Kasganj and the ever-lurking threat of internal enemies

Kasganj and the ever-lurking threat of internal enemies

By Aishwarya P. Sharma | 4 February, 2018
Part of what happened in Kasganj was an attempt to further marginalise the minorities.

A recent now deleted post by the DM of Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly district, Raghuvendra Vikram Singh expressing his angst at the deliberate efforts to flare up communal tensions in an already volatile state, has been trending for all the wrong reasons. Questioning this trend of raising anti-Pakistan slogans in Muslim localities, the magistrate was forced to seek some answers as to whether we are dealing with Pakistanis or our own countrymen in UP. The post posed some upsetting questions. Are all Muslims pro-Pakistanis? Do they all deserve to go to Pakistan? Statements such as these were common in the 1950s and 1960s right after partition when North India and Punjab experienced a complete exchange of population. The question is why now? 

Part of this is an attempt to further marginalise the minorities and if the neighbourhood happens to inhabit Muslims, the propaganda seems to be even more effective. It’s ironic that Rohingyas, Muslims from Myanmar feel more secure in a camp in some parts of the country rather than in their homeland. The refugees argue that they had undertaken the highly arduous journey from Myanmar across the Naf River to Bangladesh making their way to India to protect their faith, i.e. Islam. They allege persecution by the ethnically Burmese majority that is inflicting untold miseries and violence in a deliberate attempt to ethnically cleanse their country of “foreigners”—Rohingyas. The Rohingyas pointed out to their continued presence in the Rakhine province since the mid 18th century as proof that they are ethnically Burmese. The question arises is how are we going to treat our minorities? Since Independence, Muslims have been subjected to the taunt that all they demanded was Pakistan and since its creation it is only logical that they should proceed to their homeland. These statements have not been confined to one political party; rather all political outfits had reaped huge political dividends. Despite the return of Muslims from Pakistan in thousands in the 1950s and 1960s, desperately seeking Indian citizenship, it is surprising that some still feel the need for practical proofs of loyalty. And what of those who never departed, despite threats to their life and confiscation of their property? Is their citizenship contested too, if yes what is the criterion for uncontested citizenship?

The processions in predominately Muslim neighbourhoods are no different, rather a part of a trend. Uttar Pradesh, with its 19% Muslim population, provides the perfect laboratory for testing these ideas and putting them into practice. But DM Singh’s post is a desperate attempt to highlight the complete failure of the administration to do anything to prevent the breakdown of law and order. The message should not be lost, for seldom do we come across official responses of this kind. What is more worrying is that for most of us violence of this kind is normalised. No longer are we surprised or seek answers. Have we also turned our back on them as Myanmar on the Rohingyas? 

We are ready to burn down buses, block roads and threaten a leading actress and her director for making a film, Padmaavat, but we chose to remain silent on the recent happenings in UP. The kin of the 22-year-old Chandan Gupta deserve some answers as to who fired the fateful shot that killed their son. The main accused Saleem, a local businessman and his sons have been arrested, but there is no clarity about their role in the killings. What was the purpose of the Tiranga Yatra? The yatra has left one dead, with rumours of further killings adding to communal tensions and breakdown of law and order in Bareilly, along with the questions around the loyalty of Muslim community as a whole. If the purpose was instilling national pride, the intended purpose was entirely defeated. That citizens of this country be stopped from hoisting the national flag on Republic Day to make way for the Tiranga Yatra sets a bad precedent. Forced recitals of either Vande Mataram or Pakistan Zindabaad have had disastrous consequences in the past, leaving behind a bitter legacy. Let us not forget that.

There are 2 Comments

Appeasing the minorities has become the order of the day. The author is probably not aware of what is going on in Europe, UK and US. He should see the youtube videos to understand what is going on. Within this country, slowly but surely many areas have been vacated by Hindus and the temple areas have been occupied by minorities. Love-jihad is going on but people are silent and politicians deny it. Same thing is being enacted in Europe and migrants demanding Sharia. Again the politicians refuse to acknowlege what is happening. The author should read the Hadith. He should also read about the demand for a separate state for Muslims in Australia. The days of pampering are over.

EVERY NATION STATE NO MATTER HOW PLURALISTIC IT MAYBE HAS A DOMINANT NATION WITHIN IT THAT DEFINES IT. UK, USA, GERMANY, FRANCE, USA ARE ALL HELD UP AS MODELS OF PLURALISTIC SECULAR STATES. UK IS A CHRISTIAN COUNTRY, FRANCE IS FRENCH,GERMANY IS GERMAN BUT HINDUSTAN CAN NOT BE HINDU. PUBLIC INTELLECTUALS DOMINATING THE NARRATIVE AFTER FIRST DECADE OF INDEPENDENCE BELIEVED THAT THERE IS NO LEGITIMACY FOR HINDU NATION WITHIN INDIAN STATE. SECULARISM IS THE RELIGION AND CULTURE OF INDIA WITH PRIVILEGED PLACE FOR MINORITIES ESPECIALLY MUSLIMS. THEY SUPPORT MINORITY – RELIGIOUS RIGHTS IN A SECULAR STATE WHERE NO SUCH DISTINCTION CAN BE MADE. FOR A MINORITY TO EXIST FIRST A MAJORITY HAS TO EXIST. UNFORTNATE INCIDENTS LIKE KASGANJ WILL CONTINUE TO HAPPEN TILL MUSLIMS DO NOT WILLINGLY ACCEPT THAT THEY ARE LIVING AMONGST A HINDU NATION WHICH CHOSETO BE SECULAR TO GIVE MINORITIES EQUAL STATUS, SPACE AND PLACE. IN 1947 MUSLIMS DID NOT DECIDE TO LIVE IN A SECULAR COUNTRY. MUSLIMS CHOSE A MUSLIM PAKISTAN. IT IS HINDUS WHO CHOSE THEIR NATION TO BE SECULAR. STORY OF CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY WOULD HAVE BEEN DIFFERENT IF NEHRU, A SELF CONFESSED NOMINAL HINDU. A HINDU ONLY BECAUSE OF ACCIDENT OF HIS BIRTH, WAS NOT THE DOMINANT FORCE THAT HE WAS OR PATEL WAS NOT SO ACCOMODATING AND HONORABLE. CRUEL JOKE OF HISTORY ON INDIAN NATION. IN THE NARRATIVE OF EARLY YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE THERE WAS ACCEPTANCE OF HINDU NATION. NO MENTION OF SECULARISM. WHY DID MUSLIM LEADERS NOT INSIST ON SECULARISM BUT INSTEAD SETTLED FOR MINORITY RIGHTS. ASHOKA CHAKRA IN THE FLAG, NATIONAL ANTHEM. VANDE MATRAM AS NATIONAL SONG, EMBLEMS AND NATIONAL ICONS OF ALL INSTITUTIONS OF THE STATE ADOPTED IN THAT PERIOD ARE ALL DRAWN FROM HINDU CULTURE. THERE WERE NO DISSENTING VOICES. MUSLIM LEADERS OF THAT ERA ACCEPTED THE REALITY. BUT NARRATIVEBEGAN TO CHANGE IN LATE 60S AND ACCELERATED POST 70S FOLLOWING OIL SHOCK AND RISE OF ARAB MUSLIM MONEY POWER. THOUGH ARAB OIL POWER APPEARS TO BE DECLINING BUT THE SEEDS PLANTED THEN ARE STILL IN BLOOM. INDIAN MUSLIMS OF TODAY HAVE FORGOTTEN THE PERIOD OF ABOUT TWO DECADES FOLLOWING THE INDEPENDENCE AND IMAGINE THEMSELVES TO BE IN A NATION WHERE MAJORITYAND THEIR SENTIMENTS DO NOT MATTER. THEY SEEK CONFRONTATION AND ASSERTION OF SEPARATE IDENTITY AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY INCLUDING REAL AND CONTRIVED. IT SERVED THEM UPTO A POINT IN EARLY 90s WHEN HINDUS BEGAN TO REALISE THE FACT AND IMPLICATIONS OF ALTERED ATTITUDE AND WORLD VIEW OF MUSLIMS. MUSLIM OF 90s AND THEREAFTER IS DISTINCTLY DIFFERENT FROM HIS ANCESTORS OF 50s AND 60s. LIKEWISE HINDU OF NEW MILLENNIUM IS ALSO DIFFERENT FROM HINDUS TILL EARLY PARTS OF SECOND HALF OF LAST CENTURY. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES IT IS UNFORTUNATE BUT TRUE THAT STRIFE WILL CONTINUE AND EVEN GET ACCENTUATED IN YEARS TO COME. FOR THINGS TO CHANGE MUSLIMS HAVE TO RECOGNISE AND ACCEPT THAT THEY ARE LIVING IN A HINDU NATION AND BEHAVE AND ACT ACCORDINGLY. IT IS NOT A QUESTION OF DENYING MINORITIES EQUAL CITIZENSHIP STATUS AND RIGHTS.IT IS SIMPLY ACCEPTING THAT IN A PROPERLY FUNCTIONING PLURALISTIC SOCIETY MINORITIES MUST MAKE CONCESSIONS TO MAJORITY SENTIMENT AND MAJORITY HAS TO APPEAR ACCOMMODATING OF MINORITY.

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