Dr Badri Raina, Mainstream, VOL LIII No 48 New Delhi, November 21, 2015
President Obama has invited the Muslims of the world not just to some introspection but, however suavely said, some self-flagellation as well after the terror attack in Paris. The inference here seems inescapable: whatever may have been done to the “Muslim” world, beginning from the time of the usurpation of Palestine, it is they who remain both responsible for the fate that afflicts them and obliged to find all the remedies. Curiously, all that even as the powers-that-be also tell us that terrorism has no religion.
Some questions then seem to beg themselves: is every German to be held responsible for the holocaust and obliged to carry on self-flagellating for what the Third Reich did? Is everyone in the Christian world to be held guilty for the sixty million deaths of non-White people that took place during the slave trade? (See Howard Zinn, Peoples’ History of the United States) Is every American culpable for that first genocide of modern history, namely, the extermination of the “Red Indians”, or that first and most horrendous act of terrorism, namely, the use of the atom bomb which annihilated some two hundred thousand innocent Japanese at one go? Is every Catholic to be held responsible for the Inquisition? Is every Russian to be thought guilty of assenting to the Stalinist purges? And, nearer home, is every Hindu complicit in the assassi-nation of Mahatma Gandhi, or the atrocities committed by the LTTE, culminating in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi? Must every Hindu be required to self-flagellate for what a Colonel Purohit or a Sadhvi Pragya or an Aseemanand has allegedly done? Or, every Sikh in the violence perpetrated by Khalistani separatists, leading to the the murder of Indira Gandhi? Or, must every Buddhist in the world do penance for the excesses committed by the state in Sri Lanka or in Myanamar? If so, we do here have a call for global self-flagellation, no one excepted.