The manner in which the students at the Wharton School were forced to drop the Indian politician Narendra Modi from their event after some faculty members used factual inaccuracies to demonize the speaker has a surreal parallel in the world of literature.
In “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” the following exchange takes place in the court of the King and Queen of Hearts:
“‘No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first — verdict afterwards.’
‘Stuff and nonsense!’ said Alice loudly. ‘The idea of having the sentence first!’
‘Hold your tongue!’ said the Queen, turning purple.
‘I won’t!’ said Alice.
‘Off with her head!’ the Queen shouted at the top of her voice.”
The episode at Wharton squelching the free speech rights of students is only the latest event in a long running campaign to shut out a billion Hindus from participating in political affairs around the world. These events take place in the theater of the absurd where Hindus are presumed guilty until they present elaborate evidence to prove their innocence while their detractors only need to fling labels such as “fascist” to have their way.
Not long ago, I was present at the deposition of a Harvard professor as part of a lawsuit against California officials who illegally put in disparaging remarks against Hindus in sixth grade textbooks while simultaneously approving the teaching of miracles from other religions as historical facts. The professor stereotyped Hindus and flung labels at our organization, but when asked to present evidence for his claims, he confessed under oath that he knew no one in our organization. He claimed that his labeling was based on the sparse amount of information posted on our website — that is, on the sole piece of information that we had filed a lawsuit.
In those moments, the professor captured the stark truth about what is wrong with the nature of politics in this country. Hindus are treated like criminals charged under a special category of crime: political while Hindu.
That is why the attack on Modi has generated massive outrage among Hindus around the world. Apart from trampling on the free speech rights and the rights to freedom of association of the students at Wharton, the attack is part of a larger effort to prevent political activity by Hindus.
The main culprits in this game are the members of the human rights industry, which has spread its tentacles into the media and academia. Their absurd allegations would not survive the scrutiny of a fair-minded person for more than a few minutes, as all claims can be easily checked in this age of information. Eleven years ago, a group of Islamists firebombed a train killing 58 Hindus, among whom were children and even babies. This event sparked off a riot in which a further 254 Hindus and 790 Muslims were killed. — these numbers were the findings of the Indian government, which was led by Modi’s political opponents.
Each death is tragic, but the human rights industry created the fictitious claim that Modi, the chief minister of the state where these events happened, was responsible for a pogrom against Muslims. To support this fantastic accusation, they suppressed the deaths of Hindus and inflated the number of dead Muslims to 2,000. These are bad claims even by conspiracy theory standards, but faculty member Ania Loomba and her two colleagues who sparked off the current controversy have repeated this claim on the pages of this newspaper. To put things in perspective, accusing Modi for the deaths of Muslims is as absurd as accusing former California governor Pete Wilson of killing blacks during the Los Angeles riots of 1992.
A claim routinely made by the human rights industry is that the fire on the train must have been an accidental one. Pause to think for just a few seconds and the absurdity of this claim hits you immediately as it does not explain why bystanders would surround the victims of an accidental fire and hurl rocks and Molotov cocktails at them instead of attempting a rescue operation.
Ania Loomba and her co-authors also claim that the Modi government celebrates Hitler in textbooks. The textbooks under question were introduced in 1986 when Modi’s political opponents were in power and the anti-Semitic Indian communists controlled the academic process.
According to the opinion piece, the denial of visa to Modi by the United States State Department is evidence of his culpability. Leaving aside the interesting fact that members of the left now endorse America as the global policeman, this is “stuff and nonsense” as Alice would put it. The King of Hearts would be proud of this argument as it amounts to first persuading someone to agree with a claim and then presenting the success of such persuasion as evidence for the original claim.
Modi was prevented from visiting the United States because Indian communists knew how to work the system and lobby politicians. Two Republican congressmen — Arizona’s Trent Franks and Pennsylvania’s Joe Pitts — represent the interests of Indian communists in Congress but manage to convince voters during every election cycle that they are pro-America. This absurdity is outdone only by the fact that Angana Chatterji, a communist who has coordinated her activism with the two Congressmen, is known for hurling absurd accusations and is a signatory to what is called the “9/11 truther petition.”
Loomba has now been quoted by an Indian newspaper of saying that business schools celebrating “capitalism with no holds barred” would lead them to the wrong side of human rights. While the statement gives away her political leaning, it is also a strange one as business schools don’t exist to extol the human rights industry for efficiently milking the system through various grants. It is a well known fact that the global left resents the fact that the prestige attached to universities comes from the science, engineering and business schools while they have only managed to take over the humanities divisions. This should not be a reason to seek a ban on celebrating free enterprise in business schools.
Most of those who attack Hindus are Marxists and support one of the many Communist parties that operate in India. Like all Marxists, they hate America, yet they dream of migrating to capitalist America and getting a green card. For these Hindu-baiters, belief in absurd and impossible things is nothing new as the Communist doctrine contains many bizarre claims such as Lenin’s body coming back to life someday, mathematics and quantum physics being unacceptable as they are inconsistent with dialectical materialism and a future revolution occurring around a thousand years in the future, ushering in a socialist paradise. With some practice, why, these opponents of Hindus can outdo even the White Queen and believe in not just six, but 60 impossible things before breakfast.
Arvind Kumar can be reached at email@example.com.