Dadri Lynching and the state of minorities in India

By Zargar Yasir

A few months before President of U.S.A Barack Obama visited India. In his own words he had already insinuated about the religious bifurcation—if happened in India —-it will get divided on religious lines. He had already cautioned that India will succeed so long as if it is not “splintered along the lines of religious faith (sectarian lines)”. Further he said that, all people are ‘equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate religion’ (“Every person has the right to practice their faith as they choose, or no faith at all without fear or discrimination”—Article 25 of Indian Constitution). It was the time when RSS workers had started to run a program “Ghar wapsi”. It was their first attempt towards people of India to make the bifurcation possible. They did not ended their cheap way but continued the bifurcation by adapting several new steps—-currently the one which is going on is beef Ban controversy. The current Indian government which is owned by BJP directly or indirectly run by RSS has imposed ban on Beef in several states of India lastly it was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir where people showed their anguish with strike calls and by slaughtering bovine animals to defy the order.
In India the beef ban controversy sparked several debates—it made India divide on religious lines, like if a person consume beef he was given a name Pakistani (Augarwadi (Terrorist), deshdrohi (Traitor)) and if he will not he was called the real patriot of nation (it may sound hilarious but it happened in several parts of India). The beef controversy made sense in Muslims of India “why Jinnah demanded division of Hindustan”. Many of Muslims living in parts of India claimed that Jinnah had done a nice Job of creating a new place for Muslims, where at least they are not banned to eat beef. Notwithstanding with the fact that India is a diverse nation, religious pluralism is the basic backbone of this nation—but unfortunately majority of its people overlook the fact and gives their best in dividing the nation on basis of caste, creed and colour.
A few days before, Mohammad Akhlaque of Dadri-U.P was beaten to death by a mob, allegedly over rumours that he had eaten beef. The only crime he did that he had consumed mutton. An announcement was being made by some seditious Hindus at the nearby temple that the cow has been slaughtered, cooked and consumed. The mob attacked the house of Mohammad Akhlaque—dragging him out of his house with his son. They were beaten with bricks which lead death of Akhlaque and his son was critically injured. Rather than punishing the culprits the authority seems to be crazy, confirming whether beef has been consumed or not—sounds hilarious. The meat samples has been sent to the laboratory to check whether it is cow meat or goat meat—another crazy thing. When it got confirmed that the meat which Akhlaque and his family has consumed was not beef—-media headlines were made that “No beef was consumed by the Muslim family”. Akhlaque was an iron smith who fashioned agricultural implements. He had managed to educate his children. His eldest son is in the Air Force as ground staff, and 21-year-old Danish was also studying to get into the Air Force like his brother. Their sister was witness to the terror of a mob breaking down their door, beating her grandmother, mother and herself before dragging off Akhlaque and Danish. She ran from one neighbour to another begging for help, but none came forward. In vain she insisted that the meat in their fridge was mutton not beef. The mob did not hear anything—the only thing they wanted was the death of the 50 year old person—indeed they wanted the blood of a Muslim who as per them had consumed beef. In their own words he had violated the rules and regulation of India. The only question which the family is asking to the rest of India is “How can eating the meat or beef become such a big crime?”
The most shocking thing about this incident came to front when BJP leader MP Tarun Vijay gave a statement where he directly supports those who killed the 50 years old person. The harsh statement he gave was “Be a victim and maintain silence”.
“Why responsibility to keep peace and maintain calm is always put on the Hindus alone? Be a victim and maintain silence in face of assaults!!” tweeted the former editor the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) weekly in Hindi, Panchajanya.
Another local BJP leader Vichitra Tomar was more concerned about the sentiments of the Hindu community than that of the family of the victim. Instead of punishing the mob, he called for cow slaughterers to be arrested, although there is not much proof that a cow was actually slaughtered.
“The police have arrested innocent people. We also demand legal action against those people who are engaged in cow slaughter as it is hurting Hindu sentiments,” he said
BJP district president Thakur Harish Singh tried to excuse the actions of the mob and was more interested in the police investigation on whether beef was consumed by the victim’s family or not.
“The locals gave samples of meat to the police but they (the cops) did not take it seriously. Then some people got agitated,” he said on Tuesday, suggesting that the “agitation” was justified.
In 2002, five Dalits were lynched to death in Jhajjar, Haryana, by a frenzied mob. Another incident which in fact may give goosebumps to you is “people beat man in Kanpur, allegedly over a rumour that he shouted Allah-o-Akbar, Allah-o-Akbar—then he was called terrorist and was beaten to pulp by a group of people”. These kinds of episodes only underlines, the hollowness and cynicism of what passes for dominant “secular” politics in India. This indeed shows the actual face of Hindutva people. Like in their own words they say “Ya Desh hinduvu ka ha—this country belongs only to Hindu people”.
These kinds of incidents questions on the security of minorities living in India. While the constitution of India grants equal rights to a Muslim, Hindu or a Sikh or a Christian—then why such incidents occur. When the main fundamental principles grants a person right to practice any religion without any discrimination —then why such episodes happen. These questions jeer those who always talk about national security, national peace and many more.


Yasir Altaf Zargar is a web security analyst from Srinagar—Jammu and Kashmir, acknowledged by Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, Nokia, and Oracle. He tweets as @zargaryasir

  • PMAM

    SRINAGAR: Lawmakers from India’s ruling Hindu nationalist party in India-held Kashmir have kicked and punched an independent member of the state assembly for hosting a party where he served beef. Slaughtering of cows is banned in most Indian states.
    Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members beat lawmaker Engineer Rashid Ahmed, a Muslim, in the assembly soon after its session began Thursday.
    The ruling party lawmakers were angry over a party hosted by Ahmed the previous night at which he served beef.
    Differences have deepened within Kashmir’s ruling coalition, with the Hindu nationalist party demanding a ban on slaughtering cows and selling beef in the Muslim-majority state.
    Moves to protect cows have intensified since Modi’s Hindu nationalist BJP came to power after general elections last May.
    Many Hindus regard the cow as the living symbol of their religion and consider it sacred. Hindu welfare organisations run gaushalas, or cow shelters, in many cities where abandoned cows found wandering the streets are given food and shelter.
    Feeding a cow is seen by many Hindus as a way to appease the gods and get one’s wishes fulfilled.

  • saadhafiz

    NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed for religious unity on Thursday after days of growing tensions over a Muslim man’s murder by a mob for supposedly eating beef in Hindu-majority India.

    The Hindu nationalist premier has been under growing pressure to break his silence over the incident and defuse a row raging over a feared rising intolerance towards Muslims and other religious minorities.

    Mohammad Akhlaq, 50, was dragged from his home outside the Indian capital last week and beaten to death after rumours spread that he had eaten beef. His 22-year-old son was severely injured in the attack.

    At least eight men have been arrested over the September 28 murder.

    Without referring specifically to the attack, Modi said the nation will only prosper “when Hindus and Muslims unite and fight” against poverty instead of against each other.

    “The country has to stand united. Harmony, brotherhood and peace will lead us to development,” Modi said at an election rally for the upcoming polls in Bihar state in eastern India.

    The premier also implored people to ignore political leaders who have jumped on the issue in recent days to win votes along religious lines ahead of the election.

    Several of Modi’s own ministers have stopped short of condemning the attack outside New Delhi, fuelling concerns among religious minorities of an erosion of rights in the world’s biggest democracy, and emboldening Hindu hardliners.

    Cows are considered sacred by most Hindus in officially secular India whose millions of Muslims and other minorities eat beef as a source of protein.

    President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday called for India’s tradition of tolerance to be upheld, in what was seen as an attempt to calm raging anger over the issue.

    Modi’s comments come just hours after legislators from his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) punched and shoved an opposition Muslim member in a state parliament over eating beef.

    Modi’s party, which came to power in May 2014, wants a nationwide ban on the slaughter of cows, which is prohibited in some but not all states. India is the world’s biggest exporter of buffalo meat, an industry mainly run by Muslims.

    Modi’s BJP colleagues have came under fire for appearing to trivialise Akhlaq’s murder.

    “If somebody says it was pre-planned, I don’t agree. It was an accident and investigations should happen,” Modi’s culture minister Mahesh Sharma told reporters during a visit to the victim’s family last week.

    Commentators have also warned of an emboldening of Hindu hardliners since Modi came to power, with vigilante gangs increasingly campaigning against Muslims.

  • Gorki

    “The locals gave samples of meat to the police but they (the cops) did not take it seriously. Then some people got agitated,” he said on Tuesday, suggesting that the “agitation” was justified…..”
    There are two fundamental issues involved in this episode.
    The first obviously is about freedom. Does a minority have to confirm to a majority’s view of what is appropriate or not?
    The answer to that, according to the Indian constitution and the Indian laws, is a firm no -The constitution guarantees everyone of the billion plus Indians a freedom from oppression and of speech, ideas, faith, association etc.
    The second issue is who guarantees the safety of the individual from mob justice. Here ideally it is the State, not only the legislative branch but the executive, the judiciary (and the media) is expected to uphold the State’s both Right and the Duty to come to the individual citizen’s rescue from the mob.
    While the first is being debated endlessly no one talks about how the second has been undermined over the years, by each and every political party, political outfit (and even the media) all of which have colluded in rationalizing mob justice -majoritarianism in the name of expediency.
    Thus ‘agitation’ of the mobs, ‘hurt sentiments’ and such euphemisms have been used over the years to subordinate the State to ‘popular sentiments’.
    Unless we se the second aspect equally important and empower the State, the Indian constitution and its lofty values will remain words on a piece of paper, nothing else.

  • PMAM

    I hear you Gorki Saab. In my life I too have witnessed how mob behaves. In case of Pakistan it is the Ahmadis and poor Christians who are at the receiving end. Shame on all of us.

  • Hindu Nationalists’ policies, both domestic and foreign, are deeply flawed and contrary to India’s long-term interests.

    There seems to be emerging consensus that Prime Modi’s “Neighborhood First” policy he announced at the time of his inauguration last year appears to be on the verge of collapse.

    The Hindu Nationalists’ foreign policy spearheaded by former RAW Chief Ajit Doval is causing rapid deterioration of India’s relations with most of its neighbors ranging in size from China and Pakistan to Maldives and Nepal. Written during Prime Minister Modi’s recent US visit, including a large reception given by Indian Americans in Silicon Valley, an opinion piece by policy analyst Jyoti Malhotra concludes as follows: “So as the prime minister charms America, flanked by his two key aides Ajit Doval and S Jaishankar, the thought surfaces: Let him also spare a thought for India’s crisis-ridden neighbourhood”.

  • It’s not one or two incidents, it’s over 600 attacks on minorities, including Christians and Muslims, that have occurred since Modi took office as PM last year. It’s time for sane Indians to take notice and speak out strongly against this madness.

  • UP’s Mainpuri, #India cops’ vehicles gutted. #Hindu mob chases 4 accused of cow slaughter #Beef via @timesofindia

    AGRA: A riot-like situation broke out in UP’s Mainpuri, about 100km from Agra, on Friday after a mob chased down and nearly lynched four men accused of killing and skinning a cow. Two of them were hospitalized in critical condition.

    A contingent of the PAC had to be called in after rampaging mobs set on fire more than a dozen shops. They also targeted police vehicles, two of which they gutted, and personnel, injuring 7 cops. Many local residents, too, were hurt in clashes that followed. Tear gas had to be used to disperse the arsonists.

    READ ALSO: Dadri lynching — BJP netas under UP cops’ lens

    It all started when at around 8am a group of people said they saw four men skinning a cow. Soon a crowd materialized out of nowhere and started advancing towards the four who were seen with the cow. While two managed to escape, the other two were caught. Later it transpired that it was a dead cow that the men were skinning and that its owner had actually allowed them to do so.

    About 500 people had gathered at the spot by 9am. Angry villagers demanded that the men who killed the cow get instant, public justice. Policemen who ruled out meting out any punishment on the basis of allegations were beaten up by the ferocious crowd. Within hours flames were seen leaping out of makeshift structures dotting the streets in the area as arsonists roamed around with rods, bamboo sticks and guns. People in the locality rushed to shut down shops and head home.

    IG, Agra Zone, DC Mishra told TOI that “the cow was a dead one”. He added, “The men were only removing the skin for sale to a tannery. Our initial probe shows that they had not killed the cow.

  • #India’s Top #BJP campaigner against #beef owns halal meat processing and beef export business Al-Dua. #BeefPolitics

    MLA Sangeet Singh Som admits he was director of Al-Dua, a company that processes halal meat

    Sangeet Singh Som, the fiery BJP MLA at the forefront of the frenzied anti-beef protests and an accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots, founded one of India’s leading halal meat export companies, according to documents available with The Hindu.

    The company, Al-Dua Food Processing Private Ltd, was founded by Mr. Som, along with Moinuddin Qureshi and a third partner, to deal in meat and meat products in 2005. According to Al-Dua’s website, the company is now a “leading producer and exporter of halal meat from India.”

    Mr. Som’s role in promoting the company is at variance with the BJP’s campaign, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who during the Lok Sabha polls, called the growing meat exports the “pink revolution.” Mr. Modi and others have said that the growing meat exports were a cover for slaughter of cows.

    When The Hindu confronted Mr. Som with the evidence, he flatly denied having anything to do with meat business.

    “There was nothing about meat. I am a pure Hindu and would do nothing to hurt Hindu sentiment. You would be surprised to know that despite being a Thakur I don’t eat even egg and start my day with a havan,” he said.

    According to the Memorandum of Association of Al-Dua Food Processing, filed on December 19, 2005, the company, which exports halal meat to Arab countries, was started “to carry on the business of (sic) manufacturers, producers, processors, buyers, sellers of and dealers in meat, meat products…”

    Unsecured loans

    Official documents show that in 2005-06, all three promoters of Al-Dua, one of India’s leading halal meat exporting companies Mr. Som co-founded, also advanced unsecured loans to the company. Mr. Som gave Rs. 4 lakh, Moinuddin Qureshi Rs. 7.60 lakh and Yogesh Rawat Rs. 4 lakh. The company also received unsecured loans from two other companies totalling Rs. 10 lakh.

    Official filings with the Registrar of Company Affairs show that the company purchased a piece of land for Rs. 30,78,000 in 2005-06.

    On March 27, 2008, Mr. Som ceased to be a director in the company. He transferred his 20,000 shares in the company to Nasira Begum at Rs. 10 a share. There is no evidence of Mr. Som receiving back the unsecured loan he gave the company, or of him charging any premium for the shares in the company.

    Al-Dua was not the only business dealing between Mr. Som and Mr. Qureshi, one of India’s leading meat exporters. Mr. Som has also been involved as an additional director in Al-Anam Agro Foods Pvt. Ltd. with Mr. Qureshi.

  • kaalabhartibhai

    Only 8 comments so far on this article on an outrageous atrocity of international significance? Where have all the Hindutva-leaning bloggers on this site gone? “Mohan”, “Ranger”, and so on.India will now be clubbed as somewhere between Bangladesh and saudi Arabia in its intolerance. In Bangladesh,true, secular bloggers are killed, but, at least, Ministers are not trotting out spurious apologies and coverups for the crimes.

  • posit

    Muslims are carrying out a demographic aggression/infiltration/expansionism against non-muslims everywhere and hence the muslims are not innocent.
    This demographic change will result in a totalitarian arab-tribal ideology becoming the determining factor everywhere.

    Islam’s imperialism and plans to exterminate non-muslims are 1400+ years old and are being carried out with much enthusiasm by them. Muslims laugh over the foolish tolerance of the non-muslims and say that it is most easy to bully and deceive and exploit some (or most) non-muslims.

    Wherever islam has become strong, fascism, fear, muslim street-gangs have taken over. Kuran tells muslims to strike fear in the hearts of the non-muslims all over the world. More and more muslims are joining this gangsterism and believing that this will ensure them the love and care of the arab god.
    To deny this is self-deceit or deceit.

  • Mohan

    Gentle Reminder to those who have not returned Sahitya Akademi Awards, you are endorsing a communal, dictatorial Modi. Please Return Your Awards Today.

  • Mohan

    Badal Sahab is sitting here…he is the Nelson Mandela of India. He has spent so many years in prison & that too for political reasons: Modi

    Working 15-16 hours daily without any break is taking its toll. Modi seriously needs rest.

  • Kamath.

    Mohan: the eminent colomnist Bhadrakumar who was once Indian ambassador for Turkey etc and now a a syndicated writer has written a damning report about RSS and BJP rule in India. Please read it.

    The blood-dimmed tide of fascism is loosed in Modi’s India

  • majumdar

    If Abhadrakumar’s chaddi is on fire, then ModiGee is on the right track. You can sleep peacefully, sir.

  • HaHa

    @Kamath, No fan of Modi, but Bhadrakumar himself is hardly credible. Much of what he writes, rather then reflecting facts is tainted by his own beliefs and fantasies. You can read many of his past write-ups on bhadrakumar and decide for yourself.

  • HaHa

    @kaalabhartibhai, this is what results when rioters and mobs are allowed to run scot-free. India has seen so many riots since 1947 and so few convictions. Indian governments prefer to do everything under the sun, except what they should be doing viz. maintaining law and order.

  • posit

    to riaz

    Only 600 attacks against minorities in India – that shows how tolerant hindus are.
    For all the treacheries which the agents and quislings of islam have committed – they are getting away quite well and growing to become the threat again.

    Non-muslims have been de facto wiped out in Pakistan. So every pakistani can claim he is sooooo very tolerant towards these (non-existent ) non-muslims.