Flowery writing using vocabulary heard only in spelling bee contests seems to be the only strength of the so-called liberal journalists educated at prestigious universities abroad. Equally, their competence also appears to be limited to that.
Sagarika Ghose is a journalist who satisfies all the aforementioned criteria. In this blog post at Times of India, she presents a one-sided story, typical of self-styled liberals and makes several assumptions without evidence and worse in some cases, with evidences to the contrary.
At the outset, the death of the gentleman in question has to be vehemently and unconditionally condemned. My problem is that Sagarika Ghose shows tremendous enthusiasm in appealing to the “liberal Hindu masses” to rise and condemn the so-called fringe elements of Hinduism, but somehow lacks the same enthusiasm and vigor when followers of Islam or Christianity commit barbaric crimes.
Not long ago when Charlie Hebdo happened, the same Sagarika Ghose wrote an article questioning whether the cartoons were actually funny and made veiled attempts at defending the gunmen.
In the past, Sagarika was not so proactive in criticizing MF Hussain, whose paintings repeatedly offended Hindu sentiments. She was busy championing the “freedom of expression” cause in that case. I fail to understand why one cannot extend the same line of argument for Charlie Hebdo cartoons.
She quotes the demolition of Babri Masjid, not forgetting to mention that her devout grandmother was shocked as to how one can destroy a house of God. However, here too, she selectively forgets to mention that there was a Hindu temple previously on the site of the Babri structure and that too, was a house of god, like several thousands of other temples destroyed by the followers of the “noble Semitic faiths”.
I wonder why the responsibility of ensuring “peace” entirely lies with only the Hindus while Semitic religions continue to push their conversion agenda using every means possible—with the latest addition of the Islamic caliphate—through gradual demographic siege, without caring for the sentiments of Hindus.
Does every liberal Muslim and Christian oppose this conversion agenda? For instance, the followers of these “noble Semitic faiths” have kidnapped hundreds of underage Hindu girls in West Bengal.However, Sagarika Ghose never finds her voice to oppose such events nor is there any debate in the media regarding this incident in Kerala.
Sagarika makes grandiose statements about the need for every Hindu to find the voice to oppose the fringe elements in question, perhaps rightly so. However, let us see if she displays the same enthusiasm in urging other communities whenever the next terrorist strikes fear into the minds of innocent people, or when innocent people are bribed into conversion.
She goes onto say that Muslims and Christians are waging a relentless war against militant orthodoxy and death cults. Frankly, I don’t know from where she gets these ideas. How many Muslim rationalists can she name who freely criticize these extreme elements?
I can name many rationalists who have faced death threats and have several fatwahs on them because they have questioned the tenets of Islam (Ali Sina, Ibn Warraq, Hirsi Ali, Tarek Fatah to name a few). Have the so-called liberal Muslims questioned these fatwahs? Obviously no.
Even the so-called liberal voices of Islam and Christianity are not apologetic of their religion and pride themselves to be Christians (John Dayal, Biden) or Muslims (Shahid Siddiqui, Maajid Nawaz).
However, self-styled liberals born into Hindu families are, for some reason ashamed to call themselves Hindu and are satisfied of their legitimacy only when they wear a non-religious badge which includes apologizing for Islamist extremism among other things.
Sagarika Ghose also takes a jibe at the culture minister for not imbibing the message from the Rig veda (Ekam Sat vipraa bhaudaa vadanti). My counter question: have the keepers of semitic religions imbibed this message?
They unequivocally proclaim that“truth is one, and that is ours and can be reached only through our way.” How can respect for the truth and respect for each other’s mode of worship be unidirectional?
Sagarika says very slyly that those acting in the name of “Hinduism” are mirror images of extremist groups of Islam and Christianity. In effect,what she means is that since both Taliban and “Right wing” extremists kill (allegedly), both are equally dangerous.
This is a very convenient but flawed reasoning. Even one life lost is one too many, but we need some perspective. Unfortunately, Ghose forgets the scale and magnitude of the terror caused by Taliban and its ilk.
Moreover, if the Hindu “right wing extremists” were truly mirror images of the Taliban, the vicious condemnation and insults hurled at Hindus and Hinduism by self-styled liberal journalists and so-called activists would not have been commonplace, and worse, there would be a self-censorship to insults of this kind.
Sagarika Ghose then claims that Hinduism should glow like a soft lamp in individual houses and not like a large flashing beacon.The only response to this: Sagarika needs to attend a 101 course on Hinduism.
All she needs to do is look in her own pooja room and she will find that all our gods and goddesses not only carry flowers, but they also carry their favorite weapons for judicious use to establish dharma.
This in the modern day translates to responsible use of measured force by the state or efficient law enforcement and protection of the constitution.
Unfortunately, the Indian state has essentially turned a blind eye towards intolerance and violence against Hindus that has continued unabated throughout the decades since independence, under the pretext of majority-minority politics. Even worse, these “eminent” self-styled liberals not only turned a blind eye, but also suppressed the truth and suffocated the voices of oppressed Hindus (E.g. Kashmiri pandits), at least until the advent of social media.
All one can say is that these so-called liberal journalists need to undergo compulsory training in 101 Logic so that they can construct sentences, which are not just grammatically correct, but also make some logical sense.
True liberals should vociferously and unequivocally condemn bigotry from all sides and of all forms – deceptive, surreptitious and brazen.
Incessantly pushing the resilience of the inherently liberal Hindu masses to the limits should not be the accepted discourse, and cannot be healthy for our democracy and pluralism.
Vishwas has completed his PhD in Computer Science from Virginia Tech. and is currently pursuing his postdoctoral research at University of Austin at Texas.