“India is being ruled by a Hindu Taliban,” read the headline of the article by Anish Kapoor in The Guardian. Being a very passionate football fan, I was fairly aware that the British Media’s idea of Journalism often bordered on schizophrenic levels of delusion but I was under the impression their political wing was much better than the sports section. But as it so happens, I was quite wrong about the prevalent set of affairs in British Media. As it turns out, if the Columnists in the Sports Section are Happy-Go-Lucky loons, then their Political Counterparts are vicious propagandists. In other words, if the Sports Columnists were Rahul Gandhi, then the Political Columnists would be Lalu Prasad Yadav.
Well, Mr. Anish Kapoor, I do not know which planet you are living in but in my planet, the Taliban doesn’t contest democratic elections and not only that, the Taliban doesn’t even believe in the concept of free and fair Democratic Elections either. And not just that, I have never heard of the Taliban building toilets for girls in schools so that they could get educated. Nor have I heard any Taliban Spokesperson raise slogans along the lines of ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao.’ But that’s all irrelevant to you, quite obviously, given your ideological inclinations.
Also, Mr. Kapoor, the Hindu Taliban you are referring to lost a State Election recently. In fact, it suffered a heavy defeat at the hand of its rivals. And it might surprise you to know that the Hindu Taliban made no effort at overturning the decision of the Voters. No suicide bombers, no public beheading, no inflammatory speeches, absolutely nothing. Pretty hard, then, to see this government as your mythical ‘Hindu Taliban.’
One sentence I found particularly hilarious from the article was this: “If there is one thing that has marked the man’s first year and a half in power it is this: he is not a man who takes kindly to scrutiny or criticism.” Well, all I can say is, when life gives you a Kapoor, make it Anil Kapoor, not Anish Kapoor. To everyone with a remote inkling of what’s going on in India is aware of the fact that Narendra Modi faces constant criticism from all sections of the Media 24/7 without a break. To make such an absurd claim about the Prime Minister is nothing short of slanderous. I can already imagine your Indian counterparts having a hearty laugh after reading that sentence.
Well, Mr. Anish Kapoor, you should know you have gone overboard when the Father of the RSS is like ISIS remark, Irfan Habib says you are ‘overdoing’ it. Well, Mr. Habib, I am pretty sure you are mighty frustrated with the Guardian yourself. Not necessarily because it has published an article that says India is ruled by a Hindu Taliban but because it has come a bit too early to have much impact in the next elections.
But hold on, dear readers, the lunacy is far from over yet. Our dear Anish Kapoor somehow manages to blame Narendra Modi even for a transgression the government of Tamil Nadu committed! He writes,”A few weeks ago, even a musician who sang a satirical song criticising the chief minister and state government of Tamil Nadu over alcohol sales was charged with “anti-Indian activity”.” In one single sentence, Anish Kapoor demonstrates the remarkable ignorance he harbors regarding the existing Political Scenario of India.
Also, the fact that the Columnist totally glossed over the March For India protests where hundreds and thousands of people took to the street to march for India’s pride reeks of Intellectual Dishonesty. The least he could have done is mention the divide even among the Intellectual Fraternity regarding Modi’s intolerant image in a single sentence. But even that was too much effort for the man. Does the voice of the ordinary citizens of India mean nothing to you, Mr. Kapoor or is it that the ‘Intellectuals’ are more equal in your eyes than the rest?
To his credit, unlike Barkha Dutt and Rajdeep Sardesai, he did not invent facts out of thin air to paint Modi in a bad light. If he did have the ability to conjure facts, with the ability to spin like that, he could have given our journos a run for our money. But coming back to the point, his narrative was fixed before he even touched the pen, he knew what the theme of his article would be beforehand, he just needed facts to back him up, which thanks to the internet is readily available to everyone concerned.
From a politically neutral perspective, Anish Kapoor’s article reminds me distinctly of the Indian Legend which tells the of story a few blind men who went to see an Elephant. And upon touching different parts of the Elephant’s body, the six blind men describe the elephant in six completely different ways. Anish Kapoor is one such man, who blinded by his ideological and political inclinations, sees only some isolated events and twists facts to fit his narrative.
But from the point of view of an ardent BJP supporter, one tends to spot the pattern almost immediately. The Left Liberal Ecosystem rising up in arms against the most popular Right-Wing Leader in the World at the moment. In totally unrelated events, which may or may not help my readers understand the columnist’s views better, Sonia Gandhi inaugurated Anish Kapoor’s exhibition in Delhi in 2010. Samajhdar ko Ishara Kaafi hota hai.
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