Ever since Narandra Modi stormed into the PM Office, there have been many events which could have never been predicted. Afterall, who could have predicted that Modi would be voted as the world’s 2nd most popular leader across global surveys?
Or, who could have predicted that India would overtake China’s growth this year?
Or, who could have predicted that, in Morgan Stanley’s own words, “Damage of six years have been reversed in a matter of a year”?
However, there has been one thing that has been predictable, and it is: The media narrative which has been predominantly “Anti-Modi”.
The media in India is a specimen by itself, which thrives not just on TRPs, but also by peddling its propaganda to further its agenda. For example, 2 years ago (much before Modi came to power), we had extensive discussions on media’s propaganda in the following analysis article:
Also, we had recently discussed about the ink attacks and found how how all evidences point it out to just being another “anti-Modi” agenda, in this analysis:
Today, let’s analyze the latest propaganda, which has been popularly packaged & peddled as “Rising intolerance in India under Modi”.
I had initially snubbed it as just another TRP-bait, but over the last few days, as the chorus grew across intellectuals & religious leaders, I decided to track this more closely. The gist of the narrative is that Indians, especially “Hindu fanatics” have grown intolerant, increasing violence, and the govt headed by “Hindu leader” Modi has been suppressing freedom of expression of its citizens.
Increasing violence? That would be the last thing one would have even imagined in the last few months, because we neither had any riots, nor any sort of significant disturbances, except for couple of stray incidents and may be a couple of laughable statements which can be shrugged aside. In fact, statistics show that the number of communal incidents have actually decreased ever since Modi came to power. This has been presented in the parliament as well, and nobody has been able to deny or counter these statistics which were actually a consolidation of the statistics collected from all the State Governments of India.
Hence, the issue of increasing violence has been debunked because official statistics say otherwise. So, what else is the problem? Intellectuals complain about suppression of freedom of expression under Modi Govt. Their argument is that the “Hindu radical” govt headed by Modi, is threatening their freedom of expression.
I went through the interviews of some of the dissenting intellectuals, but could not find any instance where they could substantiate their views with evidences. For example, when Nandita Das says “Don’t think freedom of expression ever been so threatened“, nowhere does she say what made her feel so. Did the Modi Govt ban any of her films or writings? Did the Modi Govt pull down any of her posts/blogs on the internet?
In fact, ever since Modi has come to power, there has been increase in the freedom of expression. During the Congress regime, one had to be under constant fear of getting arrested, even for just writing something against Sonia Gandhi.
For example, in 2008, during Congress (UPA) rule, a techie (not a goon but just a software engineer) was arrested. His crime? He wrote something against Sonia Gandhi!!
There have been instances of young boys & girls getting arrested just because they criticized Congress or uploaded some funny cartoon mocking Sonia Gandhi. Here is one such news from 2013.
And, how can we forget the legendary Kapil Sibal, under the auspices of Sonia Gandhi, wanted to curb social media by imposing draconian laws? It had become such a great controversy about freedom of expression that the youth had to actually take on to the streets, and several magazines conveyed their condemnation through front covers like these (depicting Sibal as Hitler)
Coming back to the topic, have we seen any such arrests or interference by Modi Govt in any medium including television, internet, publishing or social media? Just do a simple google search or follow twitter trends, and you can find several articles, cartoons & propaganda against Modi, but there has not been even a single action taken against anybody by the Govt.
Hence, the allegation of suppression of freedom of expression by Modi Govt is also debunked.
So, if there is neither any increase in violence (religious/communal), and nor is there any curb on freedom of expression, then why is there such a propaganda of “Rising intolerance in India under Modi”? And who are doing it?
To understand this, we must first categorize the kind of voices that have been raking up these propagandic lies. They can be broadly classified into 2 major voices:
1) The intellectuals
2) The religious bodies
Let’s take up the intellectuals first. If there is one thing for which Congress deserves credit, it is for its success in creating & nurturing an ecosystem of sycophants, popularly referred to as “Lutyens club” in which intellectuals form a significant part, and the rest being just influential party workers. The way in which the ecosystem functions, is reminiscent of the Mughal Durbar. Those who have been following Indian politics for decades might agree that such Durbari functioning of administration & governance has been the DNA of Congress, especially after Indira Gandhi came to power. Those who are interested to delve deeper into this can read Tavleen Singh’s book “Durbar” which we had discussed recently here:
Also, here is something interesting for further reading:
Although the “Durbar” is based in Delhi, the tentacles are spread far & wide, across geographies as well. For example, Anish Kapoor, who writes regular columns for The Guardian (UK) is one of the intellectuals who leaves no stone unturned in mudslinging against an elected government, due to his vested interests which lies with the Lutyens club (Durbar ecosystem of Congress Party).
The following piece by Anish Kapoor in an international publication gives an idea of the kind of politics that is being played by these Lutyens intellectuals on a global scale, at the cost of tarnishing India’s image.
Talking about the intellectuals, writers & poets who are returning their awards, the less said the better. If you notice the pattern, it becomes very clear that only those whose awards were questionable & were loyal to Congress (some of them had won awards because they had praised emergency in 1975), are now suddenly feeling intolerance & are not even substantiating their views with evidences.
Such is the nature of the controversy over their awards that, exactly 20 years ago, in November 1995, there was a scathing attack on these so called intellectuals in Outlook magazine, revealing their Congress nexus (on the lines of Mafia) & exposing their hollow talents. Following is an excerpt from the 1995 article titled “The Literary Mafia”, with the link to the complete archive of the article.
As I was saying at the beginning of this article, the frustration, fear & outrage from these intellectuals were actually predicted long before Modi became PM. The following is an article by Tavleen singh way back in 2012 in which she briefly explains the ecosystem of Congress durbar politics nurturing intellectuals who staunchly defend the party, and how such intellectuals fear Modi because he would push them to obscurity.
As all of us would agree, such a mafia needs cleanup. And as these intellectuals had feared, this was one of the first things Modi had taken up soon after he stormed into office in 2014. Within 3 months, he had already been successful in evicting ex MPs & ministers who were overstaying in Lutyens Bungalows.
By the end of 2014, the intellectuals realized that their worst fears would come true, and it would be their turn next. Although they knew their potential in influencing the media narrative, they were running out of ideas to attack Modi. It was in the beginning of 2015 when Obama’s statements about religious intolerance came as blessing in disguise and they latched on to it. It was decided to use this “intolerance” agenda to carry out their agenda because the very fact that it was acknowledged by the US President Obama, would add more credibility to their propaganda.
Whether Obama was right or not is a different debate altogether. Few months ago, we had discussed & analyzed it in this article here:
Since then, slowly but steadily, the propaganda of “growing intolerance” has gained prominence, with the help of media, and the news reporters mixing this propaganda into everything to such an extent that in the recent Chennai floods, the Indian Navy which was busy rescuing stranded victims, was being asked if “rising intolerance” was affecting its efforts!!
The intellectual artists who were silent all these months have also joined the bandwagon, mainly because they are being asked to vacate the govt bungalows which they were overstaying & had taken up for granted.
For example, just a few days ago, 29th November to be precise, Nandita Das cried hoarse of “rising intolerance” and a threat to freedom of expression, without providing any evidences to substantiate her allegations. Guess why? Because just a few days before 29th November, as per the protocols, her family was issued eviction notice to vacate the Govt bungalow in which they were overstaying.
Following are the clippings from news sources which shows how these protests are linked to Lutyens cleanup act (click image to enlarge)
Recently, SRK had also jumped into the bandwagon of peddling the propaganda of “growing intolerance”. In fact, he emphasized that there is “extreme intolerance” in India, during an interview with Rajdeep Sardesai.
Note that he had been silent all these years, but suddenly complained of “extreme intolerance” on 2nd November 2015. Guess what? Just 4 days ago, he was summoned for forex violation.
In this manner, if we look at the pattern & go deeper into each individual case, we will be able to narrow down the root cause, and we find that the root cause is no way related to any form of intolerance or suppression, but only related to money & comfort, which these intellectuals & celebrities have taken for granted and obviously feel suppressed when it is sanitized.
Now that we have debunked the intellectual propaganda of intolerance & suppression of freedom of expression, let’s turn our attention to the next point i.e Religious intolerance.
As mentioned earlier, there have actually been a decrease in the number of communal incidents after Modi came to power. And as we had discussed in an earlier analysis, almost all the Church attacks were either stray incidents or random events, no way related to religion in the first place.
If there is no increase in violence, and no evidence to substantiate their allegations of “rising intolerance”, why are the religious bodies still peddling this narrative?
Well, it is not something new, and is in fact a predictable narrative whenever a non-Congress party comes to power.
If one rewinds back to the late 1990s when Vajpayee came to power, the same old tape of “rising intolerance” was being played by the religious bodies with the help of media, who portrayed the NDA Govt as “Radical Hindu Govt suppressing the rights of minorities to promote Hindu interests”.
Following are some of the newspaper clippings from 1998 which shows how the same narrative was being played while NDA came to power.
That’s not all. Writing open letters & appeals to PM Vajpayee was also very common those days. Here is one such open letter in 1999 from the executive director of Human Rights Watch:
Here is an appeal form eminent intellectuals through human rights commission to end religious intolerance in India in 1999:
Cover story on intolerance in India, published in an international Catholic magazine in 2001:
So, now comes the big question: Why do religious bodies like Christian missionaries hate BJP but love Congress? That’s because Congress party has been allowing missionaries to thrive and even support them in their agenda of using illegal funds to carry out covert conversions in India using NGOs as their masks/proxies.
During Congress rule between 2004 & 2014, thousands of NGOs had mushroomed all over India, receiving funds from missionaries against Indian laws & were using these illegal money for their agenda (conversions) through a proportionate mushrooming of thousands of churches. i.e NGOs were the financial proxies, while Churches were the religious proxies which depended on the NGOs to “harvest” millions of people.
This 2 min clips gives a very good idea of how a Congress party at the centre boosts the confidence of missionaries to carry out their agendas.
These religious bodies knew that that their music will play only as long as the Congress is in power. When Congress lost power, the fears of these religious bodies came true. As soon as Modi became power, this was one of the tasks he took up on priority, based on the findings of Intelligence Bureau.
Thousands of NGOs which have mostly been illegally using such unaccounted funds to carry out missionary activities were banned within few months.
Such was the efficiency of Modi Govt in sanitizing the NGO space, that the US, which indirectly promotes religious conversions, could not tolerate any longer & openly slammed Modi for it, but in vain, because Govt had already banned these NGOs & was determined not to change its stand.
So, it would not come as a surprise at all if religious organizations hate Modi (or any non-Congress party for that matter) because their agenda’s progress hits a roadblock. Hence, such sudden propaganda of “rising intolerance” is one of the ways in which they try to blackmail the Govt. However, it looks like Modi Govt has been strong enough not to budge, since most of such NGOs were successfully banned, and the drying of funds are very much evident now.
Although the NGOs have been tackled, the after-effects are still being witnessed. Religious bodies & missionaries, instead of acknowledging a peaceful & legal route, are still using every possible victim game & blackmail techniques to put pressure on Modi Govt to succumb, and are probably using their global influence also to achieve it, but thanks to the strong leadership at the centre, all their efforts are going down in vain. It might take a while before the propaganda of “religious intolerance” dies its own death, while the billion Indians living in peaceful coexistence will be looked up as a shining example of a truly secular nation with development for all, and appeasement for none.
Let’s summarize the analysis & findings now.
1) The narrative of “rising intolerance” is a strategic, well coordinated propaganda of anti-Modi forces.
2) The voices peddling this propaganda can be broadly classified into two: Intellectuals & Religious bodies.
3) The dissenting intellectuals are actually a part of the Durbar system of Congress, popularly referred to as Lutyens Club, who were being nurtured by Congress & generously rewarded with all kinds of benefits (against laws & protocols) to ensure their continued loyalty (and sycophancy) towards the Congress party.
4) A lot has been written & debated about the literary mafia over the last 25 years, and it is this mafia which is revolting in the form of Award Wapsi because they are sinking into oblivion.
5) The narrative of rising intolerance is not new because the same was being played even during Vajpayee rule, when BJP came to power.
6) This happens whenever Congress goes out of power because religious (minorities) bodies like missionaries hit a roadblock in furthering their agenda.
7) Thousands of NGOs had mushroomed during UPA rule, and these NGOs were illegally receiving thousands of crores of rupees & that unaccounted money was mostly used for conversion purposes.
8) As soon as Modi came to power, he had begun a crackdown on these NGOs, which had not gone down well with US, due to which Obama had openly called India an intolerant nation & invoked Mahatma Gandhi’s name.
9) The intellectuals of Lutyens club, who were struggling to search an agenda to hit back at Modi, found Obama’s statements as blessing in disguise & latched on to it because the very fact that it came from US president would add more credibility to their propaganda now.
10) Over the next few months, all these religious bodies & intellectuals, with the mainstream media as their platform, have been peddling this propaganda of “rising intolerance”, but in vain since Indians who have been living in peaceful coexistence, are clever enough to discard it as just another political gimmick.
Coming to the big question: Is the phenomenon of rising intolerance a propaganda or reality? Is it really rising intolerance (of fundamentalism) under Modi, or is it rising intolerance (of intellectuals & missionaries) against Modi?
To receive notifications of such insights & analysis in future, consider subscribing through email