Sunday, August 4, 2013

Mosque wall and statue of Shivaji..

I read these tow news articles on same day, first was report of suspension of IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal by UP government to avoid communal tension after she ordered to demolish wall of illegally under construction mosque, another news was about objection on removal of statue of Shivaji Maharaj from entrance of one new museum in Pune. In both cases officers concerned with maintenance of law and order acted to remove unauthorized structures, I believe that both acted according to present law and there was no other intention behind these actions. But not let's look at the aftermath of both the actions,  in first case that IAS office became a hero (no doubt that she deserved all the support and acclaim) for acting according to law and not bowing to political pressure but in second case police officers who ordered to remove that statue are almost treated like villains. Religion is playing huge part in both the cases, there are people who react differently if some officer tries to demolish illegally constructed temple instead of Mosque. At the same time there are people who support destruction tomb of Afjal Khan (a Mugal officer who was killed by Shivaji), ironically, the tomb which they want to destroy was built by Shivaji himself, but same people are against removal of unauthorized statue because statue is of their idol not some insignificant Mogal sardar. Ideal example of double standard and very hippocratic behavior by few elements of society who want to bring religion, specially Hindu-Muslim conflict in each and every issue (as it generates lot of buzz and disturbance which in turn brings lot of media attention to them).

Both these actions are actually very routine incidents which happen every day as regular administrative processes, demolition of illegal structures is not a new thing, but it always creates lot of controversy if some religious structure is involved. Most people switch off their common sense (if at all they have) and logical thinking process when they deal with religion and politics. Both these institutions love to control people's mind and like to channel their thinking as per their requirement and people oblige in large numbers, which gives them lot of power and strength. These news articles clearly show how difficult it is to create religious harmony in Indian society, as long as these narrow minded elements are present (from all religions) in society this task will be very challenging. I already wrote about 'secular and communal trap' which most of these political parties use to fool their voters and hide their own failures and corruption. Equal blame is on all voters or citizens who allow these parties and religious institutions to exploit them. These institutes re thousands of years old and are their effect is very deep rooted in human psyche, they try to catch people young.

When the administration starts thinking whether to implement law just because of fear of hurting religious sentiments of some group then definitely there is some problem. According to me this can happen only because of two reasons, either that administration is not strong enough or courageous enough to act against these anti-social elements (that is powerless, weak and defunct government) or they are only interested in playing politics of appeasement, politics of divide and rule. This policy of divide and rule is used by various rulers to control their masses, because they know that if masses unite they will discover the truth and then it's not good for them.

I think it's up to us to decide how long we are going to allow them to divide us and exploit us. There will be always people who fall prey to these divisive politics but we need to try our best to make more and more people aware of this trap, may be this will help to realize these politicians that this divisive politics won't work any more and then they really start doing the work which they are supposed to do. We need to change us first then only they will be forced to change, let's hope everyone of us contributes his/her share to bring that change.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

(Copyright: Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing)

1. Shivaji Maharaj statue removed from the entrance gate of FACT museum
2. U.P. IAS officers, Opposition slam Nagpal’s suspension
3. Furious IAS officers protest against Durga Shakti Nagpal's suspension


  1. Vinay, thanks for another thoughtful article. Religion and religious sentiments are truly being exploited by so many different people - and this has a grand historical tradition. In all ages since the religion came into being, it has been used as a weapon to seduce common people to do or not do a particular thing. Today, the ugliness has increased and is now influencing almost every decision. We Indians are particularly getting killed by this weapon today - because of our caste system. We not only create biases based on religion, but also based on castes and sub-castes. It is ridiculous, maddening, and frustrating. Most of all, we feel proud to falsely assume and celebrate that Hindu is the most tolerant religion in the world and Hindus 'were' the most advanced civilization/society in the world. A friend of mine shared an interesting article by Dr Naralikar today. It comments on supposed advancement of science in vedic era. Please read it:

    A little diversion that was. But if this article is published in a Marathi/English local newspaper today, I am sure Naralikar will face unreasonable outrage.

    1. Thanks a lot for sharing your opinion, no religion is tolerant once it faces a tough competition, they all become aggressive and violent when they face a competition or resistance.

      Thanks a lot for sharing that wonderful article by Dr. Naralikar, I really enjoyed reading it, there is nothing wrong to loot back at glorious past and to be proud of good deeds of our ancestors but the the same time its wrong to make unverified wrong claims and try to justify each and every act of our ancestors. I advise all readers to read that article and you are right, it surely will create lot of controversy if published today.