Is India slowly going to hell?June 5, 2017
In an op-ed on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s failure to contain violence in India, Sadanand Dhume wrote a damning piece on the weekly hell raiser that has gripped the largest democracy on earth.
Most of the victims of this fire that is burning across the country are of Muslim origins, a community that forms a large minority of 172-million people.
“You can hardly blame Indian Muslims for feeling jittery about the turn their country has taken. A stepped-up campaign against cow slaughter by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) threatens the beef and leather industries, both of which employ Muslims in large numbers.”
While reading this op-ed, it appears that very soon India will be a c0w-slaughter free state, and a large number of Muslims will either have to find other jobs or to flee the country altogether.
There have been cases where Muslims retaliated against the treatment by the cow-vigilantes, but that is not enough to make them stop in their campaign, aided by the Bharatha Janata Party of Modi in power.
But there are Hindus who are also victims of Modi’s allies assembled under a cow vigilante group, or other armed groups that are playing the role of vigilante while the police are pushed in a corner.
In May, Ramdas Athawale, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment and Republican Party of India chief, who is also the most prominent Dalit leaders in the Modi cabinet said that Dalits were facing atrocities in many parts of the country.
But he said these clashes are taking place between the Dalits and other Hindu groups because of caste rivalries.
But the assault on Muslims is a weekly affair, according to Dhume.
“Scarcely a week goes by without a new video surfacing of an assault on Muslims by roving bands of cow vigilantes. Some of these groups are widely seen as enjoying tacit government protection in BJP-ruled states. (Most Hindus regard the cow as sacred.)” he wrote.
In the same month of May, India probably witnessed one of its worst killings by Modi’s vigilantes.
In the last photographs taken of a Muslim father of three, Mohammed Naeem is seen pleading to a group of villagers as blood trickles down from his head.
Half of his body is soaked in red (blood).
His shirt presumably ripped away, and dirt marks on his pants suggest he was kicked repeatedly.
Hands folded, he struggles to convince the people surrounding him that he is innocent.
But they lynch him anyway.
The worst part of this story is that the police was watching, but did not interfere.
“Police were on the scene, but they only watched. They were reportedly too afraid of the mob to interfere,” wrote Dhume.
In this whole episode, it is Modi’s silence that is gripping, and this is being questioned by many in the country without any answers coming from the BJP or the Prime Minister’s office.
Could this mean that Modi is aware of the situation but since his party is on the war path against cow eaters, he is condoning their acts?
If that is the case it would be chilling indeed, and it would clearly mean that India is on the road to hell.
Because it will not be that simple to ban cow slaughter among 172 million Muslims and among the other minorities who savour the meat, would it be?
Naeem’s last moments became the face of a string of attacks in the state triggered by rumours spread on WhatsApp that child abduction gangs are on the prowl, wrote Hindustan Times.
A resident of Ghatsila in East Singhbhum district, Naeem and his cattle trader companions were passing through Sobhapur early in the morning.
Villagers along the Tata-Chaibasa road stopped their SUV, dragged the four people out and tortured them for four hours before killing them.
Naeem was the last to die, even though the police had reached the spot before the last of fatal blows landed on him.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the entire Modi reign seems to be heading towards a dislocation of secular India.
The Journal wrote: For India, the long-term consequences of allowing religious minorities to lose faith in the secular state could be disastrous. Regardless of their voting preferences, the government cannot simply wish away the 14% of Indians who are Muslim.
In April, Human Rights Watch urged the Indian authorities to promptly investigate and prosecute self-appointed “cow protectors” who have committed brutal attacks against Muslims and Dalits over rumors that they sold, bought, or killed cows for beef, Human Rights Watch.
But since India is ready to ignore calls from any quarters, these fell on deaf ears.
Instead of taking prompt legal action against the vigilantes, many linked to extremist Hindu groups affiliated with the ruling BJP, the police, too often, have filed complaints against the assault victims, their relatives, and associates under laws banning cow slaughter, said Human Rights Watch.
Since May 2015, a violent vigilante campaign against beef consumption has led to the killing of at least 10 Muslims, including a 12-year-old boy, in seven separate incidents of mob violence.
In July 2016, in Gujarat, vigilantes stripped four Dalit men, tied them to a car, and beat them with sticks and belts over suspicions of cow slaughter. In a number of cases, the attackers have also robbed their victims of cash and cellphones and damaged their property.