NaMo’s stand more credible than liberal rage


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27 Aug 2012

 
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In December of 2007, Karan Thapar wrote a column in the Hindustan Times with hateful rhetoric against Narendra Modi, using phrases like “sudden removal of Narendra Modi”. In July of 2010, Vir Sanghvi, writing in a column, called Narendra Modi a Serbian war criminal. This, after routinely slandering Modi as a “mass murderer” and likening him to Hitler.

In fact, one has lost count of the number of hate-filled columns written by assorted Left-liberal and Muslim commentators repeating the Hitler slur. Leave alone the amount of abuse and personal slander, including explicit threats, that come Modi’s way across social media on a daily basis.

Hence it was amusing to see celebrity television anchors and assorted voices in social media cry hypocrisy over Modi’s decision to protest the Sonia Gandhi-led UPA’s clumsy attempt at political censorship of the Internet. Narendra Modi protests censorship by UPA

Slandering Modi has been a matter of habit for many so-called ‘liberal’ commentators. In July of 2011, historian Ramachandra Guha got his history abysmally wrong when he sought to inject Modi into a column on free speech with false claims of a ban on a Aamir Khan movie. This was after another column by Guha in April of 2011 that reeked of class prejudice against Modi. One can count at least three editorials in the Indian Express over the past many years making false claims on Modi. Leave alone the manner in which clips from the movie Parzania were interlaced with Tehelka’s sting-op on the 2002 riots back in 2007 ahead of a key State election.

The sum total of the hatred and slander expressed towards Modi should make many sit up and wonder how many defamation suits, criminal complaints and content removal requests were filed?

In stark contrast to the thin-skinned celebrity anchors and the Sonia Gandhi-led Congress, not even one complaint was filed.

Apart from independent MPs like Rajeev Chandrashekhar, Modi is the only major politician who has been steadfast in speaking up on attempts to censor the Internet. Not even the other rockstar politician in social media, Shashi Tharoor, has been unequivocal in speaking out on social media freedom.

Those ‘liberals’ who bring up the two book bans by Modi’s Government in Gujarat should look within for having failed the Evelyn Beatrice Hall test on free speech themselves on Subramanian Swamy’s column in DNA. As despicable and bigoted that column was it did not issue a call for violence while seeking to accomplish the bigoted agenda by the most constitutional of means — a two thirds majority in Parliament.

Those who could not find within themselves to defend Swamy’s right to free but bigoted speech have no credibility in judging others’ record on free speech. The two book bans while unfortunate pale in significance when compared to the extent of tolerance Modi has shown towards his most vicious critics in social media and mainstream media.

The reality of free speech in India is there is none given the spate of laws and court judgements. Rather than getting into a lose-lose debate of one upmanship over free speech credentials, all digitally active Indian citizens must recognise that this was an attempt at political censorship by the Sonia Gandhi-led UPA. Instead of getting sanctimonious over free speech credentials every digitally active citizen should join in to speak up against this political censorship lest a wrong precedent be set that will come back to haunt them in future.

(The writer is a commentator on Indian politics and public policy. Opinions expressed in this article are his personal views.)


Shashi Shekhar is the CEO of Niti Digital. Views expressed here are his personal opinions and do not in anyway reflect the Editorial Stance of Niti Central.

(c) NiTi Digital. Reproduction and/or reposting of this content is strictly prohibited under copyright laws.


 
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  • Sri

    Even two weeks back Mani Shankar Aiyer was calling Modi a Devil when Barkha Dutt who was the anchor for the show was smiling gleefully

  • Sri

    They blocked some websites on causing communal tension. Well then weren’t other Hindu Organization right in asking for ban on M.F.Hussain arts which most Hindus found offensive. Werent they defended in the name of artistic freedom. Who defines what is hate speech/picture or artistic/free picture/speech. And how?

  • Jitendra Desai

    Karan Thapars or Veer Sanghavis or Barkha Dutts of the liberal world will have to learn or have already learnt about the “benefits” of siding with the “family” and its courtiers.No one watches them or listens to them!
    “Niti Central” should do some research on actual TRPs of these channels.People [ or majority of them] have stopped watching TV news channels because they are so full of such one sided crap and harangues.
    Time is ripe for blogospheres like this one to truly liberate people from the stranglehold of the established media houses on people and their minds.
    “Family” and friends are truly rattled because of enormous amount of illwill that they have earned since 2009.It is visible on social media.Hence these shouts for censorship.Check any news item related to NaMo on TOI website [ for eg] and check the number of +ve and -ve comments.Then check about news item related to Rahul Gandhi and check comments.
    “Family” and friends have forgotten the fates of likes of V C Shukla and 1977 when it did not win a single seat in entire north India.South was the saviour then.Now? Where from will you win majority? from AP? TN?Kerala? Karnataka?

  • http://twitter.com/bracerohit Rohit Shukla

    Many of so called liberals/NGO/intellectuals/journos/Cong politicians have given wrong number of deaths in Gujarat riot. Against 1000 deaths people have said 3000 or 5000 people died, isn’t it rumour spreading? Why no ban on media to misguide Muslims of India to create enmity towards Hindus and particularly Gujarati? All people have given numerous wrong facts like riots continue for months (complete lie, it had all of the incidents on first 2 days except very minor incidents later), police did nothing, army was not called (all these are proved wrong after Supreme Court monitored investigation). Gujaratis already know truth but MSM has spread falsehood for over decade to people outside Gujarati about what happened in 2002.

  • Bharati

    Dr Swamy’s article can be read at http://bharatabharati.wordpress.com/2011/10/04/how-to-wipe-out-islamic-terror-subramanian-swamy/ . Readers may judge for themselves whether it is “despicable and bigoted” – or a fair analysis of the jihadi mindset and objective, and a necessary warning to kaffirs for our self-protection and survival.

    • Vishal Desai

      Exactly, let the citizen decide what they want, rather than giving a judgement that the article was “despicable and bigoted”. It is one of the best article, with point wise analysis, and a methodical way to takle the rising Islamic terrorism.

  • Manoj

    By the same argument the writer/this website, everything could be attributed to be Pro-BJP err. i.e Modi! They write about everything that is wrong with Modi. You write as if there is no better person than him. At the end, I am forced to feel would/could there be any media with no political inclinations but just pure news reporting!

  • BHUPENDRA MODY

    MODI IS TRUE DEMOCRATE…FOR LAST TEN-TWELVE YEARS ALL MEDIA BARONS ABUSED HIM LIKE ANYTHING AS PER THEIR CAPACITY….BUT THERE IS NO REVENGEFUL ACTION FROM MODI….IF THEY BEHAVED IN SUCH A MANNER WITH SONIA..HER FAMILY AND CONGRESS……DID THEY ALLOWED IT ?????????????

  • Jayesh

    I am so glad to see these corrupt TV channels choking on their own hatered towards India. Soon they disappear from India, the better will be our country. More TRP downfall to follow. Cheers.

  • http://twitter.com/rkedar1 Kedar

    The words “despicable and bigoted” used to describe Dr.Subramaniam Swamy’s article should ideally be attributed to ignorance. But this is no ordinary Mortal. This is Shashi “offstumped” Shekhar or “Yossarin”. The expectations are higher.

    It is just too easy even for a non-IITian like me to see how Hindu majority in India is necessary for preserving our national character, a healthy economy and harmony among religions. It is also obvious that predatory religions are aiming to push us into being a minority in our own country. This is just what Dr.Swamy advocated. There was no hatred in his article. It was more of a way out for preserving our national character and keeping at bay, the eternal hatred others have for Hinduism.

    Could all this have escaped Shashi Shekhar? I am sorry to say I no longer trust you Sir! I fear you may have crossed over to the dark side.