Saturday, March 6, 2021

Op-ed: Will a more informed citizenry nibble the bait of Hindu rashtra?

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It is gratuitous to unveil the truth about terrorism; unnecessary and often harmful or upsetting to write the truth of fighting terrorism because neither the courts nor the media are free from prejudice and bias. Not the Queen’s Counsel Harsh Salve but we need a Henrik Ibsen for 2020s to unveil the truth. Judge Loya was offered 100 crores to give favorable judgment on Amit Shah’s involvement in the murder of Shorabuddeen Shaikh and his wife. The Queen’s Counsel Harsh Salve has pandered to offer another ignoramus choices: Who is criticizing the government and casting aspersions as the criterion of judging democratic institutions. My Lordship in England or the Indians sans bias and ideology!

There are three fronts on which the age demands course correction: terrorism, love jihad, and the mother of all, Hindu Rashtra in the making. ‘India’ has been killing Muslims in Kashmir and often in the mainland in the name of ‘fighting insurgency’. This has gone unnoticed because of biased media. The real reason is establishing a Hindu Rashtra where Muslims will have no say and little chance to resist.

Read more: Op-ed: India’s Political and Hybrid Warfare Against Pakistan

They are innocent and overwhelmed by their own plights like the 19 member family of Rafeeq and Nafeesa. It was like the ultimatum of Kapil Mishra coinciding with the departure of President Donald Trump. On December 26, 2021, those collecting money for constructing the Ram temple at Ayodhya razed Abdul Rafeeq’s house in Mandsaur. Nafeesa: “I pleaded with the pretext men constables that we were not involved in the pelting, but they simply turned to me and said, ‘Had you been involved, you would have been behind bars’, and continued the demolition.” Rafeeq says they had been gathering items for the wedding of his granddaughter and found some of their belongings later floating in the gutter nearby. Both these incidents confirm what had been done to Muslims in the pogroms in 2002 Gujarat under the watch of CM Modi

In Kashmir: Ajaz had tea with me at 10 in the morning, The Ganais were soon joined in the protest outside the PCR by another family from Shopian.“Please hand me the body of my child. I only need his body.”

Cause of Communal Violence: Exterminate the Brutes

Unlike the robust belief that the 21st century would herald in better governance what we are witnessing is the very opposite of it. We seem to be slipping into the dark ages over again. What, with six of a family (mostly children and women) in Bhainsla in Andhra Pradesh burnt to death and 120 of 140 houses of the same community torched in Nardana in Dhule, over inter-religious marriage, we are in for another spectacle of violence visiting us after the partition of the country. Dhule riots are not a watershed. The town is not in a backwater state of India where the law of the jungle generally prevails. It is an old town of a state that has seen a reformation movement of the society, Maharashtra.

The communal riots of Dhule resemble what had happened in Gujarat in 2002. There was some resistance on the part of the Muslims but it quickly melted away against the prolonged onslaught of attacks and police bias. There were gory scenes in which young children and adolescents were teeming in crowds with abusive words in their mouths against the ‘other’ and brandishing lethal weapons of all sizes and make. They were baying for the blood of their neighbors with whom they had shared civil life till the morning of the fateful day of October 5, 2008.

In the marauding crowd-powered by swelling destructive frenzy and egged on by chants of killing the victims were boys from well to do families who had enjoyed better housing and education facilities denied to most of their victims. Moving from this scene in Dhule to another town, Jalgaon, the crowd was thinner, about two hundred but the ferocity is the same and so is the murderous intent. In front of Bhoitegde, the crowd tried to burn the houses of Bhiken Sheikh Karim Shikalgar and Gani Khan Mohammad. Similarly, on the bank of the Lendi canal in the Chamhar wada the house of Sheikh Javed Sheikh Majid was ransacked and looted. But this time the police swung into action and arrested some 25 attackers. The events in Dhule went beyond recall because of poor or no governance. In Jalgaon, there was a semblance of governance. The Maharashtra police on October 13 arrested Lalit Kolhe, the Corporator from Maharashtra Nava Nirman Sena (MNS) reportedly with 16 swords.

Read more: Op-ed: Modi’s Hindutva ideology has failed India’s secularism

In Dhule, the provocative handbill declared that the Hindu heartland of the Shindu river and the Ganges is in the grip of a threat given by fanatics (dharm vediani ladleleya sankatani grast). The storm of fanaticism is menacingly approaching the country from all sides of the world. Such is the belief of the fanatics that they value only their religion and god and consider others false and kafir. They want to eliminate all others; this is the aim of their jihad.

The handbill then addresses the jihadis and calls them pushuvano, brutes, and exclaims how could such brutes teach bhakti, Archana, and dharm to the Hindus who are their great grandfathers. Then the handbill warns the Hindus of the human blood-drunk-fanatic-jihadi wolves (mansacha raktala chataole hinst dharmvede landge) who would not spare them irrespective of whatever caste or class groups the Hindus belong to. When confronted with such brutes you don’t have to parley with them but stab them to death. In the main part of the handbill, the word terrorist is avoided and the fanatics (read Muslims) are called brutes or beasts.

‘Why Spain remained Spain and did not become Morocco’

Enough! What more would the superintendent of police Mr. Kolhe want to read to deny permission for the rally and the banners? JG Khairnar of the local Marathi daily Aapla Maharashtra had the experience and knowledge of what constitutes provocation and what instigates violence and what antagonizes the people besides making the situation explosive. He was part of a fact-finding team headed by Medha Patkar who visited the town. He had read the bill and had urged in an appeal he wrote to the district administration of Dhule to take immediate steps to defuse the situation. They did not heed him.

What is unmistakably acerbic in the bill is the profiling of the Muslims as fanatics and demonizing of them as brutes. The difference between jihadis and ordinary Muslims is deliberately slurred. The invisible jihadi is made visible Muslim who lives next door. Moreover, the terrorists are identified with the Muslim community as a whole. But the most ominous is the final solution: exterminate the brutes. Is this not what VD Savarkar had advocated? In his Itihasachi saha soneri pane he says:

“It can be seen from history that those nation-states, who did not demolish Muslim political and religious power were completely Islamised. Only those few 5-10 nation states who not only demolished the Muslim state but also got rid of Muslim religious power could be successful in getting rid of Muslims altogether. One such nation was Spain. The state administration of liberated Spain specified a time period within which all Muslim men and women were either converted to Christianity or leave the country altogether. It was also said that those who would not abide by either would be killed. After the given period was over all the men and women, young and old Muslims were killed in Spain. The church got purified in their blood. Spain had exterminated Muslims and that is why Spain remained Spain and did not become Morocco.”

Read more: Goswami leaks raise important questions about the “Indian version” of Pulwama attack

The sangh parivar and essentially RSS has indoctrinated its followers towards this end of what is otherwise called the final solution. The most moving example illustrating this comes from Shirud where a BSF soldier Arif Hussain Khati had to beg for his life as the marauding crowd of Hindus burnt down Muslim houses from early evening to 12 o’clock in the night of October 6 2008. As he bent down before the crowd identifying himself as a soldier on duty in Kashmir, the crowd yelled: “You are a Muslim first then a soldier and we can’t spare you.” The mob pulled his brother and threw him into the fire but Khati saved him and ran for life. His uniform, identity card and gallantry certificates were burnt first and then the house was set on fire. He along with others ran to a police station but was told to wait outside whole night. They refused to lodge FIR. He had to leave his ancestral land for good. Like another hapless victim of violence now of universal fame, Ansari Quttubudin, Arif Hussain Khati with his family sought refuge in Malegaon.

The strategic implication of this BSF soldier’s plight is grave and calls for serious thinking and sanity in saving the country from destruction. His worrisome but truthful story is making rounds in the websites of/on Kashmir on both sides of the border. We have had the consequences of VHP and Bajrang Dal achieving in the Kashmir valley what twenty years of terrorism had failed to do and perhaps would respectfully remember Havildar Shaheed Abdul Hameed and his heroic deeds for which Dhule has a memorable corner in his memory and eschew violence.

Ah, sister-town of Malegaon: Dhulia!

Coming on the heels of the bomb blast of September 29 2008 in Malegaon, the communal flare-up in Dhulia is the last straw that threatens to break the back of the camel that is the state of Maharashtra. Or is it the early straw in the wind? Will it spiral into full-blown pogrom as is underway in Orissa’s Kanthamal district? Or is it still a matter of time? However, what is truly most horrendous is that the severity of the systematic attacks and arson should have been ‘skyrocketed’ after the visit of the state home minister RR Patil and the Director-General of Police AN Roy. The forbidding faces of these two men looked already quite grim when they had toured Malegaon only last week.

An image of how the organized marauding brigades have wrought havoc is the victim, Karimullah Lal Mohammad. He had got down at the crossing on the Agra road near the Gurudwara of Dhulia as he traveled from Malegaon. A group of youths on motorcycles swooped upon him and pulled him down and mercilessly beat him. This fifty-plus man of humble origin was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was at a loss to understand how the fury had overtaken him so swiftly and him so unaware! The travail and trauma of the unwary stranger is a saga of suffering that all human beings dread most. Karimullah was a stranger to the town as he had gone there to meet his truck-driver son who was passing Dhulia on his way to their town in the north of India. The son had saved some money and wanted to give it to his lonely father staying in a Malegaon mosque. The Id festival was still fresh. The eyes of Karimullah were transfixed in shock, surprise, and pain at the cop who stood nearby and did nothing to save him. Fortunately, he survived but four others from his community lost their lives to the mobs and police bullet.

Hundreds of people from Malegaon travel to Dhulia daily for shopping, medical treatment, meeting relatives as well as students commuting to medical and engineering colleges. Dhulia is the biggest market for buffaloes in Maharashtra. Dealers in animals gather there Sunday to Tuesday from neighboring Malegaon and from as far as Kathiyawad.

Read more: Pulwama attack: What Indians should ask their government & media

The organized and well-planned attacks on the Muslim houses and commercial establishments threaten to destroy the extremely close relationship between the people of the two towns. They had nurtured it for more than a century. Moreover, the town was free from the kind of communal tension and strife that has almost undone Malegaon. The two towns seem to have been joined as twins by the same umbilical cord. The Agra road connects them like an artery supplying nourishment to thousands of people who depend on the road and live on both sides of it. But there was something else in their fate. The garages and mechanical shops in the auto industry and the uncountable hotels and motels and other satellite commercial establishments bore the brunt. Most of them were owned by Muslims and were systematically looted and burnt.

The Marathi Sakal news network editor Uttam Kamble saw a scene at 6 p.m. on October 5 in which a crowd of youths and young children (choteya poranche) was setting fire to a garage. What is disturbing here is the induction of the young children! Catch them young is the motto of the extremist right-wing. What would happen when this young generation comes to age? This is a frightening premonition of the future of their common destiny. Passersby were watching where this agitated mob would go and how much would they do. All this not far from the Memorial of Shaheed Hameed who had attacked Pakistani tanks and destroyed them in the most ferocious battle near Lahore. One such Pak tank is put up as a trophy in the traffic island of Hameed chowk, Dhulia.

If that is what was happening in the evening, in the night according to the reporter of Urdu Times Aziz Ejaz there were conflagrations all over the town!

Havoc in Maharashtra

As the casualties started coming in at the civil hospital the mobs intimidated and scared away the Muslims from seeking medical help or treatment. Some medical doctors wearing Muslim skullcaps had trouble helping the injured as the Shiv Sainiks objected their presence obviously for their look? But the collector intervened and assured the mob that it was their conventional dress and nothing more.

Strangely, the alibi the police offered was that their Dhulia contingents were deployed in Malegaon and so the situation went out of control in Dhulia is anomalous since Dhulia has district headquarters of state reserve police force as well. It hardly takes an hour to move over to Dhulia from Malegaon. Trouble started with provocative banners and notice boards put up by Hindu Rakshak Sabha in the morning itself while curfew was declared after four in the evening. Much like Gujarat the violence was well planned and coordinated. At one time the mob attacked an additional collector of Dhulia district Mustak Patel who had passed into a coma since the attack. In one place the mob of the majority community attacked a ghetto and when people within the ghetto came out the police allegedly moved to the front of the mob of the majority and confronted the inmates of the ghetto with guns. This was obviously state complicity.

It is disturbing to note that the minuscule minority of Muslims scattered in pockets of ghettoes all over Dhulia town and overwhelmed by a huge majority of Hindus should be subjected to the desecration of some two dozen mosques and burning of nearly two thousand houses! Even children of two to four year’s age group were brutalized. If this were the beginning of havoc in Maharashtra what would be the end!

This is closest to what Israel through its contact with Prasad Purohit had done in their conspiracy for establishing Hindu Rashtra. Abhinav Bharat had to give two incidents of the mass killing of Muslims. The incidents summed up here bear out the fact of commitment. But then it fizzled out thanks to Kashmir valley being found to be the source of the RDX Purohit had stolen. Even so, the police and army have begun harassing the Muslims in the valley. A captain of the army Bhupinder Singh has killed Muslims in Shopian coveting award of 20 lakh but now is facing court-martial as Purohit did earlier.

Read more: Unholy nexus between Modi government and Indian media exposed, PM Khan

Coveting has gone beyond recall. Babu Bajrangi aka Babubhai Patel collected a huge amount of money to trace Hindu girls married to Muslim or Christian men. As a consequence he was who felt Rana Pratab in killing Muslims and bringing Hindu girls married to Muslims the fold. He was savoring to recall how he chalked the bump of pregnant women and taking on the fetus on the sharp edge of his lance. Maya Kodnani minister for women and family health felt the same and Dara Singh of the notoriety of setting the Stains and their sons on fire in their car parked in the church compound in Odisha.

Finally love jihad if anything is fiction. If Hindu girls want to marry Muslim men it is their own choice. But Muslims like all women in Kashmir villages have also been raped. What kind of reverse jihad if any is this?

Mustafa Khan holds a Ph.D. on Mark Twain. He lives in Malegaon Maharashtra, India. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.

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