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