Danish Siddiqui / Reuters
A Rejoinder to a New York Times op-ed by Pankaj Mishra
The fertile mind of India's left liberal lobby boasts a rich repertoire of warped phantasmata that it has used with varying effectivene to target nationalists. For a long time, it was the spectre of...
Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Historian Ramachandra Guha's scathing 21 April op-ed "Which Ambedkar?" in the <em>Indian Express</em> is a biased obfuscation that draws generously on historical snippets pertaining to the Hindu Code Bill to portray the RSS as an opportunistic band of charlatans that has morphed its stance to shower praise on Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in recent times. It is a varnished version of events that wilfully colours history and uses selective excerption...
By no stretch of the imagination can slogans calling for the violent disintegration of India ("<em>Bharat Tere Tukde Honge. InshaAllah InshaAllah</em>") be classified as political dissent. This is sedition plain and simple as per the Supreme Court criteria and is totally indefensible. It is an unpardonable crime not against the BJP or Hindutva but against the 1.2 billion people who have reposed faith in the democratic republic of India. And if this government did not act it would be guilty of dereliction of duty.
Dissent cannot be a hit-and-run incident wherein the perpetrator absconds without liability after inflicting damage. Democracy is not a free for all and a license to indulge in canards. These worthies need to be made accountable for their statements. True intellectuals when provided with adequate evidence to the contrary will gracefully accept their lapse. Charlatans and egotists, however, will not. Nayantara Sahgal and her tribe owe an apology to the nation.
Aamir Khan no doubt is a versatile actor with an impressive list of national accolades. But that does not axiomatically put the stamp of impeccable veracity on his pontifications. India is not becoming a seething cauldron of hate just because Aamir Khan says so. For a statement to be credible, factual corroboration or at least a plausible personal experience is essential. Aamir Khan provides neither, making it extremely difficult to take his words at face value.
"<em>Moody's to Modi: Rein in BJP members or risk losing global credibility</em>" claimed the sensational and disturbing headline emblazoned across the websites of almost all major Indian language newspapers on 30 October. This was undoubtedly a stinging rebuke to the Modi government from the premier rating agency in the world. With such unanimity in reporting, the authenticity of the news item appeared irrefutable. However, when I started reading the text of these articles, doubts began to creep in. Was<em> Moody's Analytics</em> the same as <em>Moody's</em>? Research indicated that it was not.
The growing chorus of high-decibel protest from Sahitya Akademi awardees against the perceived rise of intolerance and a threat to free speech serves to underline the crass hypocrisy, blatant double standards and jaundiced perspective that define a certain section of our intellectual community; theirs is a false patois that has corrupted Indian secularism and reduced it to a term of abuse. Scrutinised objectively, this ostensible act of moral activism is a Machiavellian shenanigan; a crafty ploy that hypes unfortunate incidents to assert ideological supremacy and derail a progressive government intent on development.