Selective and Sanctimonius Outrage

Ever since BJP lead NDA government has come to power in Delhi, efforts have been made to show the government in poor light. Persistent efforts have been made to brand the government communal, intolerant and majoritarian. Definitely, intemperate and foolish utterances of elected members of ruling party members have played a role in the effort. Mindless lynching of Mohammad Akhlaq did not add to reputation and image of government. 

Yet, it cannot be denied that sustained efforts were made, and are still being made, to keep the pot boiling. Political party associated student unions proactively opposed administrative decisions of  government. Appointment of head of FTII, Pune, quelling of pro-azadi slogan shouting at JNU, derecognition of Ambedkar Perriyar Study Circle at IIT Chennai were protested with a lot of fan fare. An united opposition had attacked government for abetting suicide of Rohith Vemulla, a member of Ambedkar Student Union at University of Hyderabad. At the same time, when government did not interfere during recent violence at Ramjas College, government had been accused of inaction. 

Members of civil society were up in arms at killing of rationalists like Mr. Narendra Dabholkar, Mr. Govind Pansare and Mr. M M Kalburgi. Many noted authors returned their Sahitya Academy Award to government for not able to solve these murders. It is important to remember that these murders happened when states of Maharashtra and Karnataka were ruled by Congress party, and there was UPA government at the centre. 

Desecration of christian church happened in Delhi. An atmosphere was created to suggest that church premises were attacked under direct patronage of right of centre ruling party government. As dust settled, it turned out acts were instances of vandalism. Similarly, horrible rape of a christian missionary in West Bengal was attributed to right wing groups. Investigation revealed that act was committed by miscreants from a neighbouring country.

All opposition parties are united to embarrass the government on the floor of parliament as well as outside. Most vocal being congress party, left parties and Trina Mool Congress. Yet if we look at behavior of these parties, they do not come out to be any more tolerant to dissent when they occupy seat of power. Let us look at some of the incidents? :

Left parties and left leaning student union are most vocal about freedom of expression at university campuses. They had protested police action in JNU campus. Left leaning unions had protested and clashed with right wing ABVP students in Delhi University. Yet,
  • JNU students did not allow baba Ramdev to speak in their campus;
  • BJP member Ms. Shazia Ilmi was uninvited from a talk on Triple Talaq at Jamia Milia Islami University. The topic was considered sensitive for the community. Yet, students of Jamia Milia joined protest march to Save Delhi University;
  • A rupees 10 lac bounty was announced on head of Mr. Tarek Fateh by an Islamic Cleric for denouncing Islam. Yet, flag bearers of free speech, left leaning politicians and intellectuals, remained quiet.
  • Left is routinely fighting and killing RSS workers in Kerala. Probably, RSS and BJP workers do not need freedom of expression and do not deserve tolerance.
  • Left had fought with naxals in West Bengal in early seventies. Yet, they preach tolerance!
  • Ultra left, kill not only security personnel, they kill civilians as well if suspected on not following party line.
Mr. Derek O’Brien to Trina Mool Congress party is very vocal about free speech. Mr. O’Brien camped at Hyderabad University campus to express solidarity with family of Mr. Rohith Vemulla. Yet his leader Ms. Mamata Banerjee cannot escape charges of intolerance. Yet media does not accuse Ms. Banerjee and TMC of intolerance. Let us look at the incidences:

  • Mamata Banerjee called a student in Presidency University naxalite and walked out of the TV interview. The student had asked the chief minister about deteriorating law and order situation in the state.
  • A citizen in Mamata Banerjee’s rally at Jangal Mahal was arrested for asking question to the chief minister.
It appears in this game of oneup maintop between right and left, righteousness of right is as obnoxious as sanctimoniousness of left. I guess no party has right to preach what is right and what is wrong.

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