Silence of PM on violence call against minorities hints provocators may get promoted

The Hate against minorities is reaching dangerous proportions. What began as a project of communal politics, Hindu and Muslim in undivided India are now focusing on Muslim minorities

After Suraj Pal Amu made derogatory and hate speech, he was made the spokesman for the BJP state unit. After the murder of Akhlaq in the beef-cow issue, one of the murder accused died, one central minister (Mahesh Sharma) arrived to put tricolor on the body of the deceased. When the 8 lynching accused got bail, Jayant Sinha another Central Minister garlanded them. Not too long ago, when a central minister made the audience give the slogan “Goli Maro“ he was promoted to the Cabinet rank. In this background, if one sees the present disturbing events of spreading hate and inciting violence, the lack of action on the part of authorities can be easily understood. We do recall that our PM, prompt at speaking when not needed generally either kept quiet or spoke after a painfully long delay in the aftermath of the murders of Junaid or Rohith Vemula.

Today (December 25, 2021), 5 days after the two disturbing events took place; our PM’s silence on these issues is very loud and clear.

In the first incident on 19th December Suresh Chavhanke, the Editor-in-Chief of Sudarshan TV administered an oath to young boys and girls. The event was organized by Hindu Yuva Vahini (Founded by UP Chief Minster and Mahant of Gorakhnath Peeth, Adityanath Yogi), was “. “We take an oath and make a resolution that till our last breath, we shall fight, die for and if need be, kill, to make this country a Hindu Rashtra,”

In another event organized in Haridwar, hundreds of saffron-clad Sadhus and Sadhvi’s had assembled for a meeting on the theme “Islamic Terrorism and our Responsibilities”. It was Haridwar Dharam Sansad organized by Yati Narsinghanand, Head Priest of Ghaziabad temple. He set the tone by stating “‘Economic boycott (against the Muslims) will not work… No community can survive without picking up weapons…And swords won’t work, they look good only on stages. You need to update your weapons…more and more offspring and better weapons can protect you.” He gave a clarion call, Shastra Mev Jayate for inciting armed violence against Muslims.” “In another video, Narsinghanand is seen to be offering Rs 1 crore to Hindu youth for becoming like LTTE leader Prabhakaran as he called upon Hindu youth to become “Prabhakaran” and “Bhindranwale”

Annapurna Maa, (earlier, Poonam Shakun Pandey) general secretary of Hindu Mahasabha said, we need 100 soldiers who can kill 20 lakh of them (Muslims). She added ‘Matr shakti ke sher se panje hain. Phaad kar rakh denge’. (mother power has claws like a lion, will tear apart). She is the one who a couple of years ago reenacted Gandhi’s murder in Meerut and distributed sweets after that.

Dharam Das Maharaj from Bihar said “If I was present in Parliament when PM Manmohan Singh said that minorities have right over national resources, I would have followed Nathuram Godse and shot him six times with a revolver”

These are a few samples of what happened in Dharma Sansad. Such meetings have been set into action by VHP, which began these meetings in the wake of Babri demolition. The surprise is that most of the videos are circulating and police have access to them. But no arrest so far.

Those making such statements that are criminal as per our law are very much reassured that no action will be taken against them. They know those in power quietly appreciate their speeches or such speeches or incitement may be a part of planning in the wake of elections. What is surprising is that all this is taking place at a time when Munwar Faruqui was arrested for a joke which he had not cracked. His shows have been cancelled times and over again.

What will be the impact of these uttering’s on our minorities, who are equal citizens of the country. The fear and intimidation will reach their peak. Economic boycott, the threat to life and intimidations will further intensify the ghettoization, already existing as a serious problem. Disturbed by all these Jamiat-E-Ulema a Hindu, Mahmood Madani has written to Home minster. Can the Minorities commission take cognizance of this and take action? Can the police take proper action apart from just filing FIR against the recent convert to Hinduism, Jitendra Tyagi (earlier Wasim Rizvi)? And why is Supreme not waking up to take Suo moto cognizance?

The world is aghast at this level of hate and open incitement of violence. Martina Navratilova tweeted that she is aghast. The trends were caught by global media right some time ago when The Daily Guardian in a 2020 article states that “since achieving every single public interest is cumbersome; pointing towards the flaws of the ruling party which may or may not have a religious back up and flaming the emotions of the public at large through continuous hate speech was a trend in the early ’90s and the immediate years of the second millennium. Hate speech was therefore procuring a wide scope for democracy in India.” There is turmoil the world over on these incidents in India.

The hate against minorities is reaching dangerous proportions. What began as a project of communal politics, Hindu and Muslim in undivided India are now focusing on Muslim minorities. Every occasion is being used to demonize them and the global trends set by American media in coining the phrase “Islamic Terrorism” have put salt on the wounds of the targeted community. During the last seven years with the patronage of the BJP government at the center; the process has taken ghastly proportions.

What is needed is that civil society wakes up to the dastardly phenomenon. The hate and violence which is directed against the ‘others’ take a turn to consuming the same community in whose name all this takes place, rather all this is orchestrated by the communal stream. All non-BJP parties need to come together to raise their voice and call for action against the Hatemongers. It is welcome that Rahul Gandhi and many other leaders have tweeted and condemned these utterances.

Nothing short of a social movement directed against hate and promoting love will help the matters. It is time for us to work on the lines of Bhakti-Sufi traditions, and the path of Mahatma Gandhi-Maulana Azad to keep the society and country in peace and harmony.

Ram Puniyani

The former Professor, IIT Mumbai is a social activist and commentator

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