Kapil Mishra is the latest punching bag for India’s liberals and leftist portals who shroud their biases under ‘objectivity’ and paywalls. An address by Mishra to a small crowd has given Hindu-baiters the exact opportunity they were so desperately in the lookout for – a pawn, to pin down the entire blame on. The culprits are not brainwashed Islamist mobs and neo-Jihadis like Shahrukh aiming at the head of a police personnel with a pistol, but instead, the instigators of violence have turned out to be saffron-clad Hindus, according to many liberals, and especially according to two notorious media portals – The Wire and Newslaundry.
Let’s draw two parallels, albeit grossly unequal ones. On one hand we have Kapil Mishra who called for the roads to be cleared, on the other, Sharjeel Imam who called for the entire northeast including Assam, to be separated from India.
Kapil Mishra said that he and many people like him would be patient with the buffoons blocking Jaffrabad and other roads only till the time Trump was in the country. After the US President’s departure, he said, matters would be handled by people like him. The narrative that leftists are attempting to create, unsuccessfully so, is that Kapil Mishra’s little TedTalk instigated already ‘militarized’ Hindus to take to the streets. The logic here is beyond my comprehension. Kapil Mishra said that he would handle the road blockade experts only after Trump’s departure, however, the violence in North East Delhi started even before Trump landed in Ahmedabad. But Kapil Mishra makes for better headlines, which in turn woos the target audience, which in turn reaps monetary benefits and the good old method of blaming Hindus for the onslaught on Hindus is somehow always effective amid brainless liberal circles.
Sharjeel Imam, meanwhile, we are to believe, is a saint and a profound scholar whose expertise include computer science, history and minority studies. The speech he made at AMU was not inflammatory, it was just another rant of a frustrated Muslim youth. Such was the frustration that the man called for the secession of Assam, and effectively the North East from the Indian state. That he called upon non-Muslims to protest alongside Muslims on the latter’s terms, or simply not bother to join in, is perhaps a romantically made remark to wake us, non-Muslim lesser mortals, from the alleged slumber we have fallen into.
Let us now deal with the portals. At the very outset, let me make my position clear. I am absolutely disgusted reading the articles which are finding mention below. This should also serve as a disclaimer to the readers, to read the respective articles with great caution.
The Wire, founded by Siddharth Vardarajan (an American citizen) and fellow comrades published an opinion piece titled, “Sharjeel Imam’s Speech Was Wild and Irresponsible, But Was It Sedition?” by Apoorvanand, a professor at DU who claims to be a “champion for minority rights”. The author tries his best to defend Sharjeel Imam and make a case against the government(s) for slapping sedition charges on him.
In line with the headline, Apoorvanand’s propositions turn out to be the real wild geese. He tries to inform us that it was not secession per se which Sharjeel was advocating for, but a mere ‘chakka jam’ or road blockade. A road blockade at the chicken neck region would cut off supplies to the Northeast and draw the central government’s immediate attention to the plight of Muslims is the argument that he puts forward. One cannot help but admire Apoorvanand’s efforts at deciphering Sharjeel’s speech, to the extent that he concludes Imam’s master plan as being a mere road blockade, while the same does not even find a mention in his speech. Apoorvanand effectively dilutes secession to a road blockade. Not many can do so, and I cannot begin explaining my disgust at having read the abominable piece which The Wire is flaunting as an ‘opinion’.
The Wire, while almost going to the extent of declaring Sharjeel innocent and a victim of vendetta, conveniently forgets to extend a similar courtesy to Kapil Mishra. This, despite the fact that what Kapil Mishra said is incomparable, and not even a fraction of what Sharjeel Imam seemed very keen to effectuate. Instead, the same portal declares Kapil Mishra the single biggest reason for the riots occurring in North East Delhi.
Newslaundry, another notorious portal went a step further and published an article titled, “How Indian Liberal’s reaction to Sharjeel Imam’s speech betrays their dishonesty”. Although the byline goes by the name of Evita Das, there appear to be two more authors. In case you were wondering how a single mind penned down such junk, you now know there were three loonies behind the trash. The Wire’s article appears to be a sober piece of art when compared to Newslaundry’s rant against the Indian state. In their desperation to undermine the articles published in The Wire, the authors do a caste breakdown and unabashedly mock Brahmin authors. The article also compares Jinnah and Sharjeel, and attempts to carry across the point that both were ‘thinking Muslims pushed into a corner, forced into making radical demands’. Jinnah, according to the three authors, was cornered by the explicitly ‘Hindu-Congress Party’ prior to independence. The article is hateful, and the authors come across as spiteful, with nothing but resentment against India and Hindus, particularly Brahmins. Such is the toxicity that the article defends Sharjeel’s demand of non-Muslims chanting ‘Naara-e-Takbeer, Allah Hu Akbar‘ in order to be accepted by the Muslims. As a matter of fact, the article ends with the same Islamic slogan. Furthermore, the authors lie prostrate in front of Sharjeel and ‘agree to stand with him on his own terms’.
The same portals, the same authors and the same mediocre audience of theirs today has the audacity to make frivolous statements against Kapil Mishra for ‘inciting violence’ in Delhi. Liberals cannot have it both ways. Sharjeel Imam cannot be innocent while Kapil Mishra is declared guilty. These portals will be well advised to not make their desperation so overtly known to the public, lest they want to be exposed each and every time.