Once again, this week India watched the spectacle of its secularist intellectuals and media expressing more sympathy for terrorists than for their victims. Arnab Goswami’s “Don’t Romanticize Terror” clip from his televised The News Hour debate on Kashmir captures the crux of this strange but very familiar phenomenon quite accurately.
But let’s backtrack just a little, to the previous week.
On July 1, around the same time that the world’s attention was fixed on Dhaka where the terrible Holey Artisan Bakery drama was unfolding, yet another Hindu priest was killed, hacked to death, this time while gathering flowers for morning puja.
It was another jihadist act of violence in a systemic, targeted campaign that is the hallmark of intolerance and religious fundamentalism. This also happened in Bangladesh, where Hindus, once the majority community, are now at the very bottom of the totem pole of human survival and dignity. They are also the most vulnerable among the groups who have been chosen by Islamists for extermination. The other targets have been gays, atheist bloggers and intellectuals, Buddhists, Christians, and ex-Muslims, but Hindus have been the most victimized. With the ethnic cleansing of Hindus Kashmir an obvious and seemingly irreversible fait accompli, there is now a clear plan underway to empty Bangladesh of its remaining 8% Hindu population.
Compared to Bangladesh, the condition of Hindus is perhaps only a shade better in Muslim dominated regions of India. On July 6, in India’s West Bengal (which has seen a three-fold rise in Muslims entering Bengal civil services due to reservations and government facilitation), on Rath Yatra day, Hindus houses, shops and families were attacked in the Muslim majority district of Uttar Dinajpur. Hindu Existence has documented how
“According to that grand plan to attack Hindus on Eid-ul-Fitr Day, armed Muslims started attacking Hindu houses, shops and families after offering Namaj with a huge and frightening slogans “Allah-hu-Akbar” and “Dinajpur-Dinajpur, Hindu tomra bhago dur”, etc. Incidentally, all these areas of disturbance are located just near WB-Bangladesh international border.
Local Muslims with many of outsider Muslims started looting Hindu shops, snatched ornaments from ladies, put fire on two-wheelers and households and even tried to molest the teen-aged Hindu girls. Frightened Hindus started leaving their houses under lock and key. But, Muslim hooligans were only enjoying the looted booties even breaking the lock of the houses and shops.”
The complete silence of India’s secular intellectual commentariat on such matters is insidious. They have an aversion to commenting on things happening in Muslim majority parts of the nation, and in the neighboring Muslim countries, choosing to manufacture scary stories about India and Hindus instead.
They created a terrific din over Dadri and vilified India vociferously, but routinely gloss over the countless religion driven killings of Hindus across the length and breadth of India and elsewhere in recent months, forgetting that there is a difference between terrorism and random unfortunate crimes that arise out of general poverty, backwardness, desperation, or anger. What’s happening in Bangladesh and parts of Indian Bengal is the former. It is a systematic Islamist genocide of Hindus taking place in slow motion. If freedom, human life, and human rights are truly precious to someone, then one expects them to condemn every terrible atrocity, anywhere that it may happen. Else it’s just prejudice.
Those who made a lot of noise and painted entire India in general as violent and intolerant when an unfortunate incident like Dadri occurred and then used it as an opportunity to try and pull the rug from under the Modi government’s feet would at least appear a little ethical and a little credible if they condemned, once in a while, the terrible violence and atrocities against Hindus across much of South Asia.
Oppression, violence, and bigotry of any kind are abhorrent. But in the secularist worldview, it is clear that the slaughter of Hindus does not matter. The silence over happenings like the serial killings of Hindu priests hacked to death versus the high-decibel drama over Dadri and the soft corner being shown for terrorists like Burhan Wani exposes once again their naked prejudices and their bankrupt ideology.
It is high time secularists, be they individuals or powerful media houses, come clean and clearly vocalize their position on the continued killings of Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh, and on the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Hindus from Muslim dominated places in India. India expects its secularists to have this much decency.
Vital Further Reading:
Suggested Further Reading:
By Shonu Nangia