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Sunday, August 19, 2012

‘Rumour-mongers’ have the last laugh

By Swapan Dasgupta

The official narrative describes them as ‘rumour-mongers’, ‘mischief-makers’ and ‘anti-nationals’. Call them these and much more but there is a hard truth that India must confront: that these vile creatures are boisterously celebrating the spectacular success of their mission.

Just look at the facts. On August 11, a mob of nearly 50,000 assembled in Mumbai’s Azad Maidan and went berserk. They torched vehicles, molested women policemen, smashed shop windows and even desecrated an Amar Jawan Jyoti while venting their anger at the persecution of Muslims in Assam and Myanmar. Within two days, following a few incidents of intimidation, a sinister message was mysteriously relayed to people from Assam and the North-east living in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune and Chennai to quit the cities by August 20 or face the consequences. From last Sunday evening, the mass exodus of people began and by all accounts nearly 20,000 people packed a small bag and left their homes, their studies and their places of work and caught the first available train to Guwahati.

Even as the Government, Parliament and well-meaning citizens tried to reassure panic-stricken communities that they had nothing to fear, mobs assembled in Lucknow and Allahabad on August 17 and, like their counterparts in Mumbai, went on the rampage burning cars and smashing shop windows. In Lucknow, the mob—described by a quaint report in The Times of India (online) as consisting of 50 people “dressed as Muslims, wearing skull caps and scarves”  and “chewing paan and paan masala, which is prohibited during the fast in the month of Ramzan”—honed in on the Buddha Park and were photographed vandalising a statue of the Buddha. They too were protesting against the happenings in Myanmar and Assam.

In just nine days, these “mischief-makers” and “anti-nationals” achieved three definite objectives.

First, they demonstrated quite unambiguously that when it comes to Muslims, community prevails over geography. They made a mockery of the claim by the BJP and many Assamese leaders that the clashes in Kokrajhar were between Indians and foreigners. They flaunted, for the rest of India to see, their complete identification with the “outsiders” and “foreigners”.

Equally, they demonstrated that when it comes to Muslim interests, national boundaries are meaningless. In another age, the Caliphate in Turkey had briefly become an Indian issue. In more recent times, Palestine had become a symbol of victimhood. Now, the boundaries of rage have been extended to embrace the cause of the Rohingyas in Myanmar.

Secondly, the unnamed “mischief-makers” struck a blow at the emotional integration of India. For some time, cities in India have faced problems centred on the harassment of citizens from the North-east, particularly women. The people of the North-east have nurtured legitimate grievances about Middle India’s disdain for its people. This profound sense of alienation is almost certain to be aggravated once the victims of the silent terror reach their homes in Assam and the North-east and narrate their ordeal. In time to come, what may be remembered is not that the local police, administration and voluntary groups tried their utmost to instil confidence but that ‘mainstream’ India has become unsafe for people of the North-east, that they are being targeted on account of their ethnicity and that they don’t ‘belong’.

The emotional trauma of the 20,000 or so people who returned home in fear will take a long time to heal. Those who care to remember may ponder over the devastating impact that the profiling of Sikhs during the Asian Games of 1982 had on the psyche of that community. To avoid despondency from turning into bitterness, all steps must be taken to ensure that the majority of those who took the trains to Guwahati return to their adopted cities as soon as possible.

Finally, the conspirators who instigated the troubles must be gloating over the fragility and helplessness of the Government and the political class. Far from reacting with outrage over what happened over the past nine days, there was a disgraceful show of squeamishness. The Mumbai Police Commissioner is reported to have warned against too many arrests, a Chief Minister is understood to have pressed the Ministry of External Affairs to summon the Myanmar Ambassador and issue a formal demarche, and the Minority Commission has chosen to be in denial over the illegal immigration to Assam. Politically, the Congress is in blue funk because it is fearful that firm action against the instigators of the mob violence and the creators of the morphed photographs could have dire electoral consequences.

Even the Fourth Estate, otherwise fearless in exposing perceived injustice, has held back its punches. Part of this is understandable because exposing the whole truth also ran the risk of adding to the climate of fear and nervousness. However, to the ‘mischief-makers’ this noble-hearted restraint is likely to be interpreted as evidence of the Establishment’s fear of their muscle power and electoral power. Having successfully bared their fangs and made their point effortlessly, the ‘mischief-makers’ now know their full potential.

Within the Muslim community too, the extremists have demonstrated their ability to be the real movers and shakers. Last week, during the debate in the Lok Sabha on Assam, the MP for Hyderabad warned against a ‘third wave’ of radicalisation if Muslim grievances were not speedily. After the events of the past nine days, it is worth considering whether he was ‘warning’ of an ominous trend or trumpeting its arrival.

Sunday Pioneer, August 19, 2012 


purushottam said...

hundrd percent agree sir,but does the vhp and some other organisations related to rss spread the rumours may be with good intentions but ending it sensenalising the issue,u r one of the rare who speak the truth.

Anonymous said...

When media mention "right wing", does that mean saffron brigade or green. This word without explicit suffix added to it, put media in scrutiny. If media is exactly about publishing the truth, they must use the exact word for a particular group of people. Otherwise how can they convey message.

Gitali Devi said...

Sir, I am a 29 years old Assamese Hindu, who has spent 12 years in Bangalore and other mainland cities. Over the years, I have seen how my state has become innumerable Bangladeshi and how there numbers are increasing day be day.
Since our political class and media are afraid to take up our case in Delhi and even if they do, our leaders in Delhi are reluctant to stop these migration, what option I have to save me and my community other than joining some ultra right militant Hindu organization? Please advice.

Anonymous said...

Bangladesh is virulently hostile towards India than say Iran is. Churning out jihadists who have infiltrated & spread throughout India to our detriment. Becoming bona fide citizens with voting rights armed with bogus ration cards.

Hence are already consuming a huge chunk of our food & water. They are notorious for prostitution , illicit liquor & such debauchery. Cattle including pregnant cows & calves get illegally transferred to Bangladesh for slaughter. In addition to that Indian mercenaries called doctors also pamper them in their hospitals including Shetty feted in BBC.

If Clinton 's heart bleeds this much should take those Bangladeshis to America providing free citizenship , sharing their water , food , land , God & thus uplifting them WITHIN America. Ratzinger I am sure would be willing to absorb many in Vatican lightening Clinton's burden. They all can wallow in "christian compassion"

I have always observed this puzzling trait . The Western countries UK & America have disproportionately more regard & love towards Bangladesh than India. They expect us to be like wily idiot Gujral giving away everything to our adversaries thus becoming paupers.

Anonymous said...

Remember that most GALLINGLY GRUESOME torture & murder of the most upright honest DCP.Mehta of Calcutta Port Trust & his solitary equally honest capable Nepali bodyguard who were armed only with a single lathi (stick/baton)?

It happened preceding Holi festival. All audaciously orchestrated by jyoti basu goons & his ally Forward Bloc Kalimuddin Shams ( bangladeshi muslim what a diabloical devilish face it used to be routinely flashed then). Why the hell did GODFORSAKEN indians write imposition styled compulsory obituaries & even mourn that carcass ...I was appalled when MJ Akbar wrote " he wept" ..whaWWWT..WEPTTU for that arrogant THUG terrorist???

The police of india have never had any autonomy leave alone integrity blah blah ( as if we have Paul Drakes & Perry Masons useless India)so conveniently "eliminated"
one IDRIS MIAN who was NOT the culprit but some petty pawn manipulated. I recall IDRIS MIAN's face & body were so brutally tortured swollen his eyes all by calcutta police WITHIN the prison.

Kalimuddin Shams tangoed with jyoti basu who was often even mooted as a prime ministerial candidate for this GODDAMNED india yess even bjp was quite willing to make all kinds of ludicrous compromises. Thank God for their own petty jealousies he did not become PM.That old surjeet something looking unwashed in the same bedraggled lungi ( truly a blot on Sardarji people who we all respect)prevented who died very very VERY late.

Anonymous said...

The name Imran Khan reminds me of something that happened in my life.

I know nothing about cricket. Once while living in Kolkata (Calcutta) the headaches & retchings induced by psychiatric drugs became so unbearable I switched on the television for some diversion.

And Pakistan was playing cricket with England . Imran Khan was the Captain.I recall all Pakistani players wore apple green shirts. On winning the cup Imran Khan announced about building a cancer hospital in memory of his mother.

That evening I was taken to Dr.Sabyasachi Nandi as was the routine. He asked me ” How did you spend your time “. I replied I watched the cricket match.

He asked ” who did you want to win ” & I answered matter of factly “Pakistan”.

He sat up shocked with a ” WHAAT….Pakistan….our enemy ….you wanted our enemy to win… WHY” ?

I said ” Because they played well…Imzamam Haque , Wasim Akram etc were so bindaas…unruffled…

That psychiatrist Nandi was so angry with me he increased all my medication ( which were already in excess ) & their potency…lithium , tegretol , sodium valproate , haloperidol etc etc.

Who is incorrigibly dangerously insane ??

No wonder some wise man said “Patient , heed thyself.
Physician , heal thyself.”

Anonymous said...

I understood pretty soon , incapacitating us made them extremely assured & calm.

Subsequent sighing & praying before God doing this puja that puja all for your welfare kind of talks & pitied by others " really this woman is burdened with 2 abnormal children YET not abandoned but so dutifully looked after by the rest" made them feel martyred.

Any kind of excellence just will not be tolerated by mediocrity. Both can never co exist.A sane person like you would understand all the intrigues that follow.

If we fought against odds & somehow whittled down our flab looking presentable at once these inimical people around would say:-

" You look so consumptive that original rotund paunchy motashota was so cute becoming of you "

And cleverly ensure that only high caloried junk food got deposited in our tummies.Soon the astrologers are called who confirm citing last janma's alleged machinations etc etc.

Anonymous said...

I will give you one instance of how my diabolical brother Mohan hiighly qualified CFOCEO spoke to me in front of a lot of his girlfriends , male friends , relatives circle when everyone was eating. Oh these tambram families if affluent eat & eat & eat always planning what to cook .....with no hunger pangs AT ALL as cue to start with.

As children we have that inherent in us. But the adults don't go with Nature. Robotic programming starts.

I was not hungry to start with & hence declined some junk pressed on me. At once others pounced on me forcing food no you should never refuse "annalakshmi know how many are starving in Ethiopia Somalia with no food...God has given so much so eat & eat....don't bother too much about figure...that Jupiter placement will see to it you ever remain fat...see that X & Y their Saturn is making them slim & svelte blahblah...'

Mohan said :-

" Adding a stone to a mountain is not going to make much of a difference" & cruelly shoved down the junk my throat.

And the rest label it "brotherly concern /looking after" nonsense.

What I have written is just the starters.

If I even venture to make my points I am branded "hypersensitive, anti brother hostile towards mother , anti mother paranoid ...."

Anonymous said...

Indian women are indescribably (most of them) sans compassion & empathy. In joint families all of these dark tragedies play out. Including comparison of breasts , complexion & various factors. Us people are not at all spiritual , gracious , magnanimous as we posture.

Nothing like the ancestral women were kaliyuga all gone. Not at all. That krodha along with rest kama/lobha etc always in varying proportions.

Anonymous said...

Getting an appointment with Dr.Prashantha Banerjee is (was) extremely difficult. I ahd to get up during pre dawn hours , take a bus & wait in the long serpentine queue. Many would have come from neighbouring districts etc as the doctor was THAT GOOD.

Oh God , at last when I returned home with a very powerful RIGHT medicine to cure once & for all my hypothyroid problems induced by lithium etc Mohan threw it out of the window along with Meera my sister as they DID NOT want my thyroid to become normal.

So many homeopathy medicines get routinely sea parcelled to him in Canada by the same Meera as they alone want to enjoy optimum health.

So facilely Mohan exonerates himself " I was young Rajikutteeee made certain mistakes but my intentions were aaaalways GOOD ...God promise & place his hand on some photo of God or my very wretched head " & has the GALL to make me accept , forget , shrug & move on. It is all my karma.

Anonymous said...

Vedas are for ALL.Are Divine REVELATIONS. Same as Christians' " I AM THAT I AM " & MUSLIMS " UNAAL HAQUE ". These MahaVakyas have been UNEQUIVOCALLY highlighted by Ramana Bhagavan Himself as people were always fighting bloody wars over religion.

They are not some compositions made for & by hindus (aarrrgh I wince & recoil violently when I hear their self congratulatory anointing with this noun is it abstract noun ..out of touch with Wren & Martin our hinduism our indooism no wonder when their grotesque anomalies shock & perplex the rest the clueless sanctimonious hindus say hinduism is a way of life.

Aadi Shankara is His Excellent Pithy *Sadhana Panchakam* gives the BEST counsel on eating habits which to my knowledge I discovered only Americans stumbling upon themselves through their commonsene & sane intellect. No , they did not invade indiaa, snatched & plagiarised & thus came to know ---this is the kind of spiel Indians love to believe in.

Whereas even among most compassionless but full of pedantry Vedic Pundits I was appalled to find this elemenatry counsel of Aadi Shankara violated with gusto.

Among Indooism gloating hindoos also this basic counsel is not followed. They force & force telling " after the final curd rice wolfing down & confirmed satiety, paayasam ( kheer) ladles of paayasam SHOULD be relished with gusto. Only then you will be born a Monarch of some kingdom in next birth". And have been doing this with such conviction for aeons & preach to the world hoohaa we are the Vedanta peddlers youknowyouknow.

vasudevam said...

Govt of India have conveniently pass on the blame to neighbour country, dissolving off all accusation against Indian Muslim as any action against them will bring displeasure to large Muslim vote bank. Thousands who were creating hell in Lucknow, Mumbai were not from neighbour country. instead of draught situation in Maharashtra, underdeveloped UP, its rohingya n assamese. Muslim that are more concerned by Indian Muslim. Finding no significant resistance both from govt or people, this group's would get more powerful.not everytime Pakistan would come for help to be blamed for such thing.