March 11, 2002


 Search the Internet
Send this page to a friend
Print this page Best Printed on HP Laserjets
Recent Columns
Without tinder,
    sparks are useless
Where's the outrage?
Puppets on a star-
      spangled string
Theatre of the Absurd
Nothing fails like
Who wants a war?
Behaviour patterns

Varsha Bhosle

Déjà vu, all over again

I do not know why readers assume I'm interested in their messages to other columnists -- my inbox is perpetually flooded with mail written to others and CC'd to me! I do not know why readers imagine I need help with news-surfing -- a quarter of my mail constitutes opinions and items I've almost always read yesterday!

Take, for instance, the "news" about the 60 karsevaks being burned to death because they had abducted a 16-year-old Muslim girl: "She kept pleading and begging to them [sic] to stop beating her father and leave him alone. But instead of listening to her woes [sic], the kar kevaks [sic] lifted the young girl and took her inside their compartment S-6 and closed the compartment door shut." Forget the scores of Pakis who sent me that mass-circulated piece of shit, even Indian Muslims and Hindus used it to rationalise the incineration of the karsevaks. And this, amidst condemning me for supposedly justifying the massacre of the Muslims...

A variation of this "news" was produced by Rajiv Chandrasekaran of The Washington Post: "[Karsevaks] exposed themselves to other passengers. They pulled headscarves off Muslim women... They failed to pay for the tea and snacks they consumed at each stop," even quoting a mere deputy superintendent of police saying that the attack on Hindus "was not pre-planned", but "a sudden, provocative incident". No matter that Additional Director General (law and order) of Gujarat police J Mahapatra and The Hindustan Times (Godhra: A planned attack, March 3) and The Pioneer (Dastardly crime, March 1) and The Times of India (Attack could have been pre-planned, February 28) *and* the Intelligence Bureau, all indicate a pre-planned conspiracy. Chandrasekaran simply found "witnesses" he wanted to find.

For "secularists", Muslims always act with good reason, while "retaliation" is what fundamentalist forces, aka Hindus, indulge in. Remember the Radhabai Chawl bake-fest of 1993? This is the country where, while reporting a TADA court's sentencing of the perpetrators of that incident, the ToI felt it necessary to say that the burning alive of 6 Hindus (including a handicapped girl) was "a sequel to the riots which took place in the wake of the demolition of the disputed structure at Ayodhya". Meaning, the burning was "understandable" since the root cause was the Babri demolition. If some set ablaze human beings because a pile of bricks was rearranged, and others killed after humans were roasted alive, guess which of the two groups will be damned forever. Déjà vu, all over again. And thus, from March 5 to date, messages about the villainous karsevaks and the abducted Muslim girl have been steadily trickling in.

Here's some real news for you: The "information" about the abduction was directly lifted from an item on an Islamist Web site purporting to be a news portal, and then embellished with garbage like "I would also mention my sources namely Mr Anil Soni and Neelam Soni (reporters of Gujarat Samachar Newspaper and also member of PTI & ANI) have worked hard to dig the true facts", and gave 3 phone numbers of the Sonis. Well, I found Mr Soni at (02672) 40264. He said, "Are you calling up about the emails? That is complete bogus and rubbish. It is the work of my enemies."

That's how Islamists work -- knowing well what "secularists" *like* to believe.

The portal whence the "news" was lifted proclaims to disseminate "Original Accurate News for the Ummah" and the item in question is written by Rajeel Sheikh and was published on March 2 (which was when I read it, 3 days before dorks sought to enlighten me). To give you an idea about how much Ummah News takes that "Original" seriously -- and which agencies fund the Web site -- here are some gems culled from it:

  • September 15, 2001: Who would really stand to gain the most from such an attack [on the WTC]?... The country best enabled to carry out such a humangeous [sic] feat is not an Arab or a Muslim one, but Israel.
  • September 28: Alex Diamandis, vice-president of sales and marketing, confirmed that workers in Odigo's... sales office in Israel received a warning from another Odigo user approximately two hours prior to the first attack [on the WTC].
  • February 12, 2002: Indian Army murdered 5,359 Kashmiris during 2001... According to the statistics compiled by the Research Section of Kashmir Media Service, 519 women were raped or molested by official Indian rapists [sic!], 2,395 children were orphaned and 871 women were widowed during 2001.
  • February 27: Prominent Kashmiri guerrilla commander martyred... The commander was killed in action after fighting occupying Indian troops for the past 13 years. Rich tributes have been paid to the freedom fighter.
  • March 4: Indian occuapation [sic] forces have killed 12 more Kashmiris in fresh acts of military terrorism.
  • March 5: Indian occupation forces have killed another 22 Kashmiris including 14 in custody in the last 24 hours... The mujahideen have inflicted their own losses on the occupying army... Quoting statements by senior Indian police and army officials the report confirms that occupation forces are under instructions to kill people rather than attempt to capture them alive.
On Saturday, The Asian Age carried a story titled "Rumour race: BJP is way ahead of Congress". Even as it said that the parties are "vying with each other to use rumours doing the rounds during communal riots for their own gain", all the "rumours" stated were those supposedly spread by the BJP, with poor Congress as the hapless victim: "The Sangh Parivar has been successful in spreading rumours that one of the alleged conspirator of Sabarmati Express massacre, Mohammed Kalota, is a Congressman. Kalota, according to rumours doing rounds is Godhra municipality president and the convenor of the Godhra Congress minority cell... An opinion poll by a local cable network in Baroda confirmed that Kalota's Congress connection has significantly worked in shattering the people's perception of the Congress."

This is not a "rumour". This was reported by the HT on March 4: "Kolota, convener of city Congress minority cell, was picked up by personnel of the anti-dacoity squad of the city police from the residence of one Iqbal in Polan Bazar area during a combing operation, IGP Deepak Swaroop told PTI. Kolota, 45, has been evading arrest since the attack on the Sabarmati Express." Besides which, Kalota was at the Godhra railway station when the massacre occurred.

Pay attention, this is how propaganda is disseminated: On March 2, the ToI's Manoj Joshi and deputy bureau chief Siddharth Varadarajan -- who later joined a march demanding the dismissal of Narendra Modi and declared that "media should boycott the right wing forces" -- wrote about "a method in the casual manner in which the Centre responded to the communal tragedy in Gujarat... In some places, George Fernandes waded amid hostile crowds and appealed to them to keep the peace... In Gujarat, the Union government claims 'there were no Army columns in or around Ahmedabad' for immediate deployment. Considering that the state bordering Pakistan has an especially heavy deployment of the Army, this excuse does not quite wash."

Fair enough -- on the face of it.

However, within an hour, the HT posted Swati Chaturvedi's piece containing: "On several occasions, authoritative sources say, the Defence Minister was forced to wade into the crowds himself to control the situation... The real question is whether there is a method to Modi's madness... The official reason, that troops had to be pulled out of forward positions, seems unconvincing because there was heavy troop deployment on Gujarat's borders with Pakistan."

"Wade". "Crowds". "Method". "Heavy deployment". These are what I call "fed" reports. That is, an opposition party member must have literally handed out the "report" to our respectable, secular, investigative journalists, who simply rephrased most of it -- but left tell-tale clues, anyway. In this case, guess who the "authoritative sources" can be.

But that's not the end of it. The ToI rehashed the same story a week later and stuck it -- once again -- on the front page, under the title "Political observers smell a rat behind delay in army deployment". However, amidst all those "sources in the government" slamming L K Advani and Modi, guess who was the only "political observer" named in the piece: "Manoj Joshi, strategic editor of The Times of India" hahahahahaha...

Now you know why the Indian press makes my stomach heave. But I admit, the revulsion it evokes is far less than that invoked by readers who swallow this shit.

When one scrutinises the technique of the press, one begins to discern wheels within wheels, all held by a pinko fulcrum: On March 4, the Age reported that the editor of Communalism Combat, Teesta Setalvad, held Modi responsible for "mass murder" at a meeting organised by SAHMAT, which organisation demanded "effective deployment of the Army" and "immediate dismissal" of Modi. The same day, Shabana Azmi said, "We want that the government led by Mr Modi be dismissed immediately." The same day, ToI plastered "Citizens for dismissal of Modi Government" on the front page, with "citizens" constituting JNU's Prabhat Patnaik, Nikhil Wagle, Teesta Setalvad, Javed Anand, Valson Thampu, Syeda Hamid. The same day, N Ram (Frontline), Dileep Padgaonkar (ToI), Khushwant Singh, Arundhati Roy, Seema Mustafa (Age) and Vishnu Nagar joined a procession demanding the dismissal of the Modi government...

Doesn't the pinko press grasp it can't fool all the people all the time? Won't people realise they're being manipulated? I guess, not.

Could things get any worse? You bet they can! Our friendly pinkbutts, SAHMAT, has formed a "united front" with The All-India Confederation of SC\ST Organisations to resist the move to perform kar seva at Ayodhya. Udit Raj, the chairman of the Dalit organisation, said the Shankaracharya of Kanchi "had no business to intervene in the Ram temple issue" as he isn't the representative of a majority in the country. And, he declared that the disputed site was neither a mosque nor a temple but a Buddhist vihar, and claimed evidence to support this theory.

Hey, you Christians, Jains and Sikhs out there -- why don't you make a claim to Ayodhya, too?! Our pinkos can be relied on to bolster your cases and ensure that rock-solid wedges are driven between Hindus and every other community that exists. After all, it's the only way that a Red flag can possibly fly on the Red Fort.

When Gujarat was burning, the "secularists" and Communists, instead of marching for peace on the lanes affected by communal violence, marched in Delhi for the dismissal of the state government. While arson and massacres ensued, our editors were busy pontificating on the politics behind police conduct and army deployment -- drilling in "Hindu mobs" and "Muslim victims". These dorks care about the people?! Don't make me laugh; I'll take a Bal Thackeray any day.

Varsha Bhosle

Tell us what you think of this column