PREPARE FOR SUMMER OF DISCONTENT
TUESDAY, 23 FEBRUARY 2016 | KUMAR CHELLAPPAN | IN OPED
First, it was the so-called attacks on minority institutions which fuelled the faux secularism debate. Then came the award-wapsi brigade to protest against intolerance. Student agitation is the next tool to defame the Modi regime
While addressing a farmers’ rally in western Odisha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi at last accepted that there is a deep-rooted conspiracy not only to discredit his Government, but also to tarnish his image. One is surprised at the long delay on Mr Modi’s part to announce this truth.
The common man was aware of the plans being hatched by various political parties, NGOs, religious leaders and, of course, some prominent foreign outfits that masquerade as friends of India. Their insiduous campaign started the day Mr Modi was sworn-in as the Prime Minister of India.
Leaders of certain political parties, who swear by democracy and pluralism day-in and day-out, did not even extend the basic courtesy of greeting the newly-elected Prime Minister. The live telecast of Mr Modi’s swearing-in ceremony itself was a show of discontentment, dismay, dejection and despondency as leaders sat with glum faces throughout the solemn ceremony.
Soon enough, all hell broke loose. News about churches being vandalised and nuns being raped started pouring in from across the country. “Religious minorities are not safe in India under the present ruling dispensation,” wailed a Cardinal who belonged to the Catholic community which does not have any love lost for Mr Modi or for the BJP.
A former IPS officer who took all the credit for eradicating terrorism in Punjab followed the suit and said that minorities are not safe under the Modi regime. For months, this was the modus operandi. Community leaders, church officials and, of course, the communists made a hue and cry about attacks on minorities and blamed the Sangh parivar for all the crimes.
However, subsequent investigations brought to light the real culprits of church attack — Not a single Sangh parivar member was arrested or indicted in these incidents. Those who were arrested were Christians, and the attacks were personal.
The controversy over the rape of a 70-year-old nun in West Bengal died a natural death when the perpetrator — a Bangladeshi Muslim immigrant — was held by the police.
Following these incidents, there was a brief lull in the allegations of attacks on minorities. Then came another wave of attacks. All of a sudden, self-styled saviours of secularism, pluralism, media freedom and civil rights found that there is an upsurge in ‘intolerance’ in the country, following the change of Government in May 2014. It took them almost an year to come with the charge of religious ‘intolerance’.
Critics said that the term ‘secularism’ had lost relevance and become an outdated product like packed food items and medicines which come with expiry dates. Out went ‘secularism’, and the new product ‘intolerance’ was launched.
There was a media blitzkrieg this time too with a state-of-the-art strategy. Certain literary figures declared that they were giving back the honours they had received from the Union Government because of rising ‘intolerance’ in the country.
The Sahitya Akademi award was the first casuality. Those who returned their Sahitya Akademi awards included the mother of the Indian head of an NGO which is being probed by a wing of the Union Government on charges of tax evasion and other financial irregularities.
Ms P Valsala, a Malayalam novelist who has authored books like Nellu (Paddy) and Aagneyam, hit the nail on the head, when she said that those who had returned their awards were the same ones who had ‘purchased’ these awards. It is not known till date whether these writers also returned the cash award (with interest) that they had received from the Sahitya Akademi.
Let’s make one thing clear: Since the agitation against religious intolerance and the attacks on secularism ended up in fiasco, the enemies will come out with a new course of action. Incidents at Jawaharlal Nehru University and the University of Hyderabad are preludes to what is expected to come this year. Agitations like these are funded by various foreign Governments and agencies.
Ask any chartered accountant or tax professional, they will give you enough hints on how to bring in such money into India. There are thousands of hawala operators in the country who will take care of such money for a small cut or commission.
I asked one of my friends, a part-time politician who is also a full time hawala operator, in Muvattupuzha, whether he could enrol me in his firm so that I can work from home and earn some money. My friend said, “Our business requires toughness and street smartness. You are unfit on both counts.”
Prepare for summer of discontent — Kumar Chellappan
PREPARE FOR SUMMER OF DISCONTENT