Ideologically fanatic people are fueled by hatred. There is no constructive criticism. Rather its all just one ad-hominem attack after another. Take the case of many anti-Obama folks. The racists in US have said some of most horrendous things about their President and the First lady. For example, Mayor of a Spokane suburb, Patrick Rushing, said this about the first couple on his Facebook page:
“Gorilla face Michelle, can’t disagree with that. The woman is not attractive except to monkey man Barack. Check out them ears. LOL.”
When asked to resign as Mayor, Rushing refused point-blank and said that (1) it was “playful banter” with friends, and (2) he didn’t realize that the remarks were racist. Really?
The fact is that Obama hatred is Racism Cloaked. He is targeted personally using the plea of political opposition but the ways and symbols of abuse hurled against him are unmistakeably of rabid racism. Rabid Racist Abuse is being passed off as Political Opposition!
When Michelle Obama discussed her experiences of how she has suffered racism in the US, her speech at Tuskegee University was introduced in the following words by a Republican biased web-site : Speaking at Tuskegee University commencement, Michelle Obama goes off on ‘America is a racist nation’ rant. Here is the speech she gave.
Does all this sound familiar?
India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has been called everything in the last one decade. Yamraj (Rashid Alvi), Maut Ka Saudagar (Sonia Gandhi), Snake, Scorpion, dirty man, Asatya ka saudagar (Mani Shankar Aiyyar), Ravan (Digvijay Singh), Gandi Nali ka kida (BK Hariprasad), Ghanchi (Soma Patel – Modi is Ghanchi by caste), Monkey, victim of rabies (Arjun Modhwadia), “Badtamiz, Nalayak, who is his father? Mother?” (Rizwan Usmani), Virus (Renuka Choudhary), Monkey (Salman Khurshid), Mad Dog (Beni Prasad Verma), Gangu Teli (Ghulam Nabi Azad – Modi is Ghanchi by caste) and Hitler and Polpot.How Modi-hatred is a Facade for Hinduphobia! #Modihatred Click To Tweet
From 2002 onwards, till date, despite the fact that he worked with alacrity to stop the riots, the hate campaign has been relentless! Guruprasad in his path-breaking article gives documentary evidence on how the charges against Modi were baseless. This one summary timeline will actually tell the tale:
- Train was burnt on Feb 27th, 2002.
- Riots started on Feb 28th.
- Army was called on Feb 28th itself within hours.
- Army began flag marches on the next day i.e March 1st (Feb in 2002 had 28 days)
- By March 3rd, riots were under control
Those who have lived through the Delhi massacre of Sikhs would know that it took several days before massacres stopped. In case of Gujarat, the riots started on Feb 28th and the very next day Army was doing flag marches! Yet, he is blamed for the fury that was instigated in a state known for riots by those barbarians who burnt the train in Godhra.
Using that as the basis, everyone has had a field day. Any challenge to that “oft-repeated lie” was labeled as Fascist Saffronist rant. I have suffered such abuse many times on social media and other forums, despite – or rather specially because of my fact-based articles –
- Pseudo-Secularism and Teesta Setalvad’s Cooking up Skills
- Machiavellian Activism in Gujarat riots that jeopardized harmony and national security
- Shameless Targeting of Narender Modi
- Gujarat Riots 2002: Teesta Setalvad gets Bail in Criminal Case filed by her aide – the hitman in Best Bakery case!
The abuse was severe when I stuck my neck out in 2008 and wrote why I thought Modi will be the next Prime Minister of India.
The modus operandi is always the same. Call me names, specially using Hindu imagery – Saffronist, Bhakt etc – and cloak religious hatred with political jugglery.
But is Modi hatred just political, as Obama haters argue from their side? Or is Modi hatred Hinduphobia cloaked in political-speak?
I am sure many would take those who have grudge against Modi politically as an counter-weight to my argument, but that is just that – a ploy to ward off the real question! Just as those who genuinely have a political grudge against Obama are used as a ruse to argue against the very obvious racist agenda against Obama by most of his haters!
Actually, very conveniently, political critique is used as a shield to shelter hate speech! Merely to obfuscate the matter. Nothing much!
For example, let us look at one cartoon that was making rounds on many facebook pages of AAP supporters, after Aam Aadmi Party had won the Delhi elections decisively.
At that time, I had asked the obvious question:
What one fails to understand is – When did political hatred for your opponent party become a good excuse to mock a religious symbol of the Hindus?
It is an important question! For, we aren’t in Nazi Germany, but in India. In India, Swastika is a religious and a spiritual symbol. In your political hatred you may call anyone whatever you want, but in the Indian context, the meaning of a symbol is used in a certain context and its use the way it has been done, is nothing but Hinduphobia! Of course, one can go into the differences of how Nazis used it and how Hindus use it and how this has also been used in the Hindu way, but that is a moot point. The real point is how can someone simply brush aside Hinduphobia by exporting a foreign narrative in Indian context?
Indian PM is now going to visit the UK. A message of religious hate has been projected on British Houses of Parliament, cloaked yet again in Modi hatred. The message is the work of a group called Awaaz. It is joined by “like-minded organizations” like South Asia Solidarity Group, Sikh Federation UK, Southall Black Sisters, Dalit Solidarity Network UK, Indian Muslim Federation, Indian Workers Association, Muslim Parliament, and Voice of Dalit International.
One look at the organizations in the coalition which projected this image, and then at the image – tells a story. Modi with a sword in his hand is shown alongside the Hindu spiritual symbol AUM which is structure in such a way as to have likeness to Swastika as well.
If a group with myriad Hindu organizations as its supporters creates such an image with Islamic or Christian symbols and projects on British Parliament, would it work? Would that be not termed as religious bigotry or Islamophobia.
In absence of any outrage, the racists of US and the bigots of India have used Obama and Modi to further their hate agenda. When confronted they hide behind right of political expression. But let us be very clear, there is nothing political about comparing Obama to a Gorilla or using Swastika and Aum to abuse Modi. It is what it is – BIGOTRY!