October 09, 2010

All the dead were dead

Whether the RSS is to be equated to SIMI or not, I'll leave others to figure out and make pronouncements on. It doesn't interest me much, really.

I do know a couple of things. One, in my experience, folks who feel the need to tell the world that they are "patriotic" usually don't quite believe it themselves. And two, it's in the reactions to pronouncements that you can usually find revealing nuggets.

Consider one reaction to Rahul Gandhi's pronouncement, taken at random: Rahul Gandhi should have known better. Nearing halfway through this otherwise innocuous editorial, there's this sentence:

It was the RSS that sent in its cadre to salvage the bodies of victims after two planes collided mid-air a short distance from Delhi: All the dead were Muslims.

I don't know when the defenders of the RSS will realize -- if they care, that is -- that it is exactly this kind of line that people like me find so disillusioning.

Because how do they know for certain that all the victims were Muslims? If they found out, why did they find out? There is something profoundly repugnant about going through a list of dead passengers, or digging through the clothes on a mutilated body, to find a name and then tick off that it is a Muslim name.

And why make this assertion anyway -- does the RSS expect applause because it chose to salvage bodies that turned out to be Muslim? I mean, I'm appreciative of what the RSS did after that crash not because the dead were Muslims, but purely because it was hard, stomach-turning work that still had to be done. It doesn't become more stellar (or less) because these were Muslims who died.

The truth is, that line is the revealing nugget in this essay. It says all I need to know about the thinking of whoever wrote it. And to me at any rate, it's not particularly edifying.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Mr. Smarty,

The line that is the revelaing nugget for your brilliant line is used right left and center. We have seen impressionable TV anchors announcing things such as "most of the dead were Muslims" to emphasize that the terrorists are not killing just the kafirs. The same TV anchors like to announce, for example, that BJP government of Gujrat did not honor Irfan Pathan and Yusuf Pathan because of their religion.

This guy is just saying that the relief work done by RSS was not related to the religion of those who suffered (maybe to counter the propaganda that ppl like you have created). Abhi, chit bhi meri pat bhi meri kaise chalegi bhaiya?

Anonymous said...

So the RSS went beyond caste and creed to help in this sad accident. Let us give them the benefit of doubt. They did it because they love Muslims. Right Mr. Anonymous Chit-pat bhaiya?

Dilip D'Souza said...

the relief work done by RSS was not related to the religion of those who suffered.

Then why tell us that the religion of the dead?

Besides, as I ask in the post, how do they know? Did they ask for the passenger manifest and look through all the names? Did they go through the clothes and belongings of all the corpses to find identification? Both strike me as repugnant things to do. Yet how else did they find out that all the dead were Muslim?

Jai_C said...

Hi Dilip,

a single sentence almost never tells me all I need to know about somebody's thinking.

I admit it used to, in younger days when I was more into "slot-tification". But I find it more and more difficult as time goes by.

I dont know whether this is a good thing or a bad thing.

thanks,
Jai

Sumedha said...

You're right... the fact that they actually think that what they did was so much better because the dead were Muslims (even if we assume that they were!), and that that fact is being thrown in our faces says a lot about the organisation.

And yes, it would be very interesting and even more revealing to find out how the RSS knew that the victims were Muslims.

Chandru K said...

Moslems have always disliked, if not utterly despised, Hindu secularism, socialism, eclecticism, syncretism, liberalism and universalism. That's why they will be treated differently, and seen as the 'other' And not just by the RSS, or JSS or KSS. Until they change their ways. Don't hold your breath.

Nikhil said...

If i can recollect correctly, the 2ill fated airlines in question were Saudi Airlines and Khazakastan airways and the accident was at Charkhi Dadri. I am not sure what the nationalities of the passengers were, but this may perhaps answer the first part of the question as to how they knew the passengers were all muslim - maybe the clothing or they thought that the passengers nationalities were the same as the airline. I doubt that anybody would do something so repulsive.
Ideally it should not matter. But why not look at the key issue here. Why compare a relatively harmless organization with a rabidly communal one - repeat this lie so often until people believe it to be the truth.

It doesn't interest me much, really.

Does it not? What about your apecial affinity for SIMI? You wrote a column opposing the ban when a ban was announced long time back.
nice way to divert the topic discussion

Dilip D'Souza said...

I am not sure what the nationalities of the passengers were, but this may perhaps answer the first part of the question as to how they knew the passengers were all muslim.

Saudi plane had 215 Indians (including house maids, drivers, cooks), 40 Nepalis, 3 Pakistanis, 2 or 3 Americans, one Bangladeshi, one Briton, several Saudis.

Kazakh plane: mostly ethnic Russian Kazakhs. Kazakhstan is about 2/3rd Muslim, and about 1/3rd Russian Orthodox (i.e. Christian). Ethnic Russians are largely Christian.

You wrote a column opposing the ban...

The usual tired tactic: make an accusation you know is a lie and leave it out there. Here is the column.

The argument it makes: exactly the same legal reasoning that was used to ban SIMI applies to the Shiv Sena (examples provided in the article). So why was the Sena not banned as SIMI was?

But of course this is twisted around to say that I "opposed the ban" and have a "special affinity for SIMI".

Such is the calibre of guys who have no arguments and must instead put out lies.

Anonymous said...

Pakistanis, Saudis, Khazakhs. Dresses, get up etc could be the indentifying traits. Key point being - they never discriminated based on religion. Quite unlike the crash in Pakistan where the Hindu victim's body was marked a Kaafir.
But as per you, one set needs to be condemned while with all evidence shown the rest of us have 'fixed perceptions of Pak that can never be changed'

The argument it makes: exactly the same legal reasoning that was used to ban SIMI applies to the Shiv Sena (examples provided in the article). So why was the Sena not banned as SIMI was?

No argument about the Sena being banned which it rightly deserves. But what about this line of yours that is a giveaway:

this ban on SIMI had nothing to do with SIMI's criminal activities. It had everything to do with simple political expediency.

So when a govt bans a criminal / terrorist organization, it is political expediency and then comes your great explanation why there is terror yada yada when you have been shown to be wrong

Dilip D'Souza said...

The key point is the claim that "All the dead were Muslims".

How did the Pioneer or the RSS or whoever wrote the article make this claim? Please explain this to me.

As for SIMI's ban: SIMI's criminal violations of the law led to its ban, whereas the Shiv Sena's violations of the same law (as described in that article) did not lead to its ban. Why? What explanation is there except political expediency, especially given that the government of the time was a coalition that included the Shiv Sena?

Twist this some more, won't you?

Anonymous said...

"they never discriminated based on religion."

Way to go to pretend to miss the point dcubeds' post is making. They are claiming that "ALL THE DEAD WERE MUSLIMS" (I put into caps so you will not pretend to miss again).

And you claim this had nothing to do with religion.