By Dr. Aslam Abdullah, TMO Editor-in-Chief
While the mob under the leadership of Hindus belonging to RSS and BJP was moving towards the house of young nine-year-old Azra, the entire family of 10 was trying to locate a safe place in their own home to save itself from those who were also its neighbors. They found the kitchen a safe place to hide, but the mob broke open the door and killed members of the family between the ages of 7 and 70. Azra herself was attacked. Her stomach was slashed with a sickle and her hand chopped. Those who attacked here were all Hindus.
Now she is in Delhiâ€™s prestigious All India Medical Institute and the doctors are keen that she stay in the hospital until she fully recovers. The majority of the doctors who are dedicated to save her are Hindus.
This incident took place on September in the Northern Indian state of Uttra Pradesh. But incidents like these fill the pages of human history. In every community there are people who are saviors and there are those who are killers. We are neither born as saviors nor as killers. What makes us what we are and how we behave? Who whispers in our conscious mind that we must kill or we must save a human life? Why do those generally perceived as decent people suddenly act in a manner that betrays their humanity? And why do others act in a manner totally different than theirs?
One can blame whoever one wants to blame, but someone has to take the responsibility of creating a situation where these brutal acts are played out. We have to admit that there are people and groups who thrive on hatred, anger and revenge. They demonize everyone who is not like them and give the message to their followers that the life of the other is not worth respecting. Thus at any opportunity they get, they do the unthinkable because they are convinced in their mind that the other has no right to live.
â€œIn India, the Rashtriya Swayam Sangh (RSS), the Hindu Vishwa Parishad (HVP), the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), the Shiv Sena (SS), the Bajrang Dal (BD) and other outfits associated to these organizations have created a climate of hate on the basis of their biased and distorted narratives of history and society. Contrary to historical facts, they have convinced their followers that the past Muslim rulers of India were brutal to their Hindu community, who encouraged forcible conversion, destruction of temples, raping of women, and humiliation of non-Muslims in general. They have propagated a false narrative of history that tells the zealots that a Muslim emperor by the name of Aurangzeb used to kill hundreds of Brahmin a day to please his God or Muslim rulers turned most Hindu places of worship into mosques. They have falsely relayed the message that Muslims were responsible for the division of the country and that Muslims desecrate Hindu traditions by slaughtering cows, a symbol of their faith. In fact, cow slaughtering is banned in India except in West Bengal and Kerala. Thus they have erroneously concluded that the Muslim community in India is an enemy and deserves the same that was done to Hindus by Muslim rulers (allegedly) in the past. They have created hatred and anger against Muslims and they have prepared their followers to commit the most brutal unthinkable acts against a people who are as projected an enemy.â€ It is this false propaganda the forces of hatred use against Muslims to rally their supporters.â€
Many of Indiaâ€™s textbooks taught at private and public schools contain these messages. In places of worship, the message is repeated and in political rallies the sentiments against Muslims are provoked. Obviously, the anger and the hatred explode at the smallest possible opportunity.
Not a single day passes without Muslims being told by these groups that they are anti-national and anti-Hindu and they deserve to be uprooted. Itâ€™s this climate of hatred that prepares mobs to commit mass rape and mass murder and other brutal unthinkable crimes. It is this climate that created the Gujarat massacres and the Muzaffarabad killings.
Unfortunately, this brutality and savagery is on the rise. The information that is being circulated by the RSS sponsored or inspired group is all over and not only the Muslim community but the faith of Islam has been demonized. That explains the reason behind the nomination of Narendar Modi for the post of prime minister by the RSS political front BJP, a man who presided in the state that witnessed the worst acts of violence against Muslims in independent India. His candidacy is a slap on the face of the nation and an effort to legitimize hatred, anger and revenge.
But then there are Hindus who do not identify with this philosophy of hatred. They have raised their voices but they lack mass appeal to their message. The RSS has penetrated Indiaâ€™s rural areas and its members occupy important positions in Indiaâ€™s army, police, national guards, bureaucracy, educational academy, economic and financial institutions and relief agencies. It wants to consolidate its power in Delhi and it is willing to do anything for that, even if it means instigating mobs to chop as many heads and hands as it can. The danger is real and not imaginary. Indians including Muslims must be prepared to face this danger.
What should the Muslim strategy be, to stop the onslaught of the RSS? That is the topic of another article that I intend to pen next.