Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is protesting against this statement issued by Congress last week:

“Revelations through detailed investigations have exposed the true character of the RSS and its sister organisations. Communal and terrorist elements, whichever source they may originate from, that aim at destroying our national fabric will be fought at any cost,” a party statement said.

As much as the Congress would like us to believe that the RSS is the polar opposite of SIMI, it is not.

Meanwhile, the RSS reacts thus:

Even as Bhagwat went on to claim that no RSS activist could be even remotely connected with acts of terror, he disowned all those who were suspected to be involved in such acts.

Score.

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RSS has a Facebook page now, which helps it connect with our youth to spread Islamophobia[1] and provide evidence of anti-Hindu bias in India. The page links to an article that describes conspiracy theories and claims that Hindus’ rights are being infringed in India. Not knowing what rights are does help in creating FUD.

Personally, I think the RSS has far bigger things to worry about than Islamification of India, such as their hideous half pants.

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On a related note, I’ve been hearing from friends about the anti-Hindu bias in media. The symptoms are all there, but in my opinion, the cause is not an elaborate conspiracy. But I respect others’ wish to feel victimized. (The weird bit is that Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians — everyone can make effective and appealing arguments that they’re victimized in India. And no one seems to care about the irony of that.)

As for solutions, India is not yet a land where people suggest free-market solutions. Much of social rhetoric is based on demanding that everyone else do the morally right thing (and the right thing is often aligned beautifully with their own beliefs). So while there is a lot of whining about NDTV and CNN-IBN and how they are anti-Hindu, no one wants to compete with those channels by starting/promoting news sources that they feel are balanced. A claim that ‘Everyone is biased against Hindus’ is more appealing than ‘Some media channels are not balanced, so let’s start/promote a news source that is balanced’.

The primary clash I see is between conservative Hindus and atheist Hindus/liberal Hindus. When conservative Hindus see themselves as Hindus and atheists/liberals as non-Hindus, they’re not interpreting Hinduism correctly.

My 2 cents.

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[1] Islamophobia is an overused word in the West and often out of context. However, it is an underused word in India. When I use Islamphobia, I refer to the accepted definition of the word from a glance at the comments and articles on the RSS Facebook page.

As a rule of thumb, any time someone refers to Muslims as ‘they’, beware that an Islamophobic statement is just around the corner. Many around me are Islamphobic, and they don’t seem to realize it. Whether the Islamophobic statements made are justified or not is a matter of debate. But any statement generalizing a negative aspect of a particular community is accepted as prejudice, or in this case, Islamphobic.

If you’re next statement is that Muslims can be Hinduphobic too, you’re right. But my statement stands.

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