over false pride to prevent communal friction
By Syed Nasirullah
In a big city when the muazzin of a mosque in a
locality opened the door for morning azaan he saw the carcass of an unholy
slaughtered animal inside the mosque. Horrified, he went to a neighbour’s
house and informed about what he had seen in the mosque. The neighbour
being a sensible man, sent one of his sons to police station to inform
about this incident and asked the other son to inform some people in the
locality about this and ask them to come to this place. When calls for
namaz were made at other mosques, people started coming to this mosque for
namaz but the concerned man requested the people to offer namaz that day
in their homes. Meanwhile, police officers on arrival were shown the scene
inside the mosque. Their first reaction was to declare section 144 so that
people may not assemble there. Thereafter the mosque was washed and
sanctified in the presence of police. Because of the patience and sagacity
of some responsible people and cooperation of police the matter ended
peacefully. The evil design of mischief makers was nipped in the bud.
One year after this, another incident of this type took place in another
neighbouring city. The muazzin informed the people on mike with the result
that the news spread far and wide. People in thousands began to assemble
in large numbers. Some over-zealous but immature youth indulged in
subversive activities, raising slogans etc. This led to communal riots,
arson and killing. Police, in order to control the situation, took
recourse to lathi charge, tear gas and ultimately firing. Riots continued
intermittently for six days. A total of seven persons died, five of them
being Muslims. Losses to properties etc ran into crores of rupees.
Muslims, as usual, were much bigger losers.
A similar incident took place in Bhiwandi on 16 May 1984. Muslims took out
a procession with banners in hand and passed through an area which
traditionally was considered Shiv Sena stronghold. At one place they
occupied a place and put up their flag. Shiv Sainiks objected to this
which ultimately led to communal riots on 17 May. Large number of people
were killed, injured and looting, arson etc took place resulting in losses
worth billions of rupees. Muslims, as usual were biggest sufferers.
About 3 years later a similar riot took place in Karachi in August 1987,
but in this riot there were no Hindus. The two contending parties were
both Muslims i.e. Pathans and Mohajir Qaumi Movement (MQM) people who were
Urdu speaking people from UP, Bihar etc. MQM men put up their flag on a
building which they considered their own, but Pathans disputed this and a
verbal duel between Pathans and MQM led to full fledged riot which spread
to Hyderabad city of Pakistan. This riot was very serious and bloody in
which hundreds were killed and in which automatic rifles etc were used and
went on for several days. Huge losses in men, material and moveable and
immovable properties were incurred. These riots cannot be called communal
because no Hindus were involved.
Such riots have a general pattern. One common reason can be the hurt ego
of the contending parties. Every person, group or community has its own
ego which, if insulted or hurt by others, may lead to conflict and
conflagration. The only possible way to avoid such incidents is not to
insult or hurt it. Indian Muslims being in minority and also unorganised
should, instead of adopting an aggressive and confrontationist attitude,
better play a creative and constructive role so that their utility and
good behaviour could be felt and understood by others.
Main reasons of riots in India are about particular routes to be followed
by religious or other processions. If Muslims want Hindus to take a
different route instead of the traditional route for their religious
procession, Hindus think that if they abandon the traditional route and do
what Muslims want, their ego and pride will be hurt and hence they insist
on taking the same traditional route. Similarly the pride and ego of
Muslims will be hurt if they are not allowed to do what they want. If this
psychology of false pride or ego is removed, possibility of riots etc will
be removed to a large extent.
Source: The Milli Gazette, 16-31 May 2010
This article appeared on
page no. 2 of the 16-31 May 2010 print edition of The Milli Gazette.
Subscribers of print edition The Milli Gazette are now reading the 1-15 June