Tableeghi Jamaat. Remember them? I’m sure you do. The event is too fresh in our memories to be forgotten.
Okay, next question. When was the last time you talked about the Coronavirus hotspot related to Tableeghi Jamaat?
I am pretty certain you haven’t thought of them in at least a month. They were all over the news in late March and until the end of April. Then, everyone forgot about them. And that’s not surprising. We have had our hands full with the pandemic and Chinese aggression.
The purpose of this post is not to suddenly start talking about the Jamaat again. It is about explaining what happens *after* the news cycle moves on.
This is where Wikipedia becomes so important. Whether we like it or not, these days when people want to read up on something, their first instinct is to google it. Wikipedia articles show up on the top of these searches and that’s what the most popular version of history is : Wikipedia.
That’s why I found liberal control of Wikipedia to be one of the most chilling of all. Because Wikipedia is now the version of record, whether we like it or not. What Wikipedia records is more influential than almost any stuck up, academic crap or NCERT textbook that anyone has produced.
At the time when the Jamaat was in the peak of the news cycle, Opindia had done a piece on how Wikipedia had deleted the article on the Tablighi Jamaat hotspot in Delhi. A majority of Wikipedia editors had voted against deletion, but a “super editor” had overruled everyone and imposed their judgement.
I must say I found this frightening. The liberal ecosystem has deep roots and it is able to think very long term. Nobody in April would have gone to Wikipedia to learn about the Tablighi Jamaat hotspot because it was all over the news. The liberals had the ability to think 10 years into the future, when memories have gone weak and young people have never even heard of the incident. They had a super editor posted in advance, watching Wikipedia today, preparing for a propaganda battle 10 years in the future. That is some serious level of preparation.
Nothing of this sort exists on the other side. Not even a pale shadow of it.
In this limited instance, I have good news. The article was deleted on April 2. About a week later, Wikipedia relented and the article was restored on April 10. It is now live on Wikipedia. The wording is still quite biased; the article does try to make excuses and of course it accuses Hindus of discrimination. But at least it’s there. It’s something, which is better than nothing at all.
Liberals tried to delete the incident from history altogether. At least the full plan did not work.
But there are of course other fronts on which the right wing has failed. The Wikipedia article on Delhi riots is still hopelessly one-sided. And watched like a hawk by Communists and Islamists. In fact, it is wrong to call the article merely one-sided. When you read the article, you wouldn’t even realize that the account in it has ever been disputed. We need a new word, stronger than one-sided. You won’t realize there has ever been any other side.
The Delhi riots are already near forgotten. Ten years from now, that Wikipedia article will become the authoritative source of information about this incident. Our memories will go weak by then. Young people won’t even know what we are talking about. Bas naam rahega ….
The truth is that the strategic depth of the left and its might remain almost unchallenged. Not content with dominating JNU or NCERT textbooks, the left has the luxury to think decades ahead and close out upcoming avenues of information pro-actively.
BJP supporters are thinking about the next election in 3-4 months time. The left is already thinking about what people will say about the Delhi riots in the year 2050 and beyond. They have such a surplus of might that they have posted their soldiers to guard Wikipedia. And that’s hardly all. Remember how I once blogged about some Indian liberal on Brazilian TV defaming Sardar Patel as an enemy of Muslims? Think about that. They even posted someone to poison Brazilian minds against India. Today, India’s economy may not be linked to Brazil, but in 10 years it will. Then, Indian professionals, students and businessmen will arrive in Brazil and discover that the poison seed of Indian liberalism has been planted a decade in advance.
And just like that, the left is all over the place, seeking out and closing off every possible avenue. There are new kids on the global media block, like TRT world run by Turkey. Indian liberals have planted their flags over there as well. Nobody even knows if TRT world will ultimately become a credible voice. But like a powerful venture capitalist, the left invests in absolutely everything. They have the numbers and the resources to do this. So even if Malawi (Madagascar) starts a news channel tomorrow, I assure you there will be an Indian liberal on it, convincing people that Hindus are the worst. The left manages to get these vast numbers by offering attractive rewards. Ask the next BA pass kid if s/he would like to become a Harvard professor.
Sadly, the right is still focused on survival. The next social media wave. The next election. The left is ensconced comfortably in power and thinking three revolutions ahead.
I’ll give you one last example. It’s only recently that I became aware of Audible, the Amazon platform for audiobooks. It does not take long to realize that this is the future of reading. From books to music, Audible has created a unique platform that blurs the line between reading a book and watching TV. There’s now stuff that releases “only on Audible.” Is it a book or a movie? It’s hard to say exactly.
I did a search on Audible for Indian history. Shashi Tharoor is all over it. So is William Dalrymple. Their stuff is ready for consumption in any and every form that “nexgen” might want it. And if you want to know about Mughals, the most popular book appears to be Audrey Truschke’s book hero worshiping Aurangazeb! Simply wow.
Unmatched depth and unmatched reach. What’s the counter from our side?