Mobs, Muslims,Malda and My Musings
While most of us were still in the hangover of the New Year and were wishing that 2016 would be a happy and prosperous one, the police and BSF jawans in Malda were in a for a nasty surprise.
Thousands of Muslims took to streets and began protesting against Kamlesh Tiwari’s
remarks on Prophet Mohammad. Now, why are we discussing a protest that happened on 3rd Jan 2016 in a city that is near the border? We are discussing this because this mob that had more than 100,000 Muslims descended on the police station, put it on fire and went on to burn the Police Vehicles. Some two dozen vehicles were torched and the BSF vehicles too were not spared.
Over 30 people including police officers were injured. The train service was disturbed as protesters blocked railway tracks at Khaltipur railway station. When police stopped protesters, the riot broke out. Some hindu temples were attacked and around 25 houses and shops owned by Hindus were vandalized.
A few days later, Purnia in Bihar too felt the shock. It started with thousands of Muslims descending on the streets to protest and ended with the attack on Police. The angry protestors attacked the Police Station, ransacked it, burnt the police vehicles and went on to attack the policemen.
There were protests in Lucknow, Bijnoor and Kanpur as well. Violence was reported in some of these protests, the violent mobs have also set fire to the properties of other communities during the protest and four policemen were injured in communal violence in Lucknow. Some of the clerics did make an announcement of a cash reward of 50 Lakh rupees for anyone who got the head of Kamlesh Tiwari. Currently the bounty on Kamlesh Tiwari’s head has crossed the 3 crore mark.
The Reason behind the protests.
In the end of November 2015, Azam Khan, an influential political leader and a cabinet minister from Uttar Pradesh said that people from RSS are homosexuals and hence do not marry. As if in response, Kamlesh Tiwari from Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha insulted Prophet Mohammad by using the same words.
Kamlesh Tiwari was arrested on 3rd December 2015 for insulting the Prophet, a case was booked against him under National Security Act for insulting Prophet Mohammed and calling him homosexual. As we know, NSA is one of the toughest acts in the country and getting a bail too is very tough in the cases of this sort.
When Kamlesh is in jail for the last forty days and cases under the toughest of the acts are booked against him, why is it that we see such violent protests by the Muslim community. Why is it that people are announcing rewards on Kamlesh Tiwari’s head when the law of the land is taking its course ?
It is only natural that Muslims condemn any insult to the Prophet. However, Shariah recommends death to anyone who insults the Prophet. The Muslims who are protesting now want that punishment to be given to Kamlesh. However, we don’t have Shariah law in India and Kamlesh can only be tried by the laws that govern this nation. We have the strictest acts against him but still we see these protests and violence by the irate mobs.
Why should the Muslims resort to this? Don’t they have any respect for the laws of the nation? Why are the eminent Muslims in India not speaking out against the mob violence? Why are the perpetrators of violence not being brought to book by the adherents of the religion?
I am not over-reacting here. How many of us remember the Azad Maidan violence in Mumbai where the Amar Jawan Jyoti was desecrated by the Muslim protesters. Muslims were protesting the ill treatment given to Rohingya’s in Burma and were breaking the Amar
Jawan Jyoti in Mumbai. Well, there is no connection between the reason for the protest, what the government could have done and the Amar Jawan Jyoti. However, they desecrated it that day.
I personally feel that the radical elements in Islam are waiting for an opportunity to attack the police/ government assets. The moderate majority is more or less silent most of the times and this behavior is going unchecked.
Some reports claim that some members of the Muslim community in Malda are engaged in poppy trade. They allege that the money from the opium is using for the funding of terror activities across the borders. They allege that this community was waiting for a chance to remove the records from the Kalichak police station and they did this on the first opportunity they got. Again these are allegations and we need to wait for the evidence and the reports to come out. However, if these allegations are true then why was the moderate majority silent on this.
The moderates in Islam must speak up. Here is the reason for this. Every religion has its extremists and its radicals. However, in almost all the religions except Islam, the voice of these extremists is hardly heard. These guys are relegated to back benches to an extent where they have to put in a lot of effort even to make their voice heard. On the contrary, see the radical Islam set the agenda for everyone else in the religion. The success of this can be measured by the number of recruits they are getting for the Global Jihad. This is where the moderates must step up and put an end to this sham.
It is high time we link terror and religion, most of the terrorists in the world are killing people in the name of religion. Thus, it is the responsibility of the religions concerned to keep its extremists under check. If the religions fail in doing so, the day is not far when the entire religion would be blamed for the mindless acts of a few.
Who did what on this ?
The Media and the self-declared intellectuals have been surprisingly silent on the violence in Malda. The violent protests in Lucknow, Kanpur and Binoor also did not get any big coverage. Some sections of media woke when Purnia happened. However, one gets a feeling that there was an attempt to brush this violence under the carpet by a majority of the news channels. The only media houses that did do a good job by bringing the story to light were Zee News and News Today. If not for these people, we would not even know that such an attack did happen in West Bengal.
The intellectuals too maintained their stoic silence, there are intolerance debates or award wapsis in this country because of these incidents. Here is a 3-minute video that I got on Youtube regarding this. Putting it here as I would not have told it in a better way.
The response from Politicians is also equally pathetic. The state government which is supposed to take care of the Law and Order situation took its own sweet time to arrest the culprits. While some 9 people were arrested 6 got bail in no time. Again, we saw a beeline of politicians queuing up at Dadri , we hardly find anyone going to Malda. The West Bengal government is not letting even the fact finding teams go and get a first hand info in Malda.
Is this not minority appeasement in the name of secularism? Is this not playing with the national interests for a few seats in an assembly election ? Isn’t this an example of fooling people for the sake of votes ? These are the questions that the politicians need to ask themselves. I am sure they wouldn’t do this, if they do this they would have acted in a way that no other Malda would ever happen in India.
Incidents like Malda are a warning to all of us. This unchecked aggression, disrespect for the law of the nation and attacking the other community in the name of protests is a scourge that will consume the nation into a never ending strife. It’s high time we all realize this and act against this. The first step for this must come from the moderate Muslims and politicians who can think beyond elections.