“Growing intolerance”, and why Congress loves it

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Indian National Congress, the grand old party of India, suffered its worst ever electoral defeat in May 2014. Reduced to 44 seats, it was staring at a risk of being pushed to the margins if immediate corrective steps were not taken.

The reasons for its defeat were pretty obvious – corruption charges, anti-incumbency, lackadaisical leadership of Rahul Gandhi, and Modi wave.

However, if you analyze them as a pragmatist, these reasons don’t warrant any “corrective” step. They are transient in nature. For example, Congress could simply shrug them off with the following responses, and the party won’t really be wrong: Continue reading

Love Jihad – let’s not love this jihad

A Hindi newspaper report on Love Jihad
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Much has been written and spoken about “Love Jihad” in the political and media circus, I mean, circles, so I thought one more by me won’t be such a bad idea.

Out of dozens of articles there, including a ridiculous “data backed” NDTV report, I would start with pointing out two articles to which I largely agree with. These are by R Jagannathan and were published on Firstpost.

The first one argues that the theory that Muslim groups, in an organized way, are targeting Hindu girls to hurt or convert them is logically not sound, for it will be fraught with risks of failure when compared with other means of organized attempts at religious conversions.

The second one concedes that there could be small and isolated attempts, but Hindus first need to worry about their own failings – such as patriarchy, casteism, and lack of efforts to propagate Hinduism – and put their own house in order before losing sleep over something called “Love Jihad”.

As I said earlier, while I largely agree with these points, these still don’t show the complete picture. Continue reading

Three cheers for the “moral compass” (updated)

Moral compass
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When the alleged force feeding of a fasting Muslim man by a Shiv Sena MP happened, I felt that the religious angle was a spin given to the incident, and that the media was needlessly playing it up. Media showed it as an example of communal bigotry, when it appeared a case of hubris and hooliganism.

However, there was one benefit of doubt the media and the possessors of moral compasses could be given – the victim i.e. the canteen supervisor, in his complaint, had claimed that his religious sentiments were hurt.
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Moral compass and secular reporting

Moral compass
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One of the senior anchors of the news channel Headlines Today, Gaurav Sawant was “forced” to delete some of his tweets where he questioned the hypocrisy of the mainstream media when it came to reporting “communal” behaviors of different religious groups.

Following is the set of tweets that were apparently deleted:

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