By Nithin Sridhar
Malda district in West Bengal on Sunday witnessed one of the worst communal riots in the recent weeks. The riots started after an Islamic group carried out a protest march against hate speech by Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha leader Kamlesh Tiwari who allegedly insulted Prophet Mohammed in UP. Tiwari’s statement itself had come a day after Samajwadi Party’s Azam Khan had called RSS members as homosexuals!
The rally organized by Anjuman Ahle Sunnatul Jamat had turned violent after protesters set fire to more than two dozen vehicles including those belonging to Border Security Force. They also ransacked Kaliachak police station and set it on fire. Many Hindu houses, shops, and few temples like Shani-temple and Durga Temple were attacked as well.
The Malda violence is a typical case of the outburst of communal hatred. A Muslim mob targets Hindus, Hindu temples, and state administration, which it perceives as being predominantly ‘Hindu’. The immediate provocation may have been the objectionable statements made by Tiwari, but, the target was clearly Hindu society which was perceived as being ‘anti-Islamic’ by the Muslim mob.
According to one report, the whole incident may all have been pre-planned and it was fuelled by anti-Hindu sentiment fanned by local political parties. If this is true, then it again goes to show how pan-Islam anti-Hindu sentiments that were prevalent among the Muslim community of Malda resulted in the communal violence. The violence, thus, is a typical case of intolerance. Yet, there is hardly any proper coverage or outrage among the ‘intellectuals’ and ‘eminences’ of India.
Politicians like Arvind Kejriwal who had expressed serious outrage after the horrible Dadri lynching incident are yet to compose a single tweet about Malda violence. Similarly, journalists who routinely express their commitment to exposing ‘Hindu intolerance’ were all either silent or made politically correct statements like this tweet by Rajdeep Sardesai:
Condemn all violence, but don’t use Malda to rationalise Dadri. Isolate all extremists, Muslim or Hindu. https://t.co/ujR0yJ5vwz
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) January 6, 2016
The fact is the media, which routinely shouts about Hindu Terror, Hindu Taliban, Hindu Wahhabism, and Hindu Intolerance, refuse to exhibit such openness when it comes to terrorism, orthodoxy, fundamentalism, and intolerance connected with Islamists, and the Muslim community. The vocabulary immediately changes to politically correct terms like ‘minorities’, ‘all violence must be condemned’, ‘terrorism has no religion’, etc.
The aftermath of Dadri lynching saw the return of various awards by a large number of writers and public intellectuals. There were many open letters and petitions signed by people regarding growing intolerance as well. Yet, even four days after the Malda violence, which was as ghastly as Dadri, there has not been much display of outrage among these conscience keepers of the society.
Moreover, Scroll.in quotes a senior editor of a Bengali newspaper explaining how they have ‘deliberately’ kept the coverage of the incident a low-key affair. The editor says: “This is already a crime-prone area and we didn’t feel it was important enough to be given so much publicity. This is a case of localized communal tension. We didn’t want to create a problem when there isn’t one. Some political parties have tried to build it up. We have ignored it. This is a conscious policy on our part.”
There is nothing wrong in downplaying a localized communal tension if it is equally done in each and every case. But, why is it that this downplaying happens only when the victims are Hindus and not otherwise? Why did not the media downplay Dadri lynching? Why did not media downplay Church thefts? Does the media and the Award Wapsi brigade develop conscience only when Hindus are victims?
Do Hindus have no human rights? The media and the public intellectuals dominated by Left-liberal brigade appear to think so. Otherwise, why is there no cry of ‘Islamic intolerance’ in the aftermath of Malda violence? (Photo: India Today)