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The Power of Propaganda By Justice Katju


I firmly believe, and have repeatedly said, that the vast majority of men and women are good by nature, as my great teacher Rousseau taught me. That is why I have repeatedly said, and I firmly believe, that over 99% Muslims, and 99% Pakistanis, are good by nature, just as I believe that over 99% Hindus and 99% Indians are good by nature.

And yet the truth is that today most Hindus ( though not all ) are communal, hating Muslims, and most Muslims ( though not all ) are also communal, hating Hindus. How has this happened ?

It has happened because of the power of propaganda. Most people are undoubtedly good, but they also simpletons. By propaganda their minds can be poisoned, and made to hate different communities. And modern technology has made propaganda an even more powerful weapon in the hands of the tiny, but powerful, wicked minority to do that.

An example of this is what happened in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s. The Nazi propaganda against the Jews, blaming them for all the ills in Germany ( unemployment, inflation, etc ) was so strong that almost the whole German nation at that time went mad, which led to the Holocaust.

Propaganda has been used since ancient times. To keep the masses under subjugation, religious propaganda was used by the ruling classes. Thus, in India the karma theory was used. The depressed classes ( dalits etc ) were told that they had done bad deeds in their previous birth because of which they have been born in a low caste, and if they wish to be reborn in a higher caste they should willingly serve and obey their masters.

In Christianity, the Sermon on the Mount was used, where Jesus Christ is said to have said :
” Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also ” ( Bible : New Testament : Matthew :5, 38 and 39 ). In other words, one should not manfully fight against one’s oppressors, but should yield to him.

Such propaganda is needed by the rulers because it is not enough to use the sword to keep the oppressed masses under subjugation. The masses must also be mentally brainwashed into believing that they deserve their fate, and so should willingly accept it.

In wars, truth is the first casualty, and people are taught to hate their enemies, as was successfully done in the First World War by all sides by massive propaganda.

As I said in my article ‘ The Truth about Pakistan ‘ ( see online, and on my blog ), there was no communal feeling in India before 1857. Hindus and Muslims then lived together in amity. Hindus used to participate in Eid and Muharram, and Muslims in Holi and Diwali. Muslim rulers, e.g. the Nawab of Avadh, used to organize Ramlila, etc, and almost all Muslim rulers were thoroughly secular e.g. the Mughals, Nawab of Murshidabad, Tipu Sultan, etc ( about Tipu and Aurangzeb see my blogs ). There were no communal riots before 1857. All of them commence after 1857.

It was only after the Mutiny of 1857 that communalism was wickedly injected into our body politic by the British. Having suppressed the Mutiny, in which Hindus and Muslims jointly fought against them, the British realized that the only way to keep India under their control was divide and rule. So directives came from London to the British authorities in India to generate hatred between Hindus and Muslims ( see online B.N. Pande’s ‘ History in the Service of Imperialism ‘ ).

Thereafter a systematic and sustained policy of divide and rule was followed by the British authorities in India. The British Collector used to call the Hindu Pandit secretly, pay him some money, and tell him to speak against Muslims, and similarly he would call the Muslim Maulvi secretly, pay him money, and tell him to speak against Hindus. Agent provocateurs were hired to generate communal hatred. Loud music was played before mosques to disturb Muslims in their prayers, so that they may think Hindus are doing this mischief, and carcasses of cows were thrown overnight into Hindu temples, so that Hindus may think the mischief is by Muslims. Separate electorates were created by the Minto Morley ‘ Reforms ‘ of 1909. A Muslim University ( AMU ) was created, and a Hindu University ( BHU ). The propaganda was done that Hindi is the language of Hindus, and Urdu of Muslims ( when the truth is that Urdu was the common language of all educated people, whether Hindu, Muslim or Sikh, in large parts of India upto 1947 ).

Ultimately, the bogus two nation theory was propagated, that Hindus and Muslims are two separate nations
All this large scale, systematic, false propaganda, spread by various methods, resulted in the tragedy of Partition in 1947 ( see Manto’s stories about Partition ), and the creation of a fake, artificial state called Pakistan ( see my article ‘ Tbe Truth about Pakistan ‘ ). Even after 1947 there have been powerful vested interests propagating hatred between Hindus and Muslims, and the result is that the communal poison is still deep inside us.
To counteract this poison, I have been administering anti dotes, through my articles, speeches, etc, by patiently and coolly explaining to the people of India ( in which I include Pakistan ) that this communal hatred is not something intrinsic, but was artificially generated by the British, often using their Indian agents.

I know that it will take a long time to completely eliminate the communal poison, since it has been injected into our society continuously for almost one and a half centuries. So repeated doses of anti dotes must be given, maybe for a period of 10-20 years. It is a work of great patience, and requires clearly explaining the truth to our countrymen, and counteracting the false propaganda, but all patriotic intellectuals must join in this historic effort.

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