Cow frenzy and the Dadri killing
Aren’t we hurtling down the Pakistan road too?
By Faraz Ahmad
The entre civilized world felt outraged when a young Christian couple, daily wage labourers on a brick kiln at Kot Radha Kishan, 40 miles from Lahore were brutally murdered on November 4, 2014 on the mischievous and vicious unsubstantiated allegation plea of committing blasphemy.
Ten months later a poor Muslim farm labourer at Dadri was bludgeoned to death and his young son, trying to save a middle aged father, equally brutally beaten up, two days after Baqrid festival, involving slaughter of goats. Dadri is closer to India’s national Capital than Kot Radha Kishan was from the Pakistani Punjab capital. In both cases no one felt the need to ascertain the truth behind the allegation.
In Pakistan Shezad and his pregnant wife Shama Masih were hit with brickbats, dragged over stones, after being tied to a tractor and then their bodies burnt and thrown into the brick kiln. A nearby mosque announced on the loudspeaker that a heretic had committed a blasphemy and immediately hundreds collected to lynch the young Christian man and woman, commit the most savage brutality upon them and then burn them alive and throw their bodies in the rogue owner’s brick kiln where the poor worked and were merely demanding their due wages from the tyrant.
Fast forward to Dadri. Two days after Baqrid the temple close to Akhalq’s house was holding a ‘Jagran’ and there the announcement was made that a cow had been slaughtered and they attacked Akhalq’s house, dragged him and his son 22 year old Danish out on the street. Battered both of them with bricks and clubs, ransacked the whole house, molested and assaulted the women folk, broke their fridge, took out the Baqrid meat and left Akhlaq dead while the Danish is still battling for life with fatal injuries.
A mosque announcement near Lahore, a temple announcement in Dadri and frenzied mobs descend upon innocent persons and don’t leave till they have extracted their pound of flesh and blood.
In Pakistan the mere mention of blasphemy by anyone is enough to provoke mobs to go and lynch anyone they believe has committed a blasphemy. No court or law enforcing agency dare demand form the accusers to prove that the victim has committed a blasphemy because the accusers take refuge behind the specious plea that the mere utterance of the said words would invite blasphemy on them as well and that’s how they literally get away with murder.
In the vicinity of Delhi the mere allegation that some Muslim had consumed cow meat is enough to set a lynch mob upon the hapless people. “If they have consumed cow meat and we are sure they did, they deserved this,” argued the local BJP leader Nawab Singh Nagar justifying the act. Our Culture Minister and the MP from Dadri area Mahesh Sharma was less emphatic but spoke in the same vein. It makes no difference that the family members insist that it was goat meat and surrounded by so many Hindu families in a small village, dare not displease their neighours and invite their wrath. The Thakur neighbours of Akhlaq did not suddenly turn against the poor lone defence less Muslim family living peacefully there for last 70 years. Their elder son Sajid is in the Defence Services and younger son Danish also a graduate was preparing to join the forces as well. Barely 10 kilometeres away Govind Chaudhry a local “Bad character” is running an outfit called “Samadhan Sena” which has been fanning communal passions for past three months. Local BSP MLA Satveer Singh Gujjar directly blamed the BJP for it and said that through such splinter groups the BJP has been stoking communal fire for sometime now and it is part of their strategy to consolidate the Hindu vote bank for the BJP in the assembly elections due in 2017.
A highly unpopular tyrant of a military ruler General Mohammad Ziaul Haq ruled Pakistan for eleven years and died in an aeroplane explosion not for any effort of the people of Pakistan, but because he became a bit of a liability for his masters, the Americans. But even as a Muslim country, the minorities, Hindus, Christians, Shias and Ahmadis all lived pretty comfortably till Zia brought in his Hudood laws and empowered the power hungry mullahs till then on the periphery of Pakistani society.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ministers including Culture minister and Dadri MP Mahesh Sharma have sworn allegiance to the Indian Constitution. But then he has come to power with the help of the so-called fringe elements of the Sangh parivar. They now feel empowered and there is no stopping them. Frankenstein is astride Pakistan and refuses to die 27 years after Zia’s death. He has come alive in India now. Will he ever die and why? The world mocks Pakistan and so do we, but for how long? The BJP is surely and determinedly driving us down the same path.