Shefali Vaidya Exposes Myopic Side Of Intolerance Debate Following VHP Leader’s Death

5:41 pm 12 Nov, 2015


On November 10, violence erupted in Madiekri, 120 kilometres from Mysore in Karnataka, on ‘Tipu Diwas’.

The Congress-led government in Karnataka had decided to hold for the first time the 266th birth anniversary celebrations of 18th century Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan. Parties allied with the BJP opposed the celebrations calling Tipu a “bigot”.


Tipu Sultan

Police clash with protesters in Madikeri. See and Say

In the violence that ensued a 67-year-old VHP leader D.H. Kuttappa died on the spot from injuries suffered in stone pelting.

The Hindustan Times reports that Kuttappa was chased by the police. He allegedly slipped and fell while trying to climb a wall.

Commenting on the incident, Shefali Vaidya makes a few concerning points in her Facebook post:

“This is the second murder in Karnataka of a Hindu leader in the last one month after Prashant Poojary.”

Poojary was a flower businessman and Bajrang Dal activist who was brutally killed in Moodbidri this past October. He was actively involved in preventing illegal cow slaughter and their transportation.


VHP leader killed

File photo of Prashant Poojary. The News Minute

“Waiting for op-eds now on how this was not really a ‘hate crime’ but just a ‘political act of violence’ committed by a ‘few misguided youths’.”

Rajdeep Sardesai wrote an editorial on Poojary’s death in which he argued that though Poojary didn’t deserve to die there is a “political context to his death“.

He alleged that Poojary was involved in intimidation and violent cases in the region and, therefore, his death is different from that of Mohammed Ikhlaq’s.


Protests against Tipu Sultan

People fleeing as police resort to lathicharge in Madikeri. Indian Express

“Guess how many journalists will press for Sidramaiah’s (sic) resignation? Zero.”

When the Dadri incident happened, the opposition drew all guns against the Prime Minister bypassing the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh where it took place.



“Guess how much money the govt will pay to Kuttappa’s family as compensation? Zero.”



Tipu Sultan

People observing the government-backed Tipu Sultan birth anniversary. Business Standard

“Guess how many awards will be returned against this gruesome murder? Zero.”

Over 40 people including writers, artistes, historians and scientists, have returned their awards in protest of the Dadri lynching incident and murder of rationalist M.M. Kalburgi in Karnataka. The latest in the growing list is Arundhati Roy.


“Guess how many times Arvind Kejriwal will tweet about this? Zero.”




“Guess how many panel discussions NDTV will have to discuss this act of ‘intolerance’? Zero.”

A question on Quora on ‘Why does NDTV’s Barkha Dutt hate Hindus?‘ gives us a quick glance of what Vaidya is hinting at. An example is this video where Barkha Dutt of NDTV began by questioning the Hindu beliefs of US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.



“Guess how many writers, activists, filmmakers will lead a March against this? Yes, you guessed it. Zero again.”

The only march that was led in opposition to the ‘Award Wapsi’ brigade was by actor Anupam Kher. On the other hand from major political parties such as the Congress to little-known groups, everyone held marches against the ‘growing intolerance’ in the country.



Random groups demanding PM Modi’s comments on the Dadri lynching episode.