Malda, a district in Indian state of West Bengal (WB) is tense, the reason is very trivial, some person said something about Prophet Mohammad and Muslim community of India didn't like it. I really don't know what was his intention behind saying those things, may be he was just joking or may be he really wanted to hurt feelings of Muslims all over the world for me this is not really important. But this guy said something which Indian Muslims or some section of them thought is very insulting and derogatory to their prophet, so many of them decided to protest. I don't see anything wrong happening so far, the guy who said whatever he wanted to say under his right of freedom of expression, people who protested used their democratic right to register their opposition to that statement. But the problem started when some people in Malda decided to attack police station, destroyed public property which resulted in serious law and order situation. Now one can easily ask, what was the intention behind all these actions apart from spreading the terror? If it was just a protest against some statement then it should have been a peaceful protest, there was absolutely no need of any sort of violence. As expected this violent behavior created atmosphere of fear and flared up communal tension in that region. So this can not be called a protest as it is claimed but it is an act of communal violence with clear intention of spreading terror specially among minorities of that area (who are Hindus and other religious group in this case). Surprisingly there is not proportional outrage about this incident like it was in case of Dadri incident, I wonder why? I agree that in Dadri someone died, one innocent man was lynched by violent mob, so far no casualty is reported in Malda but is this a valid reason not to offer equally strong condemnation for this act?
Actually such incidents are not rare, these things happened in past and it seems will happen in future also. This is an ugly truth which many people don't want to accept. Such incidents start occurring specially if some type of elections are around the corner, in this case there are state elections due in WB this year, so this may be warm up round to get ready for final battle for some political parties who are looking to appease their respective vote banks. Actually minority or majority appeasement politics is very common in India, political parties use whatever tactics they can to appease their core constituencies. If beef ban can be considered as majority appeasement politics then calling riots like Malda a routine scuffle between people and police is an example of minority appeasement. Such dirty tricks are always used and respective political parties or governments justify their stands by using their resources and talented spokes persons. Riots like Malda are as deplorable as Dadri attack or some library burning or any other mob violence incident. Just because no one died in this particular incident can not reduce its severity or cruelty, it is quite possible that it would have resulted in full fledged communal riot like Godhra, so one need to take any such incident very seriously. But the truth is as long as people are going to be selective in expressing their opinions about such incidents Indian society is not going to see any change in attitude of political parties who use such incidents as a tool to polarize voters for political gains. If at all people are interested in putting an end to use of such dirty tactics to win elections then they need to condemn any such incident equally without worrying about their political or religious affiliations. This can only happen in politically and intellectually mature societies, if this starts happening in India then only political parties will get clear message that any such act is not acceptable by people and it might hurt their prospectus of winning elections. But if majority somehow believes in those lame justifications like 'this is a reaction to certain action' or 'religious sentiments are hurt' or 'our idol or hero was insulted' then such acts will be repeated for whatever reason which is a valid reason for that mob, as they know that this thing works and they can get away with it. Unless we are ready to condemn any mob violence and any communal strategy by any political party this dirty game will not stop. So the choice is really in people's hand as they themselves are very important player in this game. So please think rationally and logically before supporting any such act, beware that any justification offered today might become the reason for regret tomorrow.
Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.
[Copyright : Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]