Finally, someone has spoken out against the strident, unrelenting branding of all terrorism being Islamic, and all Muslims being terrorists. According to a news report in The Times of India, Sharad Pawar asks a very pertinent question: “Why are only Muslims on the media’s and society’s terror radar? Why not Hindu terrorists like the Bajrang Dal? Read the full story here.

In the last few weeks, especially after the blasts in Delhi, I am deeply disturbed by the deeply etched biases in large groups representing the educated upper middle class in India. If one is to even raise the question of legal rights, there is almost an affronted response: what do you mean legal rights? “That terrorist (pronounced guilty even before being tried) gets free government legal aid.” Aah. Interesting. The same person, if he were to find himself on the receiving end of a tangled legal case, would not hesitate to hire the most expensive legal help money can buy. Why? You have free legal aid from the government, right?

To even question the motives of the police during the shooting in Jamia Nagar in September 2008 is interpreted as seditious.

In this gloomy scenario, where I’m actually glad Mr Pawar said what he did, even though I’m fairly credulous of his motives.

I guess beggars cannot be choosers.

First published on October 5, 2008