Silence Is Betrayal

November 3, 2010 at 9:15 AMNov (Activism, Friends, Letter, Media, Musings, Slice Of Life)

Few days ago one Mr. Ravi wrote an open letter to the Naxal leader Gangadhar in Vartha Bharathi reacting to the mailhe had recieved from Gangadhar. Rejecting the ‘path’ of Gangadhar and company Ravi writes the letter. What is the most moving thing about the letter is that it says that Ravi has listened to Gangadhar with whom he does not agree. In his letter, Ravi quotes Gandhi’s reaction at the time of Bhagath Singh’s Judicial Murder. Gandhi had asked the British Government not to hang Bhagath Singh and his conmrades, though he couldnt agree with the path chosen by them. This again shows that Gandhi did listen and accept people with whom he could not agree.

But what is that happened with Gandhi? The people who assasinated Gandhi believe that the people with whom they can not agree has to be eliminated! A recent publication of Sage Publishers titled RSS, The School Texts and The Murder of Mahatma Gandhi:The Hindu Communal Project proves this with historical examples and documents. This is their style. Elmination of the other. This is the ‘Final Solution’ to use the Nazi Germany terminology, which Rakesh Sharma used cleverly as the title of his documentary on Godhra Riots.

Elimination of the other ‘voice’ is also done by the same group adn its sister organizations. To quote a recent example the cadres of these organization have been threatening the shopkeepers in the city of Mangalore not to sell the daily Karavali Ale. And they have been burning the copies, i am told, at some places, where they have found it. The kind of journalism done by KA can be debated. But how can people snatch their freedom of right to speech and expression? The editor in chief of KA has been arrested because the ‘saffron’ feels that he can be dangerous to them.

Yesterday Komu Sauharda Vedike, People’s Union for Civil Liberties and Popular Front of India demonstrated a protest in Mangalore against the continous attack of KA and the arresting of B.V. Seetharam, the editor in chief of KA. I was a bit late for the protest, but did manage to catch the last few minutes. After the protest as i was sipping tea with Pattabhi Sir, who had spoken during the protest a question passed through my mind. “When these people are protesting, why the journalists are not protesting here in Mangalore?” The same question came to me in a different voice by another friend Suresh Bhat of PUCL. He asked me as to how the media people were reacting to these incidents in Mangalore. To be frank, i told Suresh Bhat, there is no reaction. There is only silence, i said. THen as we talked about it, we agreed that there might have been celebrations among the journalist fraternity which has sold itself to the saffron (though not all)

Then i told Suresh Bhat of an incident which took place a few days ago when the minister for minority welfare had called for a press meet in Mangalore: The minister, in the press meet, went on to speak in support of the people who had attacked the churches in Mangalore a few months ago. At the end, i decided to question the minister and as i started off firing questions at him the cadres of the party winded the press meet and gave the vote of thanks. This is typical of them. Nothing to be surprised of. But my ‘journalist fraternity’ stood silent. And i am told somefrom my ‘fraternity’ went to the minister and said “do not take him seriously, he is insane.”

What do you expect from such people? I asked Suresh Bhat. This silence shows a kind of acceptance of vioelnce and rejection of the other. Now i am told there is a ‘plan’ to eliminate the reporters of KA from the association!!!

Elmination of a paper, an editor in chief and reporters. The first two by the ‘saffron outfits’ and the latter by the ‘fraternity’ members who should have spoken instead of remaining silent.

As i was speaking of all this to my friend rajesh Naik, last night, he told me that the silence is very scary. And i rememberd what Martin Luther King once said:

At Times Of Histroy Silence Is Betrayal.

09 January 2009

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