By Arshad Alam, New Age Islam
08 December 2018
After Yogi Adityanath talked of some kind of a
conspiracy behind the recent mob violence in Bulandshahr, his top cop also said
that the police are pretty much probing the conspiracy angle. The violence that
we are referring to occurred in the city couple of days back when a frenzied
mob, led by local Bajrang Dal leader, attacked a police station and partly burnt
it down. In the ensuing violence, the SHO and another youth named Sumit (who
was part of the mob) were killed. Videos have emerged which show the SHO
slumped in his official vehicle and it appears that he was shot from close
quarters. The police have arrested some persons, but the main accused, the Bajrang
Dal Leader is on the run. Also, police have started questioning Muslims who
have been named in the complaint by the same Bajrang Dal leader.
Even if we grant that all this is a conspiracy, how
does this absolve the Yogi government and his administration from the
responsibility of maintaining law and order in the state? It appears that the
minute you say conspiracy, you will automatically not be asked questions. The
problem is that questions will still be asked: not just because Yogi is the CM,
but also because the violence has been committed by one of the many sister
organizations of the ruling party. In his attempt to announce a big conspiracy,
he even failed to congratulate his own police for their valour and sacrifice
for it was they who brought the situation under control. This certainly looks
like a conspiracy but then not of the kind the CM of Uttar Pradesh is talking
Questions must be raised at the timing of finding the
cow carcass. We know that the city was hosting the annual Ijtema of the Tablighi Jamaat, in which around 10-12 lakh Muslims participated.
The timing of finding the carcass is therefore too much of a coincidence. Just
a day ago, Bulandshahr was a shining example of pluralism when the locals allowed
Muslims to pray in the courtyard of a Shiva temple. Was this incident calculated
to break any emerging brotherhood between Hindus and Muslims?
Also, there are some reports which suggest that the
SHO was on the radar of Hindu outfits for some years now. He is the same
officer who was probing the Akhlaq lynching during the Akhilesh Yadav
government. Questions must be asked under what circumstances he was taken off
the case. Is it that he was not giving in to the demands of certain sections to
take the probe in a particular direction. It has also come to light that the
local unit of the ruling party had been demanding his transfer for some months
now. A letter has reportedly surfaced which the local ruling party MLAs wrote
to the Member of Parliament from the area Bhola Singh. In this letter, local
leaders accused him of creating obstacles in Hindu religious functions. It is
entirely possible that local political resentment was building up against the
SHO Subodh Kumar and that he might have been killed because of this reason. But
then, rather than probing all possible angles in this case, the CM has been
quick to paint the murder as an ‘unfortunate incident’.
Moreover, we still do not know how the carcass ended
up in an open field, adjacent to the highway which was to be used by Tablighis
for returning home. Then of course is the question that the incident comes very
close to the right wing annual celebration of demolition of the Babri mosque in
Ayodhya as Shaurya Divas (Day of Bravery). Probably the CM and UP DGP are right
in probing a conspiracy angle. But then it seems that they are looking at the
issue with a pre-determined mind-set. CM Yogi said in no uncertain terms that
strict action should be taken against those who have allegedly indulged in the
slaughter of cows. But then he decided to keep quite on the issue of mob
violence which killed his own policeman. Is this silence because the
perpetrators were members of a right wing Hindu organization?
There is nothing new about this: he has been similarly
silent on a spate of mob lynching which have targeted Muslims. It is now more
or less clear that not only will the issue of alleged cow slaughter take
precedence the lynching of a police officer, but also that the parameters of
the conspiracy seem to have already been laid out. It should not surprise
anyone if the police eventually find out that the alleged conspirators in this
case turn out to be Muslims or some opposition political outfit.
What else can be expected of the present CM? After
all, before he became the CM, he has been the harbinger of anti-Muslim tirade. His
Hindu Yuva Vahini terrorised Muslim youths who were often falsely accused of
love jihad. With impunity, they could barge into any private space and beat up
young couples, especially when the boy happened to a Muslim. The whole episode
used to be filmed and circulated on the social media so as to humiliate Muslims
and also as a masculine marker of Hindu victory. His organization was disbanded
after he became the chief minister (mostly under the pressure of RSS) but it is
entirely possible that these youth are now working in other similar
organizations with the sole purpose of whipping up anti-Muslim hate. Whether it
is Hindu vigilantism or cow protection, both are essentially designed to
otherise and demonise Muslims.
Cow has been revered by certain section of both Hindus
and Muslims for centuries. Even today, we will find many Gaushalas which are run by Muslims. However, It is equally true that
sections of Hindus and Muslims did not consider the cow as sacred. Consumption
(and non-consumption) of beef has historically been more of a class and caste issue
rather than a religious issue in this country. Historians like Dharam Pal have argued
that consumption of beef was first popularised by the British in India as they
needed it for their troops. But then, a certain kind of politics emerged which
made the cow synonymous with an emerging Hindu nation.
The Muslim became the perpetual and potential other,
always suspected of being beef eaters and therefore potential outsiders. Nothing
much has changed between then and now: cow has been made as the symbol of creating
difference between Hindus and Muslims. Cow has become the weapon to target Muslims.
No one asks any question from those involved in lynching; rather the onus is on
the Muslim to prove that they do not eat beef. And all this in a context where
beef is banned in majority of Indian states.
Let us not fool ourselves with the arrests that have
so far been made in the case. Ministers of the Yogi government have already
started defending the Bajrang Dal. Had Muslims been killed in this incident,
the whole narrative of the government would be different. Those lauding the
government for controlling the situation forget that among those questioned are
minor Muslim boys aged 11 and 12. Those named in the FIR either do not exist or
have moved to different cities years ago.
How is that even before the carcass has not been sent
for any forensic analysis, there is already a consensus that the meat was that
of a cow and not some other animal? A thorough forensic analysis will also
determine the timing of the alleged slaughter. If the alleged slaughter took
place days ago, then it is a clear cut case that the carcass was brought from
someplace else and dumped in the field with the express intention of creating
Hindu Muslim riot.
A section of the Hindu mind rationalised the killing
of Akhlaq by turning around and asking the question: but why did he have to do
that (consume beef)? This seems to be becoming the common-sense of average
Hindu: guilt must be apportioned to Muslims even in the absence of any fact on
the ground. This has been the singular contribution of Yogi government during
his tenure. But he should not forget that once mob fury is ignited it cannot be
controlled all the time. There will come a time when the mob will devour
everyone; including the ones who were leading it. Bulandshahr should constantly
remind him of this fact.
Arshad Alam is a columnist with NewAgeIslam.com
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Our purpose is to eliminate hate. Hate can’t be eliminated but by way of love, tolerance and friendly manner.
Sometimes it is seen that people of one religion regard religions of others as preachers of hate and xenophobia and thereby feeling superiority that their religion does not preach the same as others’ do. Depth analysis and thorough understanding of religions make us believe that any religion of the world can be used for misuse.
So blaming any religion will not help eliminate hate. Instead it will increase hate.
“What can be done to eliminate this hate?”
Asks Ghulam (Mr.Siddiqi)
Hate is one of our base human instincts.
We use it as a tool to promote supremacy, whereas animals use it for
survival. Even small sacred people hate.
Social networks designed to connect friends turnout to be designed to create
enemies. In a religious country like India, which is famous for meditation,
Yoga and inner spiritual experience, where is the love? Why is there hardly any
grassroots movement to re-instil kindness, respect and civility?
Promoting love all around can eliminate
hate, not hundred percent but to a good extent. For instance, when Idi Amin
shot through the mouth of the Archbishop of Uganda, a majority Christian
country, there was no violence. Assistant bishop requested the people to pray
for Idi Amin to bring good governance. When a Muslim youth Mohamet Accai shot
four times at the Pope John Paul four times from a close range, there was no
violence against Muslims throughout the world. All prayed for the Pope and he
I have no doubt that Modi and Yogi are
beautiful children in the eyes of God, though they childishly advocate things
that create dissension and hate.
Almost 99 percent of all Nobel laureates
are beef eaters. Is beef eating anything to do with spiritual aspects of
things. Does it matter to the Lord of the universe, whether we go to McDonalds
or a vegetarian restaurant?
Scripture says “For the Kingdom of God is
not a matter of eating and drinking but righteousness, peace and joy in the
Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).