Come election season and the skillfully engineered controversies surface; particularly where it concerns the minority community. It has come to such a pass that people largely do not think of Parsis, Jews, Sikhs or even Christians as minorities. Minority is now consistently understood to mean ‘muslims’. All fake arguments by politicians and media in defining minorities any other way can now be safely flushed down the drain. It practically means muslims! Period! This syndrome is not unique to India but a universal phenomenon wherever the muslim population has steadily increased over the years. Naturally, after the initial announcement of 4.5% quota to muslims in Central jobs, Salman Khurshid was emboldened to announce a 9% quota if Congress was voted to power in UP. Although not stated, it would be naïve to believe Khurshid’s statement doesn’t have the support of his party. Suddenly, in this climate of muslim appeasement comes a fatwa from Deoband. The mullahs want Salman Rushdie banned from entering India to attend a literary festival at Jaipur. A well-timed, well-engineered shot if you like.
So no political party wants to comment on this outrageous fatwa but instead Salman Khurshid and the Rajasthan CM, Ashok Gehlot, advise Salman Rushdie to stay from the event. Gehlot, whose cabinet included murder accused, went on to even state that Rushdie’s visit could create a law and order situation. And the media? Oh well, instead of condemning the fatwa and the govt’s inaction goes into another orgy of debates. Yes, sick and mindless debates on an issue that they should have been strongly protesting. This is neither about Satanic Verses nor about hurting religious sentiments. First and last this is an issue of a Person of Indian Origin (PIO) who was born in Bombay and has the legal right to visit India. This is an individual’s right guaranteed by our laws which our govt is obliged to protect. The govt is failing in that obligation and the media is party to the crime.
Typically, A. Owaisi, the MP from AP had to be on the TV debates. He who recommends all Indians convert to Islam stated: “we are not against criticism but will not tolerate blasphemy”. It would need Einstein to discover how criticism of the Quran will not be treated as blasphemy by a mullah in any country. Such is the nonsense peddled in the media in the garb of debate. And cleverly the queen of Telly trolls Barkha Dutt states in a tweet: “If this nonsense controversy keeps @SalmanRushdie away from Jaipur we should all be ashamed as Indians. The culture of intolerance abhorrent”. Oh really sweetheart? Instead of directing any protest or anger at the mullahs of Deoband or other intolerant cowards in the Congress she wants ‘Indians’ to be ashamed. Think about it every time these ‘sickulars’ find their friends committing horrors they want ‘Indians’ to be ashamed. That is pretty much like Rahul Gandhi’s silly statement: “I am ashamed to be an Indian” (At Bhatta Parsaul). Of course, any issue concerning freedom of speech for the telly trolls would not be complete without raking up M.F.Hussain. The painter’s works were neither banned, nor was he forced into exile as the media constantly propagates. He was a fugitive of his own choice.
Contrast this with the United Kingdom where Rushdie lived when the fatwa on his life was issued after Satanic Verses was released. His adopted country went all out to protect him and provided him complete security from would be killers willing to act on the fatwa on his life. That was in the late 80’s. Things have changed since then in the UK too. Since then the UK has also fallen into the trap of appeasement through failed multiculturalism. Since then there are now over 85 Sharia courts in the UK. Since then, over 50 churches have been converted to mosques in the UK by real-estate purchases. Living conditions and habits of the other residents were forced to be changed due to such pandering to muslims. There are muslim ghettos where other residents do not venture often. As for home-grown Islamic terror in UK, that is another topic altogether.
Three years ago the UK denied entry to Dutch MP Geert Wilders to screen his movie FITNA in the UK. Fitna is a short documentary on the Quran made by Wilders quoting verses he claims spread hatred and violence and for which the Quran should be banned in the Netherlands. He advocated that if Mein Kampf by Hitler is banned then the Quran should be banned as well. Now, Wilders wasn’t invited to UK for a private literary festival. He was invited by members of the House of Lords to screen his documentary in the upper house of the British parliament. Yet he was denied entry and later allowed only after a court allowed him to proceed. All signs of an increasingly Sharia-compliant democratic Britain. Imagine, this is the UK with a much more liberal freedom of speech and expression which has plumbed to such depths in appeasement of muslims. That’s a far cry from the days when Rushdie’s freedom was so strongly protected by the UK. Geert Wilders was also prosecuted in his home-country of Netherlands for hate-speech and spreading hatred against muslims but later acquitted. Ring a bell? Well, closer home there is an attempt to prosecute Dr. Subramanian Swamy for a strong article against Islamic terrorism. Swamy’s courses that he taught at Harvard were also cancelled owing to petitions by vested interests. Oh, should I say Sharia-compliant lobbies? Once again, instead of strongly standing behind Swamy’s freedom of speech the Indian media was thoroughly delighted and announced “Harvard snubs Swamy”. It is increasingly clear that the Indian media doesn’t stand for freedom of speech or expression but for the ideologies they pursue. Does Indian news media really stand for freedom of speech? Bluntly, most of them qualify to be in the harem of some Arab prince with his Persian gloves on.
Okay! Suddenly we have Vinay Rai, a new crusader for protecting religious sentiments and other mental cavities. He is a journalist with some remote Urdu publication called ‘Akbari’and covers politics. He has filed a petition in a Delhi court against Google and Facebook. Let me quote him from WSJ: “The content I have submitted to the court deeply offends several religions including Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. It involves pages and groups where users have mocked Hindu gods and goddesses, Prophet Muhammad and Jesus Christ. Such content can create communal riots across the country. These are just a few examples…My intention is to ensure that the sentiments of any religion or community are not hurt”. Well, religions of the world must be so frail and fallible that it takes the Vinay Rais of the world to protect them and people’s sensitivities. In response to his petition the Delhi court even told the ISPs: “…if immediate steps were not taken, the websites would be blocked the way it happened in China”. We're used to a lot of Chinese goods, now our courts will deliver China-style bans too. Of course, our freedom loving UPA has approved the prosecution of Google and Facebook. And yes, it calls for another round of TV debates.
This time around you have Vinod Sharma of Hindustan Times referring to some video of Pakistan PM Gilani and Sherry Rehman on Youtube which according to him is tasteless and abusive. Well, maybe tasteless to him but it’s a silly incident, maybe unintentional, but the video has been viewed by over 2.5 million people. I guess all of those people must be idiots according to our media. People, out of curiosity, watch content and move on and not crib like politicians or journalists. And the panelists recommend a concept called “Self-censorship”. Laugh if you will, but that’s true. Why self-censorship for putting up stuff on the internet? People are smart enough to know what to access on the net and that freedom to choose is also self-regulation. I have serious doubts if Vinay Rai gives a damn about Hindu or Christian sentiments and the nature of his journal suggests he might have received mostly complaints from muslims, if any at all. And in cases like these there are usually far bigger powers that seek to score a larger political goal as censorship. Why wouldn't Sibal be willing?
Slowly but surely the govt seems bent on making everything sharia compliant. The sheer size of abuse our media hurls on Hindus and Hinduism is testimony to the fact that Hindus don’t get offended too easily. The only ones that do are muslims and appeasing them by being sharia compliant is the best way for the Congress and much of our news media. Sharia is already practiced in Kashmir but there is backdoor sharia through the Congress and media in the rest of India as well.