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Politics of communal comments and suffering of common mass

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By Tarun Pratap

Congress leader Shakeel Ahmad sparked a controversy by saying had Chhota Rajan and Anup Chetia been Muslims, BJP government’s narrative would have been different.

BJP leader Prakash Javadekar hit back by saying that Congress leaders give everything a religious turn and are the most communal.

This series of back and forth targeting highlights a key issue of Indian politics that political leaders have a habit of making communal comments without thinking about the consequences.

It seems that the only motive behind these comments is to spark an issue, malign opposition’s image, disturb the peace, play the blame game and then just walk away.

The whole country is debating that if we are becoming intolerant and communal and all those big words; while the real question is are we really changing or we are being forced to think that we are changing?

History tells the same story. Yes, communal tensions were always there, they will always be there, but till mid-1930s Indian struggle for freedom had no major communal issue and in a time of a decade and a half, this issue forced millions to leave their homes, to lose their lives and everything.

It is a point to think that how a country can become communal or secular in a span of few years. One reason is that the doubts against other community are always there in the hearts of community like many Muslims believe that one day there will be no place for them in India as it is a Hindu country or many Hindu believe that the Mughal rule of Aurangzeb might come back. Both fears are absurd but these fears are ignited by such series of communal comments that spark series of events where hate crimes take place and innocents get lynched and killed.

One of the main reasons of this environment of hatred and radical passions being fuelled is due to these communal comments made by our leaders, up irrespective of parties or religion they belong to.

It confuses the common man. A 12-year-old student has no idea how someone named Tipu Sultan is the hero one day and a villain, the next day. Nobody is going to tell her that it is because there are people who want votes, power and they will go any limits to achieve it.

Our way of protest and retaliation is flawed. ISIS thinks that killing innocents, bombing cities is the way to protest against who harmed them once and a certain liberated France thinks that firing missiles after missiles is the way to take the revenge.

It all becomes a cycle where every party is blaming the other that they started it. I was 10 when my mother said, “get your mess cleaned, yourself” and that was the last time I said to my mother that “he started it” about a fight with my brother.

However, in the case of the world, there are mothers like America who wait for an opportunity when someone comes with the complaint of ‘they started it’ and then they give them the gun and say ‘why don’t you finish it’?

Again the issue is not who is communal, BJP, Congress or a terrorist; the issue is who pays the price and that is a ‘Mohammed Akhlaq’ or every one of 257 victims in 1993 Mumbai blast and last, people like those 42 who were killed in Hashimpura Massacre of 22nd May of 1987. All these people pay the price and, ironically, they do not even matter to the people who give comments.

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U.S. President Donald Trump Announces Withdraw Of Almost All The Troops From Syria

Meanwhile, U.S. military officials, as well as members of the coalition actively fighting the terror group, have been reluctant to predict when final victory will be declared.

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Donald Trump
President Donald Trump shows maps of Syria and Iraq depicting the size of the "ISIS physical caliphate" as he speaks to workers at the country's only remaining tank manufacturing plant, in Lima, Ohio, March 20, 2019. VOA

In late 2018, President Donald Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw almost all of its troops from Syria, saying the Islamic State terror group had been defeated and there was no longer a reason to deploy U.S. forces in the war-torn nation.

The announcement led to the resignation of former Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who reportedly felt the drawdown was premature.

In the months since Trump announced the defeat of IS, he has wavered on whether the group has been vanquished. Sometimes he predicted that total victory would come in hours or days, while other times he has doubled down on the claim that the IS threat has been eliminated.

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Trump declared, “We have won against ISIS,” in a video released by the White House, to explain why the U.S. was pulling most of its troops out of Syria. VOA

Here’s a chronology of claims concerning the demise of Islamic State.

Dec. 19, 2018 — Trump declared, “We have won against ISIS,” in a video released by the White House, to explain why the U.S. was pulling most of its troops out of Syria.

Dec. 22, 2018 — Trump tweets that “ISIS is largely defeated and other local countries, including Turkey, should be able to easily take care of whatever remains.”

Jan. 16, 2019 — Vice President Mike Pence declares in a speech at the State Department that “the caliphate has crumbled and ISIS has been defeated.” Earlier that day, four Americans were killed in Syria by an IS suicide bomber.

Jan. 30, 2019 — Trump tweets about the “tremendous progress” made in Syria and that the IS “Caliphate will soon be destroyed.”

Feb. 1, 2019 — Trump repeats that “We will soon have destroyed 100 percent of the Caliphate.”

Feb. 3, 2019 — Trump tells CBS News, “We will be announcing in the not too distant future 100 percent of the caliphate, which is the area — the land, the area — 100. We’re at 99 percent right now, we’ll be at 100.”

Feb. 6, 2019 — Trump predicts that the declaration that the coalition has captured all IS holdings “should be formally announced sometime, probably next week.”

Feb. 10, 2019 — Trump tweets that the U.S. will control all former IS territory in Syria “soon.”

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Feb. 16, 2019 — Trump tweets, “We are pulling back after 100 percent Caliphate victory!” Pixabay

Feb. 11, 2019 — At a rally in El Paso, Texas, Trump says the announcement that 100 percent of Islamic State territory has been captured will be coming “maybe over the next week, maybe less.”

Feb. 15, 2019 — At a news conference Trump says a statement about “our success with the eradication of the caliphate … will be announced over the next 24 hours.”

Feb. 16, 2019 — Trump tweets, “We are pulling back after 100 percent Caliphate victory!”

Feb. 22, 2019 — Trump tells reporters “In another short period of time, like hours — you’ll be hearing hours and days — you’ll be hearing about the caliphate. It will — it’s 100 percent defeated.”

Donald Trump
March 2, 2019 — At a conference, Trump tells attendees, “As of probably today or tomorrow, we will actually have 100 percent of the caliphate in Syria.” VOA

Feb. 28, 2019 — In a speech to U.S. troops in Alaska, Trump says, “We just took over, you know, you kept hearing it was 90 percent, 92 percent, the caliphate in Syria. Now it’s 100 percent we just took over, 100 percent caliphate.”

March 2, 2019 — At a conference, Trump tells attendees, “As of probably today or tomorrow, we will actually have 100 percent of the caliphate in Syria.”

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March 20, 2019 — Trump shows reporters a map that plots the territory still held by the Islamic State in Syria and promises that area “will be gone by tonight.”

Meanwhile, U.S. military officials, as well as members of the coalition actively fighting the terror group, have been reluctant to predict when final victory will be declared. Some also note that even when IS no longer controls any territory, fighters who escaped capture and are hiding within civilian populations could still pose a security threat. (VOA)