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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Yes, It’s Time to Outrage

The police case filed against Outlook magazine for its ‘Baby Lift’ cover story alleging that RSS-affiliated Rashtra Sevika Samiti is involved in child trafficking in Assam has sparked outrage among elite journalists.

As per this report in The Assam Tribune

“A case has been registered with Latasil police station, Guwahati, against Outlook magazine which in its latest edition published a report alleging that “the RSS trafficked 31 children from Assam to Gujarat and Punjab to initiate them into Hinduism without the consent of their parents.”

The complaint has been filed jointly by SC Koyal, and advocate Bijon Mahajan, against the writer of the article (Neha Dixit), the editor-in-chief (Krishna Prasad) and the publisher of the magazine (Raheja group), contending that the write-up promoted enmity between different groups residing in BTAD areas on the basis of religion and race and was prejudicial to maintenance of harmony.”

HinduPost had reported a week back that Rashtra Sevika Samiti had demanded an apology from Outlook for the article by ‘journalist’ Neha Dixit. We had recommended that an apology alone was not sufficient in the light of unceasing hit-jobs and malicious campaigns against RSS and the wider Sangh parivar, and that only legal action would deter the crooked Nehruvian establishment that influential sections of our media represent.

It is good to see that that a case has been filed in Assam, although the grounds on which it is filed seem weak – cases filed under IPC Section 153(A) for ‘promoting enmity among different groups on grounds of religion’ often tend to peter out. While Neha Dixit’s Hinduphobia is bubbling under the surface throughout her article, the main issue here is about defamation of RSS and its affiliates. The writer has alleged that girls are being ‘trafficked’, a word which clearly means transportation for bonded labour or sexual exploitation, as this article by Supreme Court Advocate Monika Arora elucidates. One hopes that RSS takes cognizance of the severity of the charge, and takes Outlook to court for this libel and slander.

Apart from the ‘trafficking’ slander, the crux of the Outlook article is that the 31 tribal girls were taken away without consent of their parents and are now being prevented from maintaining any contact with their families. The fact that there are signed affidavits from the parents and the concerned village heads giving their consent for the girls to be taken to out of state hostels, has been dismissed on the grounds that ‘illiterate’ villagers didn’t know what they were signing. But the killer blow to this argument has come from the guardians/parents of these girls themselves denying to local media that their wards were trafficked or taken away without their consent. Also, girls who have received the same education through RSS schools previously, have all returned to their home villages and are now well-settled. Neha Dixit’s argument that RSS violated legal norms has also been rebutted in Advocate Arora’s piece.

But the very fact that one of their own could be made answerable to the law has outraged our Lutyens media.

Madhu Trehan signals ‘May the outrage begin’

The first journalist to come out swinging against the ‘temerity of the chaddiwalas’ to challenge their sense of entitlement was Madhu Trehan – the self-appointed media critic who launched a digital ‘media watchdog’ called ‘News Laundry’ along with AAP-bhakt Abhinandan Sekhri and some other Adarsh Liberal types. Incidentally, Madhu Trehan is the wife of  Naresh Trehan, a well-connected Delhi based doctor-businessman, and sister of Aroon Purie, the controversial owner of India Today media group.

Madhu Trehan’s article titled ‘It’s time to outrage‘ is basically asking everyone in this country to drop whatever bothers them the most (crimes against women, Dalit atrocities, farmer suicides,  the death of security personnel, Islamist terror etc) and join her in her crusade against the current Government which she is totally convinced is out to ‘muzzle the media’. Here are some of the salient points she tries to make, followed by HinduPost commentary –

Madhu Trehan: “Simple. Steal the children and indoctrinate them. Why are unwelcome Islamic and Christian practices setting the agenda for Hindutva? Hinduism has survived precisely because there is nothing in the Hindu religion that asks its followers to convince and convert people from other religions.”

HinduPost: The children were not ‘stolen’. Their guardians have signed affidavits allowing their children to go out of state for education, and have vehemently denied that their children were taken without their consent. The girls who went to these RSS-run residential schools in the past have all returned to their original homes. And since when did asking children to sing gayatri mantra and patriotic songs become indoctrination? In that case, what do you call the thousands of Christian convent schools spread across this county who make children sing religious hymns, have chapels in school premises, harshly punish Hindu students for any sign of native belief like wearing mehandi, sporting a shikha , or lighting diyas, and belittle non-English languages? We know that such facts do not really count for much in your scheme of things, and in your messiah complex you believe that you know what is best for ordinary tribal folk.

NO, Hindu Dharma did not survive because it does not proselytize like the Abrahamic religions do – it survived because people like Raja Suheldev Pasi, Maharana Pratap, Chattrapati Shivaji, Lachit Borphukan, Guru Gobind Singh, Rani Durgavati et al put up a fierce resistance against the invading Islamic hordes for one thousand years before the Mughals were finally defeated by the Marathas; it survived because of the countless sadhus, sanyasis, katha vachaks, Bhakti saints like Sant Tukaram, Sant Ravidas who kept the tenets of Hindu Dharma alive among the masses; it survived because of philosopher, thinkers and activists like Dayananda Saraswati, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, Veer Savarkar, Aurobindo etc who reaffirmed core ideas of Hindu civilization at a time when we were under massive intellectual assault by British Christian imperialists; and it continues to survive today because of millions of Hindus who continue to practice their faith following either bhakti marg or jnana marg – as evident in the Kanwariya, Amarnath, Waari, Jagannath Rath yatras, the passionate celebration of festivals like Deepawali, Holi, Ganesh Chaturthi, Ram Navmi, Dahi Handi etc despite all attempts of the liberal-secular-missionary-Islamist  nexus at putting an end to these traditions; it survives due to the selfless service of organizations like RSS, ISKCON, mathas etc who work in backward interior parts of the country and counter the well-oiled Christian missionary machine which is especially targeting Bharat’s tribal population for conversion; it also survives due to the passionate propagation of ancient Hindu sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda by practioners like Baba Ramdev that magazines like India Today, run by your brother, Madhu ji, mock.

Madhu Trehan: “There are only two questions to be asked.

  1. Why are the children not allowed any contact with their parents?
  2. Why could all this “education” not have been conducted while they continued to live in their homes with their parents?”

HinduPost: The parents of the children are fine with the arrangement, as was earlier pointed out. Moreover, each hostel has certain rules and regulations about access for parents/guardians to their ward; unchecked access to children often hurts their acclimatization in a new environment. We understand that ‘education’ provided by any Hindu organization like RSS will never measure up in the eyes of those who have undergone a Macaulayan English education like yourself (despite facts like an RSS school product recently topping the Assam state board), but surely you cannot be ignorant of the fact that Assam is undergoing serious social conflict due to unchecked illegal immigration from Bangladesh – after the 2012 Assam riots, many parts of the state witnessed displacement of entire villages. In such an environment, doesn’t it make sense for poor parents to send their children away for studies to a safer, calmer place?

Madhu Trehan: “History is inundated with authorities the world over abducting children for this purpose. Nazi Germany did it. Norway is notorious for taking away children from immigrant parents for not following their laws on parenting. Spanking is illegal. Since 1905 till 1970, Australian officials could take away mixed-race children from their Aboriginal mothers in order to remove all traces of Aborigine culture from them. What came to be known as Stolen Generations, it is a shame that Australians are still living down.”

HinduPost: Your visceral hatred for RSS and the present NDA Government seems to have caused a temporary (one hopes) brain implosion. Are you seriously comparing 31 tribal girls being sent to RSS run schools with due consent of their parents, to colonial/dictatorial state enforced programs where all children of a particular community are forcefully snatched away from their parents in order to eradicate all traces of their original culture. One could say that you are comparing apples to oranges, but this is way beyond that – this is like comparing apples to guns. Even the Norway analogy is out of place in the larger point of state indoctrination you are trying to make. But it is good that you brought up the point about Australian Government snatching away Aboriginal children to eradicate all traces of Aborigine culture – the same thing happened in Africa, America and everywhere that the Western colonial powers went, especially in countries where all military opposition was barbarically vanquished by the colonizers.

But you gloss over the driving force behind the colonial urge to eradicate native cultures – Christianization. These indoctrination schools were usually run by Christian missionaries, and they aimed to ‘civilize’ the ‘savage’ students who were made to attend Church services, encouraged to convert to Christianity, not allowed to speak their own languages (even between each other), rechristened with English Christian names, stripped of their clothing and religious artifacts, overworked through chores, punished harshly by whipping, payment, even death for crimes against ‘Christian values’ like adultery, witchcraft, and worshiping any other deity than the Christian God. Native American cultures were more decimated by the mission schools and “Jesus” than anything else done to the various native peoples.

Are the RSS schools doing anything like the horrors perpetuated by White Christian missionaries on natives of America and Australia – NO. However, the thousands of Christian convent schools spread across Bharat are definitely implementing certain measures from the above described missionary rule book. Have you ever outraged over that? If RSS teaches the students Gayatri Mantra, they are not denigrating native tribal folk religious beliefs in the same breath. All these tribes have existed in Bharat since time immemorial – their beliefs (including animist & nature worship) are part of the larger Hindu pantheon, and till this day no Hindu organization has tried to force-fit one religious scripture, God, or specific ritual on them. It is the Christian missionaries who are out to eradicate the native tribal culture of Bharat and supplant it with Christianity – since Independence, the native belief systems of tribes in states like Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Manipur, and Arunachal have been lost to the new-age Christian crusaders; Arunachal alone has seen a huge 12% increase in Christian population between 2001-11 census. What happened between the 17th – 20th centuries in America is happening today before our very eyes in an independent, ‘secular’ Bharat. RSS is one of the few organizations fighting a difficult rearguard battle to stem this loss of cultural identity, and preserve the multi-cultural fabric of the North East. But one doesn’t expect liberal elites like you, Madhu ji, to see this reality, blinded by your hatred of RSS as you are.

Madhu Trehan:What did Neha Dixit do? Did she have an agenda? She did what any journalist would and should do. You get a hint that there is a story to be written. You go there and investigate.”

HinduPost: Yes, Neha Dixit has an agenda as her bizarre allegation of trafficking and the fact that she chose to investigate the so-called kidnapping of these 31 tribal girls out of a sum total of 5000 children who have disappeared from Assam between 2012-15 as per a CID report quoted in the same article shows. Yes, Outlook has an agenda against Modi, RSS, and Hindutva as their ‘journalism’ over the last 2 decades shows, and their more recent sexism/innuendo laden articles targeting Smriti Irani shows.

Here are two hints for the next story that millions of people in this country wish that resourceful media personalities like yourself with all the right connections and friends in high places should do: exodus of Hindus from places like Kairana in UP and many villages of West Bengal; the Christian missionary machine which has penetrated each and every district of Bharat and goes around openly denigrating Hindu Gods while spreading their supremacist theology.

Madhu Trehan: (paraphrased by HinduPost) : Bharat ranks abysmally in Press Freedom Index. We have a history of muzzling media from the time of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. Many brave journalists took to the streets in the past to protest Government excesses. But today’s establishment (read Modi sarkar) is tarring all journalists with the same brush to discredit the profession. Only those journalists that act as courtiers get access and interviews with the present Government. People should be grateful to media for breaking several scams, today’s youth should get out of their herd behavior & hero-worship mode and stand by good journalists and democratic spirit of Constitution.  

HinduPost: Yes, Bharat does rank poorly on Press Freedom Index, but why is it only an FIR against one of your own like Neha Dixit that elicits such outraged articles from you, Madhu ji, and not the brutal burning alive of a Hindi journalist from UP by Samajwadi Party goons? Your attempts at drawing an equivalence between the Congress culture of stamping out dissent and promoting sycophantic journalistic coteries, and the present Modi Government again proves your lack of integrity and balance. Has Sonia Gandhi given one interview till date in her over 20 years of public life? Modi has given interviews to his rabid baiters like Rajdeep Sardesai, Shahid Siddiqui…one interview by Arnab where Modi was not ‘grilled’ as per your agenda has ruffled your feathers? Do you know how many interviews the current Government and its leading ministers like Arun Jaitley, Ravi Shankar Prasad, and even Smriti Irani have given to NDTV/Barkha Dutt, when every man, woman, and child in this country knows that NDTV is anti-BJP/RSS/Hindutva to the core? Did any UPA minister ever give that kind of access to a journalist like Kanchan Gupta? Not a day goes by when we do not see editorials filled with bias, outright lies and sanctimonious advice to Narendra Modi on how to run this country – well, if the Modi sarkar has been trying to sanitize news like you allege, they have failed miserably at it!

The disgust for journalism and leading journalists of the day precedes this Government – in fact, this disgust for media is one of the driving forces behind this Government’s creation. Surely, you must know about the one-man institution called mediacrooks –  for 6 years now, he has been single-handedly exposing the crooks in our media, that so-called media critics like your News Laundry treat with kid gloves. You deliberately ignore that it social media which has as much, if not more, of a role in breaking several scams and bringing them into national discourse – scams like Radia gate would have been buried if left to MSM hacks. As for corruption related scams, CAG auditor Vinod Rai had the main role in exposing 2G and Coalgate scams – even our compromised media cannot ignore a CAG report, though many did try gamely. For the last 18 months, we have seen concerted, systematic, fabricated campaigns like ‘Church Attacks’, ‘Rising Intolerance’, ‘Student Oppression’, ‘Kashmir Atrocities’ and now ‘Dalit Atrocities’ being fanned by national media to discredit the current Government and the Hindutva movement. It is ordinary people on social media and through emerging news/commentary websites like HinduPost, IndiaFacts, OpIndia, Mediacrooks, SwarajyaMag etc that are countering this insidious propaganda day in day out.

So quit playing martyr – your profession has lost the trust and goodwill of the people of this nation. It will take a long time before that trust can be rebuilt. Try to actually do some good journalism for a change, before you beseech people to join your fight. This ‘herd’ has more sense than you give it credit for – it will provide conditional support to whoever makes sense, as the recent one-sided spat between Barkha Dutt and Arnab shows. We understand the democratic spirit of the Constitution, and hence want that even elite journalists are held accountable to the same legal standards that an ordinary blogger is. And don’t worry, the youth of this country is already fighting the establishment – but the real establishment is not the current 2 year old NDA Government that has riled you up, but the Nehruvian ‘Idea of India’ gang that has dominated every institution of this country since Independence. We leave you to ponder over this set of tweets by the inimitable @rahulroushan

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