It is not the cows that they want to protect, it’s the Muslims they want to kill
It is a sin being a Muslim in India today, but a blessing if you’re a cow. Otherwise, how else can you justify the uninterrupted killings and lynching of Muslim men in the name of cows ever since Narendra Modi assumed power in May 2014?
The latest victim is a man called Alimuddin, aka Asgar Ali, in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand. He was allegedly transporting some meat and the cow protection group (an euphemism for radical and extremist Hindu militant groups) intercepted the vehicle and beat him to death without verifying the content of the vehicle. Their hatred towards Muslims is so extreme that it’s the name that invites revulsion. It is not the cows that they want to protect, it’s the Muslims they want to kill.
They kill Muslims for sport.
Take the example of 15-year-old Junaid who was returning home with his brother to Haryana, a state which shares a large border with the capital Delhi, after their Eid shopping. A normal argument in the train over a seat took an unfortunate turn and he was beaten to death. Not because he refused to share his seat, but because he belonged to a cow-eating community. He became sport for the fellow Hindu travellers, confident in the belief that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government and Delhi would rescue them from the hands of the law.
For Modi, Muslims have been his favourite sport ever since he became the chief minister of Gujarat in 2001. In 2002, he allegedly presided over the killings of many of them in order to score political points against his opponent. He built a political edifice on the dead bodies of numerous innocent lives which helped him in establishing his political supremacy in his home state and Delhi. Therefore, it’s not unusual that he hardly reacts when an innocent Muslim is killed in the name of cows and beef. And when he reacts, as he did yesterday, he sounds as unconvincing as his slogan,
“Sabka saath sabka vikas”
(Together with all and development for all)
Ever since the BJP has come to power in Delhi, there has been a systematic marginalisation of religious minorities, particularly Muslims. Not only are they deliberately kept out of political representation, but are also portrayed as an unwanted presence in the country. Attempts are being made to push them to the outer margins of society. In Uttar Pradesh, after Yogi Adityanath’s ascent to power, a blanket ban has been imposed on abattoirs, terming a majority of them as illegal. This has rendered many Muslims to the economic precipice and created such a fear psychosis that many Muslim marriages have gone without serving non-vegetarian dishes.
The prime minister and his cabinet were deliberately kept away from an iftar party recently organised by the Indian president. It has been a custom that such functions see the presence of most of the political parties, civil society leaders and ministers of the government led by the PM. This gives the minority a sense of assurance and creates bonhomie in the society. But the PM and his ministers and some Muslim leaders of the BJP gave the function a grand neglect, thereby demonstrating a deep-seated contempt for the largest minority of the country.
This contempt is also very much in play in Kashmir today. Delhi and its pet and pliant media portray the political problem in the valley as an Islamic issue. The communalisation of a historical conflict has created a situation where people of Kashmir have lost, to a great extent, the empathy of mainstream India.
The Modi regime has been trying to institutionalise the religious fault lines in mainstream India as well. The leaders in post-Independence India have been assiduously trying to bridge the divide. However, the Indian PM has a different design. He wants to polarise the whole nation in the name of religion and unfortunately, he is succeeding in doing so. This reflects how a large section of the Indian media ignores the violence against minorities and refuses to question the government. Some literate and educated elites, who have been the by-product of liberal traditions, toe the line of the great polariser.
Today, the situation has come to such a historical pass that India, through its deeds and designs, gives legitimacy to the Two-Nation Theory that it has always fought against. Mohammad Ali Jinnah argued that Hindus and Muslims cannot live together because of the majoritarian impulse of Hindus. The Congress party and other nationalist leaders countered Jinnah and advocated a secular nation where people belonging to all religious faiths can coexist together. Since 1947, the effort has always been to strengthen the secular character of the nation.
But Modi and his party want to undo everything that India stood for, fought for and believed in.
Lynch mobs are not a law and order problem, it is the belief of the government in power. It is the ideological army of the BJP and its patron Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which they have been using since its inception. They are the army of the Hindu right-wing government through which they want to divide and rule India.
But will they succeed in altering the noble character of the nation?
If the spontaneous protest witnessed across India on Wednesday against the violence against Muslims is any indication, there is hope that the people of the country will not allow the medieval mind-set of Modi’s regime to succeed. The hashtag #Notinmyname is trending in India; it is bringing concerned citizens to the street. They know if they don’t act now, the extremist Hindus will devour and alter the soul the nation.
In three years, the world should understand the real character of a man who received a historical mandate. He is not the messiah of modernity as many believed and trusted, but a messenger of medievalism. His so-called economic reforms are hogwash; his real agenda is to institutionalise Hindu extremism in this multicultural, multi religious nation.
India is not at a cross road, it is on the verge of being crucified by a Hindu regime.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.