Date: 16 May 2010


The Internet Hindus////////// By Shachi Rairikar ///////////// FOR decades the English media, both print and electronic, has been dominated by the leftist elite who by virtue of their English education, articulate speech and degrees, scholarships and awards from abroad face little or no competition at home. A handful of such people occupy most of the media space, holding on to it firmly, forming a closed circuit, only allowing selectively new entrants to join their league. Resorting to rhetoric and imposing their views on the nation in a feverish pitch, has become a second nature to them. Clearly pursuing anti-Hindu agenda, their stand on any issue is almost predictable. All news and views are doctored to fit their ideological parameters. ////////// To the common, average, educated Indian, especially the majority Hindus, this is a frustrating situation. He and his religion has become the object of ridicule and despise in the mass media. Yet he does not have a way to fight this malicious campaign. Neither are his letters to editors published, nor can his articles match the linguistic skills of the foreign-educated. He is not entertained on the talk shows on the television. Even his messages are not displayed during the TV programmes. His responses on the channel’s website are also never published. /////// Rejected by the arrogance of this elitist creed, the internet comes with fresh breath of air, providing a breathing space to the common man choking with indignation. With the advent of blogging, web groups, chat forums, free websites and social networking sites he gets an opportunity to express himself, gives vent to his thoughts which had been deliberately suppressed all these years. The voice that had been muted for so long is now vociferous. The right which had been granted to every citizen by the Indian Constitution – the right to freedom of speech and expression – is now coming out of the law books and becoming a reality. As more and more Indians become internet savvy, the web space is being filled with a new generation of activists. ///////////// The frustration and anger of the majority Hindus at the anti-Hindu stance of the secularist lobby, media, polity and intelligentsia included, is being expressed openly in the cyber space. Blogs, articles, discussion groups are all out to expose the fraud that the self-proclaimed saviours of secularism have been playing on the nation. Facts, views and opinions are being shared amongst Hindus across the globe. The wide gap between the grass roots and the newsrooms is being exposed. The authenticity, motivation and loyalty of the mass media are being questioned. With the growing number of Hindus on the internet, it is becoming evident that majority Indians do not endorse the pseudo-secularism and minorityism that is being imposed upon them. ///////////// The emergence of this new genre of Hindus comes as a rude shock to those who had been manipulating in their safe haven where no one could question them. The space which had hitherto been strictly guarded is no longer their monopoly. They now have to share it with the crude voice of the lowly masses coming from the grass roots; the masses which might not be apparently as sophisticated or articulate but have their own views and the right to express them. The debates and discussions, no longer restricted to the secure surrounds of the studio, have come out to the forums where all are equal and free to express. The voice of the common man has gone beyond the control of the traditional media and can no longer be ignored. Obviously, the elitist lobby loves to hate this new lot of activists which it calls the “Internet Hindus”. /////////// It is interesting to see those who have been severely critical of others who do not fall in their line of thinking react when they get a taste of their own medicine. Those who had been propagating Hindu-hatred are now themselves receiving hate mails from Hindus. It is their turn now to be annoyed. Sagarika Ghose likens Internet Hindus to “swarms of bees” which “come swarming after you at any mention of Modi, Muslims or Pakistan!” Barkha Dutt is now considering the merits of regulating the cyber space. Ashok Malik calls the Internet Hindus “a collective of the intellectually inadequate, the professionally frustrated and the plain bigoted”. ///////////// Surely, this new generation of activists on the internet may not be as qualified as their counterparts on the television and print media in the sense of having degrees and awards, but it would be sheer elitist snobbery to write them off as “intellectually inadequate” or “professionally frustrated”. They are the educated middle class with valuable degrees in fields like technology and management, doing extremely well professionally in corporate, private banks, IT and MNCs, and are intellectuals in their own right. And the more important question here is what credibility the likes of Ashok Malik have, when all these years, outside of their close-knit circle, they themselves have been accused of intellectual bankruptcy. The leftists are bigots in their own way, intolerant of other contemporary ideologies. //////// Probably out of lack of better allegations, Ashok Malik writes “The Left has its universities, journals and institutional support system. It is a commentary on Internet Hindus that they only have multiple email accounts.” And Sagarika Ghose hints that they are an organised syndicate, all with false identities. It is true that the right thinking Hindus do not have an institutional support system but that is precisely because unlike their leftist counterparts they are not an organised syndicate playing key roles in a carefully designed strategy. They are simple men and women who are just pouring out their heart. Also, their not so privileged routines cannot accommodate the luxuries of adopting the leftist propaganda tactics of multiple ids. It would be a grave mistake to undermine the wrath of eighty crore plus Hindus. With such a numeric strength, who needs multiple ids? ///////// Seeing the wave going against them, an obviously disturbed Vir Sanghvi questions “is the Internet losing its sense of being a reflection of the views of society at large?” Would he have raised the same question had the majority on the web appeared to be on their side? Why should we presume that the conventional media with all its short comings is a true reflection of the society? Is it not true that the more equitable internet and not the biased traditional media is a better and more candid representation of the society? /////////// It is fashionable to accuse the right wing of Talibanising Hinduism. Ashok Malik feels that the Internet Hindus represent the collapse of Hindu politico-intellectual space into a caricature of the very Talibanism it opposes. Sagarika Ghose writes, “Internet Hindus want to `Islamise’ Hinduism: they are enamoured of the extremist version of Islam..” It is nice to see some one from the pro-Muslim lobby at least acknowledge the existence of the “extremist version” of Islam which they so fondly promote as the religion of peace and brotherhood. And what they call “Talibanising” is the natural reaction of a society that has been inappropriately marginalised and maligned for too long. ////////// The resentment for the elitist media has been brewing up for a long time. All this time it had been deliberately muted. But the internet has allowed the long over due reprisal to surface. The mainstream which had been pushed to the fringes is now standing up to take its rightful position. The Hindus are rejecting those who had been rejecting them all this while. India is now ready to root out the enemy within. It is another war of independence, this time not with aliens but our own people who are still carrying the burden of the foreign yoke. 000000000