Author and activist Arundhati Roy is not a senior citizen yet, but she has been showing many a sign of senility for quite some time. Ten years ago, she and only she found that the murderous Maoists rampaging in the killing fields of Chhattisgarh were actually “more Gandhian than any Gandhian.” Since then, she has become even more delusional: now she, and only she, sees genocide in India.
No prizes for guessing the culprit right: the Narendra Modi government, which is liquidating the Muslims. Her verdict is unambiguous: “the situation is approaching genocidal.” “I think what has happened is Covid-19 has exposed things about India that all of us knew,” she told a German TV channel DW. “We are suffering, not just from Covid, but from a crisis of hatred, from a crisis of hunger.” She went on to elaborate hatred in the time of the coronavirus. “This crisis of hatred against Muslims comes on the back of a massacre in Delhi, which was the result of people protesting against the anti-Muslim citizenship law.” It was a curious massacre in which one-third of about 50 victims were non-Muslims, including a police constable and an Intelligence Bureau officer.
Never willing to let facts derail a conspiracy theory, she went on with her rant, claiming the government was using the coronavirus to wipe out Muslims: “The whole of the organization, the RSS to which Modi belongs, which is the mother ship of the BJP, has long said that India should be a Hindu nation. Its ideologues have likened the Muslims of India to the Jews of Germany. And if you look at the way in which they are using Covid, it was very much like typhus was used against the Jews to get ghettoize them, to stigmatize them.” It is a well-known fact that it was the rashness of the Tablighi Jamaat that has brought grief to not just Muslims but also the other sections of society. To the Muslims, for the Tablighis have spread the coronavirus among Muslims more than they have among non-Muslims.
Aljazeera reported on April 7, “Of about 4,400 Covid-19 positive cases in India, nearly a third are related to the religious gathering at the Markaz, as the Jamaat headquarters is known.” Aljazeera is a Qatari news channel, not an RSS mouthpiece. And it is not exactly pro-Modi. The same report also said, “#CoronaJihad trended on Twitter, with many ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders calling the religious gathering 'corona terrorism'—a term many said hinted at the Islamophobia of the governing party.” It is astonishing that in this day and age, with the ubiquitous media and social media, nobody (other than Roy) in a country of 130 crore—or, for that matter, anywhere else—has noticed that something as serious as a genocidal situation in India.
“Genocide,” says Encyclopedia Britannica, is “the deliberate and systematic destruction of a group of people because of their ethnicity, nationality, religion, or race. The term, derived from the Greek genos (‘race,’ ‘tribe,’ or ‘nation’) and the Latin cide (‘killing’), was coined by Raphael Lemkin, a Polish-born jurist who served as an adviser to the US Department of War during World War II.” The backdrop was that of the Holocaust when Hitler’s murderous thugs tried to racially purify Europe by physically eliminating impure peoples like the Jews and gypsies.
Lemkin said that the key component of genocide was the “criminal intent to destroy or to cripple permanently a human group. The acts are directed against groups as such, and individuals are selected for destruction only because they belong to these groups.” As many as six million Jews were slaughtered in a planned manner. The entire operation, ‘final solution,’ was carried out with characteristic German efficiency. That was genocide.
As I mentioned earlier, Roy wrote (Outlook, March 29, 2010), “As far as consumption goes, it’s more Gandhian than any Gandhian, and has a lighter carbon footprint than any climate change evangelist. But for now, it even has a Gandhian approach to sabotage; before a police vehicle is burnt, for example, it is stripped down and every part cannibalized. The steering wheel is straightened out and made into a bharmaar, the rexine upholstery stripped and used for ammunition pouches, the battery for solar charging.” A few days later, the “Gandhians” carried out the bloodiest attack on the troopers of the Central Police Reserve Force, murdering 76 of them.
Ten years earlier, Roy mistook the thuggish Maoists for the disciples of Mahatma Gandhi; now she is hallucinating about a genocide. Maybe the lockdown has taken a toll, for there is evidence that mental health issues are rising all over the world. I wish her well; she should take ample precautions. Like sanitizing hands. I wish the mind could also be sanitized in a similar fashion; this would help her overcome hallucinations. Get well soon, Arundhati Roy.