প্রচ্ছদ আমেরিকা

Indian Communalism: The Saucepan Shouldn’t Call the Kettle Black

Mohammad Zainal Abedin: In the wake of attacks on Hindus in Nasir Nagar Upazila, under Brahmanbaria district of Bangladesh, India has conveyed its deep concern over the security of the minority Hindu community in Bangladesh. Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Blackenedphoned to Harsh Vardhan Shringla, the Indian High Commissioner based in Dhaka and asked him to call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to convey their “grave concern about the safety and well being of the Hindus in Bangladesh.” Indians alleged, there is large scale violence against Hindus in Bangladesh.

Mentionable, on October 30, an unruly mob equipped with rural weapons and sticks went berserk and demolished four Hindu temples and nearly 100 houses in Nasirr Nagar Upazila, when it was came to light that a local Hindu superimposing the idol of Shiva (the Hindu god of destruction) over a photo of Holy Kaaba and posted it in his facebook. Such defamatory and derogatory post hurt the religious feelings of the local Muslims. The local religious leaders issued statements condemning the evil deed of the said Hindu demanded for lawful action. 

Analyzing the press reports and the opinion of the independent observers, it is understood, what happened in Brahmanminbaria was not a communal violence, but outcome of the power struggle between the two groups of the ruling party, the most trusted ally of India. Knowledgeable sources alleged, Indian intelligence agency RAW portrayed the party clash as a communal violence. Moreover, RAW operatives instructed the said Hindu to post such defamatory and inflammatory photo, manipulated the local ruling party (groups) to swoop on the Hindu locality and asked its (RAW) surrogates in Dhaka and elsewhere to protest and demonstrate against the Muslims favoring the Hindus. Its main object was to crush the local patriotic forces and show the international community that Bangladesh is a country of fanatic inhuman Muslims. On the other hand, Indian foreign minister falling on Bangladesh bid to prove once more that to India Bangladesh is a country like Bhutan. Otherwise, how she could ask her High Commissioner to call on the Prime Minister of Bangladesh to get her explanation, what could best be done by the D.C. of Brahmanbaria.

Sushma Swaraj’s over reaction uncovered India’s big-brotherly lordly attitude. But neither she nor her government had any logical reason to react over such a staged violence. Indian government or any of its lawmaker, or intellectual have no face to condemn or express concern over the incident of Nasir Nagar, since the religious minorities in India daily face many more gruesome atrocities committed by the Hindu communalists.

It would take volumes to record the anti-Muslim communal killings, not speak of atrocities and lootings since the inception of India in 1947.  I will simply reproduce a few incidents how the incumbent regime appeared with more rigorous and multifarious harsh communal policies, what I opt to brand as state-sponsored anti-Muslim communalism, rather terrorism and extermination. 

Mentionable, Narendra Modi himself is a lifelong member of RSS, an ultra-communal outfit, which played the vital role to bring Modi to power. His assumption as Prime Minister further fueled the communal tempo in India what had been already its in zenith.

In the beginning of the 21st century the incumbent prime minister of India Narendra Modi emerged as the champion among all other killers. He is accused of annihilating over two thousand Muslims while he was the chief minister of Gujarat. He was branded as one of the topmost 10 killers in modern history and hence the U. S. government declined to issue him a visa for his crime against humanity. 

Modi on the eve of India’s general election used ultra-Hindu communal card and threatened the Indian Muslims to pack their belongings to leave India. His infamous scandal and hard-line role against the Muslims empowered him in New Delhi and he already superseded all the wwwwwwiprevious black records of India’s communal character.

Narendra Modi took oath as the Prime Minister of India on May 26, 2014. Since then, according to Al-Jazeera, 600 incidents of attack occurred in India till August, 2015. Of them, 149 attacks were on the Christian community while the Muslims were the victims of the remaining ones. 

He allowed his father-organization RSS to undertake an unprecedented step to turn India entirely into a Hindu state. It let loose its Hindu hooligans with a awesome slogan ‘Purkhon ki Ghar Vapsi’ (come back to Hinduism), a mass reconversion of the Muslims and the Christians to Hinduism presenting a lame excuse that their forefathers once were Hindu. In some parts of India, these rogues placed two options before the minority communities: either you reconvert to Hinduism, or get ready to be killed. In many parts of India Muslims were forced to say that they are reconverted to Hinduism. Events of such staged conversion were telecast in Indian TV channels.

Another type of misery under Modi is that the Muslims are harassed, beaten, even killed on their alleged possessing or eating beef. Al Jazeera, narrating an episode of such barbarity reported: on September 28, 2015 in a village near New Delhi, the Hindu communalists broke open the door of a Muslim, named Ikhlaq. They cruelly killed him hitting with thick iron rod, hammer, wooden club, etc. They dragged him down from the upstairs to the ground crossing 14 steps of cement and ultimately pulled his dead body to road to show the common people, particularly the Muslims, the consequence of preserving beef in the refrigerator. They pounded on the head of his son with bricks. They even hit his head with a sewing machine that bruised it and severely affected his brain. The Hindu communal cadres frequently raise slogans saying “Gau mattock key opinion, nahi salega Hindustan” (defamation to mother cow will not be allowed in India).

Indian media outlet on July 27, 2016 telecast a report that Hindu communalists assaulted two Muslim women the in presence of police for carrying beef. Police had such intimation that two Muslim women boarding on a train were going to sell beef. To catch them red-handed, police reached the station in advance and arrested them. Hindu mob snatched the two women from the police who ruthlessly beat them, the but police did nothing to rescue the ill-fated women. One local veterinary surgeon testing the meat confirmed that those were the meat of camel, but not cow. The tragic occurrence happened at Mandeshari Railway Station of Madhapradesh.

The communal Hindus didn’t hesitate to insult and beat the prestigious Muslims, even Lawmakers. A Muslim legislator of Kashmir Assembly, Engineer Sheikh Abdul Rashid, on October 8 was thrashed in and knocked out of the Assembly House by the BJP MLAs. His fault was that he enlisted, among other items, beef in the menu for a family feast. The aggrieved MLA  Engineer Abdul Rashid, NDTV and ‘The Hindu’  reported, on October 19, 2015 organized a press conference at New Delhi Press Club while three members of ‘Hindu Sena’ intruding into the venue blackened the face of the MLA in presence of his family members, journalists and others. The poor MLA simply consoled himself, saying: “Let the world see how India changes”.

A report published in Anandabazar Patrika (August 25, 2016) of Kolkata says the central government of India issued a letter asking the state (province) to ban killing cattle or transporting them for the same purpose. Earlier on July 4 (2026) M Robikumar, Secretary of Animal Welfare Board (AWB) of India in a letter asked the chief secretary, DG of state police, and the department of husbandry, not to allow killing of cow or buffalo or any other animals on the occasion of Muslim Eid-ul Azha. Such letter indicated Indian government technically bid to deter the celebration of the festival using AWB. It was proved in Kashmir, where Muslims were not allowed to even say their Eid-ul Azha prayer, not to speak of sacrificing cattle on the occasion, as Indian government didn’t relax curfew that continued in whole Kashmir for months together. 

Mentionable, many Hindus in and outside India eat beef. India is also the topmost exporter of beef. According to the statistics of USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) in 2015 India, Brazil and Australia were the three main exporters of beef that exported 2.4, 2 and 1.5 million tons of beef respectively. Indian exporters, however, export beef, outwardly branding it as the meat of buffalo.

Tuning to Modi, a communal organization ‘Hindu Mahashava’ launched a campaign to make a Muslim-free India. On August 3, 2015 the President of Hindu Mahashava Komolesh Tewari addressing the activists of the campaign at Banarashi town of India said, we would no longer tolerate the Muslims in India to turn it purely to a Hindu state. He declared, “We will supply a sword to each and every Hindu, so that they can protect themselves.”

Indian news agency PTI quoted Sadhvi Prachi, a leader of ‘Visha Hindu Parishad’, on June 7, 2016 saying; this is the time to make India devoid of Muslims. We are working keeping that view in mind. On other occasions, she spoke against Muslim educational institutions like Aligarh Muslim University, Deoban Madrasha, and all others. She even urged to boycott the films, in which Muslim actors, actresses or directors s are involved.

A Bengali daily of Dhaka, ‘Manabzamin’ on June 4, 2016 carried a report of Calcutta-based daily Anandabazar Patrika that says how an Indian Muslim soldier, named Maktum Husen, lost his job. His higher authority asked him to shave his beard, but he declined the order on religious ground. He was branded as ‘undesirable soldier’ for his behavior. He was not only sacked, but also sent to 14-day detention. One tribunal expelled him from the job. Maktum Husen, a sepoy of Medicalcore of Indian Army was in service for 10 years.

 Hindus are so narrow, what they ventilate through their communality. Indian singers, dangers and cultural activists perform in Bangladesh and Pakistan and earn millions of dollars almost every year. But the Indians didn’t allow a Bangladeshi Rock band ‘Miles’ the most popular rock band in South Asia, to perform in India.

Anti-Muslim fever went to such an extreme point that the communalist Hindus did not allow a Pakistani performer to hold his show in India. The Indian organizers of two concerts by Ghulam Ali, a veteran Pakistani singer, cancelled his programs. The organizers had received local government assurances about security for the October 9 and 10 (2015) concerts in Mumbai and Pune. Though the government assured to provide security, but the ultra-communalist ‘Shib Sena’ cadres staged protest and threatened to deter the show that prompted Ghulam Ali to cancel the program.

Let me cite another instance of communal extremity in India. On November 12, 2015 Sudheendra Kulkarni, Chairman of the ‘Observer Research Foundation’, an Indian think tank, was attacked in his car by a group of ‘Shiv Sena’ cadres who doused him with oily black ink. He had been due to take part in a book launching ceremony written by a former Pakistani foreign minister, Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri. Kulkarni’s fault was that he declined Shiv-Sena instruction to cancel the event. Despite such defamatory misdeeds of the communal Hindu Sudheendra Kulkarni, was daring enough to appear with the author with his head blackened and his clothes soiled, his face almost unrecognizable. To condemn this “attack on democracy,” before going to the hospital to have the ink removed, he attended a press conference.

It is observed, to keep India united anti-Muslim sentiment and riots are essential to arouse the spirit of Hindu nationalism and keep it unimpeded.  Moreover, prior to India’s national election, anti-Muslim riots are occurring to inflame Hindutva and procure the votes of the Hindus. Before election in 2014 anti-Muslim riots occurred in Mujaffarnagar of Uttar Pradesh where 60 Muslims were killed and over 500 Muslims left their residence for life.

This is India, where cruel killers not only remain unpunished, rather rewarded. Modi is the best example in this regard. Modi could become Prime Minister due to his extreme communal character and records of killing the Muslims. Such Indians don’t have the face to cry for any Hindu, whether they are in Bangladesh or Pakistan, where they live in a better position and prestige than the Hindus in India.

I want to ask Sushma Swaraj, does she has any statistics since 1947, how many thousands of anti-Muslim riots occurred in India; how many millions of Muslims were killed, orphaned, widowed, women raped, wounded or displaced; how many Muslim residences and houses or shops were burnt to ashes; how many mosques, shrines, graveyards were demolished or occupied by the Hindus.

I would prescribe the Indian policymakers to follow Bangladesh, an excellent model of communal harmony. Whatever happens in Bangladesh is the outcome of Indian intrigues. Indians use the Bangladeshi Hindus as pawn and scapegoat to materialize its ulterior designs against Bangladesh. The Nasir Nagar violence is the latest episode of India’s cruel game. International community should remain vigil over India and appropriate step be taken to bridle India from playing with the Bangladeshi Hindus.*

Contributor: A Journalist & researcher

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