Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Secular Ignorance Is Editorial Bliss

Updated: December 11, 2015 5:19 pm

 

                TALKING about the Japanese, Satiricus was really impressed to see that they devote serious study to any subject, ranging from happiness to—hold your breath—garbage. For the other day a headline said, “Japanese team studies garbage”. An intrigued Satiricus read the report that a Japanese delegation recently visited Kashi, Prime Minister Modi’s constituency, and inspected garbage plants in the city. They are going to study the city’s garbage problem and then come up with a detailed plan of how to tackle it.

This is an excellent idea—so why not extend it to tackle the very source of all garbage in the country—our secular media? Journalist Satiricus can legitimately boast that even a single secular newspaper in a metro city can and does produce enough garbage to put all the garbage in Kashi to shame.

And one particular paper even specialises in high-quality imported garbage.For instance,Satiricus noticed that in the recent past this paper published a pre-eminently puerile piece by an American lady who professes to be a professor in some university in some corner of the US of A in which she castigated the “Aryans” of latter-day India and learnedly concluded that India today needs a “fresh narrative”. That there were no “Aryans” and never were was not relevant to this professed professor’s sage advice, neither to the erudition of the editor of this newspaper who published the piece without a single word of comment. Then came another piece, this time from a Brit, who cleverly played on the word ‘stan’, and then learnedly went into the Arabic / Persian origin of it. That even the Indian-in-the-street with average education knows that ‘stan’ is the distortion of the Sanskrit ‘sthana’ did not matter to the editor who published it. Why? Because he is an erudite editor, for whom every foreign fiction is the gospel truth.

And of course what happens twice must happen thrice. So just the other day the Brit was followed by—believe it or not—a Pakistani columnist. And what did he write about? He wrote on—again hold your breath—Sanskrit etymology.—And the editor duly printed it without a whimper of protest. This Pakistani informed us ignorant Indians that in the word “shivālā” the “ālā” means a house. Could the editor point out to him that the correct and simple word is “ālaya” for house? He could not. Why? Because for a secular Indian editor a foreigner’s ignorance, however crass, is supreme scholarship.

The immoral moral of the story : Where secular ignorance is editorial bliss, it’s a communal folly to be wise. How else could this editor produce such high-quality garbage?

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