We know the pseudo-intellectual left is in a habit of routinely writing open letters, in their cheap attempts at grabbing international attention from the white man, and playing anarchist. A romanticization of political dissent, a Che Guevara, if you will, riding through the dusty country on a motorbike wearing a leather jacket. Anarchy is the new black. Anti-authoritarianism is the new cool. This would all be a legitimate, even commendable effort, if there was actually something even remotely authoritarian, or fascist, as the kids call it, about the Indian government.
Now, I’m in favour of absolute free speech, because, in an ideal world, opinions of habitual propagandists aren’t given a second thought, and the truth always prevails. But it isn’t an ideal world, people are mostly idiots than not, and propaganda is both easy to write, believe, and spread.
What I do take issue with, however, is why issues are cherry-picked for open letters to be written. Liberals claim to stand for equality and freedom of expression, and have developed an obnoxious sense of self-importance by believing themselves to be the white knights in shining armour to those that are “helpless and voiceless”.
The understand the deep desire to both manufacture propoganda. Not only is it instant gratification, but is also a golden ticket to media fame. What more could one ask for, when you can write ‘activist’ and ‘be the change you want to see in the world’ in your bio? When you have a chance to sit in the streets instead of attend classes? It’s a lovely and way way of appearing more intelligent than you are – using political activism as a substitute for personality and achievements.
Case in point: India’s very own aerobics instructor aunty, the gray haired old hag, cousin of criminal Prannoy Roy (of NDTV), Ms. Arundhati Roy.
Each open letter she’s written is more comical than the last. I assume she’s under the impression that flowery words ascertain the validity of claims made.
In the letter written by her to Bangladeshi photographer Shahidul Alam, in 2018, she said, and I quote: “Your Prime Minister, who claims to be a secular democrat, has announced that she will build 500 mosques with the billion dollars the Government of Saudi Arabia has donated to Bangladesh. These mosques are supposedly meant to disseminate the “correct” kind of Islam. Here in India, our rulers have dropped all pretense of the secularism and socialism that are enshrined in our constitution. In order to distract attention from the catastrophic failures of governance and deepening popular resentment, as institution after institution—our courts, universities, banks, intelligence agencies—is pushed into crisis, the ruling power, (not the Government, but its holding company, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh,) is alternately cajoling and threatening the Supreme Court to pass an order clearing the decks for the construction of a giant Hindu temple on the site where the Babri Masjid once stood before it was demolished by a rampaging mob. It’s amazing how politicians’ piety peaks and troughs with election cycles.”
She hilariously doesn’t want the Bangladeshi government to promote Islam by building mosques in Bangladesh, AN ISLAMIC STATE according to their own constitution.
She calls Modi hitler and the Indian government fascist, whereas Bangladesh, where tens of journalists are killed/imprisoned every year and there is an actual law that criminalizes any criticism against the government. See: another journalist jailed for exposing election fraud in Dhaka https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/02/bangladeshi-journalist-arrested-over-election-irregularities-reporting
Roy, instead of focusing on the real issue of autocracy in Bangladesh, who jailed Alam for speaking of “The looting of banks, the gagging of the media …. the extra-judicial killings, the disappearances, the need to give protection money at all levels, bribery at all levels, corruption in education. It is a never ending list”, takes the opportunity to lash out at the RSS and her opposition to the building of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya, quite predictably! Rest assured, Ms. Roy: Shahidul Alam COULD NOT care less about Ayodhya. Also: MANDIR WAHIN BANAYENGE, Jai Sree Ram.
Roy’s letter to Alam: https://thewire.in/rights/arundhati-roy-open-letter-shahidul-alam
Alam’s reply, if you want to see the charming exchange between two intellectuals exercising their democratic right to dissent the Fascist regimes in their respective nations and bonding over it: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/jan/11/dearest-arundhati-roy-shahidul-alam-reflects-on-his-time-in-prison
Another gem of an open letter Roy has written to Penguin publishing, accusing them of being “terrified” and “succumbing to the fascists” for retracting the “scholar” Wendy Donniger’s The Hindus: An Alternative History, which contained gems of literature such as:
Mangal Pandey was an opuim addict, Jhansi Lakshmi Bai was loyal to the British, Swami Vivekanada and Gandhi asked to have beef for dinner, and various instances of erotic sexualization of Hindu Gods.
The letter was an effort to defame Hindus for being intolerant, but the reality was the in the case against Penguin, the Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samithi merely asked for corrections/deletions be made by penguin in the book, and did not ask for a ban. Dildo-hoarder Wendy Doniger was summoned but did not show up in court.
Roy asks, “Must we now write only pro-Hindutva books?”, but I ask: “Must we only write pro-Islamic books”?
Why doesn’t she write letters empathizing with Salman Rushdie, seeing as Satanic Verses is banned? Is it because she’s terrified of a fatwa being issued against her also, that will result in her having to flee the country?
Why didn’t she write a letter for all the other books banned in India? The forefathers of banning books in India were the British, that viciously went after any books criticizing their savage treatment of India and its people, and later, those that were pro-independence. Jadoogarlal Nehru the British boot licker continued the tradition with great gusto.
Even a work of fiction, Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code was banned in 2006 by the Manmohan Singh government for hurting sentiments of the church (the Cardinal begged people not to read it, and the Vatican hilariously appointed a “debunker” – a Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Archbishop of Genoa and a possible successor to the Pope, to rebut what the Catholic church calls the “shameful and unfounded errors” contained within The Da Vinci Code), which is, I repeat, a harmless WORK OF FICTION. Isn’t Manmohan the mouse, the intellectual of intellectuals? Isn’t he the torchbearer of democracy, the last time that the government wasn’t hitler-esque?
What about Hindu Heaven by Max Wyli, which was banned because it questioned the work of American missionaries in India? This books should be widely circulated and translated into local languages, in my humble opinion, not banned.
What about Understanding Islam through Hadis by Ram Swarup (which I have a copy of, DM if you’re interested in reading it), and Islam: A Concept of Political World Invasion RV Bhasin and countless others that are academic works merely providing a commentary and analysis of Islam without factual inaccuracies, unlike the work of Ms. Doniger?
Here’s an open letter addressed to Ms. Roy, for a change: written by IPS Abhinav Kumar in 2008 https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/an-open-letter-to-arundhati-roy/239266