National

After 25 years, Advani and Company stand in the dock!

SIGNS OF THE TIMES

The Babri Masjid was destroyed by LK Advani, Uma Bharti, Murli Manohar Joshi and hundreds of kar sevaks in the winter of 1992. Yet, instead of getting discarded from the political scenario and spending the rest of their lives in jails, they were placed up there, centre-stage. One didn’t know whether to cry or shriek or weep when LK Advani was appointed deputy prime minister of the country, when Murli Manohar Joshi was appointed the Union HRD minister and Uma Bharti was made chief minister of Madhya Pradesh. Their prime political slotting relayed that these three were ‘rewarded’ for their destructive deeds and also for spreading communal poison across the country. And though the irony hit many of us but then there were no revolts, as the sane were beaten to pulp…The political machinery kept churning many more communal characters and their clones. Today, of course, the lethal combo of the surcharged communal situation and communal elements is making everyday life hellish for each one of us.

And now in 2017, after 25 years, as charges of criminal conspiracy are framed against Advani, Uma Bharti and Joshi et. al. in the Babri Masjid demolition case, it seems these characters will once again mouth those typical utterances to whip up sentiments along certain well-crafted lines. In fact, Uma Bharti is already all there on the small screen smiling like a heroine! Soon, in all likelihood, Advani and Joshi will also get portrayed as the prime movers and shakers for building the temple… Yes, eerie build-ups for communal unleashes in and around Uttar Pradesh.

IN SOLIDARITY WITH R. SOORAJ!

Disturbing images emerging from the so labelled ‘disturbed zones’ is a thing of the past. Mind you, the level of brutalities taking place on the hapless human form in Kashmir Valley are spreading out, to other locales where sane voices are trying to put up a resistance of sorts. Today, as the mess spreads out, horrifying happenings are taking place in every possible nook and corner of our country, yet we sit like mute spectators, under some sort of an illusion that our turn to be thrashed and tortured by the right-wing goons will never come! It will. If not tomorrow then the day after!

What would you call the thrashing of senior research scholar R. Sooraj of IIT-Chennai? If he was attacked for eating beef, then all the BJP parliamentarians and ministers from the North-East and Goa, who have rather too blatantly confirmed their beef-eating traditions and habits on the small screen, should be kicked out from the folds of the Hindutva brigades. But they are not touched because double- or triple-speak is part of the RSS–BJP agenda. In fact, right-wing rulers of the day who talk obsessively about triple-talaq ought to focus on the growing tendency to triple-speak amongst their ranks.

Getting back to the attack on Sooraj, isn’t it crucial that the right-wing students who attacked him should be arrested, thrown into those hell-holes immediately? Yes, the timing is crucial, for if the case drags on for years then hundreds of students and scholars like Sooraj would be lying in hospital wards or worse. Today, anarchy is spreading out to such an extent that right-wing gangs are moving about unsparing even teenagers. Ask the young Muslim boys sitting jobless and penniless in the Mewat belt and in Uttar Pradesh and also on the outskirts of this capital city. They are too scared to put up even chicken-biryani stalls. Who’d prove the source of the meat? And to whom? Isn’t it a known fact that the gau-rakshak gangs are flourishing because of the political-cum-police patronage? That explains their outreach -- lynching and killing and going about scot free.

Even at the cost of sounding repetitive, let me restress: the attackers of Sooraj should not be allowed to go un-punished. In fact, masses of his home state and region, Kerala’s Malappuram, should also stand up and demand justice for him. Joining them should be the youth-wing members of the so-called secular political parties and also student bodies across the country. Remember, today its him. Tomorrow its you and me. After all, these are full-fledged fascist times we are living in.

Its about time we begin to chant on a daily basis these lines of Martin Niemoller - the German pastor who was persecuted by the Nazis … Its time to introduce these lines in every possible meet or get-together or interactive session. Needless for me to focus on their relevance for each one of us living in the midst of these dark realities where we have to think a hundred times what to eat or wear or talk or write or whom to befriend:

In Germany, they first came for the /

communists, and I did not speak up /

because I was not a communist. Then /

they came for the Jews and I did not /

speak up because I was not a Jew. /

Then they came for the trade /

unionists, and I did not speak up /

because I was not a trade unionist /

Then they came for the homosexuals /

and I did not speak up because I was /

not a homosexual. /

Then they came for the Catholics /

and I did not speak up because I was /

Protestant. /

Then they came for me …but by /

that time there was no one left to /

 speak up. ”

(end)

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