Yes, we all know Junaid Khan, a teenager who was brutally killed on the eve of Ramzan last year. He was killed by some Hindus, and it was reason enough for the media and political forces to make a big hue and cry over the issue. They said the killing happened due to communal hatred. Cartoons were published and op-eds were written in newspapers. Demonstrations were organised across the country and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was asked to speak up. Radical Islamist outfits, in a well-coordinated move, lost no time in coming up with provocative posters showcasing the body of the 16-year-old boy, who had become a symbol of the alleged wave of hatred against Muslims in India. Now, the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which is hearing the case, has pointed out that the altercation between Junaid Khan and his killers was over seat sharing in a train and there was no communal angle to it. It was not a pre-planned, cold-blooded killing.
Just a few months before Junaid Khan was killed, another Muslim teenager was killed in broad daylight in Karnataka's Pandavapura town. Personal enmity was not the reason that triggered this heinous crime. The killing was pre-planned, and was an outcome of religious differences. Yet, there was no media outrage over this killing, which fits the textbook definition of a hate crime.
Nineteen-year-old Luqman Pasha, son of Munawar Pasha, was killed by his friends because he refused to join the radical Islamist group, Tablighi Jamaat, which follows the Deobandi school of thought (Deccan Herald, 11 February 2017). So, here you have a Muslim youth killed by his own radicalised friends because he refused to join the radical outfit. He was killed on a Friday afternoon in front of a dargah, which the Islamic radicals consider as Kufr. It was a clear case of ‘execution’ and all we hear is silence, absolute silence. No outrage, no op-eds. Luqman was not even considered a martyr for secularism.
The so-called secular forces and establishment media in India are least concerned about Muslims, their lives or their freedom. They are only concerned about creating a fear psychosis in the Muslim population so that they can condemn the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Their aim is to run a campaign to stereotype political Hindus as evil forces, similar to Nazis. So, they invent fake stories of hate crimes, while burying the real ones. Real hate crime data is problematic to them. Their hatred towards political Hindus is pradoxically similar to the hatred Nazis had for Jews.
The killing of Luqman is not an isolated incident.
Consider a scenario. Let's assume a junior minister in the Modi government making a statement that there is nothing wrong with khap panchayats and a few bad examples should not be used to dismiss the institution. Then, after some time there is an honour killing reported in the rural areas of say, a woman, who had defied caste barriers. We can be assured of cartoons and op-eds in newspapers condemning the incident. Even the New York Times, which with respect to India has reduced itself to a notorious racist newspaper, would come out with an op-ed damning the Modi government as a whole.
But, consider this.
In 2006, the then United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government said in a reply to the Supreme Court that Sharia courts were legal. "Their existence posed no challenge to the country’s judicial system," the government had informed the court. Was there an outrage? None! This was after the infamous Imrana case, and also after fatwas were issued in the cases of Jyotsna Ara of Assam and Asobi in Haryana, both were raped by their fathers-in-law, and in both cases the fatwas explicitly rejected justice to the victims. "Just a few bad examples," said the UPA reich, brushing aside those instances. (Shariat courts no threat to judiciary', Indian Express, 3 November 2006) Did the progressives raise voice against this indignity or the feminists launch any campaign? There were blogs written during those days, but did the blogs of the seculars erupt with anger and criticise this open injustice meted out to the women of minority community? No, there was absolute silence. At least in the case of the Sharia courts, some rare op-eds may have been wrtitten. But were there any campaigns of nationwide indignation? None!
Now, let's look at the killings in Tamil Nadu – at least the ones we know of. Muslim women were warned against 'immoral' behaviour by religious radical groups. Those who did not heed were killed in broad daylight. The parents of a girl, who was killed, were forced to say that they were ashamed of their 'immoral' daughter. A top official from a radical Muslim outfit, who shared the dais with who's who of the progressives, said that if the Indian Constitution had provision to stone 'immoral' women to death the religious Muslim youths would not have illegally 'executed' the girl. (In Tamil Nadu town, fundamentalists play moral cops, even kill to have way, The Indian Express, 26 March 2007). The killing continued mostly unreported or under-reported by the national media. It was only in 2016, the Madras High Court banned Sharia courts from operating out of mosques in Tamil Nadu.
It is important to note that the Sharia courts were supported by the UPA government, which brushed aside many instances of explicit injustice meted out to women victims of rape as just a few bad examples. This emboldened the jihadist outfits to even execute 'Taliban-style women' whom they considered 'immoral'. Yet, there was no condemnation from the usual gang of eminent citizens, seething intellectuals, raging feminists, the retired as well as unretired government bureaucrats etc. Nobody marched with candles or banners saying 'not in the name of Nehruvian secularism' for Mumtaz – yes that was her name – the girl who told the fundamentalists not to interfere in her life, before she was stoned to death in public.
The reason is clear and simple.
Their concern for Muslims is no concern for Muslims as fellow citizens and humans but just the concerns for pawns to be sacrificed in their political game against the BJP and politically-conscious Hindus. At the same time, the Islamist political brain sees these left-liberals as useful pawns in their civilisational war against the kafirs. It does not matter if the victim is a Muslim or a Christian, they will protest only if the killer is a Hindu and it does not matter to them whether the reason for violence is really communal or secular – the identities are enough. Their mission is to spread hatred in the name of pretentious humanism. Their mission is to aid and encourage radical fundamentalism in the name of secularism. And note this: there is not a single soul among them who has the basic moral courage to say in their faces, "not in the name of my secularism".
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