Sunday, December 30, 2007

'NON-ENGLISH' COMMUNALISM OF INDIA'S ENGLISH MEDIA

The old problem of English Indian media keeps rearing its ugly head with regular monotony. They remain as distant as ever from the real, non-English speaking India to which they cannot relate, and which they do not even attempt to understand.

Those who have been watching the almost blanket coverage of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination in both the print and visual media would have surely noticed how the focus was mostly on her background, particularly her education in England. The coverage became almost a collage of personal memories, photo albums included, to show how Benazir Bhutto was essentially a secular and liberal individual and politician, and a good friend, almost as if that meant that she was India’s best friend too! You can bet that there would have been virtually no coverage of her assassination had she been another Urdu speaking politician, no matter how powerful.

Both Benazir Bhutto and her father displayed visceral national hatred towards India as leaders of a country founded and grounded in communalism and extreme religious intolerance. But to her Indian friends and admirers sprinkled liberally in the media, she was one of them, simply because she spoke like them and, in some cases, studied with them or where they did!

The same treatment has always been, and was, given to Imran Khan, who is similarly enabled. Over the last few years, he has been in and out of India and has made many Indian friends of the rootless variety who suffer from cerebral paralysis whenever there is a need to analyse the politician beyond the individual who is their friend. He is just co-opted by them unilaterally into their club of liberal and secular ‘thinkers’ who believe they are distinct from and superior to those handicapped, inferior non-English speaking natives.

Imran Khan, in his interviews after Benazir Bhutto’s death, was as candid as a Pakistani politician can afford to be while he is India, when he said that she had to die because she came back to Pakistan to fight America’s, not Pakistan’s war against terror. He did not fear for his own life, he added, because he would not say a word against the Al Qaida or the Taliban! The latter, and their clones, are the same guys, remember, who were created during Bhutto’s rule and have been wreaking havoc in India for the last nearly two decades?

As the RDX cherry on the proverbial terrorist cake, Imran Khan could not stop himself from saying that the effect of the so-called war on terror being waged by Musharraf was that “Muslims are killing Muslims” in Pakistan! The ‘liberal’ Imran Khan has clearly no problem if terrorists kill non-Muslims in India or elsewhere in the world. He is against Musharraf because the General has joined hands with the US to take out the Muslim Al Qaida and the Taliban who were not killing any Muslims till the Americans came in.

You couldn’t get any more ‘communal’ than that could you? But our media will simply not tar him with a communal brush because he talks their language, which is all that matters to them!

Had the Indian media of today been around before Independence, guess who would have been their secular poster boy and who the communal villain? Yes, the whiskey drinking, Seville Row suited Jinnah would have been in their embrace while that naked native in a lion cloth talking of Ram would have been that obnoxious communal creep!

Modi’s stunning victory in the Gujarat elections, like Mayawati’s in UP earlier this year, has the English media gasping for breath as if suddenly surrounded by only CO2. When Mayawati became Chief Minister, there were some who were so shocked at the possibility of a Hindi speaking Dalit woman becoming the Prime Minister that they had declared that they would leave India if that ever happened.

Modi’s victory, on the other hand, has created unprecedented panic and exposed the ugly fangs behind some of those fancy liberal gloves whose pretty world is falling rapidly apart. Karan Thapar, honest and straightforward as always, has virtually given a call for the elimination of Narendra Modi. Writing in the Hindustan Times of December 29, 2007, he says “Only the sudden removal of Narendra Modi can change this. For he is the agent forcing this change. And whilst he's with us, he will do just that. I have no doubt Indian politics after Sunday the 23rd is another country.” The famed aggression that he shows towards those he interviews clearly runs disturbingly deep.

This is the tragedy of our English media. They sing songs about and praise English speaking communal Pakistani leaders who brazenly thump their Muslim chests, flaunt Hindu-hater Muslim foreigners like Ghori and Ghaznavi as their national heroes, and proclaim their pride for ‘freedom fighters’ and other Islamic terrorists killing non-Muslims in India. But, when it comes to Indian leaders who belong to an India whose road does not come via the West, they lose their pen and balance, revealing an urgent and intolerant desperation to get rid of them from the horizon of their make-believe beautiful world.