Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Bad economy can't make people see reason, turn them 'humane': Can't checkmate communalism with this bogus theory

Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

In wake of Haryana 'maha panchayat'--a huge gathering in support of those arrested for lynching a youth, I must say that the belief that recession, unemployment and failing economy will change people for good and make them see reason, is  wrong. 

Ideological turn is not easy despite financial hardships. There were hate speeches openly given at this conclave, and also the threats. 

This shocking episode was followed by silence of top leaders, politicians and lack of coverage in TV channels and 'mainstream' newspapers. Let's talk about it, point wise.

 1. Who propounded this 'theory' that when people are suffering or they are in a financially bad situation, they will become wise and humane and stop reacting to propaganda? It's a bogus and false theory that has no basis.

2. What history tells us? Where was it seen or learnt?  Is is that you just don't want to accept the level of radicalisation in society and hence make it up! Spare us the gyan that 'economic crises' or unemployment will change situation.

3. False. It's not about poor or rich. People can be manipulated by the constant false narrative that they are superior to others. Or through circulation of dangerous ideas like 'certain groups are encroaching, gaining strength, our misery due to them'. 

4. Daily dose of hate & bigotry, poison spread by their men on the ground and through many other mediums like WhatsApp, is an addiction. Pitting people against another section been witnessed, so many times! 

5. Polls or no polls, this never stops. Just because you don't want to see the mirror, don't want to accept the reality, the level, you try to give yourself and others a false hope that, 'people would get tired of this communalism one day, that when they don't have jobs they will realise'. Then, even more easy to sway!

6. Despite restrictions, tens of thousands gather in support of those who lynched a man, and listened to such hateful speeches. After Asif was lynched, tens of thousands gathered, defying Coronavirus restrictions, in support of the lynching accused. How many editorials were written on the situation Haryana? 

7. Most of the TV channels, newspapers avoid reporting, but to ignore this level of right-wing support on ground, hate speeches shows the horrific situation in the media. Clearly, this is because they are part of it, do not accept the rot. Cunningly conceal, give spin. Accomplice!

8. It's now understood well. To say that these are 'diversions' or 'eye on elections' is nothing but an attempt to hide, your inability to speak on it. That's not diversion because elections or no elections, lynchings and forcing youth to raise certain slogans, beating them or targeting Muslims, continues.

9. It's cowardice--politicians, intellectuals, journalists who are all silent on this. As if they don't know the extent of the real project and its aims. As far as many centrist and liberal journalists in India. How they whitewash, it's last point.

10. Many of them always divert by saying, 'ah, fringe'. When it's not possible as too many fanatics seen, they keep mum or act like 'sages', giving advice--ignore.  Or write by balancing, bringing others. Not more expected. No question of 'acceptance', that a major problem exists. 

Without hard work on ground or real movement, society can't change on its own. Once there is ideological shift to such an extent due to propaganda for decades, it can't be 'humanized' on its own. Either a big leader is needed or a revolution. 

A comedian did not utter a joke but was arrested and jailed because cops felt he 'might crack a joke'. However, those who deliver extremely inflammatory speeches, threaten and lynch, don't face prompt or harsh action.

So it all depends on the side of the fence--whether action will be taken or not. Those who spread false info and rumours social media or share fake info that has potential to damage harmony are not touched due to their links in the ecosystem.

It has reached the stage where 'system' is compromised. A slogan that was never made can send youths to jails under harsh sections. But hate speeches that are recorded in gatherings and aired, don't lead to action. Cops later say,  'we are verifying'. 

READ: Failing economy doesn't turn society rational or make people shed bigotry