-Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal
Indian Hindutva looks very close to criminal Zionism of Israel that brutally occupies Palestine, and unless the trend is checked legally, it could harm the nations and the entire world. If PM Modi is opposed to Hindus murdering Muslims in cow’s name, why can’t he initiate legal action against Hindutva fanatics, who eye Hindu vote banks, and end such crimes against humanity? Why?
India is often in the news for crimes against women and, according to government statistics, rape is reported every 15 minutes. More incidents remain unreported. Even reported cases go on for years in the courts before the guilty are punished, if at all, whereas when a cow is slaughtered or a Muslim caries beef, Hindu extremist groups immediately go and kill or beat up whoever they suspect of cow slaughter, or they bluff in order to kill Muslims for Hindu votes.
Zionism influences Hindutva
There is a saying in the world that “if you name who is your thick friend others would know who are” and as an emerging thick friend of absolute fanatic Israel, India cannot be entirely different. Both are fanatically pursuing colonialist policies to terrorize the masses of their colonies – Palestine and Kashmir, respectively.
Modern India for which leaders of the nation after the independence laid the secular and democratic foundation, is fast moving towards a fascist Hindutva format to catch up with Zionist Israel, among cruelest fanatic dispensations. Funnily the BJP led government of Narendra Modi deliberately plays dual roles in the promoting Hindutva establishment by maintaining a total silence over the communal atrocities on Muslims and other oppressed sections of the nation.
Guided by RSS, the BJP government of Modi takes revenge on Muslims to gain the sympathy and votes of majority Hindus. They believe if they get a major chunk of Hindutva votes, BJP and other Hindutva outfits can easily win the polls and they need to depend on Muslims or secular or democratic sections of India for winning elections. Moreover, they know Congress and other so-called secular parties have no real sympathy for Muslims and these parties get Muslim votes on the strength of their fear for Hindu communal elements targeting Muslims.
Right from the day of Indian independence in 1947 Muslims are being targeted by the criminal minded Hindus and politicians for Hindu votes but in recent years the phenomenon of anti-Muslimism has obnoxiously increased the risk for Muslims with state promoting Hindutva mentality against the fundamentals of a secular democracy. These Hindu criminal do not attack any Muslim criminals or frauds that they deliberately promote to terrorize Muslim community but only sincere and God abiding Muslims are the Hindutva victims.
Today, the Hindutva parties very dangerously used issues like Muslims, the patriotism of Muslims, Pakistan, mosque, etc. to come to power with Hindu votes.
Today, Indian political scene has reached a level where any Muslim could be killed straight away by Hindu criminal elements blaming for eating beef or buying a goat or cow. The ruling BJP and their media lords consider it an act of crime graver than killing a human or bombing the Parliament or a state assembly with Israeli cluster bombs.
Had PM Modi declared as he assumed power as Indian executive chief punitive measures for those Hindus who kill any Muslim or anyone from other minority communities that would have sent a clear message to Hindutva criminal elements in BJP to care for the legal system of India. But true to his past Hindutva credentials as CM of Gujarat state – in consideration of which he was made the PM candidate by BJP – Modi did not say a word of warning or punishment to Hindu criminals. He wanted to save the Hindu criminals who destroyed the Historic Babri Mosque by appointing Hindutva minded judges.
However, he says he feels sad that his Hindutva guys are kiting Muslims in place animals in his country.
That is indeed a positive development in Indian Hindutva criminal politics. This is significant because the former ruling Congress party which takes Muslim vote bank for granted has never expressed sympathy for Muslims or criticized the Hindutva elements for attacking the Muslims and never said a word of appreciation for Muslim contribution to Indian development and growth. In fact, it always insults Muslims.
Congress party promoted and wanted Hindus rule entire India both at the center and states and ensured that no Muslim emerges as a contender for CM in any state even in Kerala where Muslims are more than 30 percent at par with Hindus and Christians.
BJP made a Muslim president of India. But the then President APJ Abdul Kalam was hated by the Congress party and began siding with the Muslim leaders in the party, except those who can only be used as favorable vote bank managers to garner Muslims as vote bank material.
There cannot be two opinions that Indian PM Narendra Modi is a “proud” Hindu and a Hindutva fanatic but as PM Modi cannot openly propagate his Hindutva moorings or publicly ask Hindus to attack and kill Muslims. He lets his “people” do that, and he protects them as his prime duty as Indian PM. But he is doing everything indirectly to promote Hindutva and make Muslims the target of Hindutva criminal elements.
Of course, a basic RSS champion, Modi is not a Democrat or secularist. Modi came to the national scene only after his government killed Muslims just as revenge to appease the RSSBJP/VHP zealots.
Beef- a tasty meat!
Modi became Indian PM in 2014 not to promote Muslim interests in India or abroad. Like his predecessors from Congress party, Modi also supports millionaires’ interests inland and abroad. Hindutva Parliament gives him the necessary support to do whatever he wants, and he tours the world and creates problems for the people. PM Modi takes along with all top corporate lords in his foreign trips.
Hardcore Hindutva leaders want Modi to advance their interests, and he has so far done that religiously.
In recent months, the innocent looking and humble cow have become India’s most polarizing animal as Hindutva parties, upon their success in using the anti-Muslimism and hatred for Islam for promoting Hindu vote bank, have accelerated their Hindutva gimmicks to increase their Hindu vote share. The BJP insists that the animal is holy and should be protected. Cow slaughter is banned in several states; severe punishment has been introduced for offenders and parliament is considering a bill to bring in the death penalty for the crime.
Beef is global meat consumed by people belonging to all religions, and cow meat is also eaten by Indians and foreigners who like the taste of that animal meat. While vegetarian people don’t eat meat all, beef is a major and cheap meat consumed by most Indians, including Hindus. Hindus world over eat beef as their favorite dish in varieties and enjoy life. Also, the BJP vote bank promoters do not think beef is bad but to generate fear and hatred among Hindu voters toward Muslims, ask the party carders and other pro-RSS people to kill those Muslims in India who eat beef, though their target is Muslims and low caste Hindus and Christians, others.
A few politically charged fanatic Hindus, whose Hindutva imagination is boosted by Hindu god characters in movies, and brainwashed by Hindutva activists and Muslim haters, propagate the domestic animal cow as a “sacred animal” and cow slaughter is banned in several states by BJP governments.
Muslim slaughter is not banned anywhere in India because Hindutva criminal minded people want to kill Muslims to feel elated.
Modi, who came to the national scene by targeting Muslims in his Gujarat state, knows the Hindu communal elements want to destroy peace in the country. Like Jews, they promote violence culture in India. They have taken law, judges, and judiciary into their own hands and want the judges to deliver judgment according to toothier “notes” sent to the government. After demolishing historic Babri mosque as jungle beasts do, they say they won’t accept court decision on the destruction of Muslim property and place of Islamic worship.
Since Muslims are a minority and directly controlled by Hindu government and Hindu network, BJP thinks they can do anything to them. Gradually the RSS-BJP, a large fanatic family targeting Muslims and Islam, question the very existence of Muslims in India, questioning their patriotism, cricketism, food habits, etc. and threaten them with sedition laws. The TV media lords pronounce sedition and death sentences of those Muslims who eat beef.
That is food terrorism policy of RSS-BJP.
Like Capitalism and imperialism, fascism and its different tendencies are an option for the regimes. India is one those modern states that have opted for fascism in the palace of humanism.
Some rulers pretend they oppose these trends, but in fact, they indirectly promote them to stay in power. Modi’s continued silence on all anti-Muslim and anti-human operations of the party and its mother RSS gave the impression that he guides them from behind.
True, the Prime Minister in a tough message against mob lynching and killing in the name of the cow said such actions were not acceptable and warned that no one has the right to take the law into his hands. This is not the first time that Modi has commented on the cow vigilante groups. He had made similar comments earlier last August, but, interestingly, mob lynching of Muslims accused of eating beef or killing cattle have continued.
Just hours after PM Modi gave a strong statement against cow vigilantes, a Muslim Alimuddin alias Asgar Ansari accused of carrying beef was lynched to death in BJP-ruled Jharkhand’s Ramgarh district. IANS quoting police sources said Ansari was moving the “banned” meat in a Maruti van and was apprehended by a Hindutva mob belonging to BJP which attacked him brutally like wild beasts. His van was set on fire. According to reports, police personnel rescued Alimuddin from the murderous mob and rushed him to the hospital. But he couldn’t be saved. According to police, it is a case of ‘pre-meditated murder’ and people involved in beef trade plotted to kill him. The killers have been identified, as per police.
This is second such incidence of cow related violence in Jharkhand in a week. A Muslim was beaten up in Jharkhand after a dead cow was reportedly found outside his house. The incident took place in Beria Hatiatand village in Deori area of Giridih district, nearly 200 km from Ranchi. A Hindutva criminal mob also set the house of Usman Ansari on fire after they spotted the carcass of a cow. The victim has been injured and undergoing treatment. His condition is stable.
In a tough message against cow vigilantism and mob lynching, Narendra Modi said killing people on the pretext of protecting cows is not acceptable and warned that no one has the right to take the law into his hands. His statement on gau rakshaks: Words not enough, strict action required, says Opposition. Prime Minister Narendra Modi finally broke his silence on the killing of people in the name of gau bhakti (cow worship). Condemning the attacks, he said, “This is not something Mahatma Gandhi would approve.” His statement elicited some strong reactions from all quarters.
On June 29, 2017, Mamata Banerjee and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi also emphasized the need for action. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who could be the Opposition’s prime ministerial candidate for PM for the next elections, said, “Condemn killings in the name of gau Raksha, just words are not enough. Modi is trying to subvert democracy. The killings must stop now.”We condemn killings taking place in the name of gau Raksha. This must stop now. Just words, not enough.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi criticized Narendra Modi’s speech over cow vigilantes, saying that the statement was ‘too little too late.’ Gandhi wrote, “Too little too late. Words mean nothing when actions outdo them.” The prime minister must reaffirm that he believes in the founding values of the Indian state.” Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi, in a sarcasm-laced remark, said the “presence of Gandhiji’s living spirit in Sabarmati Ashram” must have affected Modi. “What he has said is right, but it should be followed by powerful action on the ground. All the perpetrators (of hate crimes) have to be caught and prosecuted, and the public’s confidence in (law and order) has to be revived,” Gandhi told IANS.
Will any fundamental change in Modi mind possible?
Critics of the government say that ever since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2014, RSS/BJP Hindutva forces began implementing the hidden agenda. Its cow protection vigilantes have carried out numerous attacks on Muslims and Dalits, for whom beef is a staple. Hindus and Christians also enjoy beef in different flavors. They have also criticized Modi for not doing enough to condemn the attacks. Nearly a dozen people have been killed in these attacks. Targets are often picked based on rumors and Muslims have been attacked for even transporting cows for milk.
On June 29 Modi told a gathering in his home state Gujarat that killing people in the name of cow protection was “not in keeping with the principles of India’s founding father, Mahatma Gandhi.” “As a society, there is no place for violence,” Modi said, adding that “no person has the right to take the law into his or her own hands.” But those criminals who have taken the law into their own dirty hands are free to operate in the country now.
However, it is indeed significant that for the first time in his life and career, Modi says something fundamentally against the RSS ideology by criticizing the Hindus who target Muslims in the name of cow and beef to garner Hindu votes. Since Congress and other so called “secular” parties like SP, JRD, BSP, etc. are also pro-Hindu and anti-Muslim parties; all these Hindu parties pretend to be sympathizing with Muslims just for their votes, and they are essentially anti-Islam. All these political parties and their leaders have betrayed Muslims; hit them both from behind and from the front. They see Muslims in India are powerless and hapless.
Possibly PM Modi uttered these words as one of his favored monologues called “man ki bat” while addressing a public meeting to mark the centenary of the Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati ashram in Ahmadabad, Modi said indulging in violence in the name of “gau bhakti” goes entirely against the ideals of the Father of the Nation. Voicing his concern on the spate of incidents of lynching and violence over cows’ protection, the prime minister said nothing would be achieved from such acts. “Today, I want to express my sadness and my pain, when I am here at the Sabarmati ashram,” he said. “This is a country which has the tradition of giving food to ants, street dogs, fish, a country where Mahatma Gandhi taught us lessons of non-violence. What has happened to us?” Modi asked. “If a patient dies due to an unsuccessful operation, relatives burn down hospitals and beat up doctors. The accident is an accident. When people die or are injured in the accidents, a group of individuals come together and burn vehicles,” he said, pointing out the prevalent trend among the people of taking the law into their hands, and the mob violence. “Nobody would have practiced cow protection and cow worship more than Mahatma Gandhi and (his follower) Vinoba Bhave. They showed us the way how to protect the cow. The country will have to adopt their way,” the prime minister said.
When in a surprising move, India’s Narendra Modi has said murder in the name of cow protection is “not acceptable.” The comments come just days after a Muslim teenager was brutally killed on a train by a group of Hindu men. He did not ask the concerned departments to book the Hindutva criminals. Soon thousands of Indians took part in protests against rising attacks on Muslims and Dalits (formerly untouchables) by vigilante groups. Similar protests under the banner #NotInMyName were held in several Indian cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Lucknow, and Allahabad, as well as in London. Gatherings are also planned for later in the week in Chennai city as well as in Toronto in Canada, Boston in the US, and Karachi in Pakistan.
Indians protest against targeting Muslims: Beef lynching
RSS-BJP hardcore leaders keep trying new tricks to trap Hindus and harm Muslims. Under Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist BJP, the cow has become a polarizing animal, and religious divisions are widening. Restrictions on the sale and slaughter of cows are fanning confusion and vigilantism.
Ever since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in the summer of 2014, vigilante cow protection groups have been emboldened, and there have been numerous attacks on Muslims and Dalits, for whom beef is a staple.
Nearly a dozen people have been killed in these attacks over the past two years. Targets are often picked based on unsubstantiated rumors, and Muslims have been attacked for even transporting cows for milk.
Possibly RSS believes Muslims should be slaughtered instead of animals. In India, Cow slaughter is banned in several Indian states that are now under the spell of extremist Hindutva moorings, and those found violating the law can be jailed for up to 10 years. Parliament under the control of Hindutva forces is also considering a bill to bring in the death penalty for the crime.
Nearly a dozen people have been killed in the past two years in the name of the cow. Targets are often picked based on unsubstantiated rumors, and Muslims have been attacked for even transporting cows for milk. Ghosh, who is from the eastern city of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), says he became aware of “this dangerous mix of religion and vote bank politics” only after he moved to Delhi a few years ago and that “this project is a silent form of protest that I think can make an impact”. So earlier this month, during a visit to New York, he bought the cow mask from a party shop and, on his return, began shooting for the series, taking pictures of women in front of tourist hotspots and government buildings, on the streets and in the privacy of their homes, on a boat and on a train, because “women are vulnerable everywhere”. “I photographed women from every part of society. I started the project from Delhi since the capital city is the hub of everything – politics, religion, even most debates start here. “I took the first photo in front of the iconic India Gate, one of the most visited tourist places in India. Then I photographed a model in front of the presidential palace, another on a boat in the Hooghly river in Kolkata with the Howrah Bridge as the backdrop.”
Two years ago, a mob killed farm worker Mohammed Akhlaq over “rumors” that his family had stored and eaten beef. Protests under the banner #NotInMyName are being organized in 16 Indian cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Lucknow, and Allahabad as well as in London on Wednesday. Gatherings are also planned for later in the week in Toronto, Boston, and Karachi. The protest at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar monument was expected to be the biggest, Ms. Dewan said.
Protests are taking place across India against rising attacks on Muslims and Dalits (formerly untouchables) by vigilante cow protection groups. About 2,000 people turned out in Delhi. Protests were also being held in 15 other cities as well as in London, protest organizer Saba Dewan said. The campaign, #NotInMyName, started with a Facebook post she wrote after a Muslim teenager was killed last week. Wednesday’s protests come amid reports that a Muslim dairy farmer in Jharkhand state was assaulted and his house was set on fire after the carcass of a cow was found at his door on Tuesday afternoon.
Crowds gathered at Jantar Mantar, a historical Delhi monument and popular venue for protests. Many of the 2,000 present held posters and banners saying “Not In My Name.” Others wondered if it is so easy to divide Indians by religion. On the stage, poets recited verses, and musicians sang songs of protest. Organizer Saba Dewan demanded that Indian citizens be protected, saying the right to life is non-negotiable. One young woman told me the murders were not how she wished to remember her country.
The protest organizers have alleged that the family of Junaid Khan, the 16-year-old Muslim boy brutally killed by a Hindu mob on a train last week, had not been able to attend because they were intimidated by the authorities.
A photography project which shows women wearing a cow mask and asks the politically explosive question – whether women are less valuable than cattle in India – has gone viral in the country and earned its 23-year-old photographer the ire of Hindu nationalist trolls.”I am perturbed by the fact that in my country, cows are considered more important than a woman, that it takes much longer for a female who is raped or assaulted to get justice than for a cow which many Hindus consider a sacred animal,” Delhi-based photographer Sujatro Ghosh told the BBC.
The project is “his way of protesting” against the growing influence of the vigilante cow protection groups that have become emboldened since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, came to power in the summer of 2014. “I’ve been concerned over the Dadri lynching [when a Muslim man was killed by a Hindu mob over rumors that he consumed and stored beef] and other similar religious attacks on Muslims by cow vigilantes,” Ghosh said.
The documentary filmmaker said she was “shattered” when she heard about last Thursday’s attack on 16-year-old Junaid Khan, who was killed by a mob of about 20 men on a train in the northern state of Haryana while returning home from Eid shopping in Delhi. Her anguished Facebook post has managed to galvanize a large number of Indians, with thousands pledging to participate in the protests. “The protest is against this systematic violence against Muslims and Dalits that is going on in our country at the moment,” Ms. Dewan said. “Junaid’s killing was a shattering moment for me, and also for a lot of other people. I started crying when I heard about his murder. “We’ve always been saying we should protest, but there’s been no leadership. So we decided to do this ourselves. How long can you keep waiting till the cows come home?” she added.
Two weeks ago when he launched the project on Instagram, the response was “all positive. It went viral within the first week, my good wishers and even people I didn’t know appreciated it.” But after the Indian press covered it and put out their stories on Facebook and Twitter, the backlash began. “Some wrote comments threatening me. On Twitter people started trolling me, some said I, along with my models, should be taken to Delhi’s Jama Masjid [mosque] and slaughtered, and that our meat should be fed to a woman journalist and a woman writer the nationalists despise. They said they wanted to see my mother weep over my body.”
Some people also contacted the Delhi police, “accusing me of trying to instigate riots and asking them to arrest me.” Ghosh is not surprised by the vitriol and admits that his work is an “indirect comment” on the BJP. “I’m making a political statement because it’s a political topic, but if we go deeper into the things, then we see that Hindu supremacy was always there, it has just come out in the open with this government in the past two years.”
The threats, however, have failed to scare him. “I’m not afraid because I’m working for the greater good,” he says. A positive fallout of the project going viral has been that he’s got loads of messages from women from across the globe saying they too want to be a part of this campaign. So the cow, he says, will keep traveling.
On 26 June 2017 a 15-year-old Muslim boy, returning home from Eid shopping with his three brothers, was killed in a brutal assault by a mob of about 20 men on a train in the north Indian state of Haryana. Police say that the reason for Junaid Khan’s murder – in which his three siblings were also injured by the knife-wielding mob – was mainly because of a row over seat space on the train. But a man arrested for being part of the crowd said on TV that he was goaded into it by others because Muslims ate beef. Shaqir, one of the surviving brothers, told reporters in the hospital that the attackers “flung our skull caps, pulled my brother’s beard, slapped us, and taunted us about eating beef.”
Hollow rhetoric without substance
Beef is a staple for Muslims, Christians and millions of low-caste Dalits (formerly untouchables) who have been at the receiving end of the violence perpetrated by the cow vigilante groups.
Yes, PM Modi must take action against those Hindutva criminals who kill Muslims or others only to get more Hindu votes. Ruling that the “state has been complicit in murders in the cow’s name,” Gandhi hoped that Modi’s statement should be the beginning of change. Janata Dal-United (JD-U) spokesman KC Tyagi said he does not see any substance in Modi’s remarks. “I don’t think the prime minister’s so-called warning to cow vigilantes has any meaning. The prime minister has spoken on cow vigilantism earlier too, but it has had little impact on the ground.In fact, every time he issues such advisory to gau rakshaks (cow vigilantes), the incidents of violence in the name of cow go up,” Tyagi told IANS.
Rashtriya Janata Dal spokesperson Manoj Jha said Modi’s words sound hollow. “He had made such delayed statements about the Rohith Vemula suicide and the Una incident (thrashing of Dalits) too. Did it stop? In fact, all sound and no substance regarding action has emboldened such vigilante groups. What this nation urgently requires is a robust legislation against mob lynchings,” Jha said.
Protests were held in several cities across India under the banner of “#NotInMyName” to protest against the mob lynching. Manisha Kayande of Shiv Sena said Modi’s statement has come late but is welcomed. She has said that though Modi had made a similar statement earlier, there is a need for strict action now. “Modi gave a clear message to his people… Since the BJP government has come to the Centre, all this is happening. Who are they to kill in the name in the name of cow protection? We know who is provoking them and which party is behind them,” Kayande said.
Girish Karnad, a 79-year-old playwright, and film director said Modi should instead be talking to the people within the BJP who have made life difficult for cattle traders. “What’s the point of the prime minister preaching to us?” Karnad asked. “He should be preaching to his party men, to those who have created this problem in the first place.” Asaduddin Owaisi, chief of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, said that the prime minister’s words wouldn’t have the desired action. Gau rakhshaks get direct support from BJP, Sangh.” D Raja, CPI national secretary said that the prime minister has broken his silence after long. PM statement is mere lip service as there has been slip between cup & lip: Asaduddin Owaisi
Failure of India’s political imagination: Beef lynching
What officers in the city of Malegaon in Maharashtra, one of India’s most populous states, are doing in an attempt to enforce its new beef ban. “We are keeping the photographs for verification purposes only,” one policeman said. “If someone alleges that some illegal activity has taken place and if the owner has a photo, it will be easy to establish the truth.” I’m not sure that’s right. How do you match a steak with a photo of a cow? To be fair, this is a tough law to enforce. You’d pretty much have to catch the newly criminalized butchers with their hands in a cow carcass – literally “red-handed” – to be certain of conviction. That’s because, without DNA analysis or a very refined palate, it is hard to tell the difference between beef and buffalo meat.
Criminalized Hindus don’t want any proof in order to kill Muslims.
Photographs are morphed too.
Unfortunately for India’s buffaloes, they aren’t regarded as close enough to God to deserve protection. Buffalo is banned in just one of the country’s 29 states.
Beef, meanwhile, is already banned in most of Hindutva-BJP minded northern and western India, and there are partial bans in most of the rest of the country.
There is an economic issue in tightening the laws. The Hindu majority – 80% of the country’s 1.2 billion people – regards cows as divine; the 180 million-strong Muslim minority sees them as a tasty meal. Many Muslims see the extension of the beef ban as evidence of an assault on one of the fundamental principles on which independent India was founded – secularism.
The BJP’s tallest party leader and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has repeatedly reasserted his commitment to secularism, yet the party has supported the clamp down on beef in Maharashtra. That’s why while the idea of cow mug shots may be amusing, the beef ban is deadly serious.
Vigilante cow protection groups, operating with impunity, have killed people for transporting cattle. Muslim men have been lynched by Hindu mobs, mostly in BJP-ruled states, for allegedly storing beef and, in one case, for helping a mixed-faith couple elope.
Many are wondering whether India is hurtling towards a “mobocracy” under Modi’s watch. They also question the prime minister’s silence over the killings. There is a sense of a rapid breakdown of law and order when it comes to protecting minorities.
The police at the railway station in BJP-ruled Haryana failed to save the teenager. The local police station chief told The Times of India newspaper that they could not rescue the boy because of the criminal crowd. “Such things happen. Whenever there is a riot or fight such things happen and people say some communal things, but we can’t do anything,” he said.
The ultra fanatic chief minister of BJP-ruled Rajasthan, where 55-year-old dairy farmer Pehlu Khan was lynched in April, offered condolences over his “demise” without mentioning the fact that he had been murdered. A BJP lawmaker said he had “no regret” over the killing because Khan was a “cow-smuggler.”
The spate of mob murders is earning a bad name both for Hinduism and Modi’s government. “India is slipping beyond the pale. It is unfathomable that the ancient Hindu horror at the taking of life, any life – the very same doctrine of ahimsa, or non-violence, that governed the beliefs of men like Mahatma Gandhi and the Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr – should in our time be used as a justification for murder,” noted author Aatish Taseer, writing in The New York Times.
The Economist magazine has suggested that under Modi debate about communal relations has “atrophied.”
But India’s senior most bureaucrat in charge of law and order, Rajiv Mehrishi, has instead accused the media of “over reporting” the murders-incidents. “I don’t think the hate crime is new in India. It is feudal. Today, they shake the conscience. You cannot say lynching or hate crimes are something new. I think they are over hyped and over reported,” he said.
To be sure, hate crimes are not new to India. The crisis of violence is not unique to the country either – many point to the US, where there are high rates of gun crime.
And mob lynching is also not new to India. Hundreds of people – more than 630between 1982 and 1984 alone – were murdered by mobs during the three-decade-long Communist rule in West Bengal. The reckless vigilantism was blamed in part on political oppression and appalling law and order. Interestingly, there was little public outrage.
On the day of Junaid Khan’s killing, a Muslim police officer was beaten to death by a Muslim mob outside the main mosque in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian-administered Kashmir.
Earlier this month a Muslim activist was allegedly murdered by overzealous government officials after he objected to them taking pictures of women defecating in the open. India has a shambolic record when it comes to religious violence. It ranks fourth worst in the world for religious intolerance, according to a recent Pew Research Centre analysis.
Women are routinely branded as witches and lynched to death for property in vast areas of the country. There are also high rates of domestic violence. But the problem with Modi’s government, say many, is that it is seen as ineffective – or unwilling – to rein in the thuggish Hindu mobs. It is, in the words of sociologist Shiv Visvanathan, a “politics of insecurity and anxiety” which is leading to anarchy even as the “state watches lynching as a spectacle”.
Many wonder whether India is staring into a dangerous abyss when a government with a majority led by an influential leader refuses to condemn hate crimes, and a vast number of citizens stay silent or appear to support it privately.
A lawyer tweeted that he had “family elders supporting [the lynching]. Took me great self-control to avoid anger”.
Why is there a lack of outrage outside a handful of journalists, teachers, and activists? Have most Indians become inured to violence and intolerance?
On Wednesday, countrywide protests are being planned against such “targeted” murders.
What many Indians who choose to remain silent do not realize is that small-scale and large-scale violence are intimately connected. The perpetuation of hate crimes can easily lead to wider violence. “Every act of violence that you tolerate without protest brings it a step closer to your doorstep. It is because small violence is tolerated that great violence is rendered possible,” writes Sudipta Kaviraj from Columbia University.
It is a warning India ignores again and again.
Modi government’s food fascism
A lawmaker from India’s southern state of Kerala has announced that he is returning to eating meat, beef inclusive, fish and eggs after practicing vegetarianism for nearly two decades. There’s nothing unusual about a lapsed vegetarian, but VT Balram said his decision was prompted by the federal Hindu nationalist BJP government’s attempt to seize the people’s right to eat what they wanted. “I have been living without eating meat, fish or eggs since 1998. But now the time has come break it and uphold the right politics of food assertively,” Balram said while posting a video of him eating beef with friends and fellow party workers.
The BJP believes that cows should be protected because they are considered holy by India’s majority Hindu population. Some 18 Indian states have already banned the slaughter of cattle. But millions of Indians, including Dalits (formerly untouchables), Muslims and Christians, consume beef. And it’s another matter, say many, that there’s no outrage against the routine selling of male calves by Hindu farmers and pastoralists to middlemen for slaughter as the animals are of little use – bullocks have been phased out by tractors in much of rural India, and villagers need to rear only the occasional bull.
The government, then run by Akhilesh Yadav, appeared to buy peace on the cheap. Yadav flew out Akhlaq’s family to the state capital, Lucknow, upped compensation for the family for the third time since the incident and assured them justice and security. The Aam Aadmi Party’s Arvind Kejriwal’s foray into the village, again nearly a week after the incident, accused the police of trying to stop him from entering the village and then, and attacked other parties for “indulging in vote bank politics.” Been there, heard that. The state appears to have withered away under Akhilesh Yadav rule, and incidents of religious clashes and crime are on the rise.
The opposition parties have done no better. Rahul Gandhi, the heir-apparent of the enfeebled 129-year-old Congress party, visited Akhlaq’s family nearly a week after the incident. He put out half-a-dozen anodyne tweets, saying “touched by the desire of the villagers to maintain harmony” and that this “spirit will help the country through tough times.” It was almost if this “politics of naiveté and adolescence,” Gandhi’s politics, had abdicated from its responsibility of shoring up bipartisan secular support against the poison of communalism, and left it to the people to fend for themselves. This is all India’s Grand Old Party could manage.
Cow a polarizing animal
Ironically, the cow has become a polarizing animal. Two years ago, a mob attacked a man and killed him over “rumors” that his family ate beef. Vigilante cow protection groups, operating with impunity, have killed people for transporting cattle. More recently, the chief of BJP’s powerful ideological fountainhead Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (National Volunteers’ Organisation) has called for a countrywide ban on the slaughter of cows. And this week, a senior judge said the cow should be declared a national animal and people who slaughter cows should be sentenced to life in prison.
Many say this is all contributing to actually killing India’s thriving buffalo meat trade.
Earlier this week, several Indian states opposed the federal government’s decision to ban the sale of cattle for slaughter at livestock markets. The government said the order was aimed at preventing uncontrolled and unregulated animal trade.
But the ban, say many, could end up hurting some $4bn (£3.11bn) in annual beef exports and millions of jobs. There are some 190 million cattle in India, and tens of millions “go out of the system” – die or need to be slaughtered – every year. How will poor farmers sell their animals?
So, as lawyer Gautam Bhatia says, the new rules are “perceived as imposing an indirect beef ban.” He believes the government will find it difficult to defend them if they are challenged in the court – one state court, responding to a petition that they violate the right of a person to chose what he eats, has already put the ban on hold.
The badly-drafted rules, Mr. Bhatia says, are “an opportunity for citizens and courts to think once again whether the prescription of food choices is consistent with a Constitution that promises economic and social liberty to all.”
Critics have been calling the beef ban an example of “dietary profiling” and “food fascism.” Others say it smacks of cultural imperialism and is a brazen attack on India’s secularism and constitutional values. Don’t laugh, but there could be a conspiracy to turn India vegetarian, screamed a recent headline.
Many believe that the BJP, under Narendra Modi, appears to be completely out of depth with India’s widely diverse food practices which have always been distinguished by religion, region, caste, class, age, and gender.
Indians now eat more meat, including beef – cow and buffalo meat – than ever. Consumption of beef grew up 14% in cities, and 35% in villages, according to government data analyzed by IndiaSpend, a non-profit data journalism initiative.
Beef is the preferred meat in north-eastern states like Nagaland and Meghalaya. According to National Sample Survey data, 42% Indians describe themselves as vegetarians who don’t eat eggs, fish or meat; another baseline government survey showed 71% of Indians over the age of 15 are non-vegetarian.
Governments have tried to impose food bans and choices around the world, mostly using health and environment concerns and hygiene concerns.
In the US, for example, groups have rallied against subsidized vegetables, outlawing large sodas, promotion of organic food and taxing fat. Bangkok is banning street food to clean up streets and enforce hygiene standards.
India has done the same in the past. Crops like BT brinjal have been stalled by the government, and industrially manufactured food like Maggi noodles banned temporarily amid claims they contained dangerously high levels of lead. Scarcity has also resulted in bans – a ban of milk sweets in the 1970s in Delhi was justified because milk used to be in short supply.
To the extent that this ban on cattle slaughter justifies itself by speaking of ‘unfit and infected animals,’ it seems to invoke public health, but then stops short by not banning the sale of goats, sheep, and chicken as well,” sociologist Amita Baviskar told me. “In fact, the public health argument leads logically to a move towards better regulation like stricter checking of animals for disease, more hygienic slaughter and storage of meat rather than a flat-out ban.”
The ban appears to be working already.
India, now controlled by right wing Hindutva nationalist party, has been, since it came to power in 2014, pushing for a Hindutva state just like its Zionist ally Israel has already embarked upon an extremist Jewish state in Israel. While PM Modi keeps silence on the crucial issues and Hindu-Muslim conflict over the lynching of Muslims over beef, the BJP, and other Hindutva extreme factions keep attacking Muslims and speak ill of Islam.
The Hindutva criminal elements are sure that BJP and other Hindu parties can service in state assemblies sand Parliament only if Muslims, Kashmiris, are brutally targeted, and Pakistan is shown as enemy number one of India and Hindus. Indian core media just obey the Hindutva leaders for business cum Hindutva reasons.
The meat-eating habits of Indians have been changing rapidly in the last couple of decades and the chicken, once regarded as a “dirty bird” eating all sorts of things on their ways, is now the most popular meat. Long queues are there in the evening in front of places that serve chicken and roti, etc. Also, there is a greater polarization occurring between red states (meat-eating) and white states (chicken eating). Within the white states, meat-eaters will have to skulk about, looking over their shoulder as they bite into a beef kebab”.
Rich alone can afford highly costly mutton. Beef is significantly cheaper than chicken and fish and is part of the staple diet for many Muslims, tribal people, and Dalits – the low caste Indians who used to be called untouchables. It is also the basis of a vast industry which employs or contributes to the employment of millions of people. But, as with so much conflict in the world, the real reason the ban is such a sensitive issue here is religion.
The rss-bjp duo continues to discover new themes to target Muslims. Selling red meat, even goat meat, in BJP-ruled states, is dangerous now and injurious to one’s health. Who would want to risk the wrath of the vigilantes?
Mohammad Akhlaq, an ironsmith, was killed in his village in Dadri in Uttar Pradesh, barely 50km (31 miles) from the Indian capital. His 22-year-old son Danish was seriously injured in the attack. Another son, Mohammad Sartaj, who works as a technician with the Indian Air Force, survived the attack because he does not live in the village.
What does the aftermath of the lynching of a 50-year-old Muslim man by a criminal Hindu mob over rumors that his family had been consuming beef say about political imagination in India?
Lynching a person merely on suspicion that he or she may have eaten beef is a serious crime, the antithesis of all that India stands for and all that Hinduism preaches”, almost implying that lynching a person. Sedition law should be slapped onto those who kill humans for eating beef because they violate Indian Constitution that protects minority rights.
Hindutva criminals that seek to control the judiciary argue that any Indian living in India who has consumed beef should be killed by Hindus and law and their beef crime does not deserve to be condoned.
The main problem with India is the regime supports everything that the Hindutva criminals do. Secularism in India means something a little different from elsewhere. It doesn’t mean the state stays out of religion, here it means the state is committed to supporting different religions equally. Hindutva people are anti-democracy and anti-secularism because they are anti-Muslim. They are responsible for the partition of India and murder of the father of the Nation. Cruelly, they are still active to destroy the unity of nation and people.
India’s secularism was a response to Hindutva maneuverings and horrors of the partition when millions of people were murdered by Hindus and Muslims fled their homes. The country’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, argued equal treatment was a reasonable concession to the millions of Muslims who’d decided to risk all by staying in India. But India is now governed by a Hindu nationalist party, the BJP. It sees India as a Hindu nation.
India’s triumph has been in forging a nation in which Hindus and Muslims can live happily together. But RSS is opposed to peace. The fear is that the beef ban is part of a state process that is gradually undermining not just the compromises of a genuine nation that made that possible but insulted the Constitution of India which guarantees the protection of minorities and their belongings in this country, which is indeed is a serious Sedition case for life imprisonment. When Hindus violate Constitution their own by employing Muslims- they should be punished.
The reaction to Dadri indeed points to a larger failure of India’s political imagination cutting across national and regional political spectrum. India’s democracy – a gift which has kept the diverse country together – appears to be all about winning elections alone by hook and crook. Every party sees every issue as a political opportunity. There is this obsession with electoral politics alone. Electoral democracy has become anti-democracy. Electoral politics has become obscene in India. This is the view of many critics.
The fact that Akhlaq’s last call for help was to a Hindu friend before the mob descended on his house and that some Hindu families in the village moved many of their Muslim neighbors to safety also offer hope. This proves that India’s armed forces remain resolutely secular and most of its people – despite the fact that many in Akhlaq’s village showed no remorse after the incident – remain plural, notwithstanding media menace. But the politicians know how to poison the minds of people of all walks of life in a single stroke of rhetoric.
The poverty of political imagination did not end with Modi’s silence and media articles from Hindutva cynics.
High caste Mahesh Sharma, the federal culture minister, and local MP visited the dead man’s family and said that the “murder took place as a reaction to that incident,” alluding to rumors of cow slaughter in the area. Sharma reminded reporters that there was a teenage girl – Akhlaq’s daughter – in the home, and nobody had touched her as if India’s women should be eternally grateful for such small mercies.
Hindutva criminals have taken the law into their own hands. And, BJP party lawmaker Sangeet Som, visited the victim’s village and stoked religious tensions by saying Hindus were capable of giving a “befitting reply” if innocent members of the community were “framed” for the murder. No Hindutva guy should be punished under law!!!
BJP and like-minded Hindu communal parties thrive in India because of lack of honesty and sincerity on the part of the political class, ably supported by executive and judiciary. Media lords try to fish in troubled waters and make maximum profits.
India needs to fix its dysfunctional democracy. On the one hand, it needs more but credible democracy, but the idea of freedom cannot begin and end with elections alone. Until that happens, lives like Mohammad Akhlaq’s will continue to be lost because of, say, the politics of food. Will India’s corrupt and anti-Muslim parties please stand up?
One wonders in which direction the Hindu leaders led by Hindutva BJP and soft Hindutva Congress and other so-called “secular” parties along with their Muslims vote bank managers take India?
A week into the horrific incident in his backyard, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, usually so active on social media, has maintained a studied silence. He has expressed his “gratitude to American people” for their hospitality during his recent trip to the USA, feels indebted to the Jewish pork with which he was offered sumptuous dinners in Israel; he greeted a cabinet colleague and a governor on their birthdays, offered his condolences on the death of a singer’s son and congratulated a billiards champion on his prolific Twitter feed. Not a word on Akhlaq. Modi’s soundlessness on Dadri is the “silence of indifference which becomes obscene because it denies dignity to the victim.” Modi is not a BJP leader alone, he is now PM of entire India.
Later on July 16, speaking at a BJP meeting in New Delhi, PM Narendra Modi said cow vigilantism should not be given political or communal color. Modi speaks out against lynching in the name of cow protection again, asks states to take strict action
So, a big statement has come from the big boss, PM Narendra Modi again amid ongoing controversies over cow vigilantism in various regions of the country. PM Narendra Modi asked all the states to take strict action against those violating law in the name of cow protection. “The cow vigilantism should not be given political or communal color; the nation doesn’t benefit from it, said Modi at the meet. Also, PM Modi said that the “belief” that cow is like ‘mother, ‘ but this should not let people take law into their own hands.
Those who worship cow do not let the animal stay in their bed rooms but let stay in dirty places behind the house. Briefing the media after all party meets, Union Minister Ananth Kumar said, “PM said that strict action would be taken against such people (gau rakshak violence). According to news agency ANI, PM Modi also asked various parties and states to take action against corrupt leaders. PM Modi has asked all parties and states to cooperate in the probe against corrupt leaders.
But how sincere he is in his rhetoric remains to be seen!
. Will the RSS and BJP sanyasis let Modi have his final say over Hindutva illegal operations in democratic and secular India?
Earlier, a day ahead of the start of the Monsoon session of Parliament, the CPI (M) said it would raise the issue of cow vigilantism in the House and demand the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill. CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury told reporters here there were 16 bills listed by the government in what was perhaps going to be the shortest Monsoon session.
Modi became famous in BJP and RSS because of his Hindutva actions. He never opened his mouth so far even his so-called “man ki baat” – regular twitter feature about his thoughts, and only now he opened his mind. This is indeed a fantastic monolog by India’s Hindutva leader cum PM.
But how sincere is he about what he says? Will he take action against the Hindutva criminal elements that do all this to force Hindus to vote for BJP and like-minded Hindutva parties?
That is the trillion dollar question!