Author: Koenraad Elst
Publisher: Voice of India
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9788185990972
One criterion for seeing at a glance who is in power in a country is: whom can you not criticize? Hindus are certainly not in power in India: it is the done thing to blame them left and right. This anti-Hindu discourse, more than the legal discrimination against Hinduism, is the main reason why many groups hurry to claim a non-Hindu status. Not just Sikhs, neo-Buddhists and Jains claim they are not Hindus, but even many Hindus who insist on being called “spiritual” rather than “Hindu”, a term that carries negative connotations.
Communal violence in history as well as in contemporary society is one field where the guilt of non-Hindus is denied or is even shifted to the Hindu side. In religious riots blamed on the Hindus in screaming headlines, the judicial enquiries sometimes end up revealing that the allegations against the Hindus were false, but these findings are not given the publicity that the allegations had initially received.
In the foreign media, they are not even mentioned, so that the anti-Hindu impression that world opinion came away with, is still there. By contrast, crystal-clear cases of non-Hindu guilt are explained away or gelatinized. As shrill and dramatic as the discourse on real or imaginary Hindu violence is, so minimalistic and quiet is the fleeting mention of non-Hindu riots and bomb attacks. The latter are automatically explained away, e.g. Kashmiri separatist violence against Hindus is blamed on the conduct of the Army of “Hindu India”, or the Godhra arson-pogrom on Hindu pilgrims was arbitrarily blamed on Hindus dragging a non-Hindu into the train. So, if Hindus do something, they are blamed, and if they suffer, they are also blamed.
The present booklet is a chapter excerpted from the two-volume book The Saffron Swastika, published in 2001. It diagnoses the mechanisms behind communal violence and its digestion in mediatic discourse and public policies. Sadly, it describes phenomena just as real and prevalent today as when it was written. The silver lining is that it points a way out of this recurrent problem, a demanding but promising solution.
Communal Violence and Propaganda
Lenin, Goebbels, Orwell
Anti-Muslim and Anti-Hindu Propaganda
Propagandistic Use of Communal Violence
Genocide in the Subcontinent