I have a friend who believes that pretty much all the journalists who ply their their trade at corporate media outlets are conniving, disingenuous “frauds” and liberal propaganda peddling “jokers”. He refers to the journalistic community at large with the sweeping epithet “Presstitutes” a not so oblique reference to what he feels is a sellout of journalistic ethics for ideological/material benefit. He definitively believes that ‘Mass Media’ in India is controlled by raging liberals and their leitmotif is to preside over the annihilation of the Hindu right wing movement and chasing every conservative party out of the halls of Power.
I’ve a friend who believes that secularism is a liberal sham and derides anybody who identifies themselves as secular. Presto! ‘Pseudo-Secular’ he anoints them . He instinctively clubs all liberals, progressives, libertarians, communists, feminists, environmentalists et.al. together under the ‘liberal frauds’ category. He brands anyone from the ‘majority community’ who is seen to stand in solidarity with the minorities as being a turncoat ‘pseudo-secular Rudaali’ (Another one of his coopted epithets). ‘Rudaali’s historically and traditionally have been women (generally from the lower caste) for hire in the north-western part of the Indian sub-continent who would weep at funerals to mourn the deceased from a higher caste family.’ He quite understandably then wants to banish all these “pseudo seculars” from India.
This is the same friend who was ‘hopping mad’ recently after Aamir Khan’s comments on the prevailing climate of intolerance in India and more importantly his off-the-cuff (IMHO a bit of hyperbole) revelation about his wife’s fears.
My friend raved and ranted with gusto and fervor on social media platforms of every ilk after the news broke. He might even have taken to the rooftops and cried himself hoarse to make his disgust public! He sprang up in a ‘very’ cavalier fashion to call for the ‘very’ serious charges of treason and sedition against Aamir!!
My friend and ‘his friends of the same feather’ who run seasonal cottage industries of ‘manufactured outrage’ and ‘fabricated truth’ quite predictably hit the ground running as ’tis is the season of Aamir (read liberal) bashing’. Facebook, WhatsApp, the blogosphere and everything in-between were flooded with the ‘handicrafts’; some calling for Aamir’s head, others taking great pains (read sarcasm) to direct him towards a safer country for his family and almost all campaigning tirelessly for a boycott of his upcoming movies and the brands he currently endorses. ‘If you want to neutralize a person, them destroy her/his reputation and livelihood’.
A right-wing numbnut actually announced a reward for anyone who could slap Aamir Khan!!
These ‘pseudo-patriots’ (How could I resist the temptation to coin one of mine!) and their ‘fabrication units’ ramped up production to full capacity. They distorted and disseminated any IP (Intellectual property) they could lay their hands on ranging from Chanakya’s aphorisms (who is currently the flavor of the season for the ‘pseud0-conservatives’ in India) to even the ‘Kaafir liberal Muslim’ Taslima Nasrin’s tweets to drive home their odious spin.
But Aamir is not even the real story!!
The real story is the relentless, execrable, and rabid attacks on Kiran Rao who is Aamir’s second wife. Kiran Rao who merely confided in her husband about hear fears for the safety of her children in an environment she perceived to be increasingly intolerant. This innocuous observation precipitated a plethora of lurid jokes, she overnight became the target of filthy innuendo and even brazen threats were issued by the self-proclaimed “Dharmyodha’s” (zealots).
It is not what she said (which was later paraphrased and boradcasted by Aamir) which got the dander up of my dear ‘pseudocons’ but the fact that a Hindu woman who married a Muslim man (automatic outcaste) had the gall to opine on the prevailing state of affairs in the country.
To add to her woes, she chose to enter into matrimony with a man who has 2 scalps (2 hindu wives) to show for his ‘Love Jihad’. Additionally, he also berated the Hindu Gods in his movie PK and thus by extension severely offended the fragile sensibilities of our dear pseudocons. A movie which was an attempt to hold a mirror to organized religion and apprise it’s guardians of the ills that blight it. Aaamir was merely the actor in this movie. The the writer, director and producer were by the way three Hindus (obviously liberal frauds)! The very same movie as a matter of fact raked in a paltry 735 Crore Rupees worldwide (~$110 million) which goes on to show the level of acceptance of both its content and concept by the Indian public!! But then I digress and since when have the pseudocons started caring about facts……
Coming back to Kiran Rao and the broadside launched against her both online and off it is nothing else but bigotry manifesting itself in all it’s forms -social, political and religious. Kiran and Aamir were just soft targets but the broader crusade (This crusade is both vile and violent) is against anyone and everyone who espouses a contrarian viewpoint to that of the pseudocons. This is the ‘Intolerance’ that Aamir was referring to and the ‘Fear’ that Kiran was referencing.
Aamir did not back down and neither should anyone else. The country and its constitution were built on the foundation of free speech and no amount of intimidation, trolling and harassment is going to muzzle it. Let this be known my dear ‘pseudocons’ that the ‘liberal frauds’ are undeniably articulate and adept at making their voices heard and therefore they aren’t going to stop anytime soon, come hell or high-water. So please tolerate the intolerable!!
On a lighter note, Swachh Bharat is in full flight and we can use this program to not only rid our villages, towns and cities of garbage but also cleanse the putrid ideological crud that clogs and clouds the minds of my friend and his friends.