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India’s sorrow: Crony socialism & crony secularism
SUTANU GURU
 
Issue Date - 30/05/2012
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There is a chilling story in our sister publication The Sunday Indian from Srinagar that tells a lot about how Indian intellectuals, journalists and pundits practice secularism. Kaiser Bhatt runs a school for kids called Orange International Playschool in the outskirts of Srinagar. In April, 2012, he invited some Muslim friends from Malaysia to visit his school. They sipped tea, exchanged pleasantries and soon left. Within minutes, the playschool was surrounded by an angry mob that had gathered in response to a rumour that the playschool was actually a ‘Christian’ outfit and that the visiting Malaysians were Christian missionaries. Scared stiff, Kaiser desperately pleaded with his Malaysian friends to come back to scotch the rumours. The Malaysians returned and were forced by the mob to ‘prove’ that they were Muslims. Only then did the violent mob disperse. But Kaiser’s troubles were not over as worried parents wanted to withdraw their kids. Worse, school staff were reluctant to come to the school since they were scared a mob will pounce on them.

Sensing financial ruin, Kaiser pleaded with Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to come to his rescue. The separatist leader ‘pronounced’ that the playschool is Muslim enough for parents and the staff not to be worried. After assuring angry Muslims of the neighbourhood that Orange International Playschool (meanwhile, the playschool plastered its walls with Quranic verses) was not a Christian conspiracy, the ‘separatist’ and ‘spiritual’ leader told The Sunday Indian, “We have strong evidence to suggest that Christian missionaries are working to convert Kashmiri Muslims using unfair means”. In November, 2011, a Christian priest Chandar Mani Khanna was accused of proselytizing. Someone called the Grand Mufti of Kashmir ‘summoned’ the priest for interrogation and ordered him to cease and desist. The priest was arrested and allegedly beaten up and tortured and remained locked up for about 20 days. Of course, he was then ‘banished’ from the valley. The so-called Grand Mufti now routinely ‘summons’ alleged offenders to his Sharia court.

In case you don’t know or have deliberately chosen to forget, the Kashmir valley is overwhelmingly Muslim majority (most Kashmiri Hindus were forced out of the valley in the 1990s and now live in wretched refugee camps) with Hindus, Christians and Sikhs being insignificant minorities. In case you have chosen to forget, India’s secular warriors ceaselessly cry themselves hoarse – while raving and ranting against all things and symbols Hindu – that it is the duty of the majority Hindus of India to protect its secular identity and Constitution. Very unpalatable question that even those who have not been blinded by Marxism and secular fundamentalism feel uncomfortable about asking: where are the loud ‘secular’ voices when Christians are being so ruthlessly targeted in the only Muslim majority state in India? What happened to the vocal chords of Jholawala Leftists who never give up an opportunity of pointing out how intolerant, obscurantist and ‘fascist’ Hindus are when it comes to dealing with minorities? Would they have adopted a self imposed vow of silence if Christian priests were similarly harassed in Gujarat?

 
The only possible answer is: our secular warriors are frauds, plain and simple. And Indian media has since long lost its ability to call a spade a spade, even at the cost of being politically correct. What amazes me is the sheer hypocrisy of these frauds. Ask them to condemn what is happening in the Kashmir valley and you will get a torrent of Marxist dialectics about how India was never a nation and how we must respect its ethnic, linguistic and religious diversity. And imagine what will happen if another pet project of the secular brigade, the Communal Violence Bill becomes law. Under this Bill, the majority community is automatically the guilty party in case of a communal dispute. So will Muslims be the guilty party in a dispute between them and Christians in the Kashmir valley? You must be crazy if you think that will happen.

So much for fraud secularism. The funny thing is the same set of intellectuals and journalists shamelessly encourage crony socialism, just as they shamelessly encourage crony secularism. Over the last two years, I have become sick and tired of reading glorified PR stories about how great, wonderful and magnificent the new Delhi airport is. Literally hundreds of articles have appeared in the print media and even news channels have done TV programmes extolling the spanking new Delhi airport (Incidentally, all these intellectuals and journalists went mysteriously quiet in August 2011 when a thundershower literally blew away this so-called marvel of technology and aesthetics built by the Andhra based GMR group. Yes, just one bout of heavy rains and this world class airport completely collapsed!)

In case you don’t know or have deliberately chosen to forget, the GMR group, promoted by G. M. Rao outbid the Mittals and Ambanis for the contract to revamp the Delhi airport. A few years after it won the contract, it imposed a ‘fee’ of Rs.200 on domestic passengers and Rs.1,200 on international passengers because GMR claimed that it had to ‘tax’ gullible passengers to remain viable. GMR claimed that actual project costs were far higher than originally estimated. Subsequently, the Supreme Court ruled that the ‘tax’ being collected by GMR from passengers was illegal and ordered a refund. Don’t waste your time guessing whether the refund happened or not. And now, the airports regulator has allowed GMR to hike fee by about 350%. This has made Delhi one of the most expensive in the world. There were some protests and complaints for a while and that was it. Not one of the intellectuals and journalists bothered to ask how GMR was being allowed to get away with this kind of brazen behaviour. Equally shocking, the TV channel Headlines Today did an investigative story in 2011 which exposed how construction activities of GMR were making the Delhi airport a sitting duck for terror attacks. Nothing much was heard about it after that.
 
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