Cleansing hatred from hearts is needed to fight communalism: Harsh Mander

By Mohammed Hussain Ahmed

Hyderabad: Renowned academic, author and social activist Harsh Mander believes a large-scale movement is needed to eradicate the poison of hatred spread by the communalists in the country. 

Before setting on a mission to end the outside hatred “Let’s begin by purging our hearts and cleanse it from hate”, Mander said.

Mander made these comments during the release of his English book which was translated in Urdu. His book “Partitions of Heart” is translated in Urdu under the title “Diloon ki Taqseem” and was released by Siasat editor Zahid Ali Khan. 

The book’s releasing ceremony was organized by Centre for Development Policy and Practice.

Photo: Laeeq
Photo: Laeeq
Photo: Laeeq

In the book, Harsh Mandar writes on what is required to bind the hearts in the context of the state-sponsored hatred in the country.  This book is translated into Urdu in view of its immense popularity.

Speaking on the occasion, Mander said the country had witnessed a partition in the past but the bigger partition is the ‘partition of hearts’. He said,  “the hatred is spreading fast in the hearts and minds of the people, which is extremely dangerous. The forces of hate must be confronted. It is the moral responsibility of all the secular parties to come forward to protect the minorities to save the secularism.”

Mander added, “In order to protect the minorities and their democratic rights, we have to come on roads to protest peacefully.  We have to make this decision in our heart to end the hatred rather than resorting to the courts. The hearts must be purged of hate and filled with love to ensure democratic rights to all.  Unless we bring a change in ourselves, any expectation from the rulers and political parties is futile.”

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Mander foresees a long battle against hatred and communalism.  About his book, the author said, “This is a voice of an aching heart.  The rulers have filled hearts and minds of the people with hate for narrow political gains.”

He also spoke about migrant worker’s long walk to reach their homes during the lock-down and described it as “a unique event of the history”.  He further said, in spite of all these difficulties, people are in favour of Narender Modi as he had filled the society with hatred.  “People are not ready to give up this intoxication of hate even when their life is deteriorating from bad to worse,” he said.

Speaking on the occasion editor Siasat, Zahid Ali Khan said that there is a need for a movement to end the hatred and confront the communal forces.  He asked Harsh Mander to lead this movement as “his credentials make him the best person” to undertake this task.  “The Siasat Daily is with Mr Mander since the day he resigned as an IAS officer and started working for secular values in the country,” he said.

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Speaking about mitigating Muslims’ backwardness in education, Zahid Ali Khan said, “Siasat initiated educational help through ‘Siasat Millat Fund’ to offer a scholarship for professional courses to the tune of one crore rupees annually. 

He said, “Help for the primary education is being given through Abdul Ali Khan Educational Trust’s schemes.”  He said there is a need for coordination between the organizations providing educational help in order to provide scholarships to as many students as possible.  “Three to four thousand engineers were graduates by availing scholarships from Siasat.  A scholarship of Rs.35,000/- each was given to two MBBS students,” he said.

Speaking about giving financial help to the riots’ victims, Khan said, “Rupees One crore was given to Delhi riots’ victims for their rehabilitation through Siasat and Faiz-e-Aam trust.  This amount was given directly to the victims.  Siasat has also worked  to provide succour to the victims of Hyderabad and Mumbai riots victims.”

Criticizing the spendthrift attitude of Muslims on the occasions of marriage ceremonies, Khan said, “People spend enormous amounts on marriage festivities.  ‘Siasat’ launched a campaign to exhort people to go for a simple marriage and to ensure that the Nikah ceremony is held during the day and serve the guests with a single dish.”

In the end of the program, Mr Harsh Mander assured of his cooperation in the educational and economic spheres.     

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