I bet that in some parts of the world, Hinduphobia must have been classified as an essential service. Because it appears that the global elite cannot go without their regular supply of it. In spite of all the lockdowns in the world.
With even more time on their hands than usual, the elite has to invent new examples of “thoughtcrime” to keep their minds and their audiences engaged. Blaming the government of China is a strict no-no. So where does the global liberal go right now with their righteous, moral outrage?
To India of course. There’s one billion Hindus out there, the biggest of all soft targets in the world. And now this, in the Atlantic, from the poison pen of Aatish Taseer.
Facing the brunt this time is the word “Bharat,” which is sought to be declared “exclusionary.” The reasons given include Bharat being a Sanskrit term and Bharat being the word used for India in Indian languages.
Ooh! Indians have been using a secret term to refer to their own country, away from the eyes of the world. How very sinister.
The surprising part is how it took so long for the liberal world to discover this crime of thought / speech committed by Indians in their daily lives. After all, this genre of Hinduphobia has produced several gems already, from diatribes against everything from sarees to rasam to sambhar to diyas and Hanuman stickers. In other words, every single thing about India that may not be widely known in the West is a ripe target for being framed as a sinister conspiracy against humanity. An attack on the word “Bharat” was only a matter of time.
Of course, we hardly need to explain how ridiculous Taseer’s attack on the word “Bharat” is. The national anthem refers to India as “Bharat.” Even the Indian Constitution begins with the phrase “India, that is Bharat…” But the point is that not many in the West have heard the word Bharat. This makes it a prime target for Hinduphobia.
It is not difficult to see what comes next. Incidentally, Aatish Taseer actually responded to my tweet. This time, he seems to suggest that the idea of Bharat could be similar to the self-image of Nazi Germany.
No. It’s because you made it exclusionary, and you know that. The culture of ancient India has as little to do with you as German culture had to do with the Nazis. https://t.co/LJtMHQBSqZ
— Aatish Taseer (@AatishTaseer) April 11, 2020
(Side note : Germans never refer to their country as “Germany”. Instead, they always say “Deutschland”. Or as Aatish would probably put it, a word used away from the eyes of the world. But then, it’s not easy to stigmatize a Western European country, is it?)
But the ball has been set in motion, nevertheless. The stage has been set for the word Bharat to be stigmatized, effectively ‘criminalized.’ Just like the word ‘Hindutva,’ which has been defamed to the point that liberals openly raise slogans of “Hindutva ki kabar khudegi” (Dig a burial pit for Hindutva). Nobody thinks any more that a largely Muslim mob raising slogans of digging burial pit for Hindutva is offensive. Nobody sees the echoes of Nazism in that.
The same is about to happen to the word Bharat. The ‘woke’ classes among us will be the first ones to catch on to the new trend. They will start shunning the word. Gradually, they will wear us down, let it filter down, seep in and settle. Ultimately, it will become a tag that most common Hindus will run away from.
As a matter of fact, the word Bharat has been on the chopping block before. Who remembers the slogan ‘Bharat ke tukde’? That was roughly four years ago. Out of that great media event, the names of three young leaders, all reportedly Communist and atheist, entered the public consciousness: Umar Khalid, Shehla Rashid and Kanhaiya Kumar. Two of them went on to become outspoken defenders of the One True Faith. The third one went on to become a warrior against ‘Hindutva.’
Therein, you can understand the real trajectory of where Indian secularism wants to take us.