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An open letter to John Oliver, the host of Last Week Tonight on HBO!

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Advocate, cricketer and book reader!

Dear Sir,

I am writing this letter to air my grievance with respect to your Last Week Tonight episode aired on 24-02-2020. Firstly, before I start with my grievance I would like to tell you that I have been a fan of your work and always assumed that your show did due diligence on each and every topic that you have broadcast on your show. Unfortunately, that assumption has been proved wrong with your latest episode.

For the host of a show, who prides himself on being meticulous with facts your latest episode is devoid of facts. One can expect such factless ramblings from someone like a Hasan Minhaj but to hear you come out with such a biased reporting of events is frankly disappointing. Your understanding of India or its history is utterly one-sided and doesn’t in anyway do justice to my country or its people.

Please remember that India is the largest democracy in the world and one among very few countries, which does not persecute people based on their faith. The idea of secularism was not espoused by Gandhi or Nehru as you have put forth in your episode but we have been a secular nation even before the aforementioned people came into the scene. Let me give you an example of that. The Persians, who follow the Parsi faith were literally massacred and driven out of their homes by Islamic invaders and they found a home in this great country of mine and were embraced with open arms by the people of this country. So did the Jews persecuted by Nazi Germany.

And another history lesson that you might have to brush up is the fact that religious persecution happened in this country before Independence and not by some Hindu King or Hindus but the Moghuls who invaded this country, who raped, looted and massacred millions of Hindus for following their faith and also destroyed and desecrated our temples. Shortly after that followed the British, who themselves sought to divide the country along communal lines so as to easily conquer my country. So to call Hindus of this country as intolerant speaks a lot about your ignorance of the true facts.

And furthermore you have vilified the people of this country by calling the democratically elected government of my country as Islamophobic. You have criticized the Citizenship Amendment Act, which aims to give citizenship to persecuted minorities from the three Islamic states of Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, who have sought refuge in this country before 31-12-2014. Please check the date once again so that you would understand that it doesn’t give a free pass to all and sundry as you have so eloquently put forth in your episode.

Coming to the NRC or the National Register of Citizens, it is a much needed exercise to identify illegal immigrants in my country, who have not come here for the purpose of livelihood but are responsible for the many acts of terrorism in my country. Please understand that unlike the comfort of your studio, the threat of terrorism to my country is very real due to the policy of death by a thousand cuts followed by our Islamic neighbours, namely Pakistan. A country which renegaged on its promise to protect the rights of minorities in its country in spite of signing an accord to that effect. Please read the Nehru-Liaquat Ali Pact for further information on the same.

You have further said that people without papers will be thrown out or the CAA along with the NRC is a threat to Indian Muslims. Please read the CAA before making such blatant and malicious statements against my country. And speaking of NRC, which country in this world allows people to just walk in without any identity proof? You yourself had to apply for citizenship to USA and could not enter the country without a valid Visa. So to criticize my nation’s right to create a National Register of Citizens is hypocritical and malicious.

Lets now talk about the Prime Minister of my country whom you have portrayed as Hitler in disguise by your subtle insinuations. You have raked up the Godhra riots as an example to further your agenda without even bothering to present the full picture of the same. Just so that you understand the Godhra riots did happen under the watch of the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi but to vilify the man without getting into the facts speaks about your inherent bias against the Man.

Firstly, as the Chief Minister of the State he tried every means to stop the carnage that was happening and even asked for the assistance of the Army from the Central Government of that time headed by the Congress party but his pleas fell on deaf ears. Furthermore, he was given a clean chit by the Supreme Court monitered Special Investigation Team appointed by the Congress, who have said that he has done everything he could possibly do as the CM of Gujarat to stop the riots. And the reason for the Godhra riots was not some random disagreement between two communities but the burning down of passenger bogie filled with Hindu passengers returning from a piligrimage by a rampaging Muslim mob. That incident sparked the flame which became a raging fire.

And lets now talk about the RSS, which you called a Hindu militant organisation. That insinuation cannot be more far from the truth. The RSS is not a militant organisation but an organisation, which came into being to protect the rights of the Hindus, who were not only vilified but also persecuted by the very establishment of this country. We have been a country of Hindus since time immemorial but to be downgraded to the level of Second class citizens in my own country by successive governments in order to appease minorities has been the norm since Independence and speaks volumes about the tolerance of my culture. Please remember that even after Independence, Kashmiri Pandits were raped and made to run for their dear life by the Militant Muslims of Kashmir and yet not a tear was shed by the Government of that time.

It is this present government, which is working tirelessly for the benefit of this entire country and yet in your urgency to put down Modi, you have simply glossed over the facts. We have been plagued by corruption, nepotism and dynastic politics since the time of our independence, which led to gradual decay and overall poverty in my country. It is the present government, which has been working diligently to right those wrongs and has not shied away from taking tough steps to ensure that is possible. The demonitisation of the ₹500 and ₹1000 notes helped in curbing the menace of counterfeit currency and also ensured that the unaccounted money which was lying in gunny sacks of a few corrupt politicians and their coterie of misfits came back into the banking system. Furthermore, it also helped in the digitization of our economy.

The abrogation of Article 370, helped in restoring normalcy to the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. It also ensured that the people of Kashmir were able to avail all the benefits of government schemes. The erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was a hotbed for Islamic terrorism and the aforementioned move helped in neutralising the threat to a great extent. There are many other steps this government has taken to improve the livelihood of the people and therefore the people of this country elected our Prime Minister with an even bigger mandate. So to criticize the democratically elected leader of my country and its people without properly understanding the facts speaks volumes about your bias and the nature of your show.

It is with great sadness today that I have penned this letter to you Sir. I have always enjoyed watching your shows and this latest offering by you has made me realise that your shows are not about the truth but about your biases in the garb of truth. It saddens me to see that a person I so admired must have been biased about a lot of other things as well. I am sure you would not bother about this letter or might even ridicule it but for all the Hindu hating you have done on your show let me tell you that Hindus by their own culture and teachings have always been tolerant and believe that there are many paths to God and don’t believe in the concept of there is only one God and all the other Gods are false, like the Abrahamic religions, which propagate that very idea.

As a regular viewer of your episodes, I have come to expect better standards and the truth from your show but alas after your latest offering I might have to revisit that notion about your show being unbiased and truthful!

Thank you and with utmost disappointment I end this letter.

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Advocate, cricketer and book reader!
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