The CEO of Twitter held a card that read "smash Brahminical patriarchy". There were several successful educated Indian women seen around him in the picture. Including the likes of Barkha Dutt and other self-proclaimed liberals. Then after the picture created a storm on Twitter and many Indians including some of the generally silent but successful ones like the former Infosys finance chief Mohandas Pai objected strongly to it, international and national media picked up the story.
Guardian reported it with the headline "Twitter CEO upsets Hindu nationalists". Notice the use of the phrase 'Hindu nationalists' and not Indians, Hindus, or Brahmins. Reuters and others reported that Twitter CEO was TROLLED for 'hate mongering' against India's Brahmins. Notice the quotes are there to emphasize what's inside is not their view but it is being said so by the trolls! And some TRP hungry Indian media like Times of India just copy pasted these Reuters articles word for word on their sites as well. Some other media like Scroll.in went on to even defend his action as something that is against the caste discrimination that is prevalent in India.
There's something fundamentally wrong here. He's the CEO of a huge company. He's is one of the smartest guys around in the world having successfully started and run not one, but many billion dollar companies. He's holding a blatantly discriminatory placard in his hands blaming and singling out a small religious group of Hindus called Brahmins to be responsible for a system like patriarchy which is prevalent around the world. There were many high profile liberal Indian women standing next to him. Did none of them think this is going to affect the sentiments of millions in India and even around the world? How do these people and media who call themselves liberal, left, and progressive allow for the persecution of a minority group in the country singling them out for a social system that has manifested itself in almost all cultures around the world?
Let's ask a simple question as an analogy to make things clearer for a Western, African, or Asian reader who may not understand why so many Indians have taken offense to this Jack Dorsey picture with such a placard even though Twitter has given an apology: Do you think these liberal people and media outlets would have acted and reported the same way respectively, if say some CEO or head of state had carried a placard that read "Smash Jewish Hegemony" then claimed ignorance?
Think about this - 'Jewish economic and cultural hegemony' is a view held and propagated by many groups in the west and the world from anti-capitalists to white nationalists to many thousands of poor brainwashed with this idea for political and other purposes. That does not mean such a statement holds any water. The world will be in an uproar if "Smash Jewish Hegemony" by Jack Dorsey or someone else had happened instead just because someone gave them a card, right?
But since it is India and a small community of people (Brahmins are less than 6% of the population) have been shamed in some regions (think Tamilnadu), persecuted in others (think Kashmir) to not even assert their own place, rights, and views based on their caste, an uproar against such Brahmin bashing is termed as Hindu nationalism and trolling! Isn't this a shameful display of the hypocrisy that these self-proclaimed liberals follow? These hypocritical liberals need an important lesson: Inciting hate against any community and collectively branding them negatively is wrong. Period!
And recently we had Lewis Hamilton make "poor India" comments and how we felt shattered racing in the gleaming tracks of a poor country. But a recent report says the UK has 20% of its population facing poverty. He finished his races in India, earned his money, didn't pay tax in India, and maybe never donated to any good cause in India but makes insensitive comments which are nothing but hypocritical considering the state of his home country now. And when Indians felt bad about his comments, he and his team double down saying they only pointed out the facts! This is not just plain bad manners commenting about other countries and cultures but sheer arrogance. The same arrogance that allegedly makes Snapchat CEO and Apple talk of India as a poor market for their high-end products.
Over the past many years we have seen multiple instances of making a mockery of Hindu gods and goddesses. From putting them on doormats to underwear. The latest of which is a dance bar in the US which has displayed Hindu gods as posters in its toilets. And when Hindus react to such insensitive acts and show their outrage, a small sample of sick troll comments are handpicked and portrayed to represent the majority as intolerant Hindu nationalists. What's even more astounding is some Indians themselves join-in to ridicule and condemn those who are outraged by these acts as over-reacting or worse as fundamentalists with no consideration for the feelings and sensitivities of those affected, usually in the millions.
People who are against discrimination based on caste or community, prejudice against a group, biases against an ethnicity, and are for equal rights should speak up against such acts and comments. Yes, this includes the silent but outraged, 'why get into any trouble' set from India (and also the influential likes of Sundar Pichai, Satya Nadella, and Indira Nooyi to name a few from outside India) who have been silenced and shamed to even stand up to the discrimination against themselves and their community! And also all others who may not be in this set but think it is high time some western media and their Indian counterparts' hypocrisy and double standards are pointed out.