Wednesday, September 26, 2012

When the fringe goes main stream

Did you know that the Taj Mahal was originally a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva? After independence, the ASI unearthed irrefutable evidence of its being and allegedly presented it to the then ruling Congress party, who promptly ordered the sealing of the so-called garbh-grih (sanctum sanctorum) and hounded the officers credited with the “discovery” to keep the truth from surfacing… the latest chain mail doing the rounds continued. The gist of the matter being that the Muslims are being appeased and that the ruling party has been looting the nation by surreptitiously smuggling out our heritage pieces.

Without getting into the argument about the authenticity of such on the face absurd mails that do the round, I wonder, who writes these mails? Who has the time and energy to rake their brains to come up with such wild stuff? Or is there a deeper conspiracy behind this, with paid spin doctors working overtime to malign and defame?

Such a premise cannot be ruled out because of mails that seek to question the patriotism of even people like our beloved Prime Ministers’ late father. Leave alone the Nehru-Gandhi family who are accused of everything from being turn coats to thieves. Juicy pieces about who married whom and who sired whose son, that are too “offensive” for the ordinary are also floated with regular intervals and alas, often creep into conversations with some believing the slander to be genuine.

Take the case of the Swiss Bank accounts. Float the topic and dozens will jump in with figures ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand crores – figures that they read in a mail, sent allegedly by an army officer attached to the Indian mission in Switzerland whose patriotism forced him to write the same. Even the most naïve among us know that with the Swiss banking laws being what they are, it is not possible for a diplomat to have access to information about hidden stashes. Yet, the argumentative Indian continues…

Another very quirky thing about these mails is that they almost inevitably point fingers at the Congress party and the ruling family, conveniently overlooking the gore at their stable. The underlying desire to somehow push across the point that your politicians are dirtier than ours’. Or even better, you are dirty, period, don’t look at us.

And all this, when the Nation is faced with issues that need to be debated. Topics that should be center stage, topics that cry for our attention. Who cares? When there are ready takers in the net who will read your mush and forward the same to their mailing list and get into drunken brawls in the evening to prove that the Taj was actually the marble abode of the Lord where is the need for logic? Do not forget, there are people who claim that Jesus Christ after resurrection actually spent his last years in Kashmir!
We have seen politics of the extreme. Politics of the boisterous. Now see politics of the lunatic fringe trying to go main stream. Or is it the other way round? The mainstream employing the lunatic for them to fish in fictitious waters?             

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