The Organiser’s editorial and an analysis in Panchjanya both focus on the recent speech Rahul Gandhi delivered at the University of California, Berkeley in the US. While the Panchajanya article critiqued Gandhi’s speech, claiming that he had tried to justify dynasticism as natural to India, and called his manoeuvre “dangerous”, the Organiser apart from criticising Gandhi’s speech chose to cast aspersions on the “liberal” credentials of the American university itself. “Berkeley also stands for a very JNU like ‘liberalism’, where students or speakers associated with the worldview other than that of the Communists are labeled as ‘hate-mongerers and fascists’ and not allowed to speak.” Recollecting the excesses of Gandhi’s father, grandmother and great-grandfather against prime ministers against free speech — mentioning how Jawaharlal Nehru had tried to censor the magazine — it said “true liberal ethos” stands for, as Vivekanand had said, “universal acceptance” and not the Communist variant of “tolerance”.
The author of the Panchjanya article admits that Gandhi’s statement that the rate of economic growth of the country may have slowed down due to demonetisation and the way in which GST has been implemented could be correct, but disagreed that there is any anger among people due to it.
The Rohingya issue
One of the multiple stories in the Organiser on the Rohingya crisis asks why should India allow the Rohingyas to stay in the country. It says that Muslims across the world belong to a transnational religion and “belong to a borderless Umma”. The author asks when more than 50 Islamic countries “with a separate Declaration of Human Rights of their own” are not accepting a “few thousand” Rohingya refugees how can India, which already has “30 million Bangladeshi Muslims” and “tens of millions of Hindus and Sikhs expelled from Pakistan”? “Why should India have to take care of the Rohingya Muslims of Bangladeshi origin who had illegally infiltrated into Myanmar and proliferated to such an extent that the local native Buddhists are feeling troubled by them and they are therefore being expelled?”
Another piece on Rohingyas calls them a security threat for India “who have started building militant cells in the refugee camps”.
School boy’s murder
Panchajanya looks at the murder of Pradyuman Thakur at Ryan International School in Gurugram in its editorial. The topic is also the cover story of the Organiser. Panchjanya’s editorial asks if parents in the quest to go after big schools are losing focus on what should be the role of education in the child’s life.
It asks a few questions, first whether education is meant for a career or to gain knowledge. Counting multiple incidents of violence within schools in the last 15 years, it says “running after these famous schools, have we thrown our children in such ravines where our values are killed daily… and innocent hearts are turned to stone.”
The editorial says that though not many instances of violence in schools become public, there are such instances galore. It asks if schools are meant to educate or for profiteering and conversions. It mentions that the priests in churches across the world have been caught sexually abusing children. The Organiser’s story focuses on the do’s and don’ts for parents, school administrations and the government to prevent similar instances from taking place.
Organiser continues to discuss the murder of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru and the protests in different parts of the country. R.K. Sinha writes that though the “nation rose to condemn and deplore the cult of violence”, CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and CPI’s D. Raja joined the protests because of the allegation that Lankesh was killed by people affiliated to right-wing ideology.
Sinha writes that Yechury and Raja have not protested against killings of other journalists like Rajdeo Ranjan in Siwan, first because Lankesh had “glamour” unlike Ranjan; second, because “the man behind the murder”, Shahabuddin, “is a Muslim”. Calling Yechury and Raja “apologists of secularism”, he writes they “would not raise their voice against” the likes of Shahabuddin “because of vote factor”. Calling the condemnation of Lankesh’s murder selective, he brings up the killings of BJP and RSS workers in Kerala, and says there is no “public outrage” about them.