MASSACRES - Hazards of Being a Minority in Modern India

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Chapter 20
Communication:
Teaching Hate and Covering up Crime

This has been the anatomy of what some call communal riots in India - a sad, dark and diabolical euphemism and misnomer for some of the worst acts of systematic and pre-planned savagery and barbarism in the annals of human history.

This is also the story of the pain, suffering, hurt, helplessness and humiliation heaped on Muslims in India.

And elsewhere.

A story of repetitive and ongoing massacres of Muslims in India.

Of blatant injustice and unfairness.

For all these years and decades.

This is also an instance of how communication in the form of a seemingly harmless word like riots can turn into miscommunication and disinformation.

Propaganda, concealment, obfuscation and cover up.

Giving the seemingly innocuous name of riot to massacres bordering on genocide.

Passing off as riot, or disturbance or conflict what in reality are large-scale systematic and pre-planned massacres and pogroms carried out against entire communities of people.

Against an entire fellowship of faith.

It shows how in the hands of partisans and prisoners of pusillanimity and psychic destitution, depravity and perversity, communication can become an instrument to perpetuate prejudice.

And consolidate the domination of one group over another, leading to the eventual physical elimination of the subordinate group - as happened to the Muslims and Jews in Spain after 1492.

And to native American peoples, nations and cultures throughout the Americas.

Or leading to the subordinate group being reduced to the status of permanent slaves as happened to the untouchables - the Dalits - in India.

And to the blacks in America.

This is what communication can do - in the hands of those who have no morals or conscience.

Or who practice selective morality and ethics, according to which they use one set of rules for themselves - Us, Self - and another set of rules for others - Them, Other.

As what the Hindu majority is doing right now with its Muslim minority in India.

This is how communication in the form of speech and silence, words and images, myths and stories, can create hate - pathological hate.

And systematically nurture and fan the flames of that hate till it turns into a demonic conflagration consuming everything in sight - figuratively as well as literally.

A conflagration that has been unleashed upon the Muslims of India repeatedly over the past half century.

This is what communication can do.

And does.

It can sugarcoat reality.

It can cover up crime.

And it can create confusion and obfuscation in the minds of naive, trusting, unsuspecting, gullible, ill-informed people.

Leading to the perpetration of the most unspeakable horrors against fellow humans.

And leading, also, to silence and quiescence and indifference on the part of others.

Communication - that defining human characteristic, quality and function.

Communication - that amazing divine spark in the heart of humanity.

Communication - that matchless instrument and marker of human civilization and achievement.

Communication - that has such unmatched power and potential for good.

For creating reality.

For constructing images and powering and directing human action.

For shaping a new world.

For making our world a better place for all.

For getting the world to do the right thing.

For calling humanity to the highest notions and levels of justice and fairness.

Kindness and compassion.

For enjoining what is right, good, kind and noble and for forbidding, fighting and stopping what is bad, wrong, evil, detrimental to individual and public good.

But which, in the hands of the partisans, the timid, the greedy, the wicked and the sundry sick-of-the-soul, becomes an instrument for producing and perpetuating prejudice and hate that lead on to murder.

Murder, not just of an individual or two.

But murder that takes the form of systematic and pre-planned massacre and elimination of entire groups and communities of people.

As has been done to the Muslims of India over the past 50 years.

And to all sorts of other groups and peoples - human, all of them in one place or another.

At one time or another.

By other groups and peoples - also human, all of them.

Verging on genocide.

Based primarily on people's faith.

Or based on some other marker of difference, deviance or deficit, arbitrarily chosen and even more arbitrarily defined.

This is also how, in the hands of the partisans and the timid and the greedy and the wicked and the sundry sick-of-the-soul, communication and miscommunication and disinformation combine to cover up crime.

And give it a whitewash.

And concoct lame, perverse and depraved excuses and rationalizations for it.

Even if it is a crime against humanity.

As has been happening to the Muslims of India for the past half century.

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Chapter 21
If This Is A Riot...

And it is this that some people so sweetly, nonchalantly, callously, foolishly call a communal riot in India.

Riot - a dirty four-letter word when used to describe the systematic, pre-planned and at times state-condoned and police-and-bureaucracy-aided massacres, rapes and burning alive of large numbers of Muslims in India.

A scarlet letter of shame, insensitivity and hypocrisy that hangs around the necks of those who embrace it and perpetuate its use.

But what we - you, me and everyone else - rarely ask, and yet need to answer, is this:

If this is a riot, what then is a massacre?

A pogrom?

A holocaust?

A genocide?

A crime against humanity?

And what were the Nuremberg trials all about?

At the end of World War II?

END

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