New York Terror, and the Era of Post Reason

Courtesy Daily Express
Photo Courtesy: Daily Express (one time, academic, non-profit use)

An Islamist fanatic yesterday drove his van, and ran over eight innocent people to death, in broad daylight in Manhattan. It happened close to where terrorists blew up Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, and killed thousands of men and women.

Sometimes, we are so stunned by violence and terror that it freezes us. We don’t want to function. We don’t want to wake up from bed. Worse, we don’t want to think. Yet, thinking is the most precious, God-given power we have when something like this happens.

One month ago, a white terrorist man used his weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and killed 58 innocent people in Las Vegas. But American media neither called him a terrorist, nor was there any serious discussion on the dark-age gun violence across this country. Big politicians, particularly those supporting Trump and National Rifle Association (NRA), asked us not to “politicize” on the genocide. Now, after the New York terror, their rhetoric has changed 180 degrees.

When in June of 2015, Dylan Roof, a 21-year-old, self-proclaimed white supremacist killed nine innocent black worshipers in a South Carolina church, media neither emphasized on his white supremacist rhetoric, or his use of the gun to kill. They hardly mentioned that he worshiped Hitler, and repeatedly said he believed whites were superior race, and that blacks deserved to die.

Yesterday, here in New York where we live, Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, the suspected Islamic terrorist with a possible ISIS connection chanted “Allahu Akbar,” and ran over eight innocent people with his truck. And it is getting explosive media coverage everywhere. Trump is talking about sending the perpetrator to Guantanamo Bay, and talking about much more repressive measures to “deal with terrorism” his way.

I have no problems to condemn this gruesome violence, or with the way media is covering the act of violence 24/7. But then, there is a serious problem built in the way big media and big politicians cover, exclude or undermine other acts of terror. It creates more hate against Muslims and the religion of Islam per se, even though that hate is politically motivated by the people in power — to divert attention from other critical issues relating to our lives. Look at the way Trump is capitalizing today on the NYC violence. And he has his Fox TV, his New York Post, and his Alt-Right, and his racist radio talk show hosts on his side. 

Most people — whether American, Indian, or European — don’t have the awareness, information, or analysis to understand this serious dichotomy and double standards in media coverage, or the way populist politicians such as America’s Trump or India’s Modi capitalize on such barbaric acts of violence, and create more division, hate, repression, or war. And they exploit on this very deep ignorance and political illiteracy.

Since 9/11/2001, when we saw the Twin Towers blow up right in front of our eyes, the world has become a very different place. I call it the Era of Post Reason. The 1%, their corporations, politicians, and media have successfully managed to make sure we the 99% do not use our reasoning power anymore. They have made us push back into a time when ordinary people fought against each other, hated each other, and bit off food from each other’s hands. 

Unless we come up with a viable strategy to come together, and actively engage ourselves into thinking, reasoning, and analyzing — to realize who are doing the violence and war, why they are doing it, and how they are making the world a more violent, divided, hateful place — only to the benefit of the extremely rich and powerful people at the top, it is a lose-lose situation for all of us.

I hope we reflect on the causes of terror, violence, repression, and war, and bring ourselves back to the time, when reasoning was a normal, natural, intelligent human way of life.

Sincerely,

Partha Banerjee

Brooklyn, New York

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An Easy-to-Understand Analysis of Modi and Trump

IN CASE ANYBODY CARES.

Beef murder in India

Unlike the anti-BJP liberals, lefties and their media personalities who are making the beef ban and continuous, brutal murders of beef eaters in India a singular issue against the Hindu fanatics and their leader Modi, I do not think that is where the anti-fascist focus should be. Even though I condemn the murders of innocent Muslims by fanatic Hindus, and also strongly oppose the beef ban because it puts millions of poor people — both Muslims and Hindus — out of business, throwing them in more desperate poverty.

My problem with these liberals and their media is on these counts.

(1) The beef industry is extremely anti-environment: methane produced in cow farms is one of the major causes for global warming (just like carbon di-oxide), and therefore, there must be a way to discourage out-of-control production of beef and a massive export of beef to USA and Arab countries.

(2) The bigoted variety of Muslims (and NOT the ordinary, peaceful Muslims) has its share of blame to bear, as terrorism by fanatic Muslims is a serious problem, and Pakistan regimes (and now Bangladesh) — not ordinary, innocent Pakistanis — have been a major exporter of terror into India; therefore, common Hindus (and Muslims, Christians and everybody else) are angry at Islamic extremists. Media’s fanning the communal flame — to make profit by selling fear — creates hate and violence.

(3) The real anger should rather be on the economic destruction and escalation of rich-poor divide in India, where Modi and his depraved variety of capitalism are destroying the traditional semi-socialistic, pro-poor economic infrastructure, and basically plundering the poor and middle class, in the name of development.

(4) Tax cuts for the rich, interest cuts for the poor and middle class, destruction of the environment, rapid takeover of Indian farming by Monsanto and rapid takeover of Indian retail by Reliance and Wal-Mart — these are happening right now under this government, which has stark similarity with what Trump administration is doing here in the U.S. It’s an unprecedented-in-history takeover of world’s resources by the 1 percent.

(5) Unbelievable inflation and pollution, where the poor and middle class simply don’t know how to make ends meet, and how to breathe air. Coke is taking over water sources. Polluting promoters and corporations are taking over farmlands and villages, displacing the poor.

Elite liberals and their media are not focusing their energy on these more substantive issues, just the same way New York Times, CNN and MSNBC are not talking about these issues here in USA.

People are falling for their pervert spin, and hoping that in India, a degenerate Congress Party and here in USA, a bankrupt Democratic Party’s return to power would solve all the problems. It’s not going to happen that way, because Congress is as corrupt as BJP, just the same way Democratic Party is as corrupt as the Republicans.

And in the background, IMF and World Bank are pulling the strings, and nobody even knows how dark and sinister they are.

Media keep us in dark.

(BTW, I strongly support Not In My Name, because this is a major movement taking shape across India and around the world — against the rise of fascism in India.)

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My Fifteen Years with Hindu Fanatic RSS

PB RSS book cover

This is a personal confession that might shock some of you, those who have known me for my many years of progressive, pro-equality activism.

I spent a very precious fifteen years of my life with Hindu militant RSS, and also their now-famous political wing BJP and student organization ABVP. As you know, BJP is now the powerful ruling party in India, and they support Trump. I left RSS and BJP before I moved from India as an international student to America.

When I came out, I was a rising star: top RSS leaders in India personally knew me, and put me in charge of West Bengal state of ABVP. They also sent me to New Delhi to attend the first-ever conference of Janata Party, a conglomerate of anti-Indira Gandhi opposition. I was also deeply involved with the grassroots peoples’ movement led by Jay Prakash Narayan, a movement that successfully unseated mighty Indira Gandhi and her Congress Party for the first time in Indian history.

Fifteen precious years of my life — I spent with a militant, male chauvinist, anti-Muslim, anti-Christian, anti-socialism, anti-union, feudal Hindu supremacist organization that is strikingly similar in its social, economic and political doctrine with Christian or Islamic fanatic groups across the world. An organization that at one point eulogized Hitler and Nazis. An organization that masterminded — directly or indirectly — many Hindu-Muslim violence, and was once implicated in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.

Godse killed Gandhi

I deeply mourn those lost fifteen years. In fact, it was more than fifteen years. I joined them when I was only a six-year-old boy, and quit them once and for all, when I was doing my M.Sc. in the University of Calcutta. My old Calcutta friends know how passionately I had worked for the Hindu militants.

God! I was thick and thin, with religious and race bigotry!

Slowly but surely, I realized that I must write about them. In 1998, my book called In the Belly of the Beast: Hindu Supremacist RSS and BJP of India — An Insider’s Story was published from Ajanta Books International Delhi. It was somewhat of an autobiography: I talked about my long, personal, and deep association with those groups. I talked about my hundreds of peers, leaders, and friends. I wrote about my countless activities.

In the book, I highlighted the similarities across the fanatic, fundamentalist, and supremacist groups from various parts of the world. I also showed the hypocrisy of RSS and its offshoot organizations such as BJP, ABVP and Viswa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council), when it comes to preaching Hinduism and and its peace, and practicing hate and violence.

The book also has my translation of an article written by my father Jitendra Nath Banerjee, who has been a lifelong activist with RSS. He is a highly respected man among their circles, for his uprightness, honesty, and personal sacrifice for his ideology.

I respect my father’s lifelong sacrifice for his cause. But I do not support the cause.

I will post excerpts from my book here slowly. Hope you have time to read.

Sincerely,

Partha Banerjee

Brooklyn, New York

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Related blog I posted before on this subject. — A Candid Confession.
Modi at RSS prayer
India’s prime minister Modi at RSS prayer.

Hate

DonaldTrumpMikeLicht

What is hate?

Many Hindu Indians who hate Muslims or communists or “low-caste” rarely made any effort to know them. Many Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslims have similar hate against Hindus.

Recently, Hindu fanatics in India, and Muslim fanatics in Bangladesh, have killed a number of people who came from the minority communities. They also killed free thinkers and intellectuals.

In America, Christian hate mongers hate other religions they have never wanted to know. Whites who hate blacks or immigrants never took the time to know them.

Hindu extremists

Hate comes from ignorance, the ignorant resort to violence supported by political powers, and ignorance rises out of a broken-down society with no real-life connections. Virtual society such as corporate media, Facebook or Twitter takes over, and dictates peoples’ lives with illusions, fake analyses, and false hopes.

Liberals in particular, and leftists in many cases, have done their best to create an heightened indifference, and failed to understand the ordinary peoples’ social and spiritual needs. Right wing and fanatics took advantage of this emotional void, and rallied the ignorant around their agenda, based on supremacy and exclusion.

Political powers used the hateful environment to divert peoples’ attention from their economic woes.

Durga destroyed

What we see in India today (RSS-BJP, etc.), or USA (Trump and Tea Party) are poison fruits of this poison tree of elitism and rabid individualism. Ayn Rand must be happy. Or, is she?

Is there any way to stop the advancing fascism?

Yes, there is, if the ordinary, working men and women reject extreme left and extreme right on one hand, and elite, individualist center on the other.

This is my life’s lesson — both from working as a grassroots organizer in India and USA, and also in the classroom.

This is my heartfelt two cents.

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Obama Oklahoma