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Together means together, sir

Together means together, sir

Author: Tarun Vijay
Publication: The Asian Age
Dated: November 9, 2005

While the courage and resilience shown by the common people in the aftermath of the Delhi blasts has made Indians taller in the eyes of world, at the same time the blasts have dwarfed our political leaders who now appear more irrelevant than ever.

The tragedy at Paharganj and Sarojini Nagar was overshadowed by the sheer impact of corruption and criminal charges against some honourable Central ministers who went into hiding before being finally kicked out, or sent to jail under non-bailable warrants: it is a record of sorts with four ministers resigning in a row on law breaking charges (this, in the hope that Natwar Singh will resign by the time this appears). Naturally, a citizen finds no one in this vast country to look for hope and succour. A billion people without a leader, that's today's India.

When the Delhi blasts happened we were watching Ramayana being enacted by the children of a school south of Delhi. The message was loud and clear: Rama never pardoned the wrongdoers, and though he gave time to them for corrections, once that time was over, he simply eliminated them.

Year after year we enact and see this great epic, yet dither to act on its central message.

What do we see today in the Manmohan Singh regime, which is leading a society whose every single worshipped deity has annihilated wrongdoers using the most dreaded of weapons like the Brahmastra? Today the common citizen is the most ignored victim of the state's callousness.

They have created an atmosphere where terrorists are finding it convenient to attack India from within. They removed Pota, massaged the terrorists' ego and gave a boost to the morale of secessionist outfits like the Naxals, NSCN, Hurriyat and the Ulfa.

We are facing a horde of third-rate cowards acting in the name of their religion and using ancient Arabic phrases to create an emotional aura around their Mafiosi actions. They are "opium eaters" leading their lives on a "high" and invoking Quranic instructions to justify their own killing of innocent people in the thick of night like thieves. Yet they decorate themselves with high sounding words like Jihadis, Mujahideens, "soldiers of Muhammad" etc. The mullahs know what these "servants of Islam" are doing and so do the highly qualified maulanas in the various Barelvi or Deobandi schools. Though the latter get very active when an Imrana is to be punished, none so far has been able to organise a recognisable voice of sane Islamic resistance against these goons.

They have to do it; they cannot say it is not possible. This year the Gods have shown that we celebrate together, be one in grief too and hence the fight for justice too has to be waged together, in the spirit of Id and Diwali. When we say the fight against terrorism has to be a united one, we mean Muslims too have to join the effort, and actively. Since the killers are acting in the name of Islam, invoking the Quran, it is imperative that the defenders of the faith stand up and raise their voice. They have done it a thousand times for different reasons. Hindus have not done anything offending to these so-called faithful jihadis; in fact, they are being massacred for the last many decades. It's only the deep-rooted hatred for kafirs that drives these people to jihadi insanity.

Hindus are always expected to be decent and stay calm, they are asked to shut up even when they are being slaughtered, so that the peace process with the original instigator is not hampered and communal relations at home are not vitiated. Why on earth a demand to be harsh on merciless barbarians should affect our talks with Pakistan or affect our relations with fellow Muslims? Even this suggestion should be offending to any right thinking Muslim, for he would rather stand shoulder to shoulder with Hindus and vice versa in such times.

Every single Muslim in India who has felt wronged at any point of time or anywhere, has found Hindus standing with him in the courts and on streets. Though Hindus may wonder how many times the reverse has happened. Has any Muslim organisation taken up the cause of the Kashmiri Pandits or Godhra victims and seen to it that the fight to get justice is taken to its logical conclusion, the way human rights activists, many of whom are Hindus, have been waging a battle for the Muslim victims of Gujarat and elsewhere? How many Muslim organisations came out openly in defence of the Hindu victims of Mau? Or even condemned the role of some Muslim Mafia gang leaders?

Pause for a moment and see the radar showing Hindus under attack in Nepal by Maoists, relegated to a subjugated second class citizenship under a perpetual cloud of repression in Pakistan and Bangladesh, on the hit list of the Islamic face of terrorism in J&K and Delhi, and on the Church supported NSCN's list in the Northeast. Who speaks for them? And why are the people who try to do so condemned as communalists?

But they expect Indians to share the grief of the earthquake victims; and bemoan that not enough is being done because they are Muslims. They forget that Indians have never ever discriminated on the basis of religion or region; and even though the Kashmiri secessionists do not allow the rest of Indians to share their motherland, neither honour the Tricolour nor allow Indian laws to be applicable there; and even though the people there expect Indian soldiers to lay down their lives for them but not to buy an inch of land, yet help came from the rest of India as normally as would have reached any other place. Grief has just one colour, and it united people across the border in an extraordinary manner.

I wrote in Panchjanya that tears in the eyes of a mother grieving in Jammu could not be different from another mother's eyes in Muzaffarabad. Kashmiris, whatever be their demands or attitude, are essentially our people and the land and culture are woven inseparably into our veins. Even if they were not, we would fail India if we failed to help them in times like this. But some of them wanted to make even grief a Muslim issue and made noises that hinged on communal hate and bitterness. No one ever raised such issues when Hindus were slain in Doda or when the Karbi-Dimasa clashes took a heavy toll in the Northeast or when 200 people were killed in a train accident in Andhra Pradesh. Who opened the register to record the names of the industrial houses that did not come forward to help these people?

We have gone into the self-denial mode, so much so that concern for sensibilities finds only non-Hindu addresses and anything that implies security for the common Indian citizen who also happens to be a Hindu is ignored and the idea pooh-poohed to get certificates of a "proper" secularism. If we say our population is decreasing, a hundred denials would be columnised to discard the notion; if we say secularism does not mean taking over only Hindu places of worship, use an equaliser to enforce the law if that is the purpose, they say, you are communalising a state matter. If Thirupathi can "improve" under government control, certainly the Haji Ali or St. Xavier's will also show improvement under the same umbrella. Try suggesting this and enjoy the consequences.

Not only are Hindus alone asked to show the highest level of civility and an ability to suffer in silence, they are also pushed to "get reformed" through state power imposed upon them; they are expected to keep shut while being discriminated through Articles 30 and 370 and meekly surrender themselves to get converted through the calls of Vatican pontiffs and Bush's dollars; because speaking out against such harvesting would amount to hurting the sentiments of non-Hindus. That is sacrilegious in this secular theocracy, hence disallowed.

India had never faced a time when governance went missing so badly. Nobody knows who the CEO of the nation is.

Tarun Vijay is the editor of the RSS journal Panchjanya

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