We live in tumultuous times. The wanton murder of an African American man in the US city of Minneapolis has stirred our conscience, and also the hornets’ nest. Protests and riots have sporadically broken out in several parts of the world, and not just in the USA. In places as far as London, and Toronto, the reverberations of the outrage are felt. Lest we forget the social media that has acted as a signal amplifier.
Gratefully, here has been immense solidarity with the victim. Whatever his crimes may have been at the time the police was called, he deserved to be tried under the due process of law. The process that, if one may point out, is being extended to his murderer and accomplices. In this author’s opinion, there is nothing worse than the abuse of policing power – for their power stems from their responsibility to protect. From just that perspective alone, this and similar murders must be judged severely. Moreover, we don’t know the motive behind the murder – it could well have been racism; it could well be not. That is for the courts to determine. In the age of social media, we are no strangers for reasons being imputed to crimes – and such imputed reasons being bandied about and accepted as facts. The facts of the matter are as yet under inquiry, and we will let that be.
As condemnable as the murder itself is, our interests lie in the broader unspoken implications of this issue and its fallout. In particular, we are interested in the hypocritical liberal response in this case and contrasting it with their stance on anything to do with Indians in general, and Hindus in particular.
New York Times considers itself a leading light in progressive liberalism. It has been at the forefront of this current battle against racism by both taking an editorial stance, and offering copious space for those voicing their anger against institutional racism. Yet – when it came to depicting India’s success in Mars mission, this beacon of liberalism picked a racist trope to make a point: brown Indians walking around with their cows have to knock on doors to gain entry into a (space) club populated by suited corpulent western men. That wasn’t the end of it – they also published an anti-semitic cartoon and had to stop their political cartoons after the widespread outrage. But, we have to believe: they are liberals.
Washinton Post has done a sympathetic article on the toppling of Christopher Columbus. In fact, they have devoted considerable print space [website space] over the past seven years to bring out the truth about Christopher Columbus, and the plague he visited on the natives of Americas. Their argument is that a man who caused so much trouble to so many people must never be lionized. Not only that! Their sympathies with the vandals of Columbus statue signals the world that they wouldn’t mind bringing down memorials of despots and mass murderers. However, the same Washington Post had cried a river about Babri Masjid. Clearly, Washington Post believes that outrage over mass murderers is reserved for others, but not Hindus. But, we have to believe: they are liberals.
The Guardian has taken an editorial stance justifying the toppling of the Colton statue. Colton was a Bristol business man in the heydays of slavery – and he made his money through slave trade. He apparently made a fortune, and was either generous enough or savvy enough to spread his riches around. So much so, he has been immortalized by a statue in Bristol. The Guardian rightly takes the stance that a reviled person such as Colton doesn’t deserve being immortalized. However, when it comes to removal of Babri structure at Ayodhya, The Guardian calls it “a pivotal moment in the failure of secularism and religious inclusivity”. Never mind that Babur was a radical Islamist and genocider – not unlike ISIS’ Al Baghdadi. But, we have to believe: they are liberals.
Specific examples apart – there is this undeniable anti-Hindu bias in the Western media. In fact, the more liberal a media house claims to be, the stronger their anti-Hindu bias is. Take for instance the reaction of the Western media to the case of Asia Bibi. Here is a sample of the coverage of one single person who has been persecuted by Islamists in Pakistan. More telling is the quote of the British FS, Jeremy Hunt: ‘he was about to meet US Sec. Of State., Mike Pomeo – “to talk about persecution of Christians around the world”’. The USA has special provisions to fast track permanent residency for persecuted Christians. And yet – when India offered to fast track citizenship for victims of religious persecution in its neighborhood – including for Christians – not a single liberal newspaper had the intellectual honesty to discuss it fairly. All of them could only see persecution where none existed.
Perhaps, nothing exemplifies the inherent racism and anti-Hindu hatred of these Western media houses like the recent happenings. Two murders happened within a span of twenty days. On opposite sides of the world. One was a man of African American descent. Another was a Kashmiri Hindu. One was presumably murdered for his skin color. The other was murdered for his religion. Both of them have bloody histories of persecution inflicted upon them; the Hindus bear that burden more than anyone else. Yet, the media only cared for one of them. Thanks to their incessant posturing, the world now knows George Floyd. Do the news media houses even know the name Ajay Pandita? But, we have to believe: they are liberals.
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