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Our enemies are exploiting civil society and academia’s leftist bias, Muslim appeasement

Indian Political Correctness:  Assam vs. Gujarat

- Guest Column--Amitabh Tripathi, Delhi With Dr. Richard Benkin, USA  Sunday, August 26, 2012
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[I spend a lot of time in India and have a great affection for that country.  Closer and more enhanced relations between the United States and India are critical to defeat the existential threats that both nations face.  Few Americans, however, realize that while India has maintained its status as,the world’s largest democracy despite constant terror attacks, hostile neighbors, and governments that have not always acted in the nation’s best interests; leftist pressures at work since the 1950s threaten India’s very existence in today’s dangerous world.  RB]

In this world of political correctness, Indians often face public condemnation, government harassment, and almost certain career suicide for the “sin” of being politically incorrect.  Elites in the media, academia, and elsewhere have built up a system of rewards and punishments to intimidate Indians who might even think about challenging their biased interpretation.  People who engage in any sort of critical examination are quickly labeled as “dangerous” and “extremist.”

How severe is it in India?

  • In February 2009, the editor and publisher of The Statesman, a Kolkata newspaper around since British times, were arrested for “hurting the religious feelings” of Muslims after they reprinted an article from England’s The Independent.  Although the article was an opinion piece about religious activism in general, local Muslims complained that it offended them, and the two were charged under Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code.

  • When Lok Sabha candidate Varun Gandhi made a speech during the 2009 elections exhorting Hindus to self-defense, he was arrested and vilified by a media working for a leftist victory.  Varun did not deviate in tone from Indian political speeches, and there was no subsequent violence; yet, one television commentator was not even challenged after asserting that Varun’s statement “literally [caused] hundreds of deaths.”

  • When my colleague, Dr. Richard Benkin, spoke in India about saving Bangladesh’s Hindus from ethnic cleansing, he was nearly alone in publicly identifying the victims as Hindu.  After returning to the United States in March 2012 he found out why:  several of his colleagues were “visited” by local police or other government officials.
  • In 2008, Benkin and I met with several journalists working for India’s large media outlets.  We met in out of the way places because, they told us, while they support our pro-Israel positions, they knew “they would be sacked” if their editors found out about it.

Regardless of the risk, Indians must challenge the false reality portrayed by elites on the left because it threatens our nation’s future.

In July, mass, organized, anti-Hindu violence racked the north eastern state of Assam.  Although these attacks by Muslim infiltrators from Bangladesh happen regularly in Northeast India, the politically correct elites immediately defined it as “ethnic violence” (that is, conflict between two ethnic groups rather than the arm of jihad that it is).  Our most influential academics and editors determined how this would be presented and what would happen to anyone who deviated from it.  The word, infiltrators, was nowhere to be found because it would have us recognize that the influx of Muslims from Bangladesh is part of a deliberate and decades-long effort to change India’s demographics.  They were just as strict about using other words, especially “Muslims” and derivatives.

  • The Times of India, for instance, wrote of “clashes between Bodos and immigrants.” [RE: Bodos are the area’s indigenous (Hindu) tribe.]
  • The BBC referred to “settlers” and “Muslim Bengali migrants,” as if they made their way to Assam for economic opportunity.  [RB: Assam has one of India’s lowest per capita incomes.] 
  • The Hindu spoke of “violence between Bodos and minorities,” used the passive voice to avoid identifying who the perpetrators and victims were, and referred to the latter as “persons” or “the dead” never as Hindus.
  • The IBN/CNN network did identify Muslims—but as victims living in camps and unable to celebrate the Muslim Eid openly; it never mentioned Hindus.  Days after the riots, much of the media joined them in creating a false portrayal of Muslims as the victims of their own anti-Hindu pogrom.

When some Indians protested this biased coverage, an avalanche of “experts” condemned them.  The ruling (and leftist) Congress Party declared,  “There should be no room for either politicization or communalization of the ethnic violence.”  Out of fear and pandering for votes, the government’s repeated failures to identify the real issue behind violence like this have meant that we continue to face it regularly.

Turn it around, and it is clear that our political correctness and leftist bias is nothing more than Muslim appeasement, which our lawmakers enforce on us.  They scrupulously applied those principles of political correctness as Muslims killed Hindus in Assam (and earlier in Deganga and elsewhere in India), but threw away all pretense of being fair with the 2002 Gujarat riots.  From the start, the left used these riots to create the myth of Indian Muslims as victims and to tarnish the reputation of India’s foremost political leader on the right,  Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi who many believe will be India’s next Prime Minister.

The media and its ideological allies have used inflammatory (and misapplied) terms like genocide against Modi, claiming that he was either deliberately negligent in stopping the violence or part of the conspiracy behind it.  The international community continues to blithely accept these charges even though court after court has cleared him of any wrongdoing.  US President George Bush’s State Department denied Modi a visa as “responsible for… particularly severe violations of religious freedom”; a position re-affirmed in 2012 by the Obama administration.

Yet, the event that sparked the riots, the deliberate torching of a train with Hindu religious pilgrims, which has been ruled a pre-planned attack by Muslim leaders; has never been given the sort of coverage as the riots that followed it.  Three years after the arson, The Hindu duly portrayed the left’s fantasy by running pictures of the train, “which accidentally caught fire at a railway yard.”  It also alleged without even the semblance of evidence that “aggressive” Hindus molested a Muslim girl.  Switch the two communities, and you would never see this in the Indian media.  Just this year, the BBC continued to bang the same drum with a series of pieces written entirely from the Muslim perspective.

“Muslims were blamed for starting the train fire, and Hindu mobs eager for revenge went on the rampage through Muslim neighbourhoods….The cause of the Godhra train fire is still a matter of fierce debate.”

It is only a matter of debate because the facts do not fit the left’s precious world view.  Compare the depiction of “Hindu mobs eager for revenge” with the politically correct descriptions of the Assam pogroms.

On the other hand, the paper tried to minimize the fact that 31 Muslims were convicted of a “pre-planned conspiracy” to torch the train.  It never identified the conspirators as Muslim, though the conspiracy itself was based on religion.  It added gratuitous material, and sought (disingenuously) to make it appear that the court spent little time on pre-determined verdicts.

This contrast between coverage of Gujarat and Assam compels us to draw some conclusions.

  • Media and academic elites inside and outside of India do not use principles of justice and accuracy but are biased and myopic. They have their own definitions for right and wrong and are guided accordingly.  Their definitions of victims and atrocities are an extension of the leftist mindset.
  • They are based on the presumption of pre-defined exploiters (Israelis, Americans, capitalists, anti-Islamists) as the only legitimate villains whatever the situation.
  • If the facts do not fit this ideology, make them fit; and vilify journalists or professors who challenge them.
  • Live by Goebbels’ big lie theory, that unrelenting repetition will make it accepted as fact.

In the name of liberal and leftist ideology, our civil society is following and agenda embraced by fascists and communists without realizing that its definition of permanent victims and permanent exploiters could later legitimate small atrocities and bloody revolution in its name.  For instance, when a small Hindu village in West Bengal complained that Muslim men and boys from surrounding areas had set up perches to watch the Hindu women and girls bathe (“you exist for our amusement”), the police told the complaining Hindus that “the two communities would have to work out their differences” themselves.  Yet, as we saw, it only took one Muslim complaint to have two journalists arrested for offending their sensibilities.  Since the police indicated that they would not sanction Muslims, the area has seen anti-Hindu attacks and Temple destruction, all of which has gone unpunished.

India faces a violent Maoist insurgency carried out in the name of these principles.  When the government began a crackdown after some rather grisly attacks, India’s soft left launched a lock-step ideological offensive, and the Congress government complied.  The same quarters provide ideological support for jihadi actions and enforce what is at best a tepid response.

Our enemies are exploiting civil society and academia’s leftist bias.  (Lenin’s term, “useful idiots,” comes to mind.)  It might be particularly egregious in India, but we are merely showing great republics like the United States where they are headed if they do not recognize the danger and change course.  Let us remember that the 9/11 criminals did not have to overcome the US military but only pierce essentially open borders and if challenged cry “racial profiling.”

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