Two days ago, I had written a post titled “Understanding #IndianswithIsrael Better” in the blogs section of The Times of Israel. The idea of the post was to primarily understand the reasons behind the kind of support Israel has received for its ongoing campaign against Hamas from several Hindus in India and abroad. In doing so, I dealt with the various factors which probably have contributed to several Hindus seeing Jews as being similar to them in their historical experiences. Further, I had expressed my own reasons for holding the view that Israel has been left with no other option but to retaliate to Hamas’ attacks to protects its citizens, Jews and Arabs.
Predictably, a few so-called Left Liberals reacted on expected lines to brand the blog post as “offensive”/”communal”, and accused it of “using upper caste Hindu cultural imperialism as a justification for communal violence”. I invite the readers of CRI to read the “impugned” blog post (the hyperlink to which has been provided in the first line of this article) and appeal to their sense of fairness to point out those portions of the post which are “offensive”, “communal” and which allegedly use “upper caste Hindu cultural imperialism as a justification for communal violence”. In the meanwhile, here’s my response to these “offended” and communal Left Liberals.
It would have been “offensive” for me to speak on behalf of all Indians regardless of their faith on the issue of support to Israel, which is why I chose to dissect what the trend “#IndianswithIsrael” stands for. Given that the hearts of the likes of Owaisis, Kashmiri separatists, proponents of Nizam-e-Mustafa and closet Islamists (or Sharia Bolsheviks as Tarek Fatah calls them) bleed for Hamas, I could not have spoken on their behalf because that would have been deeply offensive to my own principles and sensibilities in the first place. It would have also been “offensive” for me to speak on behalf of all Hindus since I cannot and will not speak on behalf of Left Liberal Hindus who do not think that Israel has the right to defend itself. This is precisely why I consciously chose to not state anywhere in the post that all Indians or all Hindus support Israel. The spirit of the post was simply this – by and large those who support Israel from India, are Hindus. This is difficult to dispute. Importantly, it is evidently not the same as saying that all Hindus support Israel. As is always the case, in their eagerness to brand as “offensive” and “communal” any view that does not portray Palestinians or even Hamas as righteous underdogs, these Left Liberal detractors chose to conveniently ignore this important distinction, despite being trained as lawyers to read the written word carefully.
As for the allegation that the blog post was “communal”, besides the fact that I don’t need to prove my secular credentials to those who resort to name-calling and hurl casteist slurs, it is a fact that there’s not a single sentence in the entire post which taints any faith or community. I have struck a clear distinction between Islam and Islamism, which is evident in the post. Only people who are either ignorant of or do not understand this distinction and its implications, froth at the mouth even when the reference is clearly to “Islamism”. This leads me wonder if the intention of these Left Liberals was to use the post to portray themselves in better (“secular”) light, or worse- was it to stir communal trouble by deliberately giving the post a communal spin…
What I found offensive, communal, disgusting and baseless is the allegation that the blog post uses “upper caste Hindu cultural imperialism as a justification for communal violence”. There’s not a single reference to any caste anywhere in the post. There’s not a single suggestion to anything related to caste whatsoever and those who know me well, will vouch for the fact that I have been outspoken in my views on the caste system and the roadblock it presents to social cohesion. What then explains the casteist outburst of these so-called Left Liberals? Is it their inherent tendency to resort to ad hominem attacks instead of debating an issue on merits? Is it their bigotry and narrow-mindedness which prevents them from acknowledging that there are non-“upper caste” Hindus who support Israel’s right to defend itself? I think so. Also, isn’t the use of “upper caste” itself downright offensive in this day and age? Or is political correctness selectively invoked only to gag and pixellate views which depart from the Left Liberal position? When Left Liberals hurl casteist slurs, it becomes the exercise of free speech, but when we discuss Islamist fundamentalism, it is branded “hate speech”? Clearly, that seems to be the case.
Critically, the lesson from this incident is that even criticism of “Islamism”, not Islam, is being branded as “communal” by these self-styled adjudicators of what constitutes offensive and communal. Without a doubt the force-feeding episode in Maharashtra must shake the conscience of all right-thinking people, but how on earth does it become “communal” when we discuss the attacks on Kheer Bhawani Temple in Kashmir? Is it communal to discuss the threats issued to Jewish sites in Mumbai by Islamists in India? Is it communal to discuss the fact that the Dean of the Faculty of Shariah at Darul Uloom Nadwa, Lucknow, Maulana Syed Salman Hussaini Nadvi has written to the Saudi Government offering to raise an army of half a million Sunni Muslim Indian youth as his contribution to a “powerful global Islamic army”? Is it communal to discuss the ethnic cleansing of non-Sunni Muslims and non-Muslims by ISIS in Iraq and Syria? Is it communal to discuss the ISIS’s agenda of establishing a global caliphate? Is it communal to point out that Hamas’s charter unambiguously and unapologetically calls for the obliteration of Israel/Jews in the name of Islam? Is it communal to point out that Hamas has been condemned the world over for using schools and UN sites as arms depots? According to these Left Liberals, is it communal to express solidarity with the Jews who are being attacked for being Jews by a fanatical terrorist organization? If yes, then who is being truly offensive and communal? Given the scene that meets the eye the world over, only the monumentally ignorant or incredibly hypocritical can term any discussion on the challenges posed by Islamism as “communal”.
It needs to be pointed out to these sanctimonious Left Liberals that eminent Muslims and scholars of Islam themselves are urging common Muslims to condemn Islamism given the threat it poses to communal harmony. I would request readers and these hypocrites to watch this brilliant speech by noted Shia Scholar, Shri Maulana Syed Kalbe Sadiq where he urges Muslims to not take selective offense to the ill-treatment of their brethren, but to condemn Islamist violence against other communities and groups with equal vehemence. Such being the case, why are these Left Liberals so quick to take offense and who are they to take offense on behalf of others?
All these decades under a pretentious and self-righteous Nehruvian regime seem to have cemented Left Liberals’ narcissistic delusion that they alone have the God-given right to occupy the “intellectual” space, which makes it near-impossible for them to tolerate, let alone consider, the expression of an alternative narrative. Perhaps it’s time for them to wake up and smell the coffee. Our views and voices cannot be censored or silenced anymore, and we are here to stay.