The spectre of Joseph McCarthy's accusations that destroyed lives in US in 1950s is being replayed in India and unless it is stopped now, these faceless McCarthys will feed on our fears and greed and destroy India's economic success.
In 1950s, taking advantage of growing Communism and the resultant American paranoia, a junior Senator Joseph McCarthy whipped a mass hysteria to identify and remove communists from positions of power. To support his witch hunt, McCarthy employed controversial techniques and often making accusations with no evidence.
Same kind of witch hunt is being seen in India as we grow economically strong. Modi faces the attack of the neo-liberals in the garb of NGOs even as no court has found any evidence to support the claims of these interest groups. The groups get ample support from the television channels seeking to raise TRPs.
Somebody as popular as Shahrukh Khan was forced to issue clarification after these faceless raised the issue which went on to become international diplomatic row. Just like McCarthy hounded Hollywood stars, a star who was born Muslim was subjected to intense grilling by proxy, especially on the television screen.
Kamal Haasan is confronting an enemy, which cannot be identified even though the trigger was by fringe elements of a community. During his campaign, McCarthy intimidated suspects, often with the threat of prison, when trying to get information -- and he often had little or no solid evidence on which to base his claims. The names of witnesses and suspects were released, resulting in defamation of character and guilt by association. Careers and reputations were irreversibly damaged.
The controversy over Vishwaroopam will certainly bring down Kamal Haasan, as he himself confessed. But who caused it? A fringe group claiming to be protect a religion, whose basic values are tolerance.
Salman Rushdie has been living a life of a fugitive because of his works. And the author's life has been controlled by events that border on paronia and fear.
Do not allow modern McCarthyism to destroy India and its values.