Maintenance of violence through masked truths

Vincent Kundukulam

The Indian sub-continent is a laboratory of communalist ideology (immoderate attachment to one’s own community at the expense of the different interests of other communities) given that it is a composite of diverse identity-conscious communities that are formed on the basis of religion, caste, jati, race, language, culture, etc. People group together behind these labels in order to fight for their social, economic and political needs. As the culture changes, there happens mutation also in the process of communalization. This short write-up is about the development of a new strategy that is taking shape under the tutelage of the Hindu extremists.

In the former decades, the Hindutva groups were using both active and passive forms of violence against their enemies. They continue with those methods of aggression but along with them there appears a new means to create public frenzy against the minorities. While their militants at the grass-roots carry out violence, the Sangh-Parivar does not, along with them, make harsh statements against the adversaries. Instead, on the one hand, they do nothing to put an end to the crimes and on the other hand, they try to divert the attention of the public towards another subject. Under Narendra Modi, the virtual discourses are being multiplied. For instance, while the missionaries are attacked he launches a discussion on conversion or he supports the movement of Ghar Wapsi (act of reconversion which the Sangh-Parivar describes as home-coming). Subsequently, the attention of Hindus turns towards the debate on proselytization. When Mohammad Akhlag was lynched on rumours of having beef in his house in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, the discussion was centered on holy cow and eating beef.   

At some other time, the Hindutva brigades use a masked language by which they whitewash the casualty. For example, the violation of the human rights in Kashmir by the armed force is oft presented by them as evidence for the patriotism of the soldiers. When the liberal economic policies of Modi government are opposed by the critics, the latter are branded as anti-nationals.   The demonetization policy was explained as a war fought against corruption, black-money and Islamic terrorism. Another recent example is BJP’s response to accusation of corruption raised by Congress party in the deal of Raphael warplane from France. The Sangh leaders twist the discussion arguing that the loss of the deal will ultimately help Pakistan and that the controversies will demoralize the army. Modi thus confront all the criticisms levelled against him under the guise of protecting the nation, development and Hindu culture. It seems that, to him, truth is nothing else than the Hindutva vision of nation, development and religion.

What helps the Parivar-associations to disseminate the falsified versions of truth and to obtain wide mileage for the same is media. The arms of the State and media, in particular the personalized media, take the virtual discourses to the nook and corner of the country. Through the constant repetition, they make the half-truths and non-truths real. In such propaganda, the hypotheses and opinions are presented as facts. The truths are delineated from the evidences. These fabricated truths have no space for counter verification as they are made of emotional elucidations and fractional interpretations. After certain time, the Hindutva versions and perspectives get better reception in the minds of people. The public slowly accepts the position of communalists as a matter of common sense and truth in the interest of nation.

Leave a Comment