As the country looks ahead at upcoming elections in several states like Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand the intolerance gang is out again to churn a controversy around the same old ‘rising intolerance’ theory. On Wednesday around 49 individuals linked to some industries like media and cinema came out and wrote a letter addressed to Prime Minister Modi in a bid to draw his attention “rising incidents of mob lynching”; in the letter this group of 49 individuals also declared Hindu religious chant ‘Jai Shree Ram’ to be a “war cry”. This list of 49 individuals included Adoor Gopalkrishnan, Mani Ratnam, Anurag Kashyap, Aparana Sen, Ram Chandra Guha and people like Binayak Sen who has been convicted on serious charge of sedition and helping Maoists; he was charged under section 124A of Indian Penal Code(IPC) (sedition) and 120-B Indian Penal Code (conspiracy) for which he was awarded life term.
The letter which quoted NCRB data read, “254 religious identity-based hate crimes were reported between October 29, 2018 and January 1, 2009, where 91 persons were killed and 579 injured. The Citizen’s Religious Hate Crime watch recorded that Muslims, (14% of population) were the victims in 62% of cases, and Christians in 14% of cases.”
While the nation is already wary of these subversive tactics used by these individuals, condemnations from all quarters have been flowing against this seemingly politically motivated attempt. The letter which selectively chooses criminal incidents against certain communities and tries to paint them in communal colors is not the first but comes in a series of similar attempts.
Republic TV Editor-in Chief, Arnab Goswami went a step ahead to expose these individuals with criminal pasts and called them out while they were propagating their skewed concerns in a media briefing. Arnab Goswami while speaking from his studio on a loudspeaker present in the media briefing, questioned the Aparna Sen and others representing this group of 49 and asked about their selective silence on criminal incidents of lynching and murder involving victims from other communities.
Bengali filmmaker Aparna Sen however just criticized the questions raised by Arnab Goswami calling them “What aboutery”.
“I am not going to answer your questions. Let’s stick with present things. I am not going to answer you,” Aparna Sen said as she evaded all the accountability after making this sinister attempt to defame the nation with 48 other individuals. Some questions raised by Arnab Goswami included:
Where was she when Zaira Wasim was targeted?
Where was she when Ayub Pandith was lynched outside the Jama Masjid in Srinagar?
Where was she when a 26-year-old man was killed for saying Jai Shri Ram?
Where was she when Muslim Clerics issues orders asking minorities to pick up arms?
Where were you when a temple was attacked in Delhi?
#ArnabExposesLobby | Lobby refuses to answer on LIVE TV as Arnab Goswami confronts them with over 10 questions
— Republic (@republic) July 24, 2019
Other than from Arnab Goswami, condemnations for these meek attempts to churn communal tensions flew in from all quarters. Sankrant Sanu, MD, Garuda Prakashan, publisher of ‘Urban Naxal’ also called out these individuals and said, “The ‘intolerance’ lobby is back with a motivated political screed which adds to conflict, rather than resolve it. It mixes an entirely unrelated set of issues. In its world view, victims and perpetrators are pre-determined and any data which does not fit the narrative is dismissed. For instance, in the IndiaFacts Hindu Human Rights Report, we document over 25 cases of violence against Dalits by Muslims. Overall left-wing terror is the biggest killer in India. In 2015, 226 people were killed by Naxals, but this is down from 1,005 in 2010. Urban Naxals must be upset at this decline, no surprise then that ‘intolerance’ is rising.”