This is an old technique of our pseudo-intellectuals. Attack and abuse.. but never engage in a debate or discussion over the issues raised or the arguments made.
Sesham Kopena Poorayet…. goes an old adage. What remains when you run out of arguments is anger and abuse.
What Dr. Subramanian Swamy had written in an article titled “How to wipe out Islamic terror in India” are his views. One may or may not agree with his views. The article was found fit for publication by the editor of a prestigious Mumbai-based English daily.
Ideally our intellectuals should have responded by countering Dr. Swamy’s arguments and opinions. Instead what we hear are endless invectives. I am not giving any opinion on the content of the article here. But how can I or anybody else deny Dr. Swamy his right to articulate his views?
In fact the political mission of many Islamists is under scrutiny all over the world. Tons of literature can be found in US and Europe over political Islam. In the most liberal parts of the world issues relating to Islam and its political ambitions are debated freely and opinions freely expressed. But in our country it is a complete taboo.
I am not surprised about the reactions from politicians like Digvijay Singh. In fact we can ignore them. For, they are just merchants of votes, rather unscrupulous. They don’t read books that they go to release. We don’t need to imagine that they had read Dr. Swamy’s piece before condemning him. They are knowledge-proof and information-proof. All that they know is to cynically exploit every opportunity for their narrow vote-bank politics. In fact they must be cribbing and wallowing that ‘Osamaji’ had not telephoned to them before getting killed so that they could have declared a grand nexus between the CIA and the RSS in eliminating ‘Osamaji’ – ‘part of a global anti-Muslim conspiracy’. Ignore them.
But what about our intellectual brigade that lungs out choicest sobriquets at Dr. Swamy for daring to write that article? What about our Minority Commission which is ‘seriously considering’ taking legal action against him?
Don’t forget these were the very same people who vigorously defended using their full vocal might M.F. Hussain when he painted Durga Mata, Sita Mata and Bharat Mata in the nude and obscene. That was described as ‘artistic freedom’. And these were the ones who were defending seditious bellows of Arundhati Roy and Jeelani etc. That was freedom of expression. Why then can Dr. Swamy not enjoy that freedom?
But that is how our pseudo intellectuals operate. They did it before too, several times, with several others. When Syed Shahabuddin was attacking Js. Krishna Aiyer on Shahbano judgment or when he was haranguing against Salman Rushdie – remember, without even reading the book Satanic Verses - these intellectuals were not seen anywhere to stop him. They were mute spectators to the fundamentalist Muslims’ targeting of Taslima Nasreen and their hurling of choicest invectives at her. Even to this day she runs from pillar to post every six months to ensure that the Indian Government doesn’t throw her out under the pressure of the fundamentalist groups.
In all these cases the refrain of these pseudo intellectuals is that the sentiments and sensitivities of the Muslims must be kept in mind. Let me recall that when Ayatollah Khomeini declared fatwa of death against Rushdie the great American Democrat and former President Jimmy Carter didn’t ask for the Ayatollah or the Muslims to show greater sensitivity to the right to freedom of expression of other people. Instead he only called for greater Western sensitivity to Muslim feelings. So did Margaret Thatcher of the UK.
Our pseudo intellectuals don’t bother when a Derek van Gogh is murdered or a Geert Wilders is made to make umpteen number of rounds of the courts or a Scandinavian magazine office becomes a target of repeated attacks for an ordinary cartoon depicting the Prophet or an Ayan Hirsi Ali is hounded out of Netherlands. Their freedom of expression doesn’t count. They pounce on Dr. Swamy in the similar manner for using a platform to express his views. He must be thrown out of Harvard; he must be prosecuted.
Now are they not the real Fascists – the Liberal Fascists?