Delhi farmer riots: For 'liberals', Capitol and Capital are more than a spelling gap

India’s rising new nationalism has spawned hostile press across the “liberal” western world, whose backing is itself in question

Abhijit Majumder January 29, 2021 07:29:38 IST
Delhi farmer riots: For 'liberals', Capitol and Capital are more than a spelling gap

File image of protesters atop a flagpole on the ramparts of the Red Fort. AFP

In one corner of India’s internet, a dialogue from the TV show Bigg Boss has been going viral.

Twada kutta Tommy, sadda kutta Kutta? (Your dog is Tommy, my dog is Dog?)”

In a now bigger part of India’s web and popular discourse, however, the violent protests against the new reformist farm laws have taken over.

Frivolous as it may seem, the two are joined at the hip by the hypocrisy of so-called liberals and the western media. I specify western media because at least this once, even India’s intransigent and biased Left-liberal media criticised the chaos unleashed on Delhi streets in the name of “peaceful farmer protests”, with dishonourable exceptions such as a leading Kolkata paper that sought to even justify it in the headlines or a star anchor who lied on air about seeing a farmer shot in his head by the police when in reality cameras showed that he tumbled with his tractor while recklessly trying to breach a barricade and died.

But the hypocrisy of the western media was brazen. The same ecosystem that cheered the banning of former US president Donald Trump by Big Tech, qualified his claims at every turn of their phrase as “false” and “wrong” even in straight news copy, leave aside editorials, did not bother to apply any fact-check even in the face of Capitol Hill-like violence in New Delhi.

The Washington Post, for instance, ran columns by usual Narendra Modi-baiters who sought to justify the anarchy. The New York Times did the same in its commentative reports. This is now unsurprisingly, passé.

India’s rising new nationalism has spawned hostile press across the “liberal” western world, whose backing is itself in question. Some democracies like Canada have hosted openly militant anti-India movements.

Where is Justin Trudeau, who had expressed great sympathy for the farmers’ agitation? Does he have even a word of condemnation for the Republic Day violence? Has he seen photos of Khalistan-embossed bracelets on show at the protests? Has he condemned hoodlums intimidating a highly restrained police force with swords, rods and bombs and forcing cops to jump 10 to 15 feet to save themselves from the murderous mob?

He has not.

Nor has the current US vice-president Kamala Harris, who had things to say about India’s entirely peaceful, legislative changes on Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.

You cannot condole and chide the breach of laws by one set of people in a democracy and condone the same or worse by another. That is what a large section of the”liberals” has done again.

It begs the question: Have the worst illiberal forces infiltrated the global liberal order?

If yes, who? Why?

Think.

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