By Abdul Bari Masoud,MMN,
New Delhi, 10 Dec 2014 : Calling the much-publicised ‘conversion’ of Muslims to Hinduism event in Agra by the RSS as ‘fraud’ and meaningless activity, Concerned Citizens said secular political parties are not willing to take communal forces head on for fear of losing ‘Hindu votes’. Re-launching Nagrik Ekta Manch (NEM) on Wednesday here to combat communal forces, they said RSS has built up a violent and hate-filled atmosphere in the country that no one is dared to challenge them, pointing towards the Bhagvad Gita controversy as only a few political parties protested over the statement of External Affairs Minister Shushma Sawraj.
Resolving to act as a platform for organizations and individuals working in Delhi and surrounding regions against communalism, for justice and peace, NEM said RSS and its affiliates under ‘patronage’ of the government are making concerted efforts to stoke hatred and communal conflagrations in various parts of the country but political parties meek response is disappointing.
Releasing a fact-finding report on “Communal Mobilization in Delhi” it stated that for the last two months Delhi has witnessed communal conflagrations in various localities — notably Trilokpuri, Bawana, Ghonda, Nand nagari, Noore Elahi and Madanpur Khadar. Demolition of the basti in Rangpuri and fire in the Dilshad Garden Chruch are also to be seen in this context. Hate speeches by the BJP leaders in the election meetings are increasing bitterness and anxiety. The narratives make it clear that communal violence is being deliberately set to simmer in the city as Delhi’s assembly elections were announced. This is in tune with the recent trends during general and assembly elections which were turned into offensive exercises in communal polarization.
NEM pointed that “Delhi is not any other city or state. It is also the capital of India. Incidents as listed above and campaigns taking place here have a symbolic significance and they influence the nation in a very critical way. That is why, when heads of institutions, senior faculty members congregate at the RSS headquarters or at the World Hindu Congress or when calls are issued from ministers to make Gita a national book, we must sit up and take note. We see a definite pattern and imprint in the violent incidents and designs to keep the minds of minorities agitated and have no hesitation is saying that the members of the ruling party and their patron organisations are responsible for this state of affairs. Meek response by other political parties is very disappointing”.
In response to a question over the religious conversion event in Agra, Prof Apoorvanand quipped it is fraud and meaningless activity as no one can be converted to Hinduism because of its watertight caste-system. “No caste like Brahmins, Thakur or Jaat will accept any converts into their fold as all castes have fortified their clans”. To buttress his point, Apoorvanand recalled the leaked video of the BJP firebrand leader Yogi Adityanath in which he is saying that they will create a special caste for those who will convert to Hinduism. Blaming RSS and its ideology for communally-charged environment in the country, he said when Trilokpuri riots broke out, no political party came forward to ward off the situation. “We contacted every political party; even Left parties did not come forward, only Congress responded to our call and indirectly helped the riots victims while the Aam Admi Party left the scene after seeing aggressive postures of Hindus in the area.” He warned that country is being pushed into Iraq-like situation as everybody must realize the game-plan of RSS.
When this correspondent asked the present government is going any extent for inviting foreign investors but investment needs peaceful and conducive atmosphere, noted social activist and former IAS officer Harsh Mander said they have changed the tactics as low-intensity riots are taking place that do not attract international attention. He said Gujarat like or anti Sikh riots brought international disrepute to the country that is why they have changed the tactics. “You see there is less of loss of life in Muzaffarnagar, Assam’s Kokarajhar riots but heavy loss of properties and displacement of people on a very large scale, in Assam, it was the biggest displacement of people since independence”. Harsh Mander saw a pattern in communal violence incident as he pointed out that how thousand of brickbats were available in a slum colony like Trilokpuri during riots.
Eminent poet and former Vice Chancellor Ashok Vajpayee said there is need to build people’s pressure against the communal forces so that political parties muster courage on taking the divisive forces. He also attacked media for its criminal silence over the happenings. Former member of the Planning Commission Dr Syeda Hameed has urged all right-thinking people to gather strength for combating communal menace.
They appealed to assorted community based activists, teachers and students, and other concerned citizens rushed to respond in whatever way was feasible for them — holding dialogues with community members where tension prevailed, informing and pressurising the city administration, the minorities commission and the police into action, standing guard with the community members for stopping violence from further spiralling, providing legal and medical aid to those affected by it. The fire-fighting was not futile. While these mitigation efforts were uncoordinated they did have some positive impact.
They said the narratives in the fact-finding report are evident that the country is faced with communalism in power. “We deduce that these processes are being utilised to produce a Hindutvisation of public spaces and the public sphere. Communalism in India has entered a new phase and we feel an urgent need to understand the uniqueness of this ruling Hindutva communal project”.