Sometimes I check the German TV channel Deutsche Welle (dw) to know what they want us to think. Unlike in India, most German news channels are government friendly. Yet it always amazes me, although India and Germany are on friendly terms, how negatively dw reports on India.
So when on 17. April 2020 dw ran a negative story on “Islamophobia at an all-time high in India” and claimed that the Modi government uses the Covid 19 crisis to stigmatise Muslims, I was not surprised. The report showed Muslim vegetable vendors complaining that Hindus boycott them. It is true. Even in my village people refuse to buy from Muslims now, but dw did not tell the reason why this happens. It did not tell that some clerics considered the Corona virus as sent by Allah to kill millions of Hindus and asked the faithful to spread it. A huge congregation of Tablighi Jamat, an Islamic missionary movement, took place in Delhi, after which many participants spread out all over India and spread the virus at a time when the whole of India had only some 800 cases and few deaths. The administration and police tried feverishly to trace all those thousands of Tablighis and their contacts, after many of them, including foreigners, had tested positive for the virus. It was a Herculean task. But given the huge population density in India, it was crucial to prevent community spread of the virus. Police razzias and doctors who came to test were often pelted with stones. Several were injured.
Moreover, the Tablighis in quarantine facilities or hospitals behaved awfully. Doctors complained about spitting on them, excreting in the corridor, making obscene gestures, running around naked in front of female nurses, and demanding meat to eat.
Why would good Muslims, (and missionaries are supposed to be good Muslims), behave like this? The answer is probably that good Muslims know their holy books and want to follow their command. They know that Allah sees Kafirs as the worst of creatures who will burn in hell for eternity (Quran 98.6), so naturally they have contempt for them. They also know that they need to fight till the whole world accepts only Allah (Q 8.39). And since it is not easy to wipe out millions of Kafirs, the virus is seen as a gift from Allah which will do the job if widely spread.
So it is no surprise that especially good Muslims want to spread the virus. Videos show how they aggressively resist testing, violate curfew, spit on vegetables and currency notes. A video shows policemen picking up currency notes from the street with a stick and putting them into a plastic bag. It is very insidious to throw money on the road, as the temptation to pick it up is surely great for children and the poor.
So it should not surprise that nowadays, during the Corona crisis, Hindus turn Muslim vendors away because they can’t be sure if those vendors are ‘good’ Muslims who believe that Hindus should die out. It is impossible to know, because they are allowed to deceive Kafirs, provided it fosters the spread of Islam. So “better safe than sorry” is naturally the motto. But all this was not mentioned by dw. At the end of the report, a woman commentator from India was interviewed. She said that there is a “360 degree discrimination against Muslims by the Modi government”. It was a lie. The government is not discriminating between different religious groups in regard to relief operations which are running in full swing, with money credited to accounts and massive support to migrant labour. I was annoyed about this type of reportage on India, especially, when dw does not show the real discrimination in Pakistan against Hindus and Christians who claim they don’t get rations during the Corona crisis and several were forced to convert to survive. But then, I was used to the bias against India by dw.
A few hours later I checked once more on dw. The same report was broadcast, same footage, same vendors complaining, but now the woman commentator had been replaced with Arundhati Roy. This seemed strange.
When she started to speak, slowly, amiably, with a smile in her for-Western-eyes pretty face, it was pure poison, vicious and dangerous. Roy is known to tell terrible lies about India since years but this time, something more sinister seemed brewing. Why did dw not simply run the same report again? Was that previous commentator not vicious enough?
Here is what Arndhati Roy (who by the way is Christian) said on the clip that dw put out on Twitter:
“Honestly the situation is approaching genocidal, because the government’s agenda has been this. Since this government came, Muslims have been lynched, Muslims have been hunted down but now the stigmatization with this illness has left government policies on the street now. You can hear it everywhere. It comes with the threat of extreme violence.”
This clip went viral. Yet it was not the complete interview. Here are some more comments by her which I had jotted down:
She said that the extreme violence comes in the background of the massacre (she used the word massacre) in Delhi – cleverly not mentioning who massacred whom, but implying of course that Muslims were massacred. She rued that Trump was there at the time, but didn’t say anything. She called RSS the mother ship of BJP who wants a Hindu state; said that the world welcomes Modi but it should know that he is very much part of the agenda (of making a Hindu state) and they were already building detention centres. She called most anchors in MSM channels “single member lynch mobs”. And as if this all was not enough, she compared the situation in India with what happened in Ruanda before the massive genocide and that genocide in patches happens already. She asked the world to keep its eyes on it.
The anchor called it a very important message and asked how can we prevent the genocide, taking it for granted that Roy had spoken the truth and genocide is indeed planned by the Indian government. In the end, Roy is introduced among other flattering attributes as “most acclaimed intellectual”.
I felt shaken after hearing her. She gave the false and dangerous impression to the world that Hindus are planning genocide of Muslims. This is not a small thing. It is extremely dangerous and on Twitter already support comes in for the ‘Muslims of India’. We stand by you, is promised and a lawyer dressed in Arabic outfit tweeted he will adopt the cause of Muslims in India at UNHRC in Geneva for free… it got 17,6k likes and over 5k retweets.
Anyone who knows even a little about the mindset of Hindus knows that genocide is simply not in their genes. It never happened and it can never happen. Killing someone because he worships God under another name is for Hindus unimaginable and ridiculous.
Yet for the past thousand years Hindus were at the receiving end of jihads and conversion campaigns and millions of Hindus were massacred in cold blood because they were Hindus – massacred by Muslims.
So did Arundhati Roy demonise Hindus so badly to instigate Muslims to “rise up against the oppression” and prepare the world to believe that oppression by Hindus is for real? Is she trying to help Pakistan fulfil its “unfinished agenda” of taking Hindustan fighting and make it accept Islam? Arundhati Roy would know that Hindus are not aggressors by nature. She and her ilk may be desperate to paint Hindus black, as especially in Europe, people become more and more wary of the behaviour of Muslims in their countries but don’t have any problems with Hindus.
The faith of Hindus is based on Dharma and Dharma means to do what is right and in tune with one’s conscience. ‘Good’ Hindus are those rare human beings who see others as brothers and sisters, and are kind to animals and nature, too. Hindus do not divide humanity into those who are chosen by God and those who are eternally damned. Hindu children are not taught to look down on non-Hindus, unlike children of the dogmatic religions who are taught that their God loves them but does not love those ‘others’ unless they join their ‘true’ religions.
However, Hindus are often too naïve to realize what mind-set the dogmatic religions foster. They unwisely give privileges to Muslims and Christians, which even Hindus don’t have, in spite of Swami Vivekananda warning already over 100 years ago that every convert is not one Hindu less but one enemy more. Sri Aurobindo also felt that hope for India lies in those, who converted out of Hinduism, to lose faith in their new religion which most accepted anyway due to pressure or allurement at the time of conversion.
Truth does not need pressure and allurement. It makes sense. Untruth needs to be enforced with brutal laws that forbid people to believe anything else than what is declared as “the only truth”. The Hindu view is undoubtedly closer to truth. Nobody is forced to believe it and yet Hindus held on to it under extremely painful circumstances, and Westerners, dissatisfied with the Church, accept Hindu Dharma on their own accord. It is also no coincidence that modern science discovered that all is One Energy after Indian philosophy became known in the west.
Nobody needs to be worried about a nation where the Hindu roots are fostered. Where Sanskrit is taught, which is the most perfect, dignified, powerful language on earth. Where yoga is practised in schools, which is an ideal means for all-round development and which, on a deeper level, helps to find fulfilment in live. Where Vedic philosophy is studied, which inspired the new scientific discoveries in nuclear physics. Where the amazing wisdom of Mahabharata and Ramayana becomes common knowledge. Where children chant “Loka samastha sukhino bhavantu” (May all be happy).
Why would those Indians who converted to Islam or Christianity not be also proud of the achievements of their ancestors? India was the cradle of civilization, a knowledge hub and the richest country on earth. It was known for its wisdom. Surely Christians and Muslims cannot have any objection that students are taught this fact or that they chant “May all be happy” in Sanskrit, the language of their forefathers. If someone calls such teaching communal it is malicious. Is not he the one who tries to divide society and not those who say “Vasudhaiva kutumbakam” (all is one family) due to their philosophical outlook?
One day, when people have become tired of blindly believing irrational dogmas, and when nobody is threatened any longer with dire consequences or even death if he stops believing in those strange dogmas, the world will be grateful to Bharat Mata that she has conceived and preserved over millennia those eternal, precious insights for the benefit of humanity.
By Maria Wirth
About Maria Wirth
Maria Wirth is a German and came to India on a stop over (that’s at least what she thought) on her way to Australia after finishing her psychology studies at Hamburg University. She visited the Ardha Kumbha Mela in Haridwar in April 1980 where she met Sri Anandamayi Ma and Devaraha Baba, two renowned saints. With their blessing she continued to live in India and never went to Australia.
She dived into India’s spiritual tradition, sharing her insights with German readers through articles and books. She is also the author of the book “Thank you India – a German woman’s journey to the wisdom of yoga”