Open Letter from Closed Minds
   29-Jul-2019


DEMOCRACY has been defined as government by debate. The tradition of debate is old in our country. But such a debate can be fruitful only when each party carefully listens to what the other has to say and has the desire to accept the truth in it. If instead of trying to understand the other person's point of view we insist upon our own point of view such a debate must remain fruitless. ...Bharatiya culture goes beyond this and looks at debate as a means for the realisation of truth. We believe that truth is not one-sided and that its various facets can be seen, examined and experienced from various angles”           – Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya

A letter from forty-nine ‘eminent personalities’ to the Prime Minister raising concerns over ‘identity-based hate crimes’ should have been a matter of satisfaction. Some film-makers and eminent persons are sensitive about the national issues and coming up with some constructive solutions is certainly a positive sign. Obviously, one would go through the content of the letter to get the positive insights. The letter by these peace-loving, proud ‘Indians’, disconnected with the sentiments of Bharat, presents a horrific and one-sided picture of the country. The natural expectation from this gang of ‘eminent’ individuals is to speak about all the issues of crime and violence, irrespective of the state, religion or caste. But alas!

 
 

One would turn to the names who have signed the letter. The moment you go through the list, then there are no surprises. The same ‘secular’ minded intellectuals have a notorious record of featuring in many such artistic episodes of letter writing and vitiating the atmosphere with their selective outrage, in the last few years. The same people never wanted Narendra Modi to be Prime Minister, and creating Hinduphobia has been their favourite international assignment. Still, giving the benefit of the doubt, as a democratic right if they are raising certain issues, it should be welcomed.

Most of the signatories of the letter come from West Bengal and Kerala and guess what? None of the incidents of political violence or mob lynching from these States is even referred to. Kerala is the State where 119 people have been arrested for making the social media posts against the State Government, and this was told by the Chief Minister of Kerala himself on the floor of Legislative Assembly, but it is still a heaven of democracy. Mamata Banerjee’s West Bengal is experiencing the worst kind of fascist rule with the blatant abuse of the State machinery to perpetrate violence, but she is a messiah of secularism, so no word. As per the fundamentals of ‘secularism’ in India, these ‘eminent personalities’ represent Owaisis and their communal rants are never to be criticised, as they represent the ‘fear-psychosis’ of the second largest majority of the country.

The worst part is that while defending their right to dissent, they term ‘Jai Shri Ram’ as the ‘provocative war cry’ and no single mention of the real war cry ‘Allahu Akbar’. Most of the mob lynching stories in the name of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ turned out to be false while the acts of vandalism and manifestation of iconoclasm are recorded in-camera. There cannot be bigger anti-national act. Communalising crime is the biggest anti-national act, and these people expect common Bharatiyas not to say so. Why? Are the coining terms and labelling anybody the democratic right of only English-speaking intellectuals?

As expected, these people are at the receiving end, yet again. Why do they come with these antics now and then is the apparent question that comes to a curious mind! Most of these prominent personalities have been direct or indirect beneficiaries of the corrupt system, as some of them have also allegedly received funds in the infamous cheat fund scam of West Bengal. Is this the real reason for their ‘drama of dissent’? Are they frustrated that despite their efforts to chain Bharat in the shackles ‘socialism’, missions like Shakti and Chandrayan II are developed indigenously? Are they preparing the ground for the forthcoming assembly elections scheduled in Haryana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand? Whatever may be the intent, the content of the letter certainly adds fuels to the hate crime minds due to selectivity. The disproportionate portrayal of this ‘Lynchistan’ narrative is antithetical to our self-perception as well as to the image of Bharat to the world. The identity-based hate crime is not a new phenomenon, and there is no need to play whataboutery regarding the same. As law and order is a state subject, every State should take firm actions to stop such incidents irrespective of caste or religion. Not just tolerance, but acceptance of all ways to be true is the true essence of Bharat; the victory of Dharma over Adharma is the spirit, and debate to realise the truth is the method. Going against this is the sign of a closed mind. Unless that is changed, no open letter would be taken seriously by the people.

@PrafullaKetkar