I have never understood the Indian mentality of not learning a thing or two from whoever is willing to teach us. This mentality manifests itself in its extreme form when the lessons come from the Western superior race. The moment a person or a group from West is seen even remotely trying to teach Indians something, the outrage meter starts howling about how dare anyone teach anything new to this 5,000 years old civilization and in the process completely drowns out any voice of reason and sanity that has taken out time to share its pearls of wisdom. It is this regressive mentality that keeps us in our third world ghetto, mired in poverty and corruption.
I also need to make confession – of pleading guilty to this Indian mentality as well. In the past I too have outraged, for example, when the Western press has taken out time to teach us how to twist facts, distort reality, manufacture events, and a host of similar other things. But fortunately for me, I had this moment of zen when I read this latest NYT Editorial and the ‘immaculate conception’, of how to paint a narrative, dawned on me like a bolt of lightning from the sky !
On reading this Editorial, the uninitiated plebeian, but pretending to be a thinker, may ask such facile questions as to what such disparate things as the Radia tapes and paid news reporting have to do with press censorship? True that some of the star Indian journalists were caught on tape acting as paid agents of Niira Radia, the corporate lobbyist. But how does this fact fit into the narrative of NYT Editorial that press censorship is creeping in India?
Or how does the fact that a Parliamentary committee, manned by politicians, indicted politicians themselves for paid news, fit into the narrative of lessening press freedom? The NYT Editorial also laments that DNA pulled down a factless but insinuation laden piece, authored by Rana Ayyub, from its website. And in making this defense of Ranna Ayyub, the NYT, inspired by the attitude shown by the redoubtable Ayyub herself , manufactured a fact on its own – it says Narendra Modi appointed Amit Shah as BJP President (and not the party itself through its top decision-making body which has 12 senior-most members of the party).
Quite naturally those outraging on social media like Twitter ( like this one ) will be hard pressed to find any coherence in the various random events quoted by NYT to arrive at the conclusion that there is press censorship in India. I can understand the plight of these small minds if they are looking to find any correlation between the cause and effect through their normal ossified Indian lens. For example, this uneducated person trying to understand how a correlation exists between ManuSmriti and open defecation practice in India would obviously not understand this high science !
I, on the other hand, learning from the masterclass of NYT, present to you this:
On October 31, 2009, President Barack Obama in his weekly address talked about the Recovery Act and said that it was creating more jobs. Just a few days later, on November 5, a gunman killed 13 people in Fort Hood, Texas.
On August 3, 2012, President Obama talked about the tax cuts for middle class in an address in South Court auditorium. Just two days later, on August 5, another gunman killed 6 people at a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek.
On December 8, 2012, President Obama again spoke about tax cuts for middle class in his weekly address. Less than a week later, on December 14, a gunman killed 27 people in New Town, Connecticut.
On September 16, 2013, President Obama spoke on the fifth anniversary of the financial crisis. This time, on the same day, September 16, a gunman killed 12 people in a US Navy Yard in Washington.
On May 23, 2014, President Obama addressed a DSCC dinner in Chicgao and talked about immigration reforms, jobs, minimum wage etc. Again on the same day, May 23, a gunman killed 7 people in Isla Vista near UC Santa Barbara.
Based on the above facts, an unfortunate but necessary conclusion can be drawn that every time President Barrack Obama, throughout his Presidency, has spoken about the US economy a mass killing incident has taken place. Indeed, the situation has turned so grave that while earlier the killings took place only a few days later after he spoke, but more recently the outrage of the killer has vented on the same day itself. The US Congress has a responsibility to investigate this link and prevent such atrocities in the future.
See how simple it is. You can link almost anything to anything without bothering for logic or consistency. Want to paint someone as intolerant, no problem: pick any unrelated few incidents of intolerance and assert that they are linked to the man you want to paint as a villain. Just the mere fact that you have asserted is enough to make it an undeniable fact. Later, produce your own undeniable assertion in past as evidence to further prove any equally outrageous theory in future. NYT proved that press censorship is creeping in India, I have proved that President Obama is responsible for every mass killing in US since 2009 !
Finally, I hope that people in India, especially those on the Right will learn something from NYT, just as I have learned. It is obvious, that unlike their counterparts on the Left, those on the Right are mentally inferior and this makes them immune from learning anything new. Hopefully, a day will come when they would stop displaying their inferiority in public by always arguing basis facts and figures, and would instead focus on the art of narrative building !