PART I OF A THREE PART POST
The term Comvid 14 is gratefully borrowed from Tony Joseph who defined it in a Facebook post as Communalvirus (Comvid 2014), the incubation period for which could be as long as six to seven years. Over fifty percent of infected people remain asymptomatic carriers, the rest going into paroxysms of hate and violence, many also gravitating towards TV newsrooms, according to him.
Suffocating mythologies produced by Hindu supremacism blanket India today.
So first of all, a loud, ringing zindabad to all the courageous journalists, citizen reporters and social media activists whose determined work relentlessly exposes fake news, and counters genocidal journalism in India.
Suchitra Vijayan explains the term “journalism as genocide”:
Rwandan cultural anthropologist Charles Mironko analyzed confessions of a hundred genocide perpetrators. His work confirms the thesis that hate messages in the media had a direct effect on the dehumanization of the population that was subject to persistent slander. Several months of this behavior, in the absence of credible reporting, conditioned the population to hate, and kill.
It is all the dogged fact-checking and on-the-ground reporting that continues to let in the light, through the crack, the crack in everything – as Leonard Cohen sang; the words that Gautam Navlakha referred to just before he surrendered to the National Investigating Agency, on the orders of the Supreme Court.
This is India today – the violent Hindu Rashtra of Savarkar and Golwalkar’s dreams, under the direct control of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. And this Hindu Rashtra is built on predatory capitalism – a toxic cocktail, far deadlier than the biological virus that now haunts us.
Just as the pandemic is inflected in its effects differently in different global contexts, the three features of the crisis in India – the virus, the Muslim and the migrant – relate in a way that is specific to ‘here’. The virus has enabled and strengthened predatory capitalism here as it has globally, but it has also reproduced itself through Hindu supremacism, generating two monstrous mutations – Comvid 14 and Coronacapitalism.
And we who will fight and resist both? What of us, how are we to combine, come together, connect to other stories the virus tells us, find our way to other lanes down which it leads us? How will we find and inhabit those fissures and chinks in which green things can grow, and solidarities, and compassion and hope?
But first, the two monstrous mutations – one in this part, the second in the next. Continue reading The Virus, the Muslim and the Migrant: Part I – Comvid 14