Not everything generates the same outrage. Hindus on the Right feel that the murder of Prashant Poojary is being ignored, while the lynching in Dadri is receiving too much attention due to religious pandering. However, the real reason is simple. The circumstances of the murder in Dadri make the common man feel unsafe. The murder of Poojary however, does not. Here's why.

Not everything generates the same outrage. Hindus on the Right feel that the murder of Prashant Poojary is being ignored, while the lynching in Dadri is receiving too much attention due to religious pandering. However, the real reason is simple. The circumstances of the murder in Dadri make the common man feel unsafe. The murder of Poojary however, does not. Here's why.

Dadri vs Prashant Poojary – Why They’re not the Same

The latest complaint of the Hindu right is to question the difference in the reactions between the Dadri beef lynching episode and the murder of the Bajrang Dal activist Prashant Poojary. You’ll see pictures like this shared on Social Media.

Dadri vs Prashant Poojary

The implication here is that the government, media, and the usual assortment of “sickulars”, “liberals”, “commies”, and whatever other bogey monsters inhabit their paranoid dreams of persecution are turning a blind eye to the murder of Hindus, while pandering to Muslims. The base complaint seems to be this:

  1. Muslim was murdered by Hindus
  2. Hindu was murdered by Muslims
  3. Muslim victim gets coverage, Hindu victim ignored
  4. This is double standards

They are wrong. And here’s why.

The base assumption of this complaint is that the nation must be equally outraged over all murder regardless of circumstances, and religion. But this is impossible. We cannot be outraged over everything – there’s too much going on. For example, the country rose up against the murder of Nirbhaya even though stuff like this has been happening for decades in both the rural and the urban parts of the country. So let’s admit first and foremost and some cases get a lot more attention than others, sometimes by chance, sometimes for other reasons.

Hindutva types claim however, that Muslim pandering is the reason for the media relatively ignoring the murder of Prashant Poojary. And this is where I have a problem. Do I think that there has been greater outrage over Dadri? Yes, I do. Do I think the reason is that a Muslim was killed instead of a Hindu? Of course not! The reasons for the relative difference in outrage is simple. One makes the common man insecure, and the other does not.

Note:This is by no means an excuse for someone being murdered. If you know me at all by now, I’m not trying to blame the victim. 100% of the blame belongs to the murderer(s). I don’t care what the “provocation” is. If you raise a hand against someone, you are automatically at fault. India is not supposed to be the Middle East, or Pakistan. Anyone who doesn’t believe in minding their own business and keeping their hands to themselves should leave the country IMHO.

Having said that, here is why Dadri generated more outrage than Prashant Poojary.

Features of the Dadri Case

The victim in the Dadri incident was a regular guy going about his own business. He was simply eating food. He wasn’t in any political party, wasn’t an activist, didn’t make himself a target, and by all accounts, was keeping to himself.

His murder makes the average person insecure because if it could happen in Dadri, it could happen anywhere and to anyone. Your regular neighbors whom you greet and see every day, rising up against you for no reason whatsoever. In other words there’s no advice, and no precaution you can take to ensure that this doesn’t happen to you. Short of “Don’t be a Muslim” of course!

When a common person hears about a crime, the immediate evaluation in their head is “Can this happen to me?”. If the answer is “Yes, it can”, it becomes worrying, articles and blog posts are written about it, and then of course, politicians exploit it. But the underlying reason is simple – how safe/unsafe does this crime make me feel?

Dadri was a crime that made everyone feel unsafe. A crime committed by regular folks who live next to you. Where the victim could have been any one of us. No wonder there was so much outrage!

Features of the Prashant Poojary Case

In contrast, Prashant Poojary was neither a regular Joe going about his everyday life, nor were his murderers ordinary people on the street. Poojary was an active member of the Bajrang Dal, and was extremely involved in preventing the slaughter of cows. His murder was carefully planned and executed. They wore masks and ran away. The whole feel was one of a mafia style hit, rather than a crime of passion based on religious sentiments. Revenge for shutting down a slaughterhouse probably.

Compared to the Dadri killing, Prashant Poojary’s murder doesn’t make the average Indian think “This could happen to me”. They are taught to keep their heads down and not take “panga” with anyone. So when bad things happen to someone like Poojary, it doesn’t create nearly as much outrage and anger.

The Hindu right wing is completely mistaken about the reasons for the differing reactions to Dadri and Poojary. It’s not because of the religion of the victim, but rather the motivations and style of killing. One was the spontaneous lynching of a regular guy – it could have been anyone. The other was a hit job for revenge or economics more than anything else. The two types of crimes elicit different reactions.

This is exactly the reason why there wasn’t much outrage over the rationalist Kalburgi’s murder. It doesn’t make regular people feel afraid. As a blogger, I have received my share of abuses and even death threats. If I’m killed tomorrow due to my ideas, I fully expect my death to go unnoticed by India. Oh, it’ll probably be reported and blogged about, but the average person will think that it couldn’t happen to them. My death won’t be a lightning rod the way the Dadri killing was.

Once again, this is merely an explanation of why there are differing levels of outrage. Anyone who knows me and who follows my blog will know that I never endorse violence, or encourage it. Poojary had every right to try and shut down illegal slaughter houses, and I hope his murderers are caught and punished with the full force of the law.

But when it comes to the amount of relative outrage a certain crime invokes, people look to themselves first and evaluate whether or not this affects them. Dadri does affect them. Prashant Poojary doesn’t. It’s as simple as that.

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Comments

  1. Nice! All of the liberal crowd is sticking to the new party line! Rajdeep has a post in the Troll.in making this same exact point.

    There are two obvious questions:

    1) Like Prashant Poojary, Shri Govind Pansare was a political activist. He was an active member of the CPI. His murder too wore all the classic marks of a planned mafia hit. What explains the media coverage for Govind Pansare’s murder then?

    2) You are forgetting the case of Vaman Poojary, the 68 year old eyewitness who died in mysterious circumstances few days after the murder. He was no political activist. He was just a guy who used to sell coconuts beside Prashant Poojary. Anyone could be the average Joe who finds himself standing next to a political activist on the street. How come his death is not making anyone nervous? When we go out into the market, or board a crowded bus or train, do we have to silently pray that the guy next to me is not a political activist? Is that scary or not?

    Reply

    • In reply to Sumit

      1. I’d never heard of Govind Pansare till you brought him up. Couldn’t have been much media coverage. Not like Dadri certainly.

      2. I’m sure mafia/goons taking out someone makes everyone in that local area nervous. The rest of the country? Probably not.

      Finally, it’s funny you think that I’m in touch with Rajdeep Sardesai or that I get instructions from the “Party”. Lol, which party? And since I’m sticking to the “line”, who do I contact to get paid? Might as well make some extra cash! :D

      Reply

      • In reply to bhagwad

        What are you saying? Media has been raising hell over the murders of the so called “rationalists”: Dabholkar, Pansare and Kalburgi. Even New York Times is writing about it. All 3 were active campaigners against Hindu religion. None of them was an “average Joe”.

        Don’t you find it a shocking argument that murders of citizens who are politically active should matter less to the media? So much noise from media over Modi government “stifling dissent” and then you turn around and say that political activists murdered deserves less coverage? From the Boston massacre to the Jallianwala Bagh massacre to Tianannmen square, killing of political activists have caused the greatest waves of outrage. When an RTI activist or whistleblower dies, the outrage is usually more, not less. I have NEVER seen anyone in the media make the case that murder of an activist is a lesser problem! This brand new media convention of ignoring dead activists seems to have been minted specifically for Prashant Poojary.

        Oh…and why call the Dadri man an “average Joe” simply because the media told you he was an “average Joe”? Mohammad Akhlaque had spent several months in Pakistan for “personal reasons”. Don’t tell me that the average Joe in India spends months living in Pakistan. Name one civilized country where border control won’t get suspicious if you tell them about long “personal stays” in Pakistan. Imagine how this plays out in a small village.

        Finally, why call the Mangalore incident a “local mafia act”? Are you not making an arbitrary choice here? People in Dadri killed for religion, so did guys in Mangalore. Killers in Dadri had some political links to major parties, so do the killers in Mangalore to a sitting cabinet minister in the ruling state government. What makes Dadri “national” and Mangalore “local”?

        I feel bad digging out the past of Mohammad Akhlaque. Poor man definitely did not deserve to be murdered (or hurt physically in any way). But it is you who has started this tasteless competition of whose death is a bigger issue for outrage. I only wanted equal treatment for both murdered citizens from the media and from liberals. You are the one who wants more for one and less for another.

        Reply

      • In reply to Sumit

        Actually, the response to the murders of the rationalists has been extremely muted. I’d mentioned this in my post – did you read it?

        And please make better analogies. You’re comparing Tianannmen square and Jallianwala Bagh to this? If you can’t see the difference between mass murder like that and what happened to Poojary, then I’m not sure there’s any point in trying to show you myself.

        Poojary was killed for revenge. He wasn’t killed out of spontaneous random religious hatred. Even the way he was killed – people with masks on bikes – points to a mafia style hit as compared to a mob lynching. I think this is obvious.

        You say you want equal treatment for both murdered citizens. And they shall have it – legally. From an outrage point of view, it’s absurd to suggest that the newspapers and public get equally outraged everyday over the thousands of deaths taking place. Like it or not, we’re a large country and we have to pick and choose by default.

        I’m repeating myself. Did you actually read my post?

        Reply

      • In reply to bhagwad

        Extremely muted response to rationalists murders? How can you say this with a straight face?

        Okay, I picked a major mainstream news website like Firstpost and searched Narendra Dabholkar.

        firstpost.com/?s=narendra+dabholkar I got 119 results!

        Here are the numbers for other searches:

        1) Govind Pansare : 54 results

        2) Kalburgi: 52 results

        3) Dadri: 219 results

        4) Prashant Poojary : 2 results!

        In a large country, some crimes will always get more attention than some others. But see the pattern here!!

        And I am loving how you are pushing yourself into a corner to make excuses for lack of outrage over Poojary’s death. Now the problem has shifted from him being a political activist to “spontaneous random religious hatred”. Sometimes the reason for lack of outrage is that the perpetrators ran away, sometimes the excuse is that they weren’t “blatant enough” to hold a press conference, sometimes the excuse is that the victim was a political activist and now the latest excuse is that the attack wasn’t spontaneous!!!

        Somehow, no matter what the excuse, the end result seems to be the same in each case: Hindu perpetrators get roasted by the media and Muslim perpetrators slip through the cracks!

        Reply

      • In reply to Sumit

        Duh – what do you expect? Poojary’s murder was pretty uninteresting. At least Kalburgi’s murder had the interesting angle of freedom of expression. And look at how little Kalburgi’s murder was reported in comparison to Dadri! I really don’t know what you expect. The press will report what it thinks is of interest/concern to people. Obviously crimes that have larger issues of interest will be reported more.

        Find me a similar incident like Dadri, where a Muslim mob lynched and killed a completely random Hindu person in a spontaneous outburst of religious provocation, and then we’ll see.

        Reply

      • In reply to bhagwad

        First of all, did you see the 119 results for Narendra Dabholkar? Compare to 2 for Prashant Poojary!

        Wait, how come Kalburgi’s death has to do with freedom of expression, but Poojary’s doesn’t? Kalburgi was expressing views some extremist Hindus found offensive and Poojary was expressing views that some extremist Muslims found offensive. Kalburgi was killed for his views and so was Poojary.

        What is this sudden fetish for killing of “random Hindus”? Since when did killing of political activists become cause of less outrage? And what’s “random”? How come Mohammad Akhlaque who stays for months in Pakistan is considered “random”? Does the average Joe in India spend months in Pakistan? In contrast, a simple flower seller like Prashant Poojary who doesn’t support cow slaughter is much much closer to the average Joe.

        And killing of random Hindus by irate Muslim mobs? How many examples do you want? A 15 year old boy was brutally murdered in Rampur in June because his cows strayed into a Muslim’s field. Could this not happen to the average Joe living in a village?

        Reply

      • In reply to Sumit

        Nah. Poojary didn’t just “express views”. He shut down illegal slaughterhouses, causing a loss of business. His death had nothing to do with religion. It had nothing to do with Freedom of Expression. It was revenge/financial. Sorry to say, but there’s really nothing interesting about that.

        Poojary wasn’t the “average Joe”. The “average Joe” doesn’t go around stirring up powerful vested interests.

        Send me a link to your Rampur story and we’ll see. I can’t find it.

        Reply

      • In reply to bhagwad

        Oh…and how did I forget what happened in Kanauj in UP just 2 days ago.

        A procession was going for Durga immersion; angry Muslims opened indiscriminate fire on the mob, injured 2 and one of them died in hospital.

        Now of course you will argue that celebrating Durga puja makes the dead man a political activist rather than an average Joe. Which makes his murder “uninteresting”.

        I am wondering just how far this ugly argument of who is an “average Joe” will go. What all will be held by liberals as examples of “political activism” which will render murders of Hindus “uninteresting”? Would a Facebook post supporting BJP also become a legitimate reason to render the murder of the uploader “uninteresting”? What about signing an online petition on change.org? Would voting for BJP also count as political activism? Participating in Durga Puja will also surely be blacklisted by you after this event from Kanauj.

        Just so you know, the BJP claims about 10 crore members at this point. Even if this number is exaggerated by 100%, there alone you have 50 million Indians who can now be murdered by angry Muslims without causing outrage in liberal circles. I am sure your inner liberal doesn’t feel the slightest bit of self-doubt at this thought. The BJP received 17 crore votes last year. Maybe you can hike that number to 170 million then….

        So, how far will this ugly logic go? To what level of self-expression should a Hindu limit himself before he can be treated as an “innocent average Joe” whose murder will cause liberals to sit up and take notice?

        Reply

      • In reply to Sumit

        You’re getting way paranoid. You think I even care about religion? Seriously? Just ask yourself – why would I care? What is my interest in religion? Do you think I flip a coin and support Muslims just because it came up heads? Do I get paid for ignoring Hindus? I mean…I’m an atheist, so I find both Islam as well as Hinduism equally ridiculous.

        You’re postulating the existence of a bias in me that is completely illogical. Why on earth would I care about who is Hindu and who is Muslim? Unless of course you think I’m completely insane – which is a valid argument if you can prove it.

        Reply

      • In reply to bhagwad

        Why are you diverting? You presented this scary logic that just because a person has expressed himself politically in some way, his murder automatically becomes “uninteresting”. I am only trying to understand this logic and its guiding principles clearly. So are you saying that as per media, it is now open season on the 50 million members of the BJP?

        Your argument of hurting economic interests holds no water, because accusations of cattle smuggling have come out in Dadri too. Just because the media did not give those accusations much airtime doesn’t mean they don’t exist. And I am asking you again if the “average Joe” from India spends months in Pakistan on “personal visits”.

        Here is the Rampur story:

        ” Later in the evening the members of the minority community opened fire at the religious site of the other community. Amidst firing, Sanju Rathore, 15, sustained bullet injuries on his neck and died on the way to hospital.”

        http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/15-year-old-boy-dies-in-rampur-communal-clashes/1/455258.html

        And here is what happened in Kannauj:

        “SP Kalanidhi Naithani said the prohibitory orders were imposed following tension here over yesterday’s clash at the Lakhan tri-section after some people allegedly opened fire and hurled brickbats at a procession for the immersion of Durga idols. One of the two youths, aged 30, who was injured in the violence succumbed last night at a hospital.”

        http://zeenews.india.com/news/uttar-pradesh/curfew-imposed-in-kannauj-over-clash-during-puja-procession_1813527.html

        Reply

      • In reply to Sumit

        Don’t be ridiculous. Hardly anyone takes their political involvement to the extent of shutting down illegal slaughterhouses. That too in a rural area where the law is probably weak. Poojary was a perfect example of an economic killing. Nothing to do with religion. A little bit of nuance would help you see things more clearly.

        I also like how you twisted the Rampur story to suit your own needs. The 15 year old boy’s cattle didn’t wander into the field – contrary to the spin you tried to put on it in an earlier comment. You really can’t accuse the press of manipulating stories when you just did the very same thing. I wonder why you did it.

        What you give me is simply fighting between two groups who hate each other. Communal violence between groups is nothing new in India. Let’s be clear – this was not about religion per se, but simply fighting between two communities who are enemies.

        The Dadri lynching was specifically about religion. Tell you what – show me an example of a Muslim mob lynching a random Hindu neighbor due to unjustified suspicion that the Hindu has a picture of Mohammed in his house.

        That would be an example of religious killing. A killing whose entire motive was a religious precept. Communal clashes are not religious. The only link between them and religion is that one group is Hindu and the other is Muslim. The cause of the clash is not religious.

        But humor me. Let me know why you think I care so much about Muslims. Do you feel I’m secretly an Islamist masquerading as an atheist? If not, do you see how irrational you sound?

        Reply

      • In reply to bhagwad

        Wow…on Rampur, do you realize your case is even weaker than before? Sequence of events:

        1) Cattle from a Hindu wander into a Muslim’s field.

        2) The Hindu owners get severely beaten up.

        3) Muslims attack a Hindu temple and shoot a random Hindu dead.

        This is supposed to make an average Hindu living quietly in his house feel safe? Wake up every morning and pray that no Hindu’s cattle stray into a Muslim’s field. Then the Muslims can come and have their pick of any random Hindu to shoot dead and there will be no cause for outrage! Wow!

        I have been asking you for a long time why you consider Akhlaque, a Pakistan returnee to be an “average Joe”. And if cattle of Hindus wandering into a Muslim’s field is reason enough for any random Hindu temple to be attacked and any random Hindu to be killed without outrage, why not a lynching over a beef rumor?

        Finally, the atheist part. Ha! I am an atheist too. I don’t have the slightest belief in anything supernatural, any soul, any life after death, heaven, hell, miracles, homeopathy, tree whispering, holistic medicine. I am not fooled either by tantriks or by organic food. I have no belief in myths of either right wing or left wing religions. I have no beliefs beyond the measurable in the physical world. And I am a Hindu. My cultural inheritance, my language, my tastes, my nationality are not supernatural or mythical. Thats what makes me a Hindu. So I have no difficulty reconciling your atheism with your anti-Hindu cultural inheritance.

        Reply

      • In reply to Sumit

        So you agree that you manipulated your summary to make it look as if the cattle belonged to the 15 year old boy right? Or never mind. Let’s just forget you said that. Everyone makes mistakes.

        As for Akhlaq, you’re considering a visit 28 years ago to be a factor? So let me get this straight. You’re saying that the attack on Akhlaq was because of a visit to Pakistan three decades ago? I just want to understand how you think.

        Also if my understanding of your last para is correct, you seem to be saying that my language, tastes, and nationality are Muslim, just as your is Hindu – is that right? And because my culture is Muslim, I am anti-Hindu. Correct? I’ll agree or disagree after you confirm whether I’ve understood your statement correctly.

        Reply

      • In reply to bhagwad

        Bhagwad,
        I asked you some simple questions. What happened? Why are you too insecure to see my comment on your blog?

        I showed you that PFI was behind the attack on Poojary, thus demolishing your “economic reasons” angle. The same PFI that was behind chopping off hands when you refused to outrage as well. What happened? Are you sticking to your “economic reasons” angle and are unable to handle the reality?

        I asked you how many political activists killed would be “uninteresting”. 50 million BJP workers in the country. Would 8 holocausts still be uninteresting? Why are you too insecure to examine your logic with numbers?

        Finally I asked you what is the correct level of political self expression at which a Hindu should limit himself so as to be classified as “innocent” enough by liberals so that his murder deserves outrage?

        What’s going on? Why the insecurity?

        Reply

      • In reply to Sumit

        Your comment was marked as spam by the system. Too many links. Keep your responses short, with minimum links and you should be fine to avoid that in the future.

        Oh yes, I’m sticking to my economic reasons. You’re saying PFI killed him for religious reasons? Tell me – what religious Islamic precept did Poojary break?

        Being a political activist is only one thing that matters. So yes, 8 holocausts would be very interesting :) . I’m sure there would be a blog or two about that.

        Finally, if you want outrage (Hindu or Muslim or whatever), make sure you die in a nice interesting manner! Preferably one which makes regular people feel insecure. Not boring communal violence (unless sheer numbers makes up for it being boring), or mafia killing (unless of course numbers is a factor – hence I presume your holocaust reference).

        Reply

      • In reply to bhagwad

        But it doesn’t matter any more which Islamic precept Poojary broke. The PFI killed him. The PFI is not an economic lobby…lol. It’s a religious outfit.

        So how exactly does one qualify to be a “regular person” ? We already know that “regular” people are not supposed to walk anywhere near temples. You never know when a bunch of Muslims find a Hindu’s cattle in their farm and decide for “economic reasons” to compensate for their losses by killing any random Hindu near a temple.

        We know already that “regular people” are not supposed to take part in Durga Puja. Like in Kannauj last week, you never know when Muslims become annoyed and feel a sudden need to open fire and kill somebody.

        So, what exactly would make a Hindu “innocent”?

        And you are completely wrong that sheer numbers can make a case “interesting”. Five lakh Kashmiri Pandits were kicked out of their homes: what is the number of Sahitya Akademi awards returned in protest? When 5000 Sikhs were butchered in Delhi, what is the number of Sahitya Akademi awards returned? Can anyone recall the name of the Congress CM of Bihar when Bhagalpur riots killed 1000 Muslims? No sir, the number doesn’t matter. Even the religion of the victim(s) doesn’t matter (Kashmiri Pandits –> Hindus, 1984 –> Sikhs, Bhagalpur riots –> Muslims). The only thing that matters is whether the event can be used by liberal India to construct a narrative against the Hindu right.

        Reply

      • In reply to Sumit

        The PFI is a thug organization. It doesn’t matter what religion it’s members are. Just because the original mafia for example was primarily composed of Italians, didn’t make their activities “Italian” or for the purpose of propogating Italian culture. Just plain thuggery.

        Oh, and even numbers become uninteresting when the event was a long time ago. For me, it’s 10 years. Before 10 years, nothing is worthy of news. So I consider all your examples outdated. Anything more recent?

        Reply

  2. Why Dadri is just like any other murder, unless you’re totally missing the reality:

    Dadri is a town with over 25% Muslim population. Many of Dadri’s residents (including Hindu’s) may be eating beef on any given day. There was no rioting afterwards. Not even other family members (except son) or neighbours of Akhlaq were harmed, in the process. Muslims and Hindus now are living quite peacefully there, despite what we want to project.

    Life in villages or small towns is not like in cities. Police doesn’t act as quickly as we see in big cities. And people there are highly political and have a long history of past friendships/feuds. In very small villages, even today there is a power struggle between various religious/caste-based groups/families. It is quite common for small fights to get ugly pretty fast and sometimes leading to murder. I have watched closely where they fight for illegal line tapping or cable-stealing or using of public spaces, festival lighting or sounds or even drinking spaces and sometimes to much violence later. It is pretty naive to think that this murder was due to just beef-eating, as many reports have been suggesting that there were fights with the family previously too on a missing calf. If some Hindu outfit lead this particular incident, then every other previous incident was also led by some caste/political/regional power in that are. That’s obvious to anyone who lived in villages.

    Yes, we don’t outrage equally for all crime. It is not the level of outrage, it is the insinuation that many are doubtful of. If you remember there were around 5 – 7 attacks on Christians exactly during the Delhi elections. Nothing before.. nothing afterwards. And this got international attention. Of course there would have been more violence. India is a huge country and there are many crazy people. But why cover only before an election ? If you research, you’ll have another 100 attacks on religious places this month in India.

    Media highlighting this act so much, and writers returning awards and President giving sermons on plurality has not happened with equally dastardly acts previously. While we don’t outrage on every violence, we don’t petition UN for such nonsense either. If not media, at least the Intelligentsia should know what is big ? Or are they making it bigger for a purpose ?

    The point is not that whether this act needs condemnation or not. Of course, any sane person would say, murder is bad and needs to be condemned. The point is should I, as a layman, anymore believe in media, that seemed so biased and intelligentsia that has lost all sense of proportion.

    Reply

    • In reply to Murali

      I think the media has a tendency to report anything unusual, interesting, or inflammatory. Take the church attacks for example. As long as it was assumed to be for religious causes, it was interesting. As soon as they find out it’s not, the matter loses interest. Especially during an election where such news will probably sell more copies.

      And this I feel is the crux of the matter – the media is a business like any other. They want to sell copies and get more exposure for advertisements. How much exposure did Dadri give them? Quite a lot I would imagine!

      Good ol communal violence in India happens so often that it’s not interesting anymore. A newspaper reporting a regular fight in a village (even if someone is killed) will make most people yawn. And despite appearances, this is simply hatred between two groups. It’s not really religious violence per se. Dadri was (prima facie), a completely religious killing based on the precept of eating beef that is a uniquely Hindu belief. Whether or not there was another reason for the mob’s actions that we find out later, the news has already been reported by then.

      The face value motive for the Dadri killing is not something you see every day. I’m willing to bet that if a Muslim mob killed a Hindu man for possessing a sketch that looked like the prophet Mohammad, it would be huge news throughout the country. Don’t you?

      The writer returned awards not for Dadri however, but for other things like the murder of rationalist Kalburgi, the cancelling of the concert of the Pakistani singer and the efforts to shut down that Pakistani author. These issues dealt with the concept of Freedom of Expression which is obviously a matter close to any writer’s heart. Dadri wasn’t really a huge factor in them returning their awards.

      Reply

      • In reply to bhagwad

        I don’t believe that Media is solely interested in business. I believe there’s a good amount positive coverage to some parties and undue negative coverage to some views. It is neither fair nor free.

        For instance, Andhra Pradesh M.P, Jagan Mohan Reddy has been charged with 20+ cases of corruption amounting to several 1000 crores. He is charged and spent more than a year in jail. Yet in the last 10 years there has not been a single serious reporting of this in national media. While out-of-turn allotment of a single residential plot favoring Yedurappa was blown to an extent he had to quit post. If Media was fair, both are equally interesting, and Jagan’s case is much bigger. And, the money trail itself would be a good story for a bond movie. Yet there is willful & complete silence.

        Dadri may look like a communal incident for now. But we don’t know. We need to wait for investigation. Many times in the past these things turned out to be a lot different that what appears on TV. Lets suspend the judgement on this one. I know it appears very convincing now.. but, so did those other cases when they first appeared.

        For me Dadri is not any different from other cases, just that Media stuck to it, till it became one. Media has some narratives, and they stick to it without any data to justify. I don’t believe Media is as innocent as it appears to be. It is playing a far more serious game than we credit it for. And that’s why we need to call out the hypocrisy.

        Reply

      • In reply to Murali

        If a lot of people truly feel that the media is doing a bad job, then it seems to me that the stage is ripe for a new media outlet that gives the people what they want. In fact, this is exactly what happened in the US with Republicans accusing the media of “liberal bias” and hence was born Fox News.

        Of course Fox News is regularly parodied for its incorrect and outlandish reporting, but no one can deny that it filled a perception that the existing media was biased, anti-Christian etc. Pretty much the same things that media in India is accused of.

        I guess the question then is, why hasn’t any Indian organization, business house, or political entity stepped forward with their own national media channel to correct the perceived imbalance? This is how a free market is supposed to work anyway.

        If your suspicion that the media is not business oriented is correct, it means that current media houses are not making as much profit as they possibly can. That makes the field even more attractive to an incumbent.

        Reply

      • In reply to bhagwad

        There already is SM picking up the job and several regional media houses that cater to opposing viewpoints. And that is why FoE is far more than ever in the past. A fact that is being protested against, by using the same FoE. Not becoz Govt/ MSM allows it, but becoz they can’t stop it.

        Reply

      • In reply to bhagwad

        Bhagwad, you forget that Fox was born only in 1996, well after the 12 years of Reagan-Bush. It will take the BJP some years in power before its worldview can be institutionalized to the point that a news channel with credibility can be created. Let the BJP hold power till 2024, give out enough Padma Shris and Sahitya Akademi awards. Let the BJP flush out enough “intellectuals” from various panels and committees.

        You have to understand that the “intellectuals” are very risk averse. They are still betting on the ruling party of 60 years than the ruling party of 7 years. If BJP starts a “BJPTV”, it will have no credibility. There needs to be a groundswell; we need a channel with the slogan “Fair and Balanced” that gives 4 hours of primetime coverage each time a Hindu temple suffers a scratch and offers excuses each time a Muslim suffers.

        But you are right: the time is getting ripe. Previously, people like Rajdeep would have just smiled and ignored Prashant Poojary. Now he has written an article giving reasons why lives of certain citizens are worth less than others (the same reasons you gave). I regard this as a fantastic development. This means that the charge of selective outrage is beginning to stick. Rajdeep lost his cool badly enough to beat up Modi supporters in New York. Yesterday’s Scroll has another article offering weak sauce excuses about how liberals were not quiet when the Dynasty was on a rampage. Liberals have been cornered enough to respond. The more elaborately they explain why Hindu lives don’t matter, the better for the Hindu right.

        The perception is very close to critical mass now. When Dr. Singh said explicitly that Muslims have first right to India’s resources, it didn’t matter. In the media narrative, Modi’s silence on Dadri makes him complicit! People are noticing.

        Reply

      • In reply to Sumit

        I’m not talking about a channel linked to the BJP. No one wants a media controlled by any party – certainly not openly. With or without the BJP, if enough people like you feel that the media is not reporting objectively, that leaves the field wide open for an incumbent. The current government can’t matter. This is a question of business, not politics. If there is a ripe market, new players will exploit it.

        If new players haven’t come up, it means the market isn’t big enough yet. Or there are onerous government regulations – which is not the case for India media.

        Why measure awareness by how Rajdeep reacts? Of course he “started it” in New York – I wrote a blog post about that. But he shouldn’t matter. All that should matter is an unexploited business opportunity.

        In any case, I would be thrilled if a media channel biased towards Hindus shows up in India. For one, it would stop the constant refrain that the “media is biased against Hindus”. Moreover, I’m a great believer in the notion that bad ideas discredit themselves when given enough air time.

        So by all means, let the Hindu right get prime time airwaves on their own channel. I’m looking forward to making fun of talk show hosts referring to aircraft during the vedic times, and how the vedas insist on killing beef eaters, blah blah. Freedom of expression is a wonderful thing.

        Reply

      • In reply to bhagwad

        True. There are loonies on both sides and there is market for both. It is very difficult for media to be unbiased on every issue. And we need to take the outrage and breaking news with caution and a little suspension of judgement. Finally many in media have conflict of interest in these matters.

        Reply

      • In reply to bhagwad

        Rajdeep is part of the core Hindu-haters in India. His actions are an indicator of which way liberals are thinking. If he feels the need to beat up Modi supporters and put out explicit explanations of why Hindu lives don’t matter, it means that the water is rising.

        I explained to you why the BJP needs some more time to feed its own “intellectuals”. 7 years in power is not enough.

        That’s why the time is ripening…it’s not ripe yet. Because of systematic exclusion from intelligentsia, the right wing in India has had to exist outside the system. And when you are kept out of the system for too long, people end up talking about crazy stuff like Vedic aeroplanes. The BJP needs time to nurture insiders who can calmly explain why Muslim deaths are “uninteresting”. The BJP needs time to nurture insiders who can put liberal India on the mat for opposing teaching of math and science in Madarsas.

        By the way, I loved how the liberal establishment made a fool of itself claiming that Pythagoras Theorem wasn’t known in ancient India. This is what happens when people who failed Math in Class 6 claim to be champions of science for political reasons. It must be around the time they failed math that they decided to study “journalism”. So don’t worry about the Hindu right and its Vedic planes. If left wing channels are able to keep the “Newton’s calculus is a rape manual” crowd under control, so can the right. But it needs to wait. Gotta stay in power some more. And buy some more “intellectuals”.

        Reply

      • In reply to Sumit

        Wait, Rajdeep is a liberal? Since when? Unless one is in favor of 100% freedom of expression, one is not a liberal. We’ve been through this before. India has very few liberals and I’m pretty sure Rajdeep isn’t one.

        Besides, you don’t need “intellectuals” for unbiased news reporting. You talked about needing time to build credibility, but to listen to people you would think the current media already has none. The fact that there isn’t a famous national right wing channel yet simply makes me think there isn’t enough demand yet.

        Reply

      • In reply to bhagwad

        Incidentally, Bhagwad, if I were you, I would definitely not talk about “Freedom of Expression”. Believe me, you are putting your liberal card into serious danger. You think this is the 60s when the American Left used to have “Free speech movements” to demand a voice in intellectual discourse? You are at least 5 decades behind the curve here. Free speech has looong gone out of fashion with liberals. AFTER the radicals who think Newton’s calculus is a rape manual got tenure, they firmly shut the door on free speech. On University campuses across America, free speech is now firmly kept down with “speech codes”. Guess which sphere of American life is most dominated by liberals? Almost a third of self identified liberals among college students now think that the First Amendment is “outdated” :) Where are you, dude? Your love of free speech is so …like …yesterday you know :) It’s not cool. Speech codes are the new in thing for liberals now. Get on board or get left behind.

        In India, liberals used to have power in the early days and you never heard a peep about free speech back then. Nehru found out in 1949 that the new Constitution gave the RSS mouthpiece Organizer the right to criticize him, he promptly ordered that every issue of the journal should be “pre-cleared” before publication. The Madras High Court struck down the decision, but Nehru laughed them off by passing a law removing the right to free speech. That’s Nehru, the great man who gave us the “idea of India”. NOW, in India, liberals don’t have the power and so free speech is again cool with the Indian liberals. Nice of liberals to wake up now :)

        I always enjoy the irony of how Indian liberals find themselves so out of style with the global liberals :) While the American Left is cementing it’s control with speech codes, the Indian liberal has suddenly discovered the importance of free speech. Internationally, card carrying liberals have to be vegan, while in India liberals boast about their beef consumption. Sagarika Ghose recently boasted about eating not just beef, but wild animals like deer and giraffe. Just trying to imagine an American liberal boasting about eating wild animals :) :) :) She/He would immediately be banned from San Francisco and every gay/transgender/global warming/pro-Castro/pro-Chavez parade ever…

        Get on board man. Free speech is sooooo yesterday. Be a liberal!

        Reply

      • In reply to Sumit

        Bah, these fancy kids!

        But you’re missing a big point. In the US, free speech is loved by conservatives as well, and they make full use of it. They stage anti-gay demonstrations near funeral processions of gay military members and the courts protect them. Many of the famous Supreme Court decisions on free speech stemmed from conservatives making use of the first amendment.

        And just because a few college kids are taking being politically correct too far, doesn’t mean they won’t learn the error of their ways. And strictly speaking – strictly speaking – freedom of expression relates to censorship by the government, not societal disapproval.

        The US still has its comedians and its Rush Limbaughs. Both liberals and conservatives. And they all love free speech. Indian conservatives have a long way to go. If they even want to reach there in the first place.

        Reply

      • In reply to bhagwad

        And I was ONLY talking about censorship by the government. I am talking of speech codes and anti-free speech policies of public universities in the United States. Guess which sphere of American life is most dominated by liberals? And guess in which sphere of American life speech is most restricted of all? And 30% of college kids today who self identify as liberals think the First Amendment is “outdated”.

        For liberals in America today, free speech is soooo yesterday… Now that liberals have the power, it is all about speech codes and hate speech laws and sensitivity training. Why not find out who are the biggest advocates of hate speech laws in Europe? You are 5 decades behind the curve, bro! Free speech went out of fashion in liberal circles long ago.

        Try this. There was once a group of people called “Citizens United” who came together to make a documentary called “Hillary: the movie”, in which they criticized the Clinton Queen. The Federal Election Commission came down on them like a ton of bricks and restricted the movie. The case went all the way to the US Supreme Court and Citizens United won! Why not poll some of your liberal friends in Florida and see how many of them are supporting the free speech of Citizens United?

        Tip: Please don’t boast to any of your liberal friends in the US about any exotic wild animals you may have eaten. You will be instantly excluded from the most happening gay pride and pro-Chavez parades.

        Reply

      • In reply to Sumit

        That’s a contradiction in terms. You cannot be anti-speech and still be liberal.

        And you need to read up a bit more about Citizens United and “Hillary the Movie”. The film was openly show in theaters and on DVD. The problem only arose when Citizens United attempted to publicize it with $1.2 million that went against existing campaign finance regulations.

        The SC court ruling you refer to removed those campaign limits. This whole issue had exactly 0 to do with free speech.

        I give no shits about what people who call themselves liberals say or do. Fact of the matter is that the definition of a liberal is one who defends absolute freedom of expression. I’m not the only one saying this. One of my favorite comedians Bill Maher has been saying this for years:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipu0ifyC-Xc

        So what are you arguing with me for? We both seem to agree about this! In conversations with me, you constantly bring up what other people are saying/doing. When will you realize that I write for myself and have no connections to others? Like how do I care what fake liberals in the US are doing? How does it matter to me?

        Reply

      • In reply to bhagwad

        Bill Maher?

        Oh boy! You are sooo out of step with liberals now, Bhagwad :) That man long became a hate figure among liberals. Ever since Bill Maher started calling out liberals for being soft on Islamic jihad, he got blacklisted. Have you been living under a rock? Btw, he’s my favorite too :) Not just Bill Maher, guys like Seinfeld and Chris Rock are also fed up with liberal fascism on “sensitivity”. Seinfeld and Chris Rock have announced boycotts of college campuses for this reason. I know Bill keeps protesting against modern liberals pussyfooting on Islam by saying “I am the REAL liberal here”. And he is right in the 60s sense of the term.

        But you need to understand that you are not the arbiter of what a “liberal” is. You have to go with the mainstream definition, with what the vast majority of people who identify themselves as “liberals” say. And what % of people who identify as liberals today in America will agree with Bill Maher’s aggressive calling out of Islamic terrorism, Maher’s rock solid support for Israel’s right to retaliate and even Maher calling out clock kid Ahmed Mohammed? You know the answer….

        So yeah…you have to give shits about what self-identified “liberals” say. The definition of the word moves with time. And today’s liberals are all for hate speech laws, sensitivity training, speech codes at public universities, etc. How many of your self identified liberal friends look up to Australia, Canada and Europe as better places with their hate speech laws? You know the answer…

        And don’t forget how you keep ranting against “Hindutva types”. Don’t complain when someone turns it on you about “liberal types”.

        Reply

      • In reply to Sumit

        And here’s Bill Maher:

        youtube.com/watch?v=FXIM3nkn0Kk

        Brian Levin: “It’s not like people who are Muslim who do wacky things have a monopoly on it. We have hypocrites across the board”

        Maher: “Meh…ya ya…you know what…that’s LIBERAL bullshit right there…there’s only one faith for example that kills you or wants to kill you if you draw a bad cartoon of the Prophet.”

        Wow, guess who Maher is bashing? Liberals!!! What is this? Maher is a “Shiv Sena type” or what?

        Here’s more from Bill Maher:

        youtube.com/watch?v=XA64SX_52m8

        Boy you chose a really really bad example in Bill Maher. Maher has been bashing liberals for selective outrage for as long as I can remember. Oh…and Maher also pointed to the guy Saudi Barbaria was about to crucify when America was going nuts over the huckster Ahmed Mohammed being detained for a couple of hours. Werent you just saying in your last post about how Hindutva types point to Saudi?

        You really made it easy for me by choosing Bill Maher. There’s hardly anyone out there who is as severe and eloquent in bashing liberal selective outrage as Bill Maher…

        Reply

      • In reply to Sumit

        If you’ve been watching Maher as long as I have, you’d know that he’s a classic liberal.

        What he’s is expressing is expressing is his frustration with people who call themselves liberals, yet fail to adhere to liberal principles. Just listen to some more of his clips where he talks about how “liberals” are not doing liberal things.

        I don’t understand the debate here. The definition of a liberal is very clear. There are dictionaries and all sorts of others food sources outlining liberal principles. By any yardstick, Maher is liberal just like those who oppose free speech are clearly not.

        It’s one thing to debate opinions. We cannot however debate facts. It matters not if someone calls themselves liberal. What matters is whether or not they fit the definition.

        When I use words, I use them based on definitions…not on popular perceptions. If someone calls themselves a chair, I won’t just accept it and start calling them a chair!

        The term “liberal” has been badly misused in India and those of us who know better need to educate those who don’t.

        Reply

      • In reply to bhagwad

        Suppose you own a company called Bhagwad Inc. and there are some impostors selling fake products in your company’s name. Wouldn’t you be livid with the impostors? If indeed you regard yourself as a classical liberal, you would be livid at the people who are claiming to be liberals and then selectively outraging, being apologists for one religion, not standing up for free speech, etc. This is *exactly* what Bill Maher is doing.

        But you are not livid with them. You hardly ever talk about them or even acknowledge their existence. You are angry instead with “Hindutva types” who accuse liberals of selective outrage. If someone was selling fake products in the name of Bhagwad Inc, would you be angry with the impostors or with the customers who bought those fake products and are now giving you bad reviews?

        So, now we have agreed on the point that there are people who call themselves liberals but outrage selectively and make apologies for one religion. They are using your brand name, man. Don’t blame me for looking at the brand name and giving you bad reviews. Go blame them for stealing your brand name. Where is your blog post blaming the so called liberals who are stealing your brand? If you never speak out against them, what else are people supposed to think except that you approve of them assuming your brand name?

        Reply

      • In reply to Sumit

        The reason I don’t care is that I write in a vacuum. I don’t count myself as part of any group. It’s true that if I HAD to pick a side, “liberal” would be close closest to how I think. “Closest”, but not exactly. For example, a true 100% liberal would favour legalization of all drugs – including hard stuff like meth etc due to the doctrine of personal responsibility. And while I have no problems with marijuana, I’m not sure I want cocaine to be sold openly in drug stores.

        There are many such issues where my ideology differs significantly from that of classical “liberals”. If you notice, you were the one who started out tagging me with the “liberal” label and then using that tag to include me with fake liberals all over the world.

        As I said, I write in a vacuum. I don’t subscribe to any philosophical school 100% and would never label myself to be anything. Hence it matters not at all to me on an emotional level what is being done in the name of liberalism. I have no stake!

        Coming to me calling people “right wing”. I have in the past, blogged about precisely how I use the term, and have even asked people what else they would like me to call them: http://www.bhagwad.com/blog/2010/politics/alternatives-for-calling-someone-right-wing.html/

        Unlike me, you have explicitly identified yourself as a cultural Hindu and have confirmed your subscription to it. I never assumed anything about you – only what you’ve told me about yourself. Nevertheless, if you do not consider yourself to be a “Hindutva type”, or a “Hindu right” person, just tell me and I won’t assume it any more. It’s one thing to write about a group in general and quite another to make assumptions about a specific person.

        Bottom line: Since I do not claim to carry a “liberal” membership card, I care absolutely 0% about what others call themselves.

        Reply

      • In reply to bhagwad

        He he…oh so you sit in a vacuum and randomly attack only one bunch of people all day? You can’t possibly subscribe to that level of sophistry. Now you are claiming to be in a vacuum where no terminology ever invented by humanity applies. Just so that your ideology can be insulated from all kinds of criticism. If we can’t even define it or classify it, there’s no way to examine it critically.

        That’s basically the same trick used by apologists for supernatural powers: “My god is formless, infinite and amorphous and undefinable by human language, so you can’t possibly understand my god”. A pity that you had to resort to this same artifice despite claiming to be atheist.

        Let me show you how trivial it is to turn around your trick and use it right back at you:

        Okay…so you have been excoriating “Hindutva types” for so long. Can you give me the precise definition of a “Hindutva type” ? Which dictionary do I use to find out the meaning of this term? If “Hindutva types” refer to a group of individuals, how are you so sure that every single member of this group imagined by you has the same exact set of beliefs? Can you be sure that there are even 2 people in this group with the exact same set of beliefs? Indeed, are you sure that there are even 2 distinct people on this entire planet with the exact same set of beliefs? And if you are not sure, then why not treat these “Hindutva types” as separate individuals who cannot be labelled? Why not extend to these people the same luxury that you grant yourself?

        Reply

      • In reply to Sumit

        I have ideas – just no ideology. There’s a difference. Go ahead and attack my ideas if you want. There’s nothing formless about them :)

        About the “Hindu right” question, read the link in my previous comment.

        And this comment thread has gone off the rails. I’m ending it here.

        Reply

  3. “Evidence seems to be building that the shoe’s on the other foot now; that those who want to kill animals and eat them ought to justify their view. It shouldn’t be the other way round.”

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34541077

    (the very same white lords whose words are “gospel” are now question their age old eating habits)

    Reply

  4. Perhaps this photo should cheer you up, Bhagwad

    twitter.com/KiranKS/status/660475708766945281

    It’s a picture of Prashant Poojary’s old father selling flowers after the “uninteresting” death of his 28 year old son.

    Let me tell you something important Bhagwad. You may feel a sense of joy at the successful liberal blackout of the death of another Hindu, but ultimately you are losing. You know why? Because his dad is back at work selling flowers. He is earning. He is contributing to the economy.

    The family of Poojary did not get Rs 45 lakh compensation + FOUR 2 Bedroom Apartments in Noida. At Rs 1 crore per apartment, the approx compensation for Akhlaque’s death is about Rs 4.45 crore. Compensation for Poojary’s father = Rs 0. But ultimately, that’s just a family of 4-5 people. State patronage of Muslims with the approval of liberals like you has reduced Muslims to the poorest community. I pity India’s Muslims. They basically work on the plantation maintained by the liberal elite. They are fed a sense of insecurity about their status as minority and kept on the edges of existence. Meanwhile the liberal elite uses their votes to bring the Congress to power and feeds off the corruption.

    Ironically, the reason Muslims are safe in India is because it’s a Hindu majority country. If Muslims were a majority, it would be like Syria. Ironically, by trying to keep the Hindu deprived of state patronage, the liberal elite has forced the Hindus to work for a living. And remember that those who work make all the money. Yes, the liberal elite also makes money off Congress corruption (umm…err…”incompetence”) but ultimately the big money is in real work.

    I have seen this first hand in my hometown. At one time, Hindus and Muslims used to compete over who could celebrate festivals with more grandeur. Today, its a no contest. Ultimately, the Hindu majority that involved itself in education and business became so much richer that it became a no contest. I pity the Muslims in my city. They are still hoping for a miracle: a moment when liberal elites will suddenly come from the sky and rescue them.

    Reply

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