Kiska Saath Kiska Vikas – a sorry tale of Dalit-Muslim in 4 years

Kiska Saath Kiska Vikas – a sorry tale of Dalit-Muslim in 4 years
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We live in a country where people are being trained to forget most essential statements by assuming it as election Jumlas, however, it is difficult to forget that Narendra Modi rode to power in 2014 on the plank of promoting development, aptly captured by ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’, the slogan which was supposed to provide equitable development for all, but it has not been translated into any specific social and governmental policy initiatives that can begin to address the development deficit on the ground.

We came across some the powerful cartoons which describe the current situation of the countries, one of such cartoon published in Times of India titled “Vikas gets converted”.  The artist Sandeep Adhwaryu shows how a vikas of development growing in each passing year and finally turning out to look like a Muslim with his beard grown and pants turned into Lungi. It is a clear indicator of the shift in 2019 election campaign.

Although, the Prime Minister talks constantly of development but has largely evaded the issue of India’s huge social and economic inequality, leave alone the development deficit with regard to minorities.

Ever since it came into power, the BJP along with its ally Sangh Parivar have been engaged in a concerted campaign against Muslims and Dalits.

The issues most debated today relate to beef, love-jihad, ghar wapsi, Ayodhya, the role of Mughals in history, Ministers or the MPs often speak on communal lines in Parliament and proponents of those who advise Hindus to have more children to counter the Muslim “threat”. Moreover, Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha caught on camera felicitating the eight persons, convicted for lynching Alimuddin Ansari in Ramgarh, who were released on bail. All of which serve only one purpose according to the experts- to send a message to the Muslim minority that this is a New India, in which they have a different status than before.

GAU RAKSHA TERROR AND LYNCHINGS

Ever since the Narendra Modi government came to power in 2014, beef and cow protection have been one of the much debated topics across India. Cow vigilantism gained widespread media spotlight in June 2014 , when a Pune techie Mohsin Shaikh killed for wearing beard while returning from late evening prayer after that  in September 2015, a 60-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq was lynched in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri for allegedly possessing beef. However, forensic reports later revealed that he had in fact possessed mutton, not beef.

Udhampur truck attack: On 9 October 2015, a truck was attacked by petrol bombs by alleged Hindu extremists after rumours of it carrying dead cows emerged. Zahid Ahmad, the truck driver succumbed to his injuries 10 days later, while another man suffered serious burn injuries.

Madhya Pradesh couple attacked: In January 2016, several passengers, including a Muslim couple, were attacked by a cow protection group over allegations that they were carrying beef.The incident had taken place at Khirkiya railway station in the Harda district of Madhya Pradesh.

Cattle traders hanged: In March 2016, two Muslim cattle traders were found hanged to death in Jharkhand’s Latehar district. The victims, Mazlum Ansari and teenager Imteyaz Khan, were heading to an animal fair in a nearby district when they were allegedly lynched and hanged by a mob.

Muslim man shot dead: Mustain Abbas, a 27-year-old father of four, who was travelling back home after buying bulls from Haryana was allegedly fired upon by Gau Raksha Dal members on 5 April 2016. A month later, the CBI ordered a probe into his murder, The Wire reported.

Karnataka Dalit family attacked: On 17 June, 2016, a 30-40 members of Bajrang Dal brutally attacked a Dalit family in Koppa, Karnataka, for allegedly possessing beef. According to a report in DNA, the patriarch of the family suffered a fracture on his hand while other members of the family suffered minor internal injuries.

Una flogging incident: On 11 July 2016, Dalit youths were beaten up outside Mota Samadhiyala village, when they were skinning a dead cow brought from Bediya village. The victims included Vashram Sarvaiya, his brother Ramesh, and their cousins Ashok and Bechar, all residents of Mota Samadhiyala.

Pehlu Khan murder: On 1 April, 2017, Pehlu Khan and at least four others were injured when a mob attacked nearly 15 persons hailing from Haryana, while transporting cows in vehicles on the Behror highway in Alwar district on Saturday, the police said. As many as 16 people were allegedly transporting 36 bovine animals illegally in six pick up vans.

Lynched for love:  Mohammed Shalik, 19, was beaten brutally over love affair with a Hindu girl, succumbed to his injuries – 5 April 2017

Killed for allegedly stealing cows: on 30 April 2017, Abu Hanifa and Riyazuddin Ali (Nagaon) lynched by villagers on suspicion of stealing cows.

Social activist beaten to death: On 16 June, 2017 a social activist  Zafar Khan beaten to death allegedly by staffers of municipality in Pratapgarh town, Rajasthan, for objecting to their photographing women defacting in the open.

Lynching on local train: On 22 June, 2017, Hafiz Junaid Khan, 16-year-old boy of Kandhawli, Ballabhgarh, Haryana, stabbed to death near Palwala while travelling in a local train, accused of eating beef (his two brothers also severely injured).

The list of such incidents is long enough to cover in one article.

SC urges Parliament to frame law against lynching

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Parliament to see whether a new law can be framed to combat the menace of cow vigilantism. The apex court also underscored that violence can’t be allowed in the name of cow vigilantism.  “No citizen can take law into their own hands. In case of fear and anarchy, the state has to act positively. Violence can’t be allowed,” said apex court during the hearing.

VIOLENCE AGAINST DALITS

2016 Rohith Vemula Suicide in Central University of Hyderabad

The suicide of Rohith Vemula on 18 January 2016 sparked protests and outrage from across India and gained widespread media attention as an alleged case of discrimination against Dalits and backward classes in India in which elite educational institutions have been purportedly seen as an enduring vestige of caste-based discrimination against students belonging to “backward classes”.

Arrest of Kanhaiya Kumar 

Kanhaiya Kumar  was arrested and charged with sedition by the Delhi police for allegedly raising anti-India slogans in a student rally.  Kumar was released on interim bail on 2 March 2016 for lack of conclusive evidence. Kumar denied the charges, and upon his release, gave a speech in favour of freedom in India.

2016 Saharanpur violence

The violence broke out during the procession of Rajput warrior-king Maharana Pratap over the loud music. In the violence one man was killed, 16 were injured and 25 Dalit houses were burned. The incident was connected to the BJP MP from Saharanpur Raghav Lakhanpal.

2018 Samrau Violence,Jodhpur (Rajasthan)

On the evening of 14 January 2018, clashes between Jats and Rajputs in Samrau village of Rajasthan’s Jodhpur district burned shops and houses of many innocent people also they destroyed Rawla(king’s residence).

Kachanatham, Sivagangai (Tamil Nadu), May 28, 2018

Dominant caste Hindus were “enraged” that Dalits did not present temple honours to an upper-caste family, and a Dalit man sat cross-legged in front of upper-caste men. Dominant caste members also were enraged when Dalits protested the sale of marijuana in the area by people from a neighbouring village and intimidated and threatened the Dalits. When the Dalit caste protested the intimidation and threats from the dominant castes in the village with the local police in retaliation a gang of 15 dominant caste members raided the Dalit village at night attacking people indiscriminately killing three and injuring six.

LOVE JIHAD

“Love Jihad” was a major poll plank for the saffron party during the 2014 by-polls in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Adityanath had been at the forefront of the caustic campaign. In an undated speech, he is reported to have told his audience to marry 100 Muslim women and bring them back to the Hindu-fold.

‘Love-Jihad’ is another licence given to certain Hindu groups to threaten Muslims.

Afrazul killing: The highlighted case of Afrazul, who was beaten brutally and then burnt alive in Rajasthan in the name of Love-Jihad, was a Muslim labourer from West Bengal. Mohammed Afrazul was a married person and has grandchildren. The killer, a Hindu, fearlessly uploaded the painful video and even warned other Muslims.

Hadiya case: The first case that appeared in Kerala was simply a love marriage between a Hindu girl (Akhila) and a Muslim boy (Shafin Jahan), but was presented before the public as an anti-national activity.

Bahu laao, beti bachao abhiyan:After much hyped ‘ghar wapsi’, Bajrang Dal launched “bahu laao, beti bachao abhiyan” in Agra. The right wing outfit launch across Uttar Pradesh. Under the programme, the Hindutva outfit’s members will visit girls’ colleges to create awareness about ‘love jihad’. Members will also approach mothers of marriageable Hindu men in order to persuade them to marry off their sons to Muslim or Christian girls willing to marry into Hindu families.

GHAR WAPSI

The assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh were largely fought on the issue of Ghar Wapsi.

65 women held captive, tortured in Kochi yoga centre: In a shocking revelation, a Kerala woman has alleged that a ‘ghar wapsi’ organisation, which abuses and tortures people, operates in Kochi under the disguise of a yoga centre. Siva Sakthi Yogavidya Kendram based in Kandanad near Thrippunithura is a “concentration camp”, which brutally tortures people who converted from Hinduism or were part of interfaith marriages, and operates under the facade of a yoga centre, according to reports, which quoted a Thrissur native.

In January 2016, 15 Dalit Christians converted to Hinduism in a Ghar Wapsi event, organised in Vellore district.

In April 2017, at least 53 tribal Christian families converted to Hinduism as part of the RSS’s “Christianity-free” block campaign in Arki, Jharkhand. And at least seven other Christian families underwent a Shuddhikaran (purification ceremony) in Kochasindhri village.

In May 2017, RSS performed conversion of at least 22 Muslims, including women and children, into Hinduism in a secretive ceremony at an Aryasamaj Temple in Ambedkar Nagar district of Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh.

DISTORTION OF HISTORY:

Ever since the Modi government taken charge “mythology was replacing the history” and there was a “systematic plan” for “distorting history” to change the education system.

Conclusion:

Apart from all these discriminations, the BJP did not field a single Muslim candidate in the 2014 Lok Sabha election and the Uttar Pradesh Assembly election, even though Muslims constitute almost a fifth of the population, which is larger than the population of several Muslim countries. It does not have a single Muslim MLA despite over 300 seats in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly.

It did not field any Muslims in the Gujarat Assembly elections of 2012 and 2017, despite the group being the largest minority in the state, constituting one-tenth of its population. The BJP is ruling 21 of the 29 states at present, but has Muslim representatives in only three states.

For, in all these cases we do not have standard indicators yet to assess outcomes and more importantly, how these positively contribute to our country and human progress?