Sunday, November 8, 2015

Thank You, Anupam Kher

Actor Anupam Kher today let the #MarchForIndia march to Rashtrapati Bhawan today, accompanied by many well-known artists and professionals as well as many other citizens. Parallel marches were also reported in other cities. The march met the President and the Prime Minister to oppose the politically-motivated Award Wapsi campaign and state that they in no way feel stifled or victimized by any intolerance. This must be one of the first movements in recent times that has chosen to oppose the left-liberal narrative of the country, what they dub the 'Idea of India,' was challenged by the people of the country, and the Congress' party's agenda opposed by right-thinking citizens.

Mr. Kher has been sticking his neck out recently in the media, more than most others, to point out the hypocrisy of the campaign as well as its clear political undertones. This can be quite hazardous, because the liberal-left brooks no dissent, and crushes those who speak out against them. Sadly, Narendra Modi has been averse to cultivating a space for the right-wing intelligentsia (a rare breed after decades of persecution), so little has changed, except that the right-wing has gotten more space through social media, where it dominates.

A silly event during #MarchForIndia was an NDTV journalist claiming that the crowd heckled her and called her a 'prostitute.' Firstly, it is not wrong to heckle someone - it is an established procedure of debate. As long as it is done with decency, and definitely without threat of physical harm, it is fine, although obviously actual debate would be better. But heckling is by no means indecent, if done properly. Secondly, I doubt there were calling her a 'prostitute': in all likelihood it was #Presstitute, a nickname that a majority of mainstream journalists have earned through their blatantly partisan and even untruthful 'reporting,' if you can even call it that. While it is not the choicest of insults, it is certainly quite appropriate. Instead of blaming the gathering, it would help if the journalist would introspect as to whether she is really reporting news or just her opinions masquerading as news.

In another day and age, where the government and its allied media controlled the narrative, such a march would've been either impossible or largely ignored. It is testament to the unleashing of individual free spirit by former PM PVN Rao from the shackles of the Nehruvian state that the false narrative of the extremely powerful left-liberal establishment can be countered. And yet, there is still so much more to be done beyond countering, with the ultimate aim being to build a counter-narrative in entirety. That is still a long way to go.

No comments: