India is a diverse country with close to 80% Hindus and the remaining 20% constituted by Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis among others. There are various further divisions among people like Dalits, Mahadalits, OBCs, EBCs, Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Baniyas, Kurmis, Jats, Patidars, Yadavs, Lingayats among others. ‘Unity in Diversity’ is an oft-repeated phrase that we hear various people say. Thanks to the divisive politics during 60 years of Congress (mis)rule, the petty and narrow-minded ideologies of parties like DMK, RJD, SP, BSP, TMC, CPI , AAP and the over-cautious approach of the BJP-led NDA, the mentioned phrase is nothing more than a phrase. In reality, our politicians have succeeded in dividing the people of the country with their anti-majority stance. In the recent years, the contribution of the mainstream media and our self-proclaimed intellectuals in further widening this division cannot be ignored. Let us take 4 recent deaths to analyze the attitude of our politicians and media.
4 Recent Deaths: #1 Mohammad Akhlaq
Mohammad Akhlaq, a 50-year old man, was beaten to death by a mob of people belonging to Bisara village in UP. This is allegedly after rumors spread about him and his family storing and consuming beef. This is undoubtedly an unfortunate incident that should be condemned in the highest possible manner and the guilty must be harshly punished. But, the politics played around this death is worth examining. The entire Hindu community was painted as evil and violent. India suddenly became an intolerant country with a bunch of idiots returning awards that most people in the country didn’t know they have received. Akhlaq’s family received an amount of ten lakhs as compensation from the Samajwadi Party. Had the deceased not been a Muslim, would the amount have been as much? The plain and simple answer is NO. There were a host of politicians who visited the family of Akhlaq to supposedly convey their condolence and express solidarity with the family. This included the Congress clown prince Rahul Gandhi, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Asadudin Owaisi of the AIMIM. Samajwadi Party motor-mouth Azam Khan even toyed with the idea of raising this issue in the United Nations to prove how unsafe the Muslims are in India under the Narendra Modi dispensation. Interestingly, the pro-Muslim Samajwadi Party that is in power in UP was not blamed as much as the central government and the RSS. We had dim-wits like Sagarika Ghose giving sermons about the intolerance of the internet Hindus and the West Bengal CM Mamata Bannerjee writing poems on tolerance. Much as this incident was unfortunate, it did not warrant the reaction that it got. All it did was to further incite the Hindus and Muslims against each other.
4 Recent Deaths: #2 Rohith Vemula
Rohith Vemula was a PhD student in the University of Hyderabad who committed suicide on 17th Jan 2016. Rohith was an active member of the Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) that has a bitter rivalry with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP). On 3rd August 2015, Rohith and four other ASA-activists demonstrated against the death penalty of Yakub Memon and condemned the ABVP attack on the screening of the documentary ‘Muzaffarnagar baaki hain’ in the Delhi University. In response, ABVP local leader Susheel Kumar called them ‘goons’. Sushil was then roughed up in his hostel room, taken to the hospital next day and operated for injuries. ABVP wrote a letter to Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, alleging that the ASA was indulging in anti-national activities. The letter was forwarded to Union HRD minister Smriti Irani and to Vice Chancellor Appa Rao. As a result of this, Rohith was suspended and barred from the hostel. After confirmation of the suspension, Rohith committed suicide. This suicide gave a golden opportunity to our divisive politicians to blame the BJP and the RSS of being ‘Manuvaadis’ and ‘anti-dalits’. Smriti Irani, Dattatreya and Appa Rao were blamed for the death. Arvind Kejriwal visited the Hyderabad University and said that this was not a suicide but a murder.BSP leader Mayawati termed this an ‘institutional murder’, as did Sitaram Yechury of the CPI. Rahul Gandhi visited Hyderabad to express his solidarity with the Dalits and Rohith’s family. The mainstream media were not to be left behind and they left no stones unturned to portray the Dalits as victims of caste-based discrimination, thereby inciting them against the upper caste Hindus. While the Akhlaq incident was condemnable, Rohith Vemula was solely responsible for his death and there is no reason to blame anyone for this.
4 Recent Deaths: #3 Prashanth Poojary
Prashanth Poojary was a 29-year old flower vendor and a member of the Bajrang Dal. He was actively involved in campaigning for closure of illegal slaughter-houses. He was attacked by a group of six men in Moodbidri, Karnataka and he succumbed to the injuries sustained. This incident took place 12 days after the death of Akhlaq. Contrary to the death of Akhlaq and Rohith, the death of Poojary was rather ‘low-key’ and did not receive any attention from the ‘progressive’ bunch of politicians and mainstream media. Rajdeep Sardesai even went to the extent of writing a rather insensitive blog justifying why the death of Poojary was not covered with the same intensity as that of Akhlaq. The reason given by him is that Poojary belonged to the Bajrang Dal and the Bajrang Dal incites violence against the minorities, whereas Akhlaq was an apolitical common man. According to him, anyone who feels that the media displayed double standards in covering Akhlaq and Poojary is a pseudo-patriot. The real fact of the matter is that Poojary was neither a Muslim not a Dalit and hence, the liberal media did not find any spice in this story. Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal and the secular brigade did not even bother to condemn the death of Poojary.
4 Recent Deaths: #4 Pankaj Narang
Dr Pankaj Narang was a 40-year old dentist, who was beaten to death in front of his family by about a dozen people in Delhi’s Vikaspuri area. Dr Narang’s son Aditya was playing cricket with his cousin Rachit outside their house. Two men on a motorcycle were passing by, driving rashly. They had to stop the motorcycle after Aditya ran out in front of it. This led to a heated argument and the rider Naseer returned with a gang of 10 people (mostly Muslims), armed with cricket bats and sticks, and attacked Narang. The mainstream media was ultra-quick to point out that this was not a communal death and just an unfortunate incident of road-rage. Had Pankaj been a Muslim and his attackers Hindus, would the media be taking the same stance? No. Going by that argument, Akhlaq’s death was also not a communal death and was a case of a mob attacking a man who happened to be a Muslim. If Narang’s death should not be communalized, then Akhlaq’s death should also not have been communalized. This attitude by the mainstream media reeks of double standards.
4 Recent Deaths: Conclusion
The treatment of these 4 recent deaths explain one thing and one thing alone – The logic of the liberals. Any incident where the victim is from a minority community (Muslim community in particular) or is a Dalit and his attackers are Hindus is a communal incident and shows the intolerance of the Hindus, Modi, the BJP and the RSS. Any incident where the victim is a Hindu and his attackers are from the minority community must not be communalized or politicized.
To put it bluntly, there is no value for Hindu lives or for the sentiments of Hindus in India. Hindus in the country are treated as second-class citizens with the laws overwhelmingly and unfairly framed against them. The Congress, for all its tall claims of secularism is in fact the most communal party in India and has created irreparable damage by dividing the people of the country on the basis of caste and religion.