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Mammoth protest against Gujarat carnage
|Hundreds of thousands of people spilled on the roads of New Delhi on 2 May under the aegis of Save India Front to protest against the continuing massacre of Muslims in Gujarat. The most amazing part of the rally was not the large number of people attending the rally but coming together of Dalits, lower caste Hindus and Muslims together against the atrocious policies of the BJP and the RSS. The rally was jointly organized by Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind and All India SC/ST Confederation. And with this mammoth program a Dalit Muslim political combine was launched.
The protesters who had not only come from Delhi, but from adjoining states of UP, Uttaranchal and Rajasthan had given nightmares to the police as it had anticipated the attendance of only 10000 people in the rally. Intelligence in UP from where around 60000 people came to attend the demonstration had told the Delhi police that it expected hardly 2500 people from UP to attend the meeting. Ram Lila ground where the meeting took place was packed even before the speakers began addressing the rallyists at around 10 in the morning. And when the rally ended at around 2: 30 in the afternoon people were still coming in. The organizers are claiming that it was the largest protest march in Delhi in the last twenty years.
In his blistering attack on the government Arif Muhammad Khan the former Union minister said that what happened in Gujarat was not a communal riot but an act of organized crime planned and executed by the BJP government. Quoting Julio Riberio, Khan said that preparations for the mayhem were planned during the last several months in the state and scores of houses belonging to Muslim community were destroyed within hours of Godhra incident. He demanded that the Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi be tried in a court for Muslims’ massacre. He also took a dig at Advani who he said first blamed the ISI for Godhra but then retracted his statement. ‘If the police are still investigating who were behind Godhra, then why were Muslims targeted at all.’
Dalit leader Udit Raj who is the co-convenor of the Save India Front said that Dalits are being exploited for the last three thousand years in the country and Muslims and Christians are not responsible for their exploitation. Hindus are responsible for their continued oppression and exploitation in the Indian society. He said that when scores of Dalits embraced Islam and Christianity Sangh Parivar was up in arms against conversion and wanted debate on it. He said debate is not needed on conversion but on why Dalits are leaving Hinduism. Udit Raj said that the way Muslims are being tortured in Gujarat, Dalits were also targeted in the same way.
Udit Raj said that the removal of the BJP from power is the only solution of the ongoing massacre in Gujarat. He also asked that Muslims should be given jobs according to their ratio in the population and added that Muslims who make 13 percent of the population have only a minuscule share of 1.5 percent in government jobs.
Maulana Asrarul Haq Qasimi, Asst. general secretary of Milli Council passed strictures against Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He said Prime Minister is more of a RSS spokesman than the Prime Minister of the country. He also targeted home minister LK Advani and said that he is trying to convert the country into a Hindu rashtra against the wishes of the majority of the Indians. He went on to say that Gujarat has been made a laboratory of Hindutva where they are experimenting different things. Qasmi expressed hope in the Dalit Muslim alliance and said that it will force the fascists to flee from the scene.
Maulana Mahmood Madani convenor of the Save India Front and working president of Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind said that it was sad that Muslims who had fought so vigorously for India’s freedom were now being targeted in the name of religion. He went on to accuse Sangh for the ongoing violence saying, ‘While madrasas are being blamed for teaching intolerance it is actually the institutions run by the Sangh parivar which instigate anti-minority and anti-Dalit feelings in the masses.’ He asked Muslims to be prepared to give more sacrifices to save the democratic India.
Maulana Asad Madani president of Jamiat expressed satisfaction over the way media covered Gujarat. ‘Media brought alive the massacre of Muslims in India’ he said and added that when everyone including foreign countries are indicting Modi for Gujarat mayhem central government is keeping mum and trying to protect Modi’s skin.’ He asked whether Hindutva denotes killing and destroying others. He went on to say that if we have to keep democracy alive in the country we will have to send these people to jail.
Maulana Madani went on to say that now there is an effort to excommunicate the community and added that we are prepared to give sacrifices for the upholding of secularism in the country. He asked Dalits, Muslims and Christians to come together and take a united stand on all such issues.
Christian Leader John Dayal also took a dig at the state and central government for incidents in Gujarat. He also demanded to ban the VHP, Bajrang Dal and the RSS. q