People have become wise; anti-Modi propaganda will soon be redundant

 People have become wise; anti-Modi propaganda will soon be redundant

The incidents of stone pelting on Hindu community’s processions by members of Muslim community recently led to a spate of comments by the Left or Left-Liberal academicians, office bearers of foreign NGOs etc who paint a distorted picture of situation in India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s governance.
Life & More has been trying to dig deep into this issue by speaking to senior academicians from various fields of study to get to know the reasons behind these emerging concerns. Our Contributor Satyendra Bhardwaj spoke to the Senior Academician Dr Mihir Bholey and discussed the various aspects of the anti-Hindu, anti-Modi narrative that is being pushed since eight years. Excerpts:

A lot of propaganda has been unleashed against India and PM Modi by a section of ‘intellectuals’ in India and abroad since eight years…
The more the ‘professional and compulsive’ Modi-baiters try to create a haze of doubt and hatred for him, the more they get exposed and side-lined. To me, these compulsive and ‘professional’ critics do not qualify to be called intellectuals for, an intellectual is a seeker of truth, he can’t be a professional propagandist. This indoctrinated bunch of self-seeking people whose job is to vilify and vandalise India’s glorious past, its rich tradition, arts, science and philosophy are now being questioned and getting exposed. They now stand defenceless, and hence they blame this massive reawakening about Indian civilization and culture on Modi. In the game of perception, this tribe of professional intellectuals are failing miserably. The sooner they realise they have become ridiculous, the better for them.
There is absolutely no doubt that Modi is rated among the tallest and most powerful political personalities of the world- by international media at that, which despite its baseless prejudices cannot ignore the fact that he is a charismatic, sincere, honest and hardworking nationalist leader who has a commitment for India and compassion for the world – all of which reflects in his policies and programmes.
In fact, in a recent survey conducted by the US-based consulting firm Morning Consult, Modi is found to be the most popular global leader with a stunning 71 per cent approval rating. Leaders the world over look up to him, and seek his intervention be it for managing the corona pandemic or Ukrainian crisis.

Do you view Modi government ‘anti-Muslim’?
This question must be answered in a wider perspective. I moved to Ahmedabad from Bihar in 1992, and I’m now settled here. I have a first-hand experience of three decades of Gujarat’s political evolution. This, of course, includes the period Modi’s chief ministership and the turbulent period of communal flare up following the Godhra carnage. Gujarat had a long history of frequent communal riots which predates BJP and Modi era.  However, that’s not a justification, any communal conflict is unacceptable and it must be condemned.
But I have a question to the ‘compassionate intellectuals’: How many of them ever came out of their comfort zone and dared condemn what happened to the Kar Sevaks burnt alive in Godhra? Not a word for the charred souls! And that’s a bitter history. We know as TS Eliot has said: “History has many cunning passages, contrived corridors, And issues, deceives with whispering ambitions, Guides us by vanities.” 
The ‘professional’ intellectuals guided by their vanity tried to paint it in the light of their own doctrine. They became too partisan in their judgement to be true and believed. Today, even many among the Muslims realise that the brand Modi is all about “Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sab ka Prayas”. This mantra is resonating and manifests in all the welfare schemes of the Modi government which is benefitting all communities alike, including the Muslims.

Is it being done to create a rift in India’s increasing engagement with Arabs and Modi’s relations with Arab leaders?
Well, it may be part of the larger strategy to run a defaming campaign against Modi to get some eyeballs internationally. However, anybody who understands even a little bit of international relations and politics would call it naive and childish. Let me explain that: We’re living in a multipolar world where the terms of engagements are quite transactional. As our Foreign Minister S Jaishankar puts it; in this new world order we have no friends, no enemies, we have only ‘Frenemies’ which is nations with whom we’re friendly despite having fundamental dislike or rivalry. The Arab world also knows it well. They have recognised the potential of the emerging India and its global clout under Narendra Modi. Hence, both Saudi and UAE conferred upon him their highest civilian award. It has irritated the Modi baiters to their core so they have reinforced their campaign. As far as the Arab world is concerned, it knows entering into India’s domestic communal-secular debate will do them more harm than good so they would not like to be a party to its internal politics. They have rather chosen to make huge investments in J&K. In the globalised era economic decisions and diplomatic relations are based on pragmatism and realism. They’re not guided by the emotional call of Muslim Ummah or Islamic brotherhood, not anymore.

A number of academicians who were close to previous regime have presented the recent attacks on Hindu community’s processions in a way as if the Muslim community is victim…
Let’s all accept that communal peace and harmony is a crucial precondition for the growth and prosperity of a nation. It’s everybody’s responsibility to maintain it, be it Hindu or Muslim. However, in reality it can’t be one’s commitment and other’s entitlement. The ‘professional’ intellectuals are doing a great harm to our Muslim brothers and sisters and to the nation by giving an ideological cover fire to protect anti-social elements and spinning one-sided narratives. Such narratives and fear-mongering force them to live in ghettos to get a false sense of security. This sentiment is exploited by vested interest groups and poor people are victimised. The real victims are not the people or property but the interfaith understanding which keeps breeding endless enmity. Why don’t the academicians address these issues? Why with their writings and findings they do not encourage people to abandon the ghettos and live with the rest so that they’re not utilized by those who incite communal passion? I wonder why the academicians and intellectuals don’t carry out an empirical study of ghettoization of our cities and their role in communal conflicts. There are better things for them to do. Fortunately, in our country law and justice work impartially and it should continue to do so.

Don’t you think that consolidation of Muslim votes against BJP is a proof that they have succeeded?
My answer to this is both yes and no. There is no doubt that a while a vast majority among Muslims is made to believe that BJP is an anti-Muslim party, but there is also a subaltern minority among Muslims who realise all political parties just use them as vote banks and do nothing concrete for their betterment. So while the Triple Talaq Act gave huge respite to our Muslim sisters a section kept presenting it as an interference in their custom. But when Ujjwala, Pradhanmantri Awas Yojana, Jan Dhan Yojana, Mudra Yojana and their like started giving benefit to all, a silent realisation has creeped in. As compared to Congress and Communist parties, BJP is a relatively a new political party. It has a long way to go. If it continues its welfare measures, ensures their benefits reach all and yet succeeds in delivering the message that it believes in justice to all and appeasement to none, things will change. After all, politics is a game of possibilities.

But won’t this narrative of Modi government being anti-Muslim impact young impressionable minds?
Repeating a false statement several times over doesn’t make it a truth. Our national credo is Satyamev Jayate so will it be. It’s a long battle between propaganda and truth. There’re no substantial facts on ground, there’re indoctrinated views and biased opinions. I would like to use Noam Chomsky’s argument of ‘Manufacturing Consent’ in a different perspective. In the age of strong media and all pervasive social media, the ‘professional’ intellectuals are precisely doing that. They’re trying to manufacture consent to create dissent, disregard and despondency. I am also reminded of Harold Lasswell’s famous dictum:  Who says what, in which channel, to whom, with what effect? We must understand the people who are creating either false or one-sided opinionated narrative are losing their impact too. Because the narrative they’re communicating are more personalised than factual. So it’ll not go on forever. People are getting fed up with the same people repeating same utterances and jargons in same channels. So the effect is getting lost. It’ll become redundant soon.




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