Opinions

Lynching is new normal in Modi's India

How can one survive when the enemy is roaming about right here, lurking right in front, to catch and thrash and lynch me? All that’s required is that triggering off, for the lynching, hounding and beating to death to take off… Yes, Hindutva killers are roaming about unleashed in this country, out to kill Muslims of the country in that blatantly cold-bloodied way.

Kill us. We are Muslims. Muslim students protested against Mob Lynching in Ahmedabad. More than 5000 Dalit Muslim participated. 9 Jul 2017 @ PeaceMoin

I’m writing this in the backdrop of the killing of the 24-year-old Muslim man, Tabrez Ansari, in Jharkhand. An orphan, he was visiting his ancestral village to get married but before he could get back to his place of work, Pune, with his bride, he was lynched by a mob of Right-Wing goons, who at first accused him of stealing a bike and then forced him to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans …tying him to an electric pole, they beating him mercilessly the entire night. Even when police came on the scene, instead of shifting Tabrez to the nearest hospital, they threw him into a prison hell-hole. Not just that, they did not arrest any of the Hindutva goons who were seen unleashing violent attacks on Tabrez. It’s only now, much after Tabrez succumbed to his injuries and videos of those goons thrashing him have gone viral, that those typical reactions are doing the rounds.

Mind you, if the Hindutva brigades’ frenzy of catching hold of Muslim men and boys and forcing them to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram …Hanuman’ goes about unchecked in this country, then the government of the day should formally and officially declare it a Hindu Rashtra, where only Hindutva dictates will prevail. Enough of the façades of democracy and equality and religious freedom. I see none of these here. And, thankfully, I have reached that stage where I have started to hate to even hear a sentence of the speeches of the rulers of the day…their words so very bogus and hollow and contrived and nauseating!

There is complete anarchy spreading out, with the Right-Wing fascist forces coming up with just about any alibi to attack the Muslims of the country.

It could be centred around cows and beef. All that’s required is to cry aloud– ‘Hey, look there goes a Muslim man …see he’s carrying a packet …carrying beef to eat, cook, sell!’ That would be adequate for goons to lynch that hapless man. Doesn’t matter whether that packet was stuffed with straw or salt!

Now Muslim men and even children are caught and then forced to chant Hindutva religious slogans. Mind you, even after they chant those slogans, there’s no guarantee of being left alive. After all, in those videos, poor Tabrez can be seen chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram…’ yet he was beaten to pulp; with no one out there to cry halt. Mind you, this has been happening from 2014, ever since the Right–Wing government came centre-stage. In fact, even Muslim children of this capital city have not been spared. About two years back, madrasa children were brutally thrashed in a park in Begampur in South Delhi, by Right-Wing goons after forcing them to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai!’ And to compound the tragedy, there wasn’t a single reaction from any of the concerned ministries and child-rights forums! Why? Because the hapless victims were madrasa children.

And coming up is this latest alibi; this time the target seems wider and bigger and could carry far-reaching consequences. What, with mosques of New Delhi coming on the hit list of the BJP rulers. This is indeed a very serious matter. In fact, in the early 1990s , that is, soon after the Babri Masjid destruction, I heard several Right-Wing men discussing that the destruction of the Babri masjid was just about the start of the destruction of several other mosques in the country. And last week Parvesh Verma, BJP MP from West Delhi, was seen talking aloud of mosques/masjids coming up on unauthorized government land in Delhi. Days after that the Chairman of the Delhi Minorities Commission, Dr Zafarul Islam Khan, has set up a committee to settle those allegations. To quote him, “illegal constructions on government lands is an old problem in Delhi but making it an issue of a certain religious community is wrong. DMC does not support illegal occupation of government lands but the way this issue has been raised seeks to use it as an issue to build an atmosphere against a certain community which is not acceptable.…Delhi Minorities Commission has set up a fact-finding committee to probe the claim of the BJP MP from West Delhi, Shri Parvesh Verma, about “mushrooming of mosques on government land” in NCT of Delhi, especially in his constituency. Another BJP MP from Delhi Shri Manoj Tiwari has made similar allegation about other areas of Delhi….Delhi Minorities Commission has set up a five-member committee headed by the well-known human rights activist Shri Ovais Sultan Khan with Shri Gurmindar Singh Matharu (Member, SGPC), Dr. Denzil Fernandes (social scientist), Shri Ankur Otto (human rights activist), and Shri Raees Ahmad (journalist) as members. The committee will visit various Delhi areas, especially West Delhi, and complete its report within ten working days.”

In fact, I am reminded of what Professor Irfan Habib had told me during the course of an  interview in the context of the destruction–demolition of the Babri Masjid: "such a post-facto rationalization of what was done on December 6, 1992 would  place  in jeopardy the  fate of numerous historical monuments all  over the country, an increasing  number of which are being targeted for destruction by the communal forces. In this regard I feel that today things have  got  more complicated and it will be a long fight.”

Today with structures, human and otherwise, under such severe attack, there is every reason to dissent and cry out halt to these fascist forces destroying us under all possible garbs!

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