[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he attacks on Canadian writer of Pakistani origin and television personality Tarek Fatah are growing by the day. A day after he was thrown out of the Jashn-e-Rekhta festival in Delhi, a religious organization in Bareilly announced a bounty of ₹10,786 on his head. The silence of the Left-liberal lobby over the subject is as disturbing as is the Muslims’ intolerance of the well-known public figure.
People talk about freedom of expression but when it comes to reality, their fascism and contempt for difference of opinion is quite evident.
And the intolerance is without any limits. “Fatah was at the Indira Gandhi National Centre of Arts, the venue of the event, shooting with his video crew when a group of attendees cornered him and began shouting slogans against him. The group asked Fatah to leave the venue and while replying to them, he entered into a fracas,” Hindustan Times reported (February 21).
Volunteers reportedly tried to resolve the issue but failed. Finally, the police had to be called to provide security cover to Fatah. He was later taken out of the venue. “An eyewitness said attempts by volunteers to pacify the situation failed as the protesting group became aggressive,” the report said.
However, Fatah has a different story to tell. Speaking to Times Now, he said, “A few people at the Urdu festival came to me for autographs and pictures. This upset some people there. Very soon, orchestrated group of around 100 people surrounded me. They were kicking me and beating me up from all sides. I was all alone in this. The organizers instead of intervening stayed away. And the police, instead of stopping those who were attacking me, tried to throw me out of the festival. People talk about freedom of expression but when it comes to reality, their fascism and contempt for difference of opinion is quite evident.”
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he selective championing of the freedom of expression is as old as it is obnoxious and hypocritical. While liberals’ supported M.F. Husain’s right to paint Hindu goddesses in the nude, they don’t take up the cause of other creative people who were hounded by the jihadists. They didn’t they stand up for the rights of Taslima Nasreen, Rushdie, and the Danish cartoonist. Liberals maintain silence whenever Muslims claim that their sentiments have been hurt. So, in February 2006 Alok Tomar, editor of a Delhi-based Hindi magazine, was arrested for publishing one of the Danish cartoons of Prophet Mohammed. He had to pay ₹50,000 and provide a personal surety for release.
Muslims malign Fatah but don’t answer the questions he asks.
Liberals’ doublespeak is having a baneful effect on freedom of expression. The chattering classes cite this freedom when Hindu sensitivities are concerned, but when the Muslims start screaming, they remain silent. Freedom of expression has become a tool to settle scores with the Hindu nationalists. Even common Hindus have noticed this duplicity; unfortunately, they have started paying attention to the arguments of the Shiv Sena and the Bajrang Dal. It seems that Muslim unreasonableness is spawning Hindu intransigence.
Muslim unreasonableness is not surprising because the Muslims, long pampered by politicians for votes and pitied by intellectuals for being the victims of ‘Hindu communalism,’ can’t even think that their faith, doctrines, and practices can be scrutinized and criticized. But there is no reason why this cannot or should not be allowed in a liberal democracy. Hinduism is regularly analyzed, examined, and castigated. In fact, it is because of such analysis, examination, and castigation that Hindu society is much more enlightened, vibrant, and robust than it was a couple of centuries ago. Fatah is regularly targeted because he refuses to be politically correct like our liberals and pusillanimous like our netas.
Muslims malign Fatah but don’t answer the questions he asks. For instance, why no Indian Muslim has named their son as Dara Shikoh? Why are they obsessed with Arabs who, in turn, regard Indian Muslims as inferior? Why do they ignore their Hindu past?
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]W[/dropcap]hile efforts are made to silence Fatah and others who question Islamism, those who incite violence are dealt with kid gloves. Like the head of the All India Faizan-e-Madina Council chief Moeen Siddiqui Noori also announced a bounty of ₹5 lakhs on the head of the channel’s owner Subhash Chandra whose channel airs Fatah’s programme.
Free speech is throttled, whereas its enemies walk free.
“This is not the first time that Noori has announced such bounty against people who have allegedly hurt Muslim sentiments,” reported The Times Of India (February 20). In 2013, he offered a bounty on BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s head. “Yes I was arrested but was freed after being lodged in jail for a few days. I have no regrets about that,” Noori told TOI.
Similarly, Parvez Alam was among those who assaulted Fatah. He was detained and taken to the Parliament Street police station, but released after two hours.
Free speech is throttled, whereas its enemies walk free. Such are the absurdities of the world’s largest democracy.