The convenient forgetfulness of the media is, then, but an instance of how the fourth estate has, in the age of neoliberalism, become a pawn in the confluence of communalism and capitalism.
In the grand inauguration of the temple, we witness not just the resolution of a property dispute but the embodiment of a profound transformation—a monument serving as both a farewell to the Nehruvian secular state and a testament to an evolving national ethos. The inaugural ceremony on Monday shows us that secularism – in its basic technical, definitional sense – is coming to an end, as the state is making the opening of a religious institution as its extravagant national political event. India’s journey from the first prime minister’s directive to remove idols from the mosque to the widespread jubilation at the temple’s unveiling reflects a seismic societal shift. This goes beyond mere land; it is a declaration that our collective consciousness has metamorphosed. We are now venerating a myth, historicizing a belief, and asserting the ascendancy of narratives over conscience. A political crisis that began more than three decades ago regarding the claim to a property of religious value, the Mandir-Masjid crisis has shown us how calculated channelising of religious sentiments into communal hatred can shake up the very foundations of a polity. Importantly, the point to be noted at present is not how the Sangh Parivar has succeeded in its communal agenda and how it has grown up as the largest political force in India, but how all the institutions of democracy and the people themselves has changed in the course of its growth. More importantly, the Indian Media that had vociferously reported against the demolition of the Masjid in the 1990s is now celebrating the function. The convenient forgetfulness of the media is, then, but an instance of how the fourth estate has, in the age of neoliberalism, become a pawn in the confluence of communalism and capitalism.
The applause and fervour surrounding this achievement extend beyond a legal victory for the BJP and RSS; they symbolize a proclamation heralding an impending electoral juggernaut. The celebration prompts crucial questions about our moral compass. Will the same logic be applied to reevaluate our past transgressions—conversion of tribal lands for exploitation of resources, desecration of sacred groves for property development, and such countless actions? Our real history, often conveniently and easily forgotten. Always remember, selective amnesia underpins our chest-thumping religious pride and victory.
Cover Image: Soorya G K.