Monday March 19, 2018
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Aamir Khan, intolerance debate and Goebbelian propaganda


Bollywood Actor Aamir Khan has reignited the intolerance narrative that appeared to have died down following the BJP’s debacle in Bihar elections.

While speaking at the eighth edition of the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards, Aamir Khan remarked how his wife wanted to leave India because of growing intolerance in the country.

Following this, the social media burst in protest. Many people including a few from Bollywood criticized Khan’s statements. Many showed their protest by boycotting Snapdeal that is endorsed by Khan.

The way things have unveiled in the past few months and considering how a narrative of intolerance has been built, it is quite clear that if at all intolerance is growing, it is only in the minds of certain people belonging to the left-liberal camps.

On the other hand, statistics clearly show that there has been no sudden surge in intolerance after the arrival of the Modi government in the center.

But what is more worrying is the fact that there is an attempt to silence those voices who are questioning the attempts of left-liberals to create this fictitious narrative of intolerance. When Anupam Kher organized March for India questioning the motives behind those returning awards and creating a false impression of intolerance, he was criticized for hampering the freedom of expression of those who returned the awards. In fact, his March for India was upheld as proof for growing intolerance.

Similarly, articles after articles are now being published saying, the fact that people are criticizing Aamir Khan over his comments show that there is growing intolerance. The shallowness of the argument is revealed if only one were to just stop a moment and think.

How come the freedom of expression is applicable only to those who are running this narrative of intolerance and not to those who are protesting it? If Khan has the right to speak about intolerance, then people also have the right to criticize his actions and urge Snapdeal to cancel their agreement with him. If Nayantara Sehgal has right to return her awards, then even Anupam Kher has every right to carry out March for India. Freedom of expression cannot be applied selectively.

Yet, this is what is being propagated in the media and by those in influential positions. The peddlers of this intolerance narrative appear to be aimed at creating an environment of fear among the masses so that people become insecure and hostile to each other. The peddlers appear to be trying hard to create a real situation of riot and intolerance by first creating a false narrative of the same.

What else explains their strategy of creating false narratives and portraying those who oppose this narrative as an example of intolerance? The liberal logic that is driving this intolerance narrative can be summarized thus:

  1. Intellectuals, film-makers, and other well-known people will claim that intolerance has increased. If there is no opposition to these assertions, if people do not protest against this, then it proves that ‘intolerance’ is indeed rising. Otherwise, someone would have protested.
  2. Intellectuals, film-makers, and others will claim that intolerance has increased. If some people protest against these assertions, if people become angry and outrage at fictitious claims about their country, then portray it as a living proof for the growing intolerance.

In other words, irrespective of how people respond, the liberal agenda of establishing that India is another name for intolerance is established. Though the Liberals claim to hate Nazis, they appear to have adopted the Goebbelian propaganda of repeating the lies again and again till they are accepted as the Truth.

It is high time that Indians woke up to this propaganda and recognized the Truth behind this intolerance narrative.


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Pentavalent vaccine: Doctors raise red flag

In spite of the data presented in this paper from a large cohort, the authors point out that the evidence is merely circumstantial and not conclusive

the new Hepatitis B vaccine for adults is called Heplisav-B.
India's PV to be reexamined because of its harmful effects. .
  • Pentavalent vaccine was introduced in India six years ago
  • It is since then have been a cause of many deaths
  • Doctors want it to be reexamined before continuing its use

Pentavalent vaccine (PV), that was introduced by India a little over six years ago, doubled the deaths of children soon after vaccination compared to the DPT (Diphtheria-Pertussis-Tetanus) vaccine, according to a new study that calls for a “rigorous review of the deaths following vaccination with PV”.

Health officials have launched a campaign targeting nearly 24 million people with a one-fifth dose of the vaccine. Wikimedia Commons
PV has been cause of many deaths in past years. Wikimedia Commons

Government records show that there were 10,612 deaths following vaccination (both PV and DPT) in the last 10 years. There was a huge increase in these numbers in 2017, which the Health Ministry has promised to study. “The present analysis could be a starting point in the quest to reduce the numbers of such deaths,” authors of the new study say.

The study by Dr Jacob Puliyel, Head of Pediatrics at St Stephens Hospital, and Dr V. Sreenivas, Professor of Biostatistics at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), both in New Delhi, is published in the peer-reviewed Medical Journal of Dr D.Y. Patil University.

PV is a combination of the DPT vaccine and two more vaccines against Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) and hepatitis B. Starting December 2011, PV was introduced into India’s immunisation programme to replace DPT vaccine in a staged manner with a view to adding protection against Hib and Hepatitis B without increasing the number of injections given to infants.

Doctors have raised concerns over these vaccines. Wikimedia Commons
Doctors have raised concerns over these vaccines. Wikimedia Commons

But sporadic reports of unexplained deaths following immunisation with PV had been a matter of concern. Puliyel, Sreenivas and their colleagues undertook the study to find out if these deaths were merely coincidental or vaccine-induced.

The authors obtained data of all deaths reported from April 2012 to May 2016 under the Right to Information Act. Data on deaths within 72 hours of administering DPT and PV from different states were used.

For their study, the authors assumed that all deaths within 72 hours of receiving DPT are natural deaths. Using this figure as the baseline, they presumed that any increase in the number of deaths above this baseline among children receiving PV must be caused by this vaccine.

Also Read: With Medicine Running Out, Venezuelans With Transplant Live in Fear

According to their analysis of the data provided by the government, there were 237 deaths within 72 hours of administering the Pentavalent vaccine — twice the death rate among infants who received DPT vaccine.

Extrapolating the data, the authors have estimated that vaccination of 26 million children each year in India would result in 122 additional deaths within 72 hours, due to the switch from DPT to PV.

“There is likely to be 7,020 to 8,190 deaths from PV each year if data from states with the better reporting, namely Manipur and Chandigarh, are projected nationwide,” their report says.

It is important to make sure that these vaccines are reexamined peroperly. VOA

The authors note that while the study looks at the short-term increase in deaths (within three days of vaccination) it does not calculate the potential benefits of PV on infant mortality, for example by protection against lethal diseases like Haemophilus influenza.

In spite of the data presented in this paper from a large cohort, the authors point out that the evidence is merely circumstantial and not conclusive. “These findings of differential death rates between DPT and PV do call for further rigorous prospective population-based investigations,” the study concludes. IANS