Mr. Umesh Upadhyay is a veteran Indian TV journalist and media executive. He is currently President & Director Media at Reliance Industries Limited, before which he was President News at Network 18.
Communists and Islamic jihadists are currently pretending to be liberal. These are fine examples of clever beguilers who are experts in changing their forms at the drop of a hat. These communist and jihadi extremists are seen all over the world today advocating for human rights, women’s rights, minority rights, freedom of expression and tolerance. At the theoretical and practical levels, there is no one more intolerant and ruthless towards opponents than these two ideologies. No evidence is required for this. Even reading the original texts of these two is enough. Many examples of intolerance practised by these two ideologies have filled the pages of history. However, let us witness at least some recent events.
Last month, President Erdogan turned the Hagia Sophia Museum in the Turkish capital, Istanbul into a mosque. Hagia Sophia is originally a church and its magnificent building was erected in 537 AD by the Roman Emperor Justinian. In 1453, Istanbul was conquered by Sultan Mohammed II of Turkey, who converted the building into a mosque. The building was later converted into a museum by Kamal Ataturk, a liberal Turkish ruler. He opened Hagia Sophia to all religions and cultures. Turkey’s current President, Erdogan, is a radical. Judith Herin, a professor at Kings College London, reacted by saying that Erdogan had ‘symbolically ended the legacy of tolerance’. Christians, Muslims and Jews have lived together in Istanbul for centuries. Henin says the Hagia Sophia is a heritage building declared by the United Nations. It is the heritage of the whole world. Entrusting it only to Muslims is a kind of ‘cultural cleansing’.
Mao also carried out ‘cultural cleansing’ in China, and the Uyghur Muslim cleansing campaign in Xinjiang continues today. There are countless reports of how the rights of the Uyghur Muslim minority are being violated. Not allowing these women to conceive, not allowing them to fast during the ‘Roza’ period, and keeping millions of protesters in correctional camps have become commonplace.
Attempts were made last month to build a temple for Hindus in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, but many people tore down the walls. The dissidents said that Pakistan is an Islamic country and building a temple here is against their religion. Not only that, while constructing a house in Balochistan, an ancient idol of Tathagata Buddha was found and people tore it down. Importantly, the intelligentsia in India has generally remained silent on these incidents.
Similarly, everyone has seen how the Communist Party of China changed the law overnight by cracking down on civil rights activists in Hong Kong.
The current ideal of the world’s Communists – Chinese President Xi Jinping is currently riding the horse of expansionism. Occupying the lands of other countries and occupying them by China, threatening the countries of using force indiscriminately, has now become the new business of the Communist Party of China. India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, etc., have been the victims of this expansionist policy of Xi Jinping and the Communist Party, one after the other. The Communist Party of China has no qualms about international law, limits and agreements between countries. Like the Communist Party of China, Islamic jihadists are reluctant to accept the interests and rights of others.
Surprisingly, from the ‘Black Life Matters’ in the United States to the anti-CAA movement in India, both Communists and Islamic jihadists have been seen talking in one voice about civil rights, human rights, freedom of expression and tolerance. China, which does not allow Facebook, Twitter and even TikTok in its country, is saying that it is not wise for India to ban TikTok.
People of both these ideologies were saying that ‘Shaheen Bagh’ is the slogan of a new revolution in the anti-citizenship movement in India as well. These same people later turned the movement into a riot during US President Donald Trump’s visit to Delhi. This fresh alliance of those who carry words ‘La Ilah Illah’ on their lips and carry red flag in their hands is not only unique but also very dangerous.
Both these ideologies have deliberately put on the veil of liberalism. As they know, it is fashionable to discuss rights in a liberal democratic society. So these ideologues, which are basically violent, get a certificate of honesty. Therefore, in a liberal democracy, these ideologues are using the right of demonstrations-agitations to carry out violent acts in these countries.
The fact is that both fundamentalist Islam and the left have nothing to do with Democracy and its values. These ideologues are using democratic rights to destroy the same democratic systems. These anarchists, so to speak, are very few; however, they make a huge impact on intellectuals, the media and educational institutions. By using it, these ideologues are creating feelings of discontent, anger, frustration, retaliation and social animosity in liberal democratic societies.
Outbreak of coronavirus appear to be exacerbated throughout the world. In this situation, both radical Islam and communists feel that they can weaken democratic systems by using the situation created by coronavirus.
During his visit to Europe, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made it clear that China has taken advantage of the coronavirus crisis to launch a show of force in Ladakh and the South China Sea. But the mysterious silence of Indian intellectuals on the behaviour of Turkey and China is astonishing. The ideologues who advise day and night to build not only a hospital, a dharamshala but also public toilets at Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya, have remained silent on the forced decision to make Hagia Sophia a mosque. Civil rights activists in India have remained silent on civil rights violations in Hong Kong. Why is that ?
Basically, both Islamic jihadists and Communists are strategically using the rights granted in liberal Democracies. Their faith is neither in Democracy, nor in the right to freedom of expression granted by Democracy. Minority rights, women’s rights and tolerance are not matters of faith for them, they are tools of the strategy. They use them as long as they are in the minority.
In a society where they are in the minority, they raise another issue. It is ‘victimhood’, mean calling themselves ‘victims’. Both these forces are skilled in this sport. It will suffice to give fresh examples of both. In India, the issue is currently being raised by a far-left is that of an activist named Varvara Rao. However, Varvara Rao himself has erred in saying that he believes in armed revolution. Instead of discussing his thoughts and deeds, his supporters are now discussing his older age and his writings. If the law is the same for everyone, then why a different demand for these activists ? They should be asked whether the Communists showed such kindness during their rule.
A similar incident happened in Britain to an ISIS-linked jihadist terrorist woman named Shamima Begum. Shamima, originally from Bangladesh but now a British citizen, fled to Syria at the age of 15 and joined the Islamic State militant group. She used to make explosive jackets for suicide bombers there. But now Shamima wants to return to Britain. Her rights are being discussed in Britain. Her innocent face has become a kind of poster. Shamima is shown as if she has been crippled by the situation, and she is being abused a lot. Opponents of Democracy are using the generosity and soft laws of the democratic system very well.
Islamists or Communists, wherever they hold power anywhere in the world, first snatch away not only every right of their opponents, but also their right to life. Both ideologies do not believe in peaceful coexistence.
People who wear the veil of generosity and penetrate deep into different groups of society are the most dangerous. These forces are using their democratic rights to weaken and ultimately destroy Democracy. Their main goal is to weaken and destroy a liberal Democracy like India. It is necessary to tear the veils of such cunning, shrewd people.
(Courtesy : ‘Tarun Bharat’)