Soren Kierkegaard’s dog and our P-Secular Media

via H.Balakrishnan published on February 8, 2007

“PARZANIA AND BEYOND”- LETTER TO INDIAN EXPRESS


 


DEAR SIR,


 


Your edit “Gujarat and Beyond” (TNIE- 08 FEB),was anticipated,though the question is, what took your edit writers ‘so long’?


 


Since the decisive Gujarat Assembly election of 2002 it has become something of a fashion for celebrities to court publicity by trashing either Modi or Gujarat. Sometimes the route to secularist heroism leads from the Narmada dam but, more often than not, there is the mandatory bad-mouthing of Modi for allegedly organising a “pogrom”. Some even get to the Ashoka Hall at Rashtrapathi Bhavan for a ‘Padma Award’ for their ‘secular acheivements’!!


 


The (late) Shri Ram Swarup, whose intellectualism is unparalled in the current day context, had this to write about the ‘Indian Secularist’:”The Jamia Millia controversy (on Mr. Mushirul Hasan offering an innocuos comment on Salman Rushdie’s ‘The Satanic Verses’) offered its own dilemnma to ‘India’s Secularists’ who have A CLOSE ALLIANCE WITH ISLAMISM.The alliance works under a veneer of liberal-sounding slogans.But when the Muslims are divided,the secularists are paralysed and take recourse to equivocation.To retain their ideological face,they MUST appear to support Muslim liberals,but in practice they go along with the Bukharis,Ali Mians,Saits and Shahabuddins.” And,don’t we know how the secular brigade reacted to ‘The Satanic Verses’ and ‘Shah Bano’?


 


Evidently,’Parzania and Gujarat’ are more important from your editorial standpoint,than media reports of our ‘very secular PM’ toying with the idea of creating ‘Islamic Banks’ in India!! As the saying goes ‘Cut the crap out please’!!


 


Writing about the media in the early nineteenth century,the Dutch
philosopher Soren Kierkegaard noted:


 


‘Media is an abstraction (because a newspaper is not concrete and only in an
abstract sense can be considered an individual), which in association with the passionlessness and reflection of the times creates that abstract phantom, the public, which is the actual leveller. …This lazy mass of third parties, which understands nothing and does nothing, this public gallery seeks some distraction, and soon gives itself over to the idea that everything which someone does, or achieves, has been done to provide the public something to gossip about. The public has a dog for its amusement. That dog is the Media. If there is someone better than the public, someone who distinguishes himself, the public sets the dog on him and all the amusement begins. This biting dog tears up his coat-tails, and takes all sort of vulgar liberties with his leg – until the public bores of it all and calls the dog off. That is how the public levels.’


 


That Sir, sums up just about everything the ‘secular’ media rants and raves about Gujarat.I don’t think it makes any difference to the average Mr.& Mrs. Patel. You’ll get to see that in DEC 2007!!! Cheers!!


 


Vandemataram

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