Here is a note of appreciation for Indian liberals from Pakistan.
This is from the Twitter account of Asif Ghafoor, the official spokesperson of Pakistan’s Armed Forces.
Perhaps the people shown in this picture would insist that they cannot be held accountable for whatever propaganda Pakistan puts out.
But there are some obvious questions here:
First, how did a protest that was supposed to be about violence between student groups at JNU turn into something about Kashmir? How did a protest about a campus in Delhi become a demand for a second partition of India?
Second, why is it that liberal propaganda in India receives so much praise from Pakistan? Why does Pakistan feel that Indian liberals are doing their work for them?
The BJP and its predecessors have been in the opposition for nearly 60 years. Has it ever happened that Pakistan Armed forces were cheering for BJP?
No, the stance of Pakistan towards Indian political movements has been clearly partisan. While left liberal parties and left liberal protests have received endorsements from Pakistan, the Hindu right never got any love from our neighbor to the west.
Last night, Deepika Padukone was congratulated by the same Asif Ghafoor.
Again, while Deepika is in no way accountable for Pakistan’s actions, surely we can ask the nation what it is about the JNU comrades that Pakistan loves them so much.
Pakistan has always been our enemy. The Congress Party has run the Indian government for decades. Hindu right wingers have always been critical of the Congress.
But in all these decades, the Hindu right never found itself on the same side as Pakistan.
But take the surgical strikes. Or the air strike in Balakot. Or the abrogation of Article 370. Every single time, Indian liberals just happen to have the exact same stance as Pakistan.
Again in 2013, the Congress Party said that the RSS and BJP were running terrorist camps!
The words came directly from Sushil Shinde, who was then the Home Minister of India.
In other words, whether BJP is in power or in the opposition, Pakistan and Indian liberals find themselves saying the same thing.
Why is that?
Perhaps because the Hindu right has always said ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai‘ and not ‘Bharat ke tukde?‘
Give it a try, dear liberals : try saying “Bharat Mata ki Jai” and see if Pakistan is still supporting you.
And no, don’t give the excuse that “Bharat Mata ki Jai” contains Hindu imagery that is unacceptable to certain communities. Thanks to your intellectual labour defending Faiz’s poem, we now know that we must all submit uncritically to religious metaphors in political life. Our slogan of Bharat Mata ki Jai doesn’t even insult anyone else’s culture or identity.
So give it a try and say Bharat Mata ki Jai. We will call you ‘culturally illiterate’ if you won’t. I am borrowing that expression from an alleged journalist of very high liberal credentials, so I hope you won’t mind.
Today, students and teachers in Lahore are rallying in support of JNU comrades.