4 Oct. It is a spine-chilling incident – the Dadri lyncing.
On 28 September 2015, all hell broke lose in Greater Noida of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state. The North Indian state has more people on its territory than most of Europe put together. But not peace and prosperity.
The most troubled state of India has seen many a communal riot inflamed by unscrupulous political parties. In the recent past, it experienced a major conflagration in September 2013, after a sanitation was killed in early September. Before that in June of the same year, a dalit (SC) girl was gang-raped, and tension erupted.
Later in late August, two upper caste (Jats) Hindus were killed, besides a minority community man and a police. That gave a definite twist to the incident. Politics took control of the fragile situation, in stead of law and order taking the control. The right wing political outfit (which now rules at the Centre) BJP called for a ‘bundh’ (forced closure of the state) and rioters had a field day. Army was called in to enforce law and order, but not before at least 19 minority community members lost their lives to fake-revenge killings. Such a large scale of massacre and deployment of army had not been seen since 1992, when the BJP veteran LK Advani led a divisive Rath Yatra demanding the construction of a Ram temple on the Babri masjid site, and his band of unemployed youth climbed to top of the 16th century mosque, and demolished it. And India witnessed one of the biggest and nation-wide riots since Indo-Pak partition, 1947, that ripped the country apart eternally.
In this state of Uttar Pradesh, which has a history of volatile peace and tensions between upper castes and lower castes as well as caste Hindus and minority Muslims, there is an elected government, led by a young, inexperienced, incompetent Akhilesh Yadav (son of the former SJP supremo and MP Mulayam Singh Yadav, who still remote-controls the UP politics). And, true to its history, not just UP social bonds are volatile, even politics and law and order situation are equally volatile.
But that state is extremely important for any politician in India. The state alone sends 80 MPs to the Indian Parliament – more than any two biggest states put together. Hence, every politician wants to fish in these troubled waters.
It is no doubt that even sleeping Indian politicians have an eye open on UP.
According to media reports on Sunday 04 Oct, Vishal, the main accused son of a BJP legislator in UP forced a Dadri temple priest to announce that Mohammad Akhlaq had beef stored in his house. With this all hell broke lose. A mob of around 200 people attacked Akhlaq’s house and started beating him up.He was murdered in cold blood in the one-sided attack. His younger son Danish was critically injured, and is still battling for life in a hospital. His elder son is serving the Indian air force.
The police -seemingly- have sent the meat found in the house for testing. God alone knows where – the state does not seem to be having testing facilities (remember Sunanda Puskar’s testing? Had to be sent to the USA!). In truth, it happened to be mutton, and not beef!
Unfortunately, in India, it is alright to kill helpless human beings, but not cows! Not even sick cows. That is the state of sickness and blindness.
The UP state administration has been slow to take any action. The central government led by the vocal Narendra Modi, has remained completely dumb. Not a word. Or, rather, a BJP MP and minister Mahesh Sharma (with a record for communal incitement) called it an ‘accident’, giving a clean chit to the blind mob, allegedly incited by a BJP leader’s son. Rajnath Singh, the Union Home Minister accused his political opponents of giving it a communal tinge, when actually it is a communal attack on a helpless family. Another BJP MP openly justified the attack on Akhlaq. Yet another fire-brand VJP leader and MP Sadhwi Prachi, known for highly communal, utterances, justified the killing in crude words, unbecoming of any civil society. But no action has been taken against anyone, so far!
In the neighbouring state of Bihar (with 45 Parliamentary seats), there is election for State Assembly beginning this week! And you can guess, who is the beneficiary if communal riots are engineered! After the September 2013 communal riots, UP electorate was completely polarised, and Narendra Modi won 72 out of 80 Parliamentary seats (well maneuvered by BJP’s current national president Amith Shah).
Nearly after a week, politicians have started visiting the bereaved family. Including the BJP minister known for communal utterances – Mahesh Sharma. Congress and Aam Admi Party have now woken up. But the villagers have blocked any non-BJP politicians as well media persons from entering the village.
Social media is rife with debate on food habits. Should a majority community impose its food habits on minorities? What right does anyone have to impose any restrictions as along as they don’t violate constitutions?
For some, cow is an animal to be worshiped – never mind they drink its milk (depriving its calves of the mother’s milk) But for most in the world, cow is an animal like any other – goat, pig, chicken, and fish. They rear cows, use all the products it can afford, and finally slaughter it for food (though not the kindest of deeds, according to me! I don’t eat beef or pork). In this enterprise, why should anyone dictate terms to others?
Religion should be a private affair, not a tool to impose on others. Unfortunately, for many of my country men and women, religion has more to impose on others than practice its spiritual and altruistic tenets. As a result, cows, cats, rats, and dogs become more important and human beings are sacrificed out of hatred for one another.
There is the larger project of these right-wing politicians and engineers, who are called sangh parivar. There is a sense of dis-ease and frustration among some upper caste. The education and empowerment of Scheduled Castes, Tribes, women and backward castes, has taken the power out of the upper castes. They don’t have free slave-trade, which was imposed and sanctioned on religious grounds, in the past. Hence, the erstwhile powerful castes feel a sense of helplessness and keep attacking minorities (primarily Christians who have taken education as their mission)
Now that the Constitution of India has prohibited caste practice, the same project is being revived through various pseudo-cultural and political machinery. The BJP, which currently rules the country, being the political wing of the Sangh Parivar, it has come a blessing to the saffron wing. As as result, you can see the emboldened sanghis running riot all over, creating tensions and terror in some cases.
The bigger project includes the Hindu Rashtra (an exclusive Hindu Nation), where the communal, brahmanic rule of Manu is imposed. It is to replace the democratic process and the Constitution which guarantees it. In it included are construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya (on the site of Babri masjid), imposition of uniform civil code (like an Iran or Saudi Arabia), imposition of a dead language called Sanskrit, resuscitation of guru-kula system of education which gave absolute control to the guru, and many others.
Let me clarify: Hindutva does not mean Hinduism, which most of us appreciate for being all-inclusive. Hindutva is an exclusivist, radical, intolerant religious view and ruling of everything, much like the Islamisization of the East Europe or Middle-Far East.
Talking about the Hindutva Project that killed Mahtma Gandhi, the first Home Minister Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel (a fellow-Gujarati of Narendra Modi) said, “But don’t forget, so had Hitler’s Nazis and the fascists under Mussolini. It (RSS or mother of the Sangh Parivar) is a communal body with a totalitarian outlook. .. Hindu Raj… that mad idea.” (Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, February 1949)