Modi must obey Shoma Chaudhury’s diktat : He should not mention his identity’

published on July 13, 2013

In a professional and well conducted, well moderated program on NDTV ‘Narendra Modi shocks with ‘puppy’ analogy (July 12, 2013) the anchor Vishnu Som gave all the panelists a chance to speak while he himself did what all good anchors should do, ask questions,make a few short comments and then leave the discussion to the floor and intervene only to moderate.

In an astonishing revelation of her intolerance Shoma Chaudury of Tehelka Magazine focussed on the question of Shri Narendra Modi’s Hindu identity. In the Reuters interview in response to a question he had said : I am a patriot, I am a nationalist, I am a born Hindu, so you can call me a Hindu nationalist. He meant he had been born a Hindu.

Chaudhury took exception to that. She is herself a proud Hindu she said, but she does not feel the need to foreground her Hindu identity. Hence, all Hindus must follow suit. That is presumably the logic of her argument and it is the most blatant case of intolerance that anyone who calls herself a Hindu can display !

She did mutter some words about Hegdewar and Golwalkar. It is doubtful whether she has seriously read any of these people. She merely reproduced the bad Indian history that she must have learned at the various schools she attended in independent India where students are even taught that Mohammed Ghazni was only an invader not a destroyer of Hindu temples ( revisionist history a la Romila Thapar). Be that as it may . . . .

Chaudhury was significantly quiet about the wrong stats that she put forward about the riots during an earlier show on CNNIBN having been bested there by Meenakshi Lekhi who produced the relevant stats. She seemed to want now to shift her focus on the question of Hindu Nationalism. It did not matter that all that Mr. Modi said was that he was born a Hindu and he was also a nationalist.

The world according to Ms Chaudhury is : all Hindus must behave as she does ! They should not mention that ‘dirty’ word ‘Hindu’. It must be kept secret and allowed to fester inside themselves, as it seems to have done in her case.

Shut the Hindus up, let’s get on with our various agendas, one of which is to throw the word ‘majoritarianism’ around. It is also doubtful whether Ms. Chaudhury understands that the Indian Constitution itself is a force against her much feared Hindu majoritarianism and that has been the case since the republic of India came into being.

So why then is that word being bandied about ? Clearly to intimidate the Hindu population. Ms Chaudhuri may believe herself to be a flaming liberal but her language and arguments are unbelievably intolerant. She wishes to cast all Hindus in her image ! Heaven forbid that this should come to pass !

Shri Modi, ofcourse, will continue to speak his mind, nothing festering there. But self professed Hindus who wish to silence other Hindus, can be tolerated in the way one tolerates curiosities.

(The writer is a Political Philosopher who taught at a Canadian university)

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