Saturday, March 13, 2021

How mass media was used to 'otherize' Muslims and change Indian society: Culture, propaganda and Hindutva

Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

It was in 1991, a family I knew well. 

The lady said--'Saddam Hussein is right'.

'Muslims should live like 'achche kirayedar' (sic) in India'. What? Saddam!

I was not sure where & whether Saddam even said it but the comment publicly. I was getting sense about the psyche, then. Tenants, what? 

But the feeling that it's our land, you live here but not as 'equal citizens', don't speak or make demands. They thought on these lines: "Why do we even have to fight to take over 'our site' from you, you just give it up, be silent, live at our mercy & feel happy that we let you be here". 

Post Ramanand Sagar effect. The mandir agitation was going on for some years but it was after TV became a medium for propagation of one religion, first Ramayana and Mahabharat, this new change was witnessed. Our neighbours suddenly had a totally different take on things. 

BJP was below 120 seats then. It was the easy, casual expression of such feelings in public--that struck me. Another point was that this family was not from a privileged background, they said that they had suffered earlier.

This family wasn't privileged and had suffered caste prejudices in the society. Also, faced casteist barbs as the Mandal agitation had taken place just few yrs ago. It takes effort, huge effort to change an entire society.

Communalism took root, dozens of organisations worked [working] nonstop for decades, media and mass media was given task, from politicians to goons, all power had to be used to create the perception and inject the poison, deep. The subtle manner in which the idea was spread--this land 'belongs' to majority, not them. [Image shows Arvind Rajagopal's book on politics after television]