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Creating a hate cult | OPINION

Author: Ratan Sharda
Publication: Indiatoday.in
Date: January 7, 2022
URL:      https://www.indiatoday.in/opinion-columns/story/creating-hate-cult-1897250-2022-01-07

What the targeting of Hindus really means in a secular India. Here’s a counter-point

Afriend of mine forwarded an article by an articulate Left-oriented lady titled, “What the targeting of Muslim women really means.” It reminded me that I should have written an article, “What the targeting of Hindus really means in a secular India.” But that may be for another day. Today, I will only respond to this effort at creating a Hate Cult around Hindutva.

I am surprised by the tone and tenor of the article. The trigger is obviously an online scandalous and condemnable Bulli Bai App or some such name. Like her, all of us would be equally pained and troubled by online abuse, harassment and exploitation of women of any caste, creed, colour or nationality.

While she wrote these lines, the IT ministry shut a channel on an App that was targeting Hindu women similarly. To give it a communal colour is the worst a woman, especially a progressive woman, can do. I agree with her that if action had been taken against the first such instance, named ‘Sulli Deals’, the second coming would not have happened.

Online abuse and shaming of women is a horrible reality of anonymity of the Net world over. But she goes on to pin the blame for non-action of police onto ‘Hindutva’. When did law and order become a responsibility of Hindutva organisations? Police should have been held responsible by famed activists for this horrible inaction. It is demonisation of a new kind.

The writer finally lets her frustration on ‘Triple Talaq Law’ come out. She claims that that “Muslim women being weak and hapless is a warped perspective of Muslim women.” She cites the Shaheen Bagh agitation as the strength of Muslim women. That makes me ask a question that I hadn’t asked so far: was Shaheen Bagh really led by Muslim women? Or were they the front for more sinister players backstage? I am sure, no Muslim woman, especially the types sitting in the tents, would have abused Hindus and insulted their sacred symbols. Who were the people who did this? None of them would know where the “Chicken Neck” is except while cooking a chicken? Who backed a Muslim youth who claimed that India’s chicken neck should be blocked to hive off the entire North East Region from India? The gentle women won’t recognise an Urban Naxal if he/she came with labels stuck. Who demanded their release using their stage? Who explained the CAA law to them wrongly to make them believe that they would be thrown out of their motherland, though the law was meant for non-Muslims persecuted in Muslim countries and had nothing to do with Indian Muslims? Shaheen Bagh only showed that those women were gullible and manipulated by some Left and Islamist people.

The writer then gives air to the idea of Muslim genocide quoting two programmes held in Haridwar and Chhattisgarh, the latter organised by a Congress leader as reports show. Two fringe programmes are used to tar the entire peaceful Hindutva movement. But hundreds of terror attacks on Indians across India in the last few years were passed off with the words, “Terror has no religion; they are not true Muslims.” Nobody is claiming that they were not true Muslims, dare show that the terrorists were not quoting the Quran. Because they were not. People who are afraid to stare back at their own jihadis tell us how the entire Hindutva movement can be defined by a few fringe elements. While a few of those Hindu hotheads have been arrested, an Owaisi who tells Hindus to worry who will protect them when Modi and Yogi go away roams free. Not one progressive condemns his outpourings. Maulanas and Mullahs and secular leaders routinely spew venom against Hindus, behaving as if they are above constitution but nothing sullies Islam and Islamists.

She strengthens her argument about “forthcoming genocide of Muslims”, noting, “In 2019, the United Nations official, Adama Dieng, spoke on the dangers of hate speech and intolerance. We all have to remember that hate crimes are preceded by hate speech, he emphasised and adds that the holocaust did not start with gas chambers; it started long before with hate speech. Words kill, words kill as bullets.”

She is right. Hindus have faced such hate attacks for so many years that one forgets the count. But one remembers that hate rallies under the benign eyes of her own Marxist government saw people dressed as RSS members dragged in chains in processions, thus marking them as the new Jews of Kerala and as big an enemy as Jews were for Nazis. A Yogi Adityanath lookalike was similarly dragged in another procession. But so-called liberal criticised this crass normalisation of violent intent. She also forgets that Communist Russia loved Nazis till Hitler attacked it.

She forgets that the recent attempt to paint Hindus and Hindutva black globally through a failed webinar called ‘Dismantling Global Hindutva’. The speakers, mostly from the Left from India, explained eloquently that when they talk of Hindutva, they mean Hindus. Was it any less dangerous than what Hitler did to demonise Jews?

Since she talks of the Jew holocaust, why does she forget about the biggest holocaust in the world of Hindus during Islamic conquests, especially from the 11th Century? Left loves to quote westerners. I am sure she has read Will Durant and many like him. Self-proclaimed “eminent historians” have not only removed any narrative of these holocausts from history books, they have gone on to paint those invaders as the kind-hearted rulers who actually developed India and Indians! All history books that quoted original sources of the invaders were removed from academic discussions, and those historians banished. And if Hindus today remember the holocaust, rape, forced conversions and destruction of their temples, they are labelled a violent community.

She recalls the 1992 riots and the Babri episode, preferring not to remember that Hindus had been struggling to get back their Ram Temple for 500 years. That her ‘eminent historian’ friends instigated Muslims leaders with fake evidence, thus complicating an easy peaceful settlement of this dispute. Continued delay in decision that could have been easily taken led to the conflagration in Ayodhya but no other mosque was touched there. But the same group pleaded before the Supreme Court in the dead of the night to release one of the prime accused of the dastardly serial bombings that killed hundreds. The uncontrolled frequent terror attacks were passed off as ‘terror has no religion’. Not only that. Hindus were targeted with false cases to create a miasma of ‘Hindu Terror’. Grim reminder to her Jew analogy. I don’t recall any progressive opinion leader condemning this, nor asking the hate generators to apologise for this fakery.

She then coins a new word ‘genociders’ (sic) to describe the 2002 Gujarat riots, but like all leftists and seculars wants us to forget that 59 innocent Hindu pilgrims from Ayodhya were burned alive in locked railway coaches. Was this a genocide or the subsequent riots that saw one third of those killed in police firings were Hindus?

Writer talks of 1984 as the low year for BJP, but doesn’t for once mention the 1984 genocide of Sikhs not just in Delhi but across Bharat that saw 8,000 Sikhs being butchered. It was not a riot; it was a genocide. But, well, Communists were and still are friends of Congress so they can’t condemn it. Most amazing is her defence of frequent riots all over India under ‘secular’ dispensations of Congress and secular parties. She says, “But these things were always kept in check as the ruling dispensation was accountable to the people.” So, hundreds killed during those regimes could rest in peace because the rulers were accountable? How? Culprits were hardly punished. Remember the 1984 pogrom criminals, remember the Nellie massacre. The count is endless. Did she ever ponder why nearly all the riots were started by the “frightened” minorities? Did she ever ponder why a locality becomes a ‘sensitive locality’ if the dominant community was Muslim but no locality ever becomes ‘sensitive’ if the majority is Hindu? I have not got an answer to my question for years.

I do not wish to delve upon her plaint about a sundry attack on Church, because a one-off attack should not be pinned on the entire community. The South has a maximum concentration of Christians and they have lived happily there. In Andhra Pradesh, in fact, Hindus are being persecuted when Christians become dominant just like in the Northeast. Hindus don’t have problems with Christians, but with aggressive conversion of the organised Church. When did the right to propagate become a right to convert by any means? Does she remember how the Modi government was sought to be cornered for petty crimes by their own flock on Church? How rapes of nuns in Jhabua and Bengal were sought to be pinned onto ‘Hindutva forces’ but no one apologised when the perpetrators turned out to be local criminals and Bangladeshi Muslims in the latter case.

Her last argument is about the Union government going after ‘Missionaries of Charities’ and oppressing Christians. Does the reputation of an organisation put it above the law of the land? It is a law brought in by Indira Gandhi. Who fine-tuned it? The UPA government. All this government is doing is to see to it that these FCRA beneficiaries follow the law, and get their million-dollar donations audited and be accountable. She may not like to disclose but let me do the honours. Of the top FCRA beneficiaries, nearly 80% are either missionaries or fronts for missionaries. Just ‘google’ for a good essay or read my new book.

To make her diatribe sound secular, she bemoans that the government is busy polarising the people but doing nothing to control Covid. The vaccination drive that has been recognised as the most effective one, getting a huge population vaccinated, providing direct relief in cash with free foodgrains to crores is dismissed by her. A government that has spent more on development and well-being of minorities than all other governments is being accused of doing nothing. The tragedy of one-eyed intellectuals!

The language is highly provocative. Just to quote a small bit, “The punch in the gut fear of being Muslims in Modi-fied India is as real as it can be. Muslims have been a resilient lot since 2014. Many have chosen to be apolitical; many are keeping silent, many are watching the events unfold with dread and fear, but one thing is certain; they will not get cowed down or bullied into becoming second-class citizens in their own country.”

I think that the attempt to create a fear psychosis in a community which has behaved aggressively even during these “oppressive times” from 2014 is sad. A woman of Bengal who had nothing to say against targeted killings of poor RSS-BJP cadres and horrible rapes in her own state; one who like her colleagues keeps quiet on murderous assaults on RSS-BJP cadres and shuts her eyes on Islamist extremism in the last Communist citadel in Kerala, is ill equipped to lecture others on violence and genocide.


-Ratan Sharda is an author and columnist. All views are personal

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