Even as the Hindu world basks in the afterglow of the Ayodhya Ram Mandir inauguration – an event of immense cultural and religious significance for them – the adversaries are coming out of the woodwork with their spin on the events. While lacking factual or logical support, the anti-Hindu forces wield numerical strength and seem impervious to embarrassment. Their well-coordinated attempts to cast shadows on the situation persist, emphasizing the challenges of navigating the divisive landscape surrounding this historic event.
In a recent article in India Currents titled “Will the Ram Mandir Consecration End Up Dividing, Not Uniting India? ” Ankita Mukhopadhyay joins a chorus of similar perspectives emerging from the Hinduphobic syndicate in recent days, the key points of which can be summarized as follows:
- The temple stands on the site of the demolished Babri Masjid, leading to historical controversy.
- While many celebrated the inauguration, some view it as a political move by the BJP, causing division and protests.
Like others of her brand, Ms. Mukhopadhyay carefully avoids the numerous inconvenient facts, the most important among them being the destruction of the ancient Ram Mandir by Babur’s army general Mir Baqi, and the so-called Babri masjid built on its ruins.
Here is the author’s detailed rejoinder to Ms. Ankita Mukhpadhyay’s half-baked article.
Author’s letter to the editor of India Currents
The article ‘Will The Ram Mandir Consecration End Up Dividing, Not Uniting India?’ published in your magazine on January 20th, 2024, seems like a heavily tilted opinion against Hindus using half-truths to paint Hindus as aggressors.
- The suggestion that the Shankaracharyas’ non-attendance will contribute to dividing society is a spin. There is no mention in your article of the nearly 4000 seers from different Hindu sampradayas who were invited. Iqbal Ansari, the main opposition litigant, representatives from almost all opposition political parties, and 50 foreign nations were also invited.
- The inclusion of a link in your article, intended to lead the reader to information about who was invited by the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, actually redirects to an article about Deputy CM DK Sivakumar of Karnataka complaining about not being invited to the inauguration. For objective and fair reporting, the link should have directed the reader to the list of invitees.
- The link directing viewers to the demolition of the mosque leads to a YouTube video by ‘The Wire,’ a news media house involved in multiple lawsuits related to forging documents and publishing fake stories. Experts, including Meta, have highlighted flaws in ‘The Wire’s reporting. Relying on such a tainted news source raises questions about the credibility of your reporting.
- Connecting the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to the initiation of the temple’s construction may imply an allegation of government irresponsibility. However, other government infrastructure projects initiated during the same period were managed with due care and supervision. Rather than criticizing, shouldn’t you commend the government for its efforts, including the temple construction?
- The article expresses opinions about the controversial mosque demolition but overlooks the 500-year struggle of Hindus and the tens of thousands of lives lost in conflicts throughout history. These sacrifices in the quest to reclaim the birthplace of Shri Ram are not considered in your article, suggesting a lack of acknowledgment for the enduring hardships faced by Hindus.
- Quoting both the BJP spokesperson and the Maulana, you curiously provide two links to the same India Today article, reinforcing Maulana’s statement without offering additional references to the BJP spokesperson aside from his statement. Why the bias against the Hindu BJP spokesperson?
- Referring to karsevaks as ‘members of Hindu nationalist organizations’ seems to depict them negatively, akin to biased Western media portrayals. How is it that you overlook the significant unofficial figure of at least 300 karsevaks killed by police firing and 16 officially? Is the loss of karsevak devotees not crucial in your coverage of the so-called “controversy”? Why omit the participation of ordinary citizens, Sadhus, and Sanyasis in the struggle for the temple?
- Describing the temple inauguration as perceived “by some” as a political gimmick, you once again link to the questionable news source ‘The Wire.’ What’s your affiliation with this news outlet?
- In the interview with Shankaracharya of Jyotish Peeth, Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati, he claims not to have been invited. However, multiple other news outlets assert that he has been invited. Were adequate checks conducted before publishing this article?
- The interview is sourced from one given to ‘The Wire.’ While one instance might be an oversight, referencing a propaganda outlet three times in the same article raises concerns about your magazine’s commitment to ethical and unbiased reporting.
- All four Shankaracharyas were invited to the temple inauguration, yet you express uncertainty about their invitations.
- Quoting Rahul Gandhi on taking the country out of the grips of violence and hate, you neglect to mention that it is the same political party that denied the existence of Shri Ram in Indian courts and coined the term ‘Hindu Terror.’ How is it that, in an article on the Hindu faith, you omit to mention these organizations’ open Hinduphobia?
- Your link to the Congress party’s statement directs the reader to the Twitter account of Arvind Gunasekar, a JNU alum. His entire Twitter feed is anti-BJP, with no mention of economic, social, security, or financial gains made by India in the last 10 years. Is this the best source of information you could find?
Your article leads us to the following observations:
- Although you assert yourselves as Indian-origin journalists covering current Indian topics, this article resonates with the bias often associated with Western media, viewing Hindus and Indian civilization through a colonial lens as regressive.
- You neglect to acknowledge the significant hardships endured by more than 20 generations of Hindus in seeking justice for their revered deity, Shri Ram, and the historical brutality inflicted by Islamic invaders on Hindu civilization. Instead, you choose to label Babar simply as a “Mughal king.”
- Rather than condemning organizations opposing justice delivery, your stance appears to align with them. If this is indeed an ‘Opinion’ piece, why not express support for justice?
- Your reliance on a source heavily biased against Hindus, coupled with assertions about the BJP using the temple inauguration as a political gimmick, suggests a political agenda in your piece. It seems you are prioritizing scoring points against the BJP at the expense of providing a complete and truthful narrative to the reader.
- This article could serve as a case study illustrating the decline in reporting standards and the influence of ideologies antagonistic to the Indic civilization. The narrative appears distorted, perpetuating a global demeaning of Hindus.
The way forward:
We strongly feel that you owe an apology to the Hindu-American community for hurting their sentiments and retract or redact the offending article. This will go a long way towards restoring faith in your magazine among Hindu-Americans and other readers.
Response from the editor of India Currents:
“Thank you for your detailed response to the article. We appreciate the time taken to address your perspective.
As an Indian American publication that represents all points of view, please note that we have 5 stories reflecting different perspectives on this story. The opinion piece you have referenced clearly states in our disclaimer it is not India Currents or the editor’s opinion as you claim. Here are links to our other stories you seem to have missed that showcase our broad coverage. We respect the freedom of the press and the right to publish opinions that differ from each other.
Once again, thank you for sharing your perspective.”
The message from India Currents is very simple: The Hindu voice or sentiments are not important.
Brief profile of Ankita Mukhopadhyay
In her online profile, Ms. Ankita Mukhopadhyay introduces herself as follows:
“I am a journalist and product manager, currently based in the United States. I tell stories of under-represented communities and build products to enable journalists to tell such stories. I grew up in India, but my roots are spread across the Indian subcontinent.”
However, scratching the surface a bit, we discovered that she is a product of NDTV, that old cesspool of anti-India/Hindu narrative. To us, that bit of information completely maps out her DNA; the rest is the usual anti-Hindu drivel that journalists of her ilk are trained to put out.
A brief list of topics she has written on, and our take on them:
- Is India’s Gujarat A Model for Muslim Discrimination? This is a story built around that usual trope of the 2002 Gujarat riots.
- German Student Sent Away For Protesting Against CAA, NRC | NDTV Newsroom Live – German student is just an excuse; her real problem is with the enactment of the CAA-NRC. A responsible journalist would have wondered why a foreign student should be embroiled in the host country’s politics, but, of course, that question never crossed her mind.
- COVID-19 stories: Coronavirus in India: How did India’s pandemic situation spiral out of control? Ankita Mukhopadhyay explains on DW’s show, “To the Point; India’s crematorium workers bear the burden of COVID crisis; For Many Indian Students, Their American Dream Is in Limbo – These are typical 2019-2020 stories by this and other journos of her kind, who were expecting India’s COVID-19 response to fall on its face. That it turned out to be the best-in-the-world public health initiative must have caused them to reach for a stiff drink!
- Afghan Refugee Stories: Samira: An Afghan Refugee Story; The Endless Wait of Afghan Refugees. Not surprisingly, she writes only about Muslim refugees. We have not come across a single word of sympathy in her portfolio for Hindu or Sikh refugees whose entire population has been wiped out of existence in Afghanistan. Nor does she talk about why a Muslim country, Afghanistan, is manufacturing refugees, especially Muslim refugees. She also does not talk about why Muslim refugees choose India, a country whose majority faith, Hindutva, they hate with a passion. Further, she does not ask why these refugees do not go for the warm embrace of Islam in the 57 or so Muslim-majority countries of the world.
Readers may contact Ankita Mukhopadhyay directly and tell her what they think of her brand of journalism:
Email: [email protected]