Reports from across the country suggest that the police swung into action only after the violence had abated and the damage was done.
Syed Ali Mujtaba | Clarion India
THE recent communal clashes during the Ram Navami festival reported from different parts of the country suggest that the Hindu zealots have taken over law and order in their hands. They unleashed a reign of terror on the Muslim minority and there is none to stop them from doing so. This suggests that India has outsourced law and order to the Hindutva lumpen and the peace-loving Indians are watching the dance of death helplessly and hopelessly.
The sheer number of communal clashes reported from different parts of the country suggests that India is grappling with a civil war-like situation. The Hindu communal anger has reached its boiling point and only genocide of the Muslims can pacify their anger.
Welcome to new India. This is “Post-Truth India – the brand new republic.” Here is a compilation of communal clashes that erupted in different parts of India during the Ram Navami festival in 2022.
Arson and violence took place in Khambhat town of Anand district in Gujarat. An unidentified body of a 60 year-old-man was found there. In the Himmatnagar town of Sabarkantha district in Gujarat, violence erupted when a Hindu procession entered the Muslim-dominated Chhaparia area, and the two communities engaged in a verbal duel leading to an incidence of stone-pelting and arson being reported there.
The incidents of stone-pelting and arson were also reported from Khargone in Madhya Pradesh. Here also Hindu procession was taken through a Muslim-majority locality playing Hindu religious music on loudspeakers during Ram Navami processions. Videos show houses belonging to poor Muslims being destroyed by the mob even as angry Muslims looking at them helplessly.
In Khargone, a controversial Hindu leader, Kapil Mishra, tweeted in Hindi, “Not Musa, not Burhan, only Jai Jai Shri Ram.”
Again in Madhya Pradesh, clashes between Hindus and Muslims were also reported in the Barwani district during the Ram Navami festival.
In West Bengal, communal clashes broke out in the Shibpur area of Howrah district where ruckus took place during the Ram Navami procession. At least ten people were injured during the clashes. Condition of one of them was reported to be critical. Several shops were ransacked in West Bengal’s Bankura as well.
In Lohardaga, Jharkhand, the incidence of stone-pelting was reported during the Ram Navami procession. At least three people were critically injured during the clashes and one among them succumbed to the injuries.
In the Muzaffarpur district of Bihar, Hindu thugs were seen brandishing swords and entering a mosque premises trying to hang saffron flags on top of the mosque’s minarets.
In Goa, Hindu-Muslim clashes broke out in the Baina area of Vasco. Here, Hindu youths from the Sancoale locality carried out a two-wheeler procession shouting provocative slogans against the Muslims. This resulted in verbal clashes first and then the incidence of pelting of stones took place in the Islampur-Baina area.
In the Mankhurd area of Mumbai 15-20 miscreants ransacked some 20 to 25 vehicles in the middle of the night on the Ram Navami day and escaped.
In Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, clashes broke out in a hostel mess when some students clashed with another group of students who objected to chicken being served on the Ram Navami day.
In Karnataka at Mulbagal in the Kolar district, miscreants pelted stones at a Sri Rama Shobha Yatra procession on the eve of the Ram Navami festival. In the ensuing clashes, some bikes were set ablaze and the windshields of two cars were damaged.
Related to Ram Navami violence, a video has gone viral where a Hindu priest in UP is heard threatening Muslims that if any of their youth is seen looking at the Hindu girls, the Hindu boys will go inside the Muslim houses and rape their women.
Another video shows Ramadan prayers (tarawih) in progress in a mosque while a large Hindu lumpen gathered there playing DJ music to distract and provoke the devout Muslims.
The most conspicuous feature is the role of the police during the Ram Navami communal clashes. The law enforcing authorities are seen playing indifferent onlookers even as the rioters have a field day attacking the Muslims. Had the police been vigilant, the violence could have been nipped in the bud. The hoodlums should have been booked before they could take out the procession and indulge in such nefarious activities.
Reports from across the country suggest that the police swung into action only after the violence had abated and the damage was done. Questions are being asked as to why the police did make foolproof arrangements before the Ram Navami festival when they knew that communal harmony is being breached for several years.
Another conspicuous feature of this Ram Navami episode is the role of religious leaders from both communities. None of them made any appeal to maintain communal harmony and celebrate the festival in a peaceful manner. The religious leaders’ inaction allowed the lumpen elements to polarise communities and disturb the peace in the country.
The other conspicuous feature is the role of the court in the face of Ram Navami communal clashes which are growing each year. The lumpenism could have been brought under control had the courts issued orders to keep them on a leash and refrain them from doing anti-social activities during the Ram Navami festivities. However, the court preferred to do nothing to create an atmosphere of peace and harmony during the Ram Navami festival.
The entire image of the deteriorating communal situation is well summed up by the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP, Manoj K Jha. “Violent images from across India on the pretext of anything and everything should be the last warning signal for everyone that we are in the closest vicinity of possible ‘Civil War’ with Genocidal tenor. Nothing/ Nobody shall survive! Only order shall vary. Scare should unite us all,” he tweeted.
Well, this is a testing time for every Indian, particularly the Muslim community of this country. The spectacle during the Ram Navami is indicative of the fact that the new India has come out from the slough of old India. It has shed its secular cloak and is screaming from the rooftop that it’s “Post-Truth India – The brand new republic.”
The new India that has emerged is quite different from the old India. Every Indian has to accept this reality and have to make adjustments to live in this new India.
Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. His forthcoming book is “Post Truth India – The brand new republic.” He can be contacted at [email protected]