A feeling of unease and insecurity is creeping in among Muslims in India, Vice President Hamid Ansari recently said as a parting shot on demitting office. He joined chorus with an ever growing number of leaders who have expressed concerns over attacks on minorities on various occasions He spoke in a befitting manner on the last day of his office. He very well seemed right to the core.
By Abdul Hafiz Lakhani
Ever since October 2015 when Mohamed Akhlaq of Dadri village was lynched by an unruly mob of cow vigilantes, terribly shocking incidents continue to haunt the people of this country. More than 30 incidents had taken place during the past three years. The states like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh had witnessed such gruesome murders. The most shocking of all these is the incident that took place in Ballabgarh Railway Station on 22nd June 2017.
Hafiz Junaid, a 17-year-old Madrasa student, who had gone to Delhi with his brothers for shopping for Eid-al-Fitr festival was mercilessly murdered by a gang of hooligans in the Delhi-Mathura train. The hooligans, who resorted to this inhuman violence, earlier used to give imaginary reasons that the victims were in possession of beef; ferrying cows for slaughter, stealing children and cows, etc.
But in the case of Junaid and his brothers the charge made against them by the attackers was that of beef eaters. Now the food habit of beef eating itself has become a punishable crime for these anti-social elements who have taken the law in their own hands.
But this horrific incident in Haryana of Junaid killing has shaken the conscience of the right thinking people of the country and abroad. Huge number of protesters against this savage culture of mob lynching held marches in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Bangaluru, and other cities. Earlier, on the Day of Eid-al-Fitr Muslims of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Haryana went for prayer wearing black bands on their arms. This is how they exhibited their anger and agony against the Junaid incident.
Merely paying lip service by the Prime Minister Is not enough in curbing the growing incidents of killing of people in the name of cow vigilantism, the custodian of the constitutional rights of the people is sordidly silent over these sad shocking incidents.
The situation in India is worsening day by day. Attacks on opposition political parties, and Dalits and Muslims, and all those who raise voice against government have become common in a nation which was proud about its constitution. India is traversing through the most dangerous phase after independence because of the massive penetration of Sanghi fascism,
The leaders of BJP and its allies add more fuel to the fire that is ravaging the minorities. Goa transport minister Dhavalikar had stated, “We will not keep quiet if cows are harmed”. In a meeting of Hindu outfits in Goa, Sadhvi Saraswati remarked. “Beef eaters should be hanged”. Earlier this year, Raman Singh, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, said, “Anyone found killing cows in his state will be hanged.” “The notorious gaurakshak leader Satish Kumar continues to propagate that “protection of all cows can only be achieved by killing all killers of cows”
The BJP rulers should have strongly condemned these perpetrators of panic in the society. But the Government of India has encouraged these people by issuing the notification for regulating the animal markets in the country. This draconian bundle of rules have not only spoiled the life of the farming sector but emboldened the so called cow vigilantes, who take revelry in butchering the innocent minorities and Dalits.
The Minority Commission of India is keeping mum over these most inhuman attacks and killings of the members of the minority community, and total inaction, apathy and tacit support to the violent gangs by the government. Furthermore, the news reports say that the Government of India has stopped asking for reports from the state governments about these savage mob lynching incidents. This is most unfortunate development in the governance of the country. Right thinking people have strongly condemned these diabolic destroyers of peace, harmony and coexistence in the country.
The Government of India should direct all the state governments concerned to take stringent action against the perpetrators of violence and hooliganism. The families of the victims of this violence should be given an adequate compensation of Rs. one crore to the kin of all those who have lost their lives at the hands of gaurakshaks at the earliest. The notification issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests on 23rd May 2017 regulating the animal markets in the country should be withdrawn forthwith. The 20 crore Muslims of India should be determined to uphold the unity and integrity of the country to promote the communal amity and preserve the cultural identities of the people of India.
Muslims also believe in the Holy Prophet’s (SAW) decree “Hubbul Watani Nisful Imaan” (Love of the motherland remains part of the divine belief). They also never forget “Sare Jahan Se Achha Hindustan Hamara” (India is the best of the countries in the world). In order to secure to everyone in the nation peace of mind and tranquillity of heart let us all be the saviours of secularism in pursing of one’s own religion and respect of all other religions in our Motherland India.
Reacting about the statement of Vice President Hamid Ansari, Vadodara based civil rights activist Dr. J. S. Bandukwala told that Hamid Ansari has done a great service to the country and to its plural traditions. “I fully agree with his comments that there is considerable uneasiness among the Muslims of India. The last three years have seen a spate of communal attacks on Muslims. Many have been killed in almost brutal manner. There is a continuous assault on our traditions, and our heritage. I am convinced the RSS / BJP wants a Muslim Mukht Bharat. How do you remove 200 million people from the country? The answer lies in just making them stateless, as the Myanmar has done with the Rohingya community. The manner in which the Modi Government has handled the Kashmir issue is most painful. We Muslims in India, do feel their very strongly about their pain and tragedy. We reaffirm our faith in the India of Gandhi and Nehru. Most important we have faith in our Allah, and are confident that we will come out of this fascist attack, with our dignity and honour,” said Dr. Bandukwala.
“Hamid Ansari felt that he, as a Vice President of the country, is the one who represents all its citizens and not only the Muslim community, and so he wisely and rightly chose not to comment on the existing climate of intolerance. Once he laid down the office of Vice President, he became an Indian Muslim and the Muslimism in him prompted him to speak about the growing intolerance. His speech was, in fact, an eruption of a volcano long suppressed and it should be appreciated by lovers and upholders of secular democracy and rule of law. No offence was meant and so none need be taken unnecessarily,” said Chennai based S.M.Pasha, Convener, Bharathiya Jaannisaar Party.
[Abdul Hafiz Lakhani is a senior Journalist based at Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He is Editor of Gujarat Siyasat, and regularly contributes to India’s First Online Muslim Newspaper “IndianMuslimObserver.com”. He can be reached at email@example.com or on his cell +91-9228746770]