Dadri murder: My struggle with revulsion and helplessness

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Rifat Jawaid

@RifatJawaid

Last month we proudly carried a report of a Muslim man performing the last rites of his Hindu friend in Madhya Pradesh.

Yesterday, one of our top stories on jantakareporter.com was about Hindu devotees helping a pregnant Muslim woman deliver her baby inside the temple in Maharashtra. And in between the two amazing developments, we saw how humanity was shamed in Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh.

Many of you have asked me why I haven’t cared to comment on Akhlaq’s murder last Monday. There are others who asked me for my views.

The reason for my prolonged silence is that the lynching of the 52-year-old father of an Air Force personnel just because of a rumour that he ate beef has left me numb. Rarely have I found myself placed in such a predicament, where I’ve had to struggle for words amidst my constant fight between revulsion and helplessness.

I’m disgusted to see the display of hypocrisy of India of 2015 coupled with the brazen approach to justify mindless violence by those in power and so called educated elite in the country.

This diabolical incident takes place on the outskirts of India’s capital, New Delhi and barely few days after India’s prime minister Narendra Modi was busy selling the message of ‘non-violence’ in America. Or at least that’s what he pretended to do so.

After his famous audience interaction in California, Modi wrote on the wall of Facebook headquarter, “Non-violence is the greatest of all religion” implying that he abhorred violence. And yet, there’s no end to the politics of hatred promoted by his trusted lieutenants, who enjoy his tacit approval. Otherwise, how will you justify his utter silence on acts as despicable as this.

Given the clout he wields over his party, it’s unthinkable for any BJP leader to say or do things contradictory to Modi’s stand unless he/she has his blessings

One of his senior colleagues in the cabinet and local MP from Noida, Mahesh Sharma recently made some nauseating comments targetting Muslims. From describing the murder of Akhlaq as a mere accident to telling a news channel that Muslims in India weren’t really patriots, Sharma has taken his and BJP’s sanity to new low.

No one is suggesting that Modi is responsible for the murder of Akhlaq, but his mysterious silence on any remotely or explicitly venomous comments against India’s Muslim community has indeed given an approval of sorts to the perpetrators of rampant bigotry in India. And with this attitude another Akhlaq is not far away.

Modi looked the other way when one of his Sadhvi cabinet members was calling non-supporters of the BJP haraamzaada (illegitimate children). Sangeet Som, one of the alleged perpetrators of Muzaffarnagar riots that killed more than 50 people, was rewarded with Z+ security cover- often deemed as a status symbol in India. It was business as usual for the prime minister when his supporters called for raping the dead Muslim women in the presence of his MP Adityanath, also notorious for his anti-Muslim hatred.

And examples of Modi turning a blind eye to the vitriolic elements within his party are in plenty.

Let me now express my personal fear. Three years ago I had returned to India after living in UK for 12 years against the desire of my family particularly my wife, who resisted the idea of raising our children in a ‘violent society.’ I had succeeded in convincing her that India of 2012 was not what we experienced in 90s or in the first few years (read Gujarat riots) of the new millennium through communal politics. India now, I argued, could simply not afford to choose the path of racism and hatred over development. It appears I was wholly wrong in my assertion. Akhlaq’s episode has forced me to start weighing up my own options including leaving the country.

Call me a coward, but I’ve seen it all in the last three years. Communalism is no longer confined to uneducated class, it’s now being championed and ruthlessly defended by so-called literate and sophiscated class. The thought that we lived barely 15 minutes away from Dadri is chilling.

We all laughed off the Pakistan jibes made by senior BJP leaders such as Giriraj Singh and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and fooled ourselves that they were just making political speeches when they threatened Muslims to go to Pakistan.

Their comments, as it emerges now, were part of a larger design to make atmosphere so poisonous that no right-minded people can live in the country.

But it was never this bad. Even in the aftermath of 1992 Babri Masjid demolition, the thought of suspecting our Hindu neighbours never occurred to us.

I remember going for Friday prayers five days after the historic monument was brought down by BJP and it’s affiliate organisations. The mosque was situated right in the middle of a densely populated Hindu neighbourhood without a single Muslim family living there. One couldn’t blame our parents to be worried about our safety while visiting that neighbourhood amidst an incredibly communally charged atmosphere of post 6 December of 92 India.

But, there was no end to our joy when we saw local Hindu residents having formed a human chain around the Mosque so that we could offer namaz without any fear. This was also to reassure us that the action of a bunch of thugs ought not to have shaken our belief about the overwhelming majority of Hindu population who cared about communal harmony and the need to preserve India’s multiculturalism.

Let a certain party rule Bengal now and you never know what will happen to that mosque.

Last May, we saw what happened in the BJP ruled Haryana where Muslims weren’t allowed to build a mosque despite a Court’s order simply because the villagers hated the sight of a place of worship for minority community in a Hindu-majority village. Muslims’ houses were torched, properties destroyed and they were forced to flee homes for safety.

Also Read: Haryana’s Politics of Hate (COMPLETE DOCUMENTARY)

The death of a three-year-old Syrian child Aylan Kurdi who did not belong to Europe was enough to shake the collective conscience of European nations prompting them to change their immigration policy to accomodate the victims of war. They simply couldn’t care much about the impact on their political future or the country’s economy.

Europe refused to be a mute spectator to the unfolding refugee crisis even though Aylan was not one of them. Akhlaq was one of those 125 crore Indians Modi often claimed he was the prime minister of. His own leaders’ despicable actions followed by his predictable silence paint a different reality.

Time has come for India’s prime minister to prove that his claim to represent the interest of 125 crore Indians isn’t just another lie. For a change, he needs to break his silence on the prevalent politics of hatred his colleagues have been championing particularly in the post 26 May India.

India is desperately looking at him to demonstrate what he wrote on the wall of Facebook HQ through robust actions on the ground. His failure to condemn the murder of Akhlaq will mean only one thing; that he’s the prime minister of only those who agreed with BJP’s brand of politics. Dare I say that the current politics of hate, if not checked, will have far reaching consequences on the integrity of India in time to come.

The author is the Editor-in-Chief of jantakareporter.com

18 COMMENTS

  1. this write-up is chilling and forebodes that inevitable clash of civilizations to come. i think the writer is beyond suspicion and articulating his innermost fears that may eventually overtake all of us….that includes HINDUS too… the deafening silence of the most pwerful CEO of the country is totally disconcerting…..leads us to suspect ”the silence of the lambs” scenario that is awaiting the country. i tend to agree with my muslim counter part that any leader who keeps total silence means DISASTER…. THE SILENCE OF THE MANMOHAN YEARS indeed spelt disaster is everyone’s knowledge. we need a national upsurge of understanding…we need the collective conscience of this once great nation to awake arise and stop not till the goal of complete freedom is achieved in its strictest and very realistic terms….not just the freedom of unhealthy choice………

  2. You are not a “JantaKaReporter”. You are a “MuslimsKaReporter”. Why are u hiding this fact and call urself “JantaKaReporter”. You cover only the stories where muslims have done good or something bad happens with muslims. You keep urself away from the news where muslims have done bad. You are a fattu. You are a coward fearing fanatic muslims.

  3. Tried really hard but could not get an article or a news report by any of our secular journalists on Azad maidan incident or Kerala incident where a professors hands were chopped off by peacefuls like Rifat Jawaid. It left me numb and a chill ran down my spine thinking about how insecure i am in this country of peacefuls

    • Will you accept someone as secular only if they condemn all incidents everywhere ?

      Surely the fact that some one is condoning or condemning any incident of violence anywhere in the country should depend on the facts of the case , and not whether they are secular or communal ?

      The facts are as follows :

      1. A man has been done to death.

      2. Politicians opposed to the BJP have seen the hand of the BJP in this incident.

      3. BJP politicians have been quick to underplay the incident and have even tried to defend the arrested by claiming they are innocent , and that the man did have beef in his house , and that he had engaged in cow slaughter.

      There is also the suspicion that the BJP ideology about banning cow slaughter or at least enforcing existing bans very strictly / rigidly , and their views or banning beef ( sale , possession ) might have had something to do with emboldening the mob to act as it did.

      What are the questions we should ask ?

      a. Even assuming that the man had engaged in cow slaughter and / or had beef in his house , could this offence not have been dealt with through legal means ?

      b. Is mob lynching in any case justifiable ?

      Instead of asking and answering these questions , we bring in talk of incidents in Kerala and other places , which though they may be valid points , do not in any way throw light on the perpetrators and their motives in this crime. The latter is what we should be focusing on.

  4. Very well written, and a chilling reminder of the times we live in. I have noticed many people who openly point fingers – even as preposterous as it sounds that its OK someone was lynched because of his eating habits. We have collectively failed as a nation, when it doesn’t shake us to the core that such kind of politics perpetuate in this country in 2015. What is the difference between us and Pakistan? For years we have made fun of them, their literacy and their double standards, their medieval society which harbours and mingles with terrorists. Look at us now, that joke is no more confined to them, it is right here at our doorsteps. Unless we nip such politics in the bud, there’s no way out. India will burn like it did during 2002 and the filthy party is ready to let it happen. It is the proof of their pudding that they will conspire to make it happen and look the other way. Obama committed the ultimate sin by accepting this megalomaniac narcissist’s invitation without understanding what happened in 2002, why the US dept of Justice kept him off the shores of the US. I guess the SC ‘clean chit’ had to be accepted by the DoJ, since not accepting it would mean that they do not consider us as a sovereign democratic nation.

    Next time when you joke about Pakistan, remember that we have a PM who will not condone any such attacks – he was quick to show up on TV when his homestate burned because of a one-trick-pony Patel activist. But he has nothing to say when such a disturbing issue has taken place. Particularly when the only ‘sin’ that the deceased committed was consuming meat.

    Let us accept the fact that we have committed the greatest ‘sin’ of all by accepting the wholesale lies that these vicious and violent thugs presented before us. They will move this nation forward only through ‘Ramrajya’. If you’re not game for Ghar Wapsi – you are not invited. Let us understand that we made a mistake of electing these anti national traitors. They have absolutely no remorse and whether it be any class – rich or poor, educated or uneducated – the hate lingers on. Its there everywhere. Its there when you interact with people, its on the news, its on the internet.

    Let us kick them out in 2019. Let us ensure our country remains the country it is known as – the worlds largest democracy. We are a democracy. We cannot dictate what others eat.

    • Well said!! A worrisome behavior of bhakts, BJP politicians, including the ringmaster himself. If he’s not condemning such barbaric activities, it doesn’t mean that he’s staying away from trouble – It’s like indirectly saying – hey do whatever you want i’m gonna stay blind!
      And I can’t believe BJP/RSS did not anticipate a butterfly effect to the bans. It’s always the case.

  5. You are not alone when you say PM Modi is not good. He came to power by knocking down his opponents, primarily Singh and the Gandhi family, not by telling us how he would solve our nation’s monumental problems.

    He mesmerized voters by his ability to speak. No one asked these questions: Does he compromise? Does he cooperate? Does he admit a mistake? Is he trustworthy? Does he treat every one equal? Is he fair? Does he have education and in depth general knowledge of many subjects from arts to zoology?

    It does not matter whether he condones the killing of Akhlaq or publicly condemns it. He is not going able to stop Hindus who hate Muslims and vice versa. To do that, it takes a leader of Gandhiji’s stature, and he is no Gandhiji.

    I would rather blame individuals such as yourself and myself, simply because we are failing to teach people about beef.

    Beef is linked to heart, cancer, and mad cow diseases. If the government bans cow sacrifice and eating of beef, it would need an army of law enforcers. If government allows the production of beef, then our society will pay for treating patients suffering from above diseases and for making sure that healthy cows are slaughtered. We as a society pay, no matter which option we select. This is true with all social ills: alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, tobacco, “gudaka”, etc.

    My personal view is simple: If we are not willing to respect sentiments and beliefs of different communities, in the name of freedom, then our multi-faith society may never live in peace.

    If an Indian Muslim agrees that beef is bad for health, bad for hygiene, hurts Hindus’ feelings then why not help save cows.

    • Well said on two counts:

      “He [Modi] came to power by knocking down his opponents, primarily Singh and the Gandhi family, not by telling us how he would solve our nation’s monumental problems.”

      “It takes a leader of Gandhiji’s stature, and Modi is no Gandhiji.”

  6. These incidents are nothing but trailers to what’s gonna come next!! Scary precedent. Time for BJP to get its act together and stop the whole concept of ban-this-ban-that.

  7. I may not be as prolific writer or intellectual like you Mr Rafat Javed but I want to express my disagreement to your views on many points in this article. But before that there are few things which I completely agree and even criticize more than you.Dr Mahesh Sharma made wrong statement and has a track record of irresponsible statements.
    Sir, but questioning the secular structure of the country and thinking to leave the country for this killing is utterly disgraceful. The death has pained the people of country at large including people from all sects and religious beliefs.Though many would cite it political agenda but leaders from all political parties have visited the family. I agree that what happened is wrong but can’t you see the coverage it is having among print,electronic and social media.So questioning the country or comparing the situation to post Babbri Demolition is way too harsh on my motherland. Where else would you find so much attention even after death to a family. Yes it is a sad reality that we all wake up after somebody is dead but its a global truth like Aylan Kurdi.Saying that India is not livable for muslims or you want to leave India on the pretext of this incident is not right.
    I request you to remove this article as you are not stating the truth as a journalist but speaking like a muslim fanatic.And last but not the least a personal suggestion.You may have lived in London for many years but trust me India is one of the best countries for the muslims to live as minority on this planet.So instead of writing such articles and making lame comments try to focus on positive things in this country and the world all over.

  8. Dear Rifat , struggle is of various types such as struggle with one`s ownself ,struggle with your money , struggle with your knowledge , struggle with your sword and struggle with your pen. By starting JANTA KA REPORTER you have started struggling with your knowledge and pen. You re going the right way. Till date you are not bought by a political party for their paid news. You show common people what they want to see or read. We are fed up of Indrani. we are fed up of Modiji`s foreign trips, of his photographs in daily newspapers. You go on telling news with a live conscience. ALMIGHTY will bless you Don`t leave the country. It belongs to patriots and honests like you. Media is a powerful weapon in your hands against injustice and falsehood .Dont be afraid of these communal forces One Rifat can afford to leave the country but what about the crores of danish who can not afford to leave a village even. All the best for your future ventures.

  9. I certainly am a lost Hindu seeing the medieval instincts promoted by BJP and their surprising swathe of followers who defend every hate speech.. Every murder.. I have given up on religion .. Another year for Modi .. And the Indian divide will be complete

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