained by their Marxist philosophers heading all academic and art institutions cannot imagine coming of age of home grown wisdom based on ancient Bharateeya culture and heritage. Left-secular lobby is aghast to see a rural upstart like Modi take position of power inspite of their negative efforts. They know their perks and privileges are no more guaranteed. It’s a last ditch battle to save their privileges and right to tell people what is right or wrong for them. But, the rooted Bharateeya is no more ready to be treated shabbily and insulted for his/her traditions, beliefs or religions.
They will create a fear psychosis and frighten minorities and others to claim that nothing is going right. They will not mind Bharat being seen in poor light across the globe. It seems they are winning the propaganda battle for now, but they will lose the ideological war, no doubt. They are unable to appreciate that inspite of their decades of teaching that Bharat is a backward, orthodox civilisation that is still an ‘idea of a nation in the making’; Bharat's populace is bursting with positive energy, feeling more confident; a fact testified by Pew research, not an RSS affiliate by any yardstick. Bharteeyas need to be vigilant and be ready for these designs and see to it that this nation never looks back and strides the world as a power that seeks peace and wellbeing for humanity.
Ratan Sharda (The writer is a Mumbai based senior columnist)