During the Independence Day, 2016, speech, the PM said that many people from Balochistan, Gilgit, Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) have thanked him to express their gratitude (PM Modi had raised the issue of Pakistani state atrocities against its own citizens in Balochistan and PoK during a recent all-party meeting on Jammu & Kashmir). Rajdeep Sardesai, now at the India Today group, tweeted as follows:
Sardesai: When Manmohan Singh allowed Balochistan in a joint statement in Sharm-el-Sheikh, he was attacked by Congress and BJP. Now ‘B’ word part of I day speech.
Internet has democratised the process of debate and given voice to those who appeared to be voiceless. It is no longer possible for the mainstream media to censor thoughts and information. Sardesai seems to be oblivious of the heightened awareness of people at large about what exactly is the national interest, and that they are able to express their opinion to a large audience.
In the recent past, this phenomenon is restricted not just to the so-called Internet Hindu community. Probably the first comment came from one Rohit Pradhan, a USA based person, and one who would think it an insult to be labelled as an Internet Hindu. (Disclaimer: I, the undersigned, proudly use the label of Internet Hindu for myself.) He tweeted:
Rohit Pradhan: Sardesai, that is a nonsensical argument. Balochistan was referred to (earlier) in terms of India orchestrating terrorism there.
To this, one A.B. (do not know the background), asked: Pradhan, do you think Rajdeep is dumb or playing dumb?
And Rohit Pradhan responded: A.B., latter.
The dictionary meaning of dumb is: Lacking intelligence or good judgment; stupid; dull-witted. And of playing dumb is: To pretend that one has no or little knowledge (of something); to act ignorant or uninformed (about something).
Maybe, just maybe, it could be said that it is better to be labelled as being dumb – at least one can get oneself educated and learn to correct oneself. But playing dumb is also the equivalent of pretending to sleep. Playing dumb means that one is deliberately lying, with the expectation that the reader will not know any better. Playing dumb means that one will refuse to factor in data and interpretation that does not suit one’s political agenda.
The internet has enabled the people of the nation to actively participate in discussions and debate, and not merely vote at election times. And because Sardesai is being continuously exposed, he wants this democratic system to be strangulated, so that he can have the freedom to continue to tell lies. Clearly, the fact that the India Today group continues to employ him is a very poor reflection on the Managing Editor, Aroon Purie. But, I guess Purie just does not care.
Just to remove any doubt that Sardesai wants to play dumb, a few minutes before the above tweet, Sardesai had tweeted:
Police in Congress ruled Karnataka files sedition FIR against Amnesty for organishing Kashmir meet in Bengaluru on ABVP compalint. No outrage?
To which, Kiran Chandrashekar had responded: Saredesai, please get your facts right. FIR was for making anti-India statements in the Kashmir meet and not for organising Kashmir meet itself.