Here is a fable for our times: let us assume there is a certain hypothetical country where the following things are happening. Standard disclaimer: any and all resemblance to real countries and persons is strictly accidental.
Let us say a group of nihilist terrorists run around killing and maiming people, and they crow they are inspired by the nation’s principal enemy. The terrorists capture power in large areas, and openly run an extortion racket. A bunch of arm-chair "intellectuals" support these terrorists vigorously.
So I guess it's fair to assume that the "intellectuals" are in the pay of the nation’s enemies? Incidentally, the warlike ideology espoused by this principal enemy has killed, roughly, 100 million people in the last century.
Several of these “intellectuals” are inducted into a shadowy, unelected group that functions as a national kitchen cabinet, which formulates – as a ‘non-state actor’ that the government uses as a convenient device for plausible deniability – draconian laws based on a simple axiom: "the rights of the terrorist and insurgent are greater than the rights of an average citizen". How very Stalinist of them!
How should the media respond to this? In its role as the watchdog that ensures there are checks and balances on the powers of government, the media should scream bloody murder, one would think. Unfortunately, the media does nothing of the sort. In fact, the media supports terrorists and their urban-guerilla “intellectual” pals — and suppress evidence of their overseas links.
Let us assume, further, that the media is in cahoots with the government partly because it is enjoying the fishes and loaves of office by proxy. This media is complicit in the wrongdoings of the government, and gets caught red-handed enthusiastically interceding in a giant scam.
Wait, that’s not all. The media stands accused of severely damaging the interests of the nation. Let us assume that a leading light of the media goes to a neighbouring country (and a sworn enemy of the nation) and promises that they (the media) will ensure that the national government is overthrown!
Furthermore, when the said neighboring country attacks, members of the same media stand accused of endangering the lives of soldiers through their intrusive broadcasts that essentially give away classified information. When the said neighbouring country sends terrorists who besiege the nation’s largest city, the terrorist handlers get all the information they want about the plans of the security forces from the hysterical coverage by Indian TV.
So I guess it’s fair to assume that the media are in the pay of the nation’s enemies, especially of the neighbouring country?
Wait, there’s more. When an apparent spy for the neighbouring country is exposed, it turns out that a very large number of media people and “intellectuals” have been beneficiaries of his largesse. Anchors, columnists, reporters, talking heads, professors, “public intellectuals” et al have been wined and dined at the spy’s cost. They have flown off – no doubt in business class – to pontificate gravely at “seminars” about “human rights abuses” in the country – which supports the neighboring country’s marketing and branding efforts.
So I guess it is fair to assume that these “intellectuals” and talking heads and professors are in the pay of the neighboring country?
And then let us assume a homicidal maniac goes on a killing spree in some European country. He is a fundamentalist believer of a Middle Eastern ideology that has, conservatively, murdered 100 million people since a big council was held in 345 CE. He has a serious problem with another West Asian ideology, which, he freely says, is why he ran amok.
So the homicidal maniac is fully a product of the Middle Eastern, or Semitic, mindset of “an eye for an eye”. This much is not in question. After all, the Semitic desert ideologies, including Communism, are all into vengeance, jealous gods smiting you dead, and suchlike.
Now let us imagine the homicidal manic has released a 1,500 page manifesto in which, in passing, he mentions a non-Semitic faith as having been the principal victim of the West Asian ideology that he doesn’t like.
Based on that throwaway comment of the maniac, the Stalinists then screech that the non-Semitic faith is the reason why the maniac went on his killing spree!
Perfect, and in keeping in character with the Stalinists’ standard arguments. George Orwell would be proud of them: doublethink. War is peace. A well-known Stalinist tactic of creating a straw-man and then attacking it. Guilt by association and accusation by acclamation. “Truth by repeated assertion” ki jai! It reminds me of the Panchatantra fable of three crooks convincing a gullible man that his goat is actually a dog.
First Published On : Jul 29, 2011 09:40 IST