Scandalous Swamis and Irresponsible media
By Swami Abhayananda Tirtha
Nityananda swami is now a household name, and for the wrong reasons. While the sex scandal of this swami has sent shock waves across the country, the media is all out exposing the ‘saffron brigade’.
Post 26/11, the media and politicians screamed out their lungs to defend Islam and Muslims. ‘Terrorism has no religion’ proclaimed all newspapers and television channels. “Muslims are innocent and Islam is a religion of peace”, appeal the conscience keepers of the society, although history has contrary evidence to it. And the peace loving Indian citizens accept the proposition. The media then showers itself with accolades for being ‘responsible’ and portraying truth. Isn’t this the time also for representing true ‘Hinduism’? Why does no TV channel even whisper an honest appreciation of the Hindu and Vedic culture? Shouldn’t the headlines read, ‘Scandals haveno religion’, or ‘Hinduism is glorious’. How many channels or newspapers highlight the good work of hundreds of organizations promoting Vedic dharma and peaceful coexistence of all religions? One glance at the Mid Day editorial by Lindsay Pereira exposes the media’s hatred for ‘Hindu’. In ‘The Godmen of our times’ Mr Pereira spits sarcasm and venom at ‘saffron’ clad men promoting pranayama and meditation. The generalization drawn from the wrong doings of a few men is a clear indication of the times we are living in- an era of ‘Hindu bashing.’ Whoever does it loud and confident, is proclaimed to be a champion of free speech, and anyone denigrating the Vedic culture is a hero of arts.
I wonder why the media is silent on the murder of Sister Abhaya, allegedly murdered by two priests and a nun, in Kerala. The CBI informed the Kerala High Court in late November 2008 and early December 2008 that Sister Abhaya had accidentally intruded upon Sr. Sephi and the other two accused priests in a “compromising position”. Sr Sephi panicked and, on the spur of the moment, Sephie hit her with an axe meant for chopping firewood. The three accused together dumped Abhaya’s body into the well.
Besides, 52-year-old Sister Jesme, a former nun from Kerala, has blown the whistle on the alleged sexual abuse that nuns have to face in convents. In her autobiography, ‘Amen -an autobiography of a nun’, she talks about the sexual harassment that she faced in the convent at the hands of both priests and nuns. The former nun’s autobiography alleges that sexual abuse and homosexuality is very high in the Catholic Church in India. The book comes in the wake of a spate of sex scandals, nun suicides, and murders that shook Kerala’s clergy. However, the media is on a dead mauna vrata, (a silence vow) and justifiably so, since this will disturb the faith of innocent Christians.
In June’ 2009, a Muslim cleric was arrested for allegedly raping a 12-year-old girl in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir. Mohmmad Farooq is a devout maulvi, who used to impart religious education to students in Mendhar area, and he raped the minor, and the media is ‘sensitive’ to not hurt the sentiments of the ‘minorities’ in India. I now begin to wonder who is a minority.
A known British Mullah Mr. Anjem Choudary describes the “Killing of Innocent” Non-Muslims civilians in the suicide bombing as “Legitimate”. He states that because Musilms are always innocent in the eyes of God, and non-muslims are condemned in the eyes of God for turning their back on him, it is OK to rape and kill non-Muslims. He also emphatically states in his very British accent, that he cannot ever turn his back or criticize a Muslim brother. This man is one of the most prominent Muslim leaders with a huge following of educated Muslims. I really wish the Indian Muslims would rise up and protest because the media won’t do this job. While many Hindi movies show a clumsy Brahmin or a pundit, taking bribe or cheating people, they are careful not to hurt the sentiment of our Christian and Muslim brothers and sisters by showing a Maulvi as a rapist or a ‘Father’ as a conman of our times.
Let’s be fair and appreciate the Vedic dharma for its strong moorings of love and peace. Let us not abuse the tolerance of Hindus. Let us respect the resilience of the Vedic society to fight against deviant forces, and let us work to protect the rich culture and heritage of respect for sadhus of India.
1. ‘The Mid Day’, Mumbai, 16th March’ 2010
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