The unleashing of secular hatred

Uneasy lies the head that wears the Secular crown
’tis painted in many an ugly hue
Though it be coloured the colour of rose
‘neath it lurks a palette of deceit and scorn;
The wearer bravely wears the crown,
A bejewlled camouflage of depravity
Every night and every morn.

Lately, Zaleel has not been in his element. And we’re not talking about his routine problems: every doorframe is too small and it is a routine pain to step into any car without grunting aloud. Zaleel must be cursing the guy who said size matters. Must be a perverse joke by a rabid Hindutva guy who didn’t realize that only Zaleel has the right to crack ugly jokes at women who could be spotted from a mile.

Instead we’re talking about…errr…weightier issues. Like how the whole script is going so badly wrong. Who would think a lowly railway station tea seller would one day give him sleepless nights both on and off the Internet? Who would think he would actually see a day when he’d be compelled to engage with the Right wing/Hindutva types on Twitter and elsewhere on the social media, the same types he scoffs at and brands as footsoldiers but still goes ahead and engages with?

Zaleel truly has not been in his element. From a piece titled Incredible Impunity, which has a semblance of reasoned discourse–what with quoting numbers etc–all the way down to the latest , it has been quite a swift fall in just a year. His “Saheb” hatred is in naked display in what is termed as a “writer sets his imagination free” except that the byline should’ve read “a writer lets his spite loose.” Neither is it just limited to spite. It now borders on paranoia as this Twitter exchange shows:

Salil Tripathi

Zaleel indeed has not been in his element. Increasingly, his Saheb-hatred seems to have morphed into an obsession, slowly eroding the carefully-imbibed lessons from his mentor in the early days: Shobhaa De, the Botoxed Queen of Sleaze. Her trashy autobiography is an elaborate exercise in self-deception, a third-grade litany of judgments on almost every famous person in the country while she absolves herself of being imperfect. This then is the art that Zaleel has mastered in his own area of specialization. His way is the way of a crafty, sophisticated intellectual bully. His pieces are pronouncements not open to scrutiny much less disagreement. Scrutiny will be ignored. Disagreement will be met with patronizing scorn, condescending humour, and branded as the insane rants of the Hindutva brigade who lack good upbringing and civility. But the mask that conceals hatred can’t hold forever: lately, Zaleel has quite frequently been caught violating his own tenets on upbringing and civility. Disdaining Saheb as a tea-seller–exactly in the manner of Ram Guha, the scholarly version of Zaleel–is quite an illustrative instance of this: has Zaleel’s own upbringing and civility taught him to disrespect a profession, any honest profession? In fact, the latest produce of Zaleel’s unchained imagination consists of numerous instances of said upbringing. Branding a senior journalist who called Zaleel’s economic bluff (in two parts of a series that was abandoned at Zaleel’s private request) as a speechwriter is another instance of Zaleel’s fine upbringing. Oh! and making racist comments about vegetarians and non-vegetarians should equally count as a good instance of decency.

Perhaps Zaleel himself realizes that he’s not in his element. Gone are the days when scarpering from history debates was regarded as taking the moral high ground because Zaleel could rely on the Romila Thapar types. Consider what happens nowdays. Consider for example, this Tweet by Zaleel where he casually presents a distorted tidbit of history:

Salil Hist

Here is what it begets: a solidly researched piece clinically demolishing Zaleel’s education at the Romila Thapar University of Indian History. And when things like this keep occurring more often than not, it is hard to keep that mask intact. And it is a chameleonesque mask–Left when it is fashionable and rewarding to be Left, bleeding-heart Liberal Humanist employee of Amnesty International when that fetches the $$$, and Libertarian when the moolah lies there. Zaleel coming third in the race for the 2011 Basitat Prize is a public testimony of the fact. Pitiably, even that libertarian mask was ripped off, revealing the fact that calling Zaleel a libertarian is akin to claiming that a butcher is fully qualified to perform surgery. One doesn’t know the mask Zaleel is currently wearing but whatever be the mask he wears in a given season, it is assured that it is ISI-certified–that is, certified by the Indian Secularist Institute, the selfsame institute that Zaleel’s much-reviled Saheb threatens to dismantle.

And so when the going gets tough, Secularist heavyweights hit back all the way to the last mile, masks be damned. Good upbringing and civility are for the good times, when you can escape scrunity by simply stifling the voice of the scrutinizers in the name of these nice qualities. The carefully-concealed Zaleel emerges when these good times are endangered by people who care a whit about your popularity or credentials or social standing and instead, directly examine what you claim and write and do. Here’s a very perceptive observation by a commentator on a discussion about Amartya Sen among other things:

1) Every comment need not add “value to a discussion” or be a thesis of some sort – it is perfectly fine to make an observation or an opinion about people, places and things…without [g]oing into a disquisition. In my infrequent interactions with you, I have observed that when people disagree with your worldview you bring up their “tone.” This is a form of intolerance in itself which you (and many “progessives”) like to wave at others on the slightest pretext. I shall concede that on your blog you have the prerogative to set your standards and boundaries, but please understand that your standard is not the universal touchstone. Since my “bed-wetting” remark has caused you offense, I withdraw it with immediate effect. In lieu of that, I submit that Amartya has gone to bed with Romila, as the actress said to the bishop.

2) In remarking on Amartya’s screed, his Nobel Prize (strictly, the Economics Prize is not a Nobel but we’ll let that slide) and other qualifications are irrelevant. All that matters is the quality and substance of his argument. This is more so when he steps outside the circle of his area of expertise which is Welfare Economics. People’s reputations don’t affect me. To paraphrase a well-known Nobel Prize-winning physicist, now deceased, “I look at where he starts and where he ends up.”

Indeed, Zaleel lives in truly trying times. His latest adventure with his unleashed imagination is in many ways an admission that he sees the writing on the wall: that the good times symbolized by the Jaipur Fests of Sissies and the Tehelka Sleazefests will shut shop. In the end, it is worth recalling Nietzsche’s note that if you gaze into the abyss the abyss gazes into you. And so is it with Zaleel whose Twitter bio reads

Salil Bio

Zaleel needs to pay heed and wake up before he actually becomes everything his faux-funny bio says he is. At the moment, I’m still willing to believe that he’s just an Indian secularist.


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10 comments for “The unleashing of secular hatred

  1. kersasp nalladaru
    July 4, 2014 at 12:52 PM

    I wish to become a blogger and I have no resources to learn how to do it. I have no knowledge of what resources to consult to learn blogging I need to learn blogging on a personal level I am passionate about criticizing Indian corruption and Indian politics. I am good at writing. I wish to become famous like Mr. Amit Agarwal and others. I also wish to earn full time from blogging. Please suggest a way to do it from a blog on politics.

  2. February 5, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    Sandeep sir, kindly check which is an attempt to make governance more accountable and open

  3. January 3, 2014 at 11:09 PM

    Sandeep Sir, I wish you’d write more often.

  4. Jooske
    January 3, 2014 at 12:52 PM

    Every Indian should read this chapter (if not the whole book) to see,how you can lie,not respond,twist the facts,lie and get away,not respond and get away,how to argue from authority,shows how honest people can become victims of hostile propaganda,how to be selective with facts , how to float fiction ,how to be an apologist of Islamic imperialism. how to deny Islamic theology,

    Professor Romila Thapar of the Jawaharlal Nehru University when she saw this piece, she probably sneered that she need not respond or explain herself because it is not a peer-reviewed article/book published in an academic journal/book.

    She is apparently unaware that the argument from authority is the weakest of all arguments.

    Still she knows she can still sway a few easy marks with it.

  5. Sam
    January 3, 2014 at 3:46 AM

    Great satire! So much more factual than that shoddy flaccid piece that inspired it. Oliver Hardy, living in Londonistan, knows which side of his daily bread is buttered. He also knows that if Saheb does overthrow the Delhi Sultanate it would only mean his getting both the sides buttered. Zaleel knows that there is no such thing as bad publicity. He fattens up tilting against the giant right-wing Hindu conspiracy. The more dislikes that he receives for his poison pen the better it endears him with his sahebs; the only ones who really matter to him. Yoginder Sikand has already pried this rock and exposed the creeps sheltering underneath:

  6. January 2, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    Saheb has arrived is a realty.
    Those inside and outside of BJP must accept Saheb

  7. Jooske
    January 2, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    When the first edition of this book came out, I sent a copy of it to Professor Romila Thapar of the Jawaharlal Nehru University in her capacity as the doyen of the Marxist historians. I also addressed to her the following letter on 27 June, 1991:

    “I have posed a questionnaire for the school of historians which you lead. Please turn to pp. 438-441 of my recently published book (Hindu Temples: What Happened to Them, Volume II: The Islamic Evidence), a copy of which is being sent to you by registered post.


    I have not received even an acknowledgement of this letter from Professor Thapar, leave alone any comments on the points raised by me. Her silence has left me sad, for I was looking forward to a fruitful dialogue.”

    • SP
      January 3, 2014 at 9:29 AM

      No Commie historian or politician will acknowledge the truth. They are so severely Brain Washed that you should think of them as Brain Dead.

  8. Jooske
    January 2, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    “I attended a seminar on the Mandal Commission Report held in the Gandhi Peace Foundation in October, 1990. One of the participants who spoke in support of the Report was Shri Hukam Dev Narain Singh Yadav, an MP of the Janata Dal at that time and a Minister in the Chandra Shekhar Government some time later. Speaking of Brahminical tyranny, he referred to the time ?when rivers of the blood of Buddhist monks were made to flow in the Buddhist monasteries (jab bauddha vihãroñ mêñ bauddha bhikSuoñ kê rakta kî nadiyãñ bahãî gayî thîñ).? The following dialogue took place between myself and the speaker at the end of the latter?s talk:

    I: Could you kindly name the Buddhist monasteries where it happened, and also the time when it happened?

    Speaker: I will not pretend that I know. I must have heard it from someone, or read it somewhere.

    I: I give you six months for finding a single instance of Hindus murdering Buddhist monks. I am demanding only one instance, not two.

    Speaker: I will try.

    The speaker looked to me to be one of the finest men I had ever met. His voice had a ring of sincerity in whatever he said. His humility in presenting his point of view was more than exemplary. I expected him to remember my question and provide an answer. But two and a half years have passed and there is no word from the eminent politician occupying a high position in the public life of this country.

    I know that the evidence demanded by me does not exist. It is a Big Lie being spread by Hindu-baiters. Hindus have never done what they are being accused of. My only point in mentioning the incident is that even honest people can become victims of hostile propaganda which is not countered in good time. “

  9. gbhai
    January 2, 2014 at 6:53 AM

    In point of fact this is “The unleashing of secular self-hatred”. The inheritors of Rama and Krishna, Buddha and Mahavira have become the mental bond-slaves of Marx, Muhammad, Messiah and McDonalds. They have no awareness of their roots and lash out at anyone who upholds and serves the native Indian civilization and its Dharmic traditions. Saheb is the devil himself because he is their true self, their native Hindu self, in all its earthy and unadulterated glory and they cannot bear to see him triumph. This will be a long and drawn out war. One thing that should be avoided at all costs is compromise with these deracinated coconuts ,like Vajpayee and Advani did to the detriment of their cause and at the cost of their own integrity.

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