Indian Political Correctness: Assam vs. Gujarat

[I spend a lot of time in India and have a great affection for that country. Closer and more enhanced relations between the United States and India are critical to defeat the existential threats that both nations face. Few Americans, however, realize that while India has maintained its status as the world’s largest democracy despite constant terror attacks, hostile neighbors, and governments that have not always acted in the nation’s best interests; leftist pressures at work since the 1950s threaten India’s very existence in today’s dangerous world. Dr. Richard Benkin]

In this world of political correctness, Indians often face public condemnation, government harassment, and almost certain career suicide for the “sin” of being politically incorrect. Elites in the media, academia, and elsewhere have built up a system of rewards and punishments to intimidate Indians who might even think about challenging their biased interpretation. People who engage in any sort of critical examination are quickly labeled as “dangerous” and “extremist.”

How severe is it in India?

In February 2009, the editor and publisher of The Statesman, a Kolkata newspaper around since British times, were arrested for “hurting the religious feelings” of Muslims after they reprinted an article from England’s The Independent. Although the article was an opinion piece about religious activism in general, local Muslims complained that it offended them, and the two were charged under Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code.

When Lok Sabha candidate Varun Gandhi made a speech during the 2009 elections exhorting Hindus to self-defense, he was arrested and vilified by a media working for a leftist victory. Varun did not deviate in tone from Indian political speeches, and there was no subsequent violence; yet, one television commentator was not even challenged after asserting that Varun’s statement “literally [caused] hundreds of deaths.”

When my colleague, Dr. Richard Benkin, spoke in India about saving Bangladesh’s Hindus from ethnic cleansing, he was nearly alone in publicly identifying the victims as Hindu. After returning to the United States in March 2012 he found out why: several of his colleagues were “visited” by local police or other government officials.


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