Skip to comments.Terror in times of political correctness
Posted on 07/16/2006 12:40:04 AM PDT by Gengis Khan
It has long been my view that political correctness is dangerous and usually harms those people and ideas it seeks in a muddled liberal fashion to protect. But, even as someone who holds this view, I was astounded at the insane political correctness we saw in the response of the political class and most of the media to last weeks ghastly bombings in Mumbai.
The issue is terrorism. Right? The issue is the terrible, needless deaths of 200 people and the awful tragedy of those who will forever be scarred by the murderous act of a handful of evil men. Right? The issue is the failure of our intelligence agencies and our criminal justice system and the inability of our government to understand that terrorism is undeclared war. Right? The issue is Indias security in which both Hindus and Muslims have an equal stake. Right?
Yet, if you watched television coverage of the carnage on Mumbais trains, read your newspapers or listened to the speeches of our political leaders, you would think that the only issue was to not hurt Muslim feelings. There were no communal riots after the 1993 Mumbai bombings or after the attacks on temples in Ahmedabad, Ayodhya and Varanasi but there was more talk of communal harmony than terrorism. Hardly anybody mentioned the words jehad or jehadi or that Islamist terrorist organisations openly talk of their jehad against Hindu India. Some journalists dared to mention that Pakistan was almost certainly behind the attack but our political leaders only did this after the Pakistani Foreign Minister was insensitive and shameless enough to say that terrorism would continue until there was a solution in Kashmir. Then, there was a sort of reaction from our External Affairs Ministry.
This wishy-washy, uncertain, irresolute response to a horrific event was inspired, it appears, to protect Muslim sentiments and calm Hindu anger but by doing this what was achieved was the impression that all Muslims are supporters of radical Islam. And, even more dangerously, the impression that all Indian Muslims in their heart support Pakistan against India. What was also achieved was licence for sectarian political leaders like Mulayam Singh Yadav to come out in open support of SIMI, which is not just a rabidly jehadi outfit but has direct links to jehadi groups in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The Students Islamic Movement of India has, according to terrorism experts in the Institute for Conflict Management, been directly involved in terrorist acts like the bombing of the Sankatmochan Temple in Varanasi and the attack on the Shramjeevi Express near Jaunpur. But, according to the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, SIMI is a fine organisation with a few bad eggs. How weird is that?
SIMI is a jehadi organisation that has been recruiting misguided young Muslims for its murderous jehad in states across India. Despite being banned by the Supreme Court since September 27, 2001, it manages to function covertly in states across India but particularly in Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Maharashtra. But, Mulayam Singhs support for them comes not from political correctness but from political calculation and its the former we need to talk about.
Political correctness caused the print media, a couple of decades ago, to come up with a code for reporting communal riots whereby the names of communities involved in an ethnic clash were to be concealed by saying members of a particular community. Over the years this code has deteriorated into a code that only means Muslim. So, if the Bajrang Dal had burned alive those two policemen in Bhiwandi two weeks ago, we would have identified them happily as murderous thugs. But, because it was a Muslim mob that killed the unfortunate policemen, most newspapers chose either to downplay the killings or identify the killers as members of a community.
When a few days later Shiv Sena thugs took to Mumbais streets to burn buses and close shops because the late Mrs Thackerays statue had allegedly been muddied long discussions were held on television to condemn vandalism and destruction of public property. Was there one discussion on the killing of the policemen? Does this kind of political correctness protect Muslims or target them?
There is a jehad being waged against India by Islamists. This jehad has the support of the governments of Pakistan and Bangladesh and the reason why India is losing the fight is because our leaders do not have the political will to order our security forces to fight more than a defensive war. On the public relations front the jehadis are winning because we in the media are too politically correct to either investigate or publicise the local links that the Islamists have. This is not just political correctness gone mad, it is a betrayal of the thousands of Indians who have died at the hands of terrorists.
The insanity that is political correctness knows no borders.
At least when we die, they can say we went down fighting the PC way.
Tavleen Singh is a noted columnist and political reporter. She was born in Mussoorie, India in 1950 and studied at the Welham Girls School. Tavleen completed her education in India and started her career with a reporting job at Evening Mail, Slough, where she worked and trained for two and a half years under the Westminster Press/Thompson training scheme.
She returned to India in 1974 to work with The Statesman as a reporter and went on to do several stories on communal riots, elections and wars. In those days such topics were covered mainly by male reporters.
She joined The Telegraph as a Special Correspondent in 1982, mainly covering Punjab and Kashmir. Tavleen did the first known interview with Bhindranwale during this time and won the Sanskriti award in 1985 for her reporting of Punjab.
In 1985 and also in 1987 she became the South Asia correspondent of the Sunday Times, London. Subsequently she became a freelancer and started writing for India Today and The Indian Express. Her column in The Indian Express became the first political column to be written by a woman.
She is the author of two books:
Kashmir: A Tragedy of Errors (1996)
Lollipop Street: Why India Will Survive Her Politicians 1999
In 1990 she began her stint with television by heading Plus Channel's Delhi bureau. Tavleen presented two video magazines called People Plus and Business Plus. She has done Ek Din Ek Jeevan, a Hindi weekly programme for Star Plus.
In 2002 she anchored the new weekly political discussion programme Dateline India a programme produced by Karan Thapar, on BBC World.
...agreed. Western political correctness against families is also harmful and wrong. I hope many Hindus will reject the romanticism (now more often called feminism) in our culture and help us to do the same.
SIMI functions unhindered here in Kerala,it comes under various names and forms including that of a charitable trust and a magazine.Since the commies are in power and they look forward for extremist parties like PDP and jamaat and NDF for power and money no actions have been taken so far.One can occasionally spot the party poster of a banned SIMI-like NDF painted on the walls even one opposite to my house carries a NDF writing.
lest we forget...
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