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French crisis, racial discrimination in Western world, and disturbing role of Indian media

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat* 

The crisis in France is not known to those who understand that a falsehood is being played in the name of ‘liberalism’ and ‘secularism’. The ‘experts’ cleverly project this as an “Islamic’ invasion on ‘secular’ and ‘liberal’ France but it is a pity that we don’t understand how colonialism worked through destroying the culture and heritage of local communities everywhere. French colonialism destroyed Africa and still wanted African labour to work in France. Anyone can see who are the people cleaning and sweeping the streets in France or who are the taxi drivers. A majority of these workforce actually come from Africa particularly Algeria where French brutalities are still remembered.
While, it is easier to say that French ‘constitution’ is secular and it does not discriminate against people on the basis of ‘religion’ but that can be termed as a ‘secular’ rhetoric very much like the ‘Pradhan Sevak’ speaking that in India there is no discrimination and laws apply to all the citizens in the similar way but an independent analysis of the jails and the people inside them can reveal and expose all ‘secular’, ‘liberal’, ‘conservative’ and every variety of political thoughts in various countries. You don’t need to speak about the constitution and liberalism. Let that fight be kept aside and investigate who are the people suffering and languishing in jail in France, in America or in India. The commonality would be the people victim of racial and caste apartheid apart from Muslim minorities.
The racial discrimination in the Western World is a powerful issue which takes shape in the form of Islamophobia and many times takes shelter in the name of ‘liberalism’. The American Supreme Court’s recent ruling against affirmative action reflects the serious prejudices in the system. These are not isolated incidents if we see how an African American person can face severe retaliation against so-called violation of law unlike their white compatriots. The crisis in France happened very much like atrocious murder of George Floyed in the United States. The White police are ready to kill any black American with much bigger ferocity than we can imagine. American ‘liberalism’ has a ‘dirty’ and ‘dark’ chapter of suppression, isolation and absolute disempowerment of the African American. A few famed people in the Hollywood and elsewhere can't hide the dirty fact that the representation of blacks in the US top services.
The situation in France is no different. The bogey of ‘secularism’ is often used to suppress the racial question. You have ‘right to offend’ the sensibilities of the marginalised by mocking at their practices but you don’t question the atrocious, horrific track record of your country by looting the resources of Africa and other places.
If you look at what happened on the day of Eid in Sweden then you will realise how Europeans right wings as well as so-called liberals have vastly ignored the issues out of the colonial brutalities in Africa, Asia and Latin America by portraying the native communities as uncultured, ignorant and living in knee depth superstitions. They forget how the Church was used to keep the people further subjugated. The question is not merely whether some one is rational or not but to use humanism and rationalism to hide the dirty fact of racial discrimination is definitely a crime against humanity. It is not for unknown reasons that the Swedish authorities allowed the protesters to burn the Quran in front of a mosque on Eid Day. Can we justify this act in the name of ‘freedom of expression’? Definitely, the track record of the Islamic countries and societies in dealing with diversity is not great and ordinary Muslim pay the price for living in other countries for no fault of theirs.
The French crisis can escalate further to other colonial powers who had been known for brutal repression. Belgium is already facing the heat and everyone knows the brutality of their colonisation in Congo where they killed over 10 million native people opposing their presence between 1885 till 1960 during the regime of King Leopold II. Now, the Dutch king Willem Alexander has officially apologised for horror and atrocities committed on the native people of their colonies. According to BBC, Dutch Slave trade trafficked over 600000 slaves from various colonies and between 1675 to 1770 they received USD 595 millions from their colonies. The role of Britain and America in this trade is equally appalling but the debate around slavery and racism does not reflect around paying reparation to the countries but mostly speaking of so-called inclusion but not undoing the historical wrongs. Today, the same societies are giving us sermons of human rights without ever acknowledging their own dirty role during the colonisation process. They had not come to India and other countries to teach us ‘civilisation’ but to loot our resources both natural as well as human. They succeeded in both till today as we still need their certificate and preaching whether we can do anything or not. The reason for that is that racism and supremacism too are part of every culture and the ruling elite learn lessons from each other. The Indian ruling elite will not even accept that there was a caste system and slavery as for them everything was brought to India by the Western civilisation otherwise we all were living an extremely amicable life and everybody was ‘happy’.
Therefore, the issues in the West as well as in South Asia should not be allowed to be discussed with religious identities as main focus but should revolve around race and caste. There are commonalities in this as race and caste cut across all the religions. There are Christian racists, Muslim racists and Hindu racists/caste-iests and similarly there are victims of racism and casteism in every religion. Therefore, to understand the crisis of our time, it is important that issues of caste and race be the focal point and not the other ‘ism’ constructed artificially to hide the dirty truths of birth based racial and caste discrimination.
While, as a humanist, I have no issues with people critiquing religious texts, it is beyond my comprehension as to why it is needed to burn a text on the day when people celebrate their festival and that too in front of a mosque. Can we really counter an idea by burning the textbook? In fact, the more we attack, the bigger is the attraction to read it. When Dr Ambedkar burnt Manusmriti, it was due to its depiction of the Dalits and women in our society. The right to question the religious text and its protests can be understood when the affected people protest against it. The Western World’s luxury of vilifying the Quran specifically does not solve the issue because it remains conspicuous about its own oppression and brutalities on others. It would be better for the Christian elite of the Western world to question the Bible and role of Church more aggressively than vilifying the Muslims particularly those who hail from their former colonies specially from Africa. Aim of the West is not to create an inclusive society but to continue to create an impression that the Muslims can’t be integrated in their mainstream. It is not that the Muslim can't be integrated in their mainstream but the issue is not of their being Muslims but more as a race factor. Rather than seeking inclusion, the attempt to laugh at the religiosity of the migrants rather than creating an inclusive society is the real question. Many people said that the western world is more liberal and inclusive than others but it is because they have business interests all over the world particularly in the former colonies and these ‘migrants’ become ‘role model’ in their societies whose blood have been sucked by the imperialists. 
 When I am writing this, I am conscious of the fact, that Western track record in terms of inclusion is far better and superior to that of the Islamic world as well as elsewhere such as India where we definitely had a much better model of inclusion but today, we only remember our glorious past of fighting together against the colonial rule. Today’s rulers were neither part of the fight against colonialism nor did they ever consider that as important as for them, it was the Mughals who enslaved India and not the British. It is true that we all have our own kinds of internal imperialism which has kept communities and people isolated and subjugated. All the western world did, was, to exploit the inherent contradictions among us to fulfil their imperial business interests.
Now amidst all this, India’s television channels and netas have become hyperactive. Any one who does not even know where France is located has become an expert. The shamelessness of the TV channels is visible when they created a fake news article quoting a prestigious German doctor as seeking Yogi Adityanath’s model to be exported to France. Little did the Chief Minister and his media team realise that the person impersonating as Prof N John Kamm was a fake Sanghi supporter N Narsimha Yadav who has been involved in various fake cases. One wonders, how has twitter given blue tick to such farce but it is visible that these fake accounts have uninterrupted support from the top leadership of the ruling party. This is shameful. 
The question is why the issue of racial discrimination has been converted into an Islamophobic outcry on Indian news channels? How the disgusting news channels project a chief minister’s unconstitutional acts model for other countries. How the narrative has been shifted from failed law and order to ‘this was to happen because he did bad’. If we allow everything to happen as per individuals then why do we need such a huge ‘sarkari bandobast’? Why does the government extract tax from us and we all know India remains among those countries with highest tax rates where industries pay the least while in the poorest of the poor is charged the maximum?
The crisis in the West is racial discrimination while that in India and its subcontinent is caste and untouchability. In both cases, the ruling elite pretend to be inclusive and talk of ‘great heritage’, ‘constitution’, ‘rule of law’, autonomous institutions but the fact remains as to who is filling the jails in these countries? Who is being arrested and being killed indiscriminately? Whose resources are being sucked in the name of ‘nationalism’ and ‘development’? And the answer will be automatically the blacks in Europe and America while Dalits Adivasis in India and its neighbouring countries. Bringing religion into debate helps the elite class/caste of these religions. 
Debate in America and Europe must find out the answer of inclusion based on experiences of the Native Africans and not with so-called inclusion from different countries. It is your problem to dominate the world that you want to show us how ‘inclusive’ you are. Fact of the matter is, western world created an elite servile class of various colonies to control the narrative and politics of these countries. These Non-Residents are the biggest propaganda tool of the western world in their erstwhile colonies.
It is deeply disturbing that electronic media and popular cinema have become the biggest propaganda tool to spread hatred through fake narratives and anti-Muslim hate propaganda. Every action in the Western World is being seen in India from a perspective whether the perpetrators of the ‘crime’ are Muslims or not? The story of the library being burnt during the ‘riots’ is nowhere to be found in the international media organisations but it is the biggest headline on social media in India. Indian channels have found no time to discuss the crisis in Manipur which is burning for the last two months. 
The Prime Minister found no time to react or even appeal for peace in Manipur during the last few years even when he spoke about ‘democracy’ in our ‘DNA’ at the White House. The media shamelessly propagate lies and distortion to fix up an agenda for the coming elections in the form of polarising the public opinion. In the Western World, the media remains worse when it is reporting about Russia as most of the reporting about Russia are more as fiction than ground reports but otherwise they have been quite balanced. The Indian media has not merely become the official spokesperson of the ruling party but the biggest tool to spread hatred against minorities and marginalised. 
This vicious and poisonous agenda has crossed all the limits and for that they are ready to create fake narratives through picking up stories from dubious twitter handles and these narratives then are responded to by the top leaders of the ruling party and shared to millions of ‘devotees’ all over the country. Look at the responses by the political leaders and Western media to their crisis there and most of them agree that it is an issue of ‘inclusion’ and ‘marginalisation’ of the migrants particularly those of African origin. By contrast, Indian media want us to believe that Muslims have attacked and destroyed France because they are against ‘modern’ ‘democratic’ values and the European government need a response like what Yogi Adityanath has done, which means ‘demolish’ the houses of ‘rioters’ who according to them are Muslims.
Shameless Indian media will not apologise for its deliberately constructing the stories for the benefit of their masters during the elections. The servile hate mongering Manustream media is not asking the government any question for its gross failure to protect the life and property of the citizens of Manipur while debating how the Western World needs an Indian leader to ‘run’. In the global freedom index, the condition of Indian media has dropped further but loudspeakers are not bothered as the country suffers from the economic crisis, these propagandists, it seems are enjoying their fat pay packages and a lot more in kind, so that they can continue to vomit hatred. 
It is time for the media to become more sensible and consider its duty towards society and nation rather than just becoming a pawn in the political game to spread fire of hatred everywhere. Hope media watch organisations will continue to do their work in the greater interest of the people by exposing their fake news so that the public at large can understand the bigger game plan of the media organisations and question their narrative.
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*Human rights defender. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vbrawat. Twitter: @freetohumanity. Skype: @vbrawat

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