The problem of Muslim security
The excesses and oppression that were heaped on Muslims of Sarada town of Rajasthan’s Udaipur district have put the entire humanity to shame. In a democratic country whose Constitution guarantees the security of lives and properties of all its citizens and for which government has framed detailed rules and regulations, if hundreds of Muslims of the entire town are compelled to migrate to other places for the safety of their lives; it clearly means that there are some lapses or the other somewhere or that there are some black sheep who cannot tolerate the existence of Muslims. There is no reason to believe that Udaipur’s administration completely failed to provide security to Muslims and all of them were compelled because of the fear of adivasis to leave the entire town for some safe place. Some one took shelter in Udaipur city, others went over to their relatives at some other place. There were large number of people who perforce had to take shelter in mosques. Leaving a very large number of people: women, children and old people, their homes and hearths and taking refuge at safer places outside show that there is nothing like administration, law and order in Sarada town. If Muslims in such large number are leaving their place of birth because of some fear, the administration should have found out the reason and taken necessary steps to stop their migration but this was not done and that is why adivasis were emboldened to attack Muslims, loot and set their houses to fire thereby compelling them to flee for their lives. Obviously, creating confidence in them and to bring them back to their homes and hearths and to rehabilitate them will take years. This has happened in a state which is ruled by Congress. Had it been a BJP government it was understandable to some extent that this is another Gujarat-like conspiracy against Muslims but happening of such kind in a Congress-ruled state is surprising and distressing. What is even more distressing is that our national media has ignored it altogether. This means that all this game has been played under a planned and organised conspiracy. Police personnel entering the houses of Muslims and making searches and thereafter rioters also forcing their entry in houses of Muslims, looting and setting them on fire, slaughtering their cattle mercilessly are unforgettable incidents of cruelty and barbarism. There being no arrangement for their security by law enforcing authorities also create doubt that some sort of a conspiracy has certainly been hatched at some level. Government’s insensitivity to the plight of Indian Muslims and taking belated and half-hearted measures in controlling the situation indicate something else.
This may probably be the first incident of this kind in Rajasthan against Muslims or any other community when hundreds of followers of a particular religion were compelled to flee to another place for the safety of their lives. Such incidents have certainly taken place in the Valley where thousands of Kashmiri Pandits were compelled to flee from their homes and take refugee at other places; but such excesses against them were committed by extremists and government had no role in their miserable and pitiable condition. Rather, government tried its best to prevent them from leaving their hearths and homes. It announced a series of concessions and facilities for them to stay at their homes and this process of facilities and inducements is still going on; but in Sarada the role of government and administration is very shameful and condemnable. In 2002 Muslims in large number were compelled to migrate to other places from riot affected areas during Gujarat riots because there also Modi government had planned genocide of Muslims but here in Sarada such a situation has taken place because of callousness and indifference of local administration. In this and other such incidents Muslims have more complaints against police and government machinery than the rioters and government and police are accused of connivance with rioters.
It is now to be seen what steps are taken by Rajasthan’s chief minister Ashok Gehlot and what kind of arrangements are made for the relief and rehabilitation of uprooted Muslims. If this situation is not controlled at the earliest and with strong measures, communal elements will not hesitate in consigning the entire state to blood and fire. It is therefore the responsibility of state government to provide full security to Muslims and other minorities and weaker sections otherwise Muslims of the entire nation will have the feeling of insecurity which bodes ill for the whole country. (Editorial, Hamara Samaj Urdu daily, 29 July 2010 - translated by NA Ansari)