Saturday, 14 February, 2009

Street Violence and Street Violence

There are two kinds of street violence.

The less often, rarer events are those indulged into by a publicity hungry, aspiring politician like Pramod Muthalik. There is a group of 10 - 15 people, who, in full media glare, carry out an "attack" on hapless couples - maybe be posing for the benefit of camera touting "media professional" greenhorns looking for a scoop of their lives.

Pramod Muthalik was a nobody. Someone kicked out of BJP and Shiv Sena, hungry for a MP ticket, and then willing to settle for an MLA ticket or may be even a corporation ticket.

And then the media made him a villain. And thus, cemented a constituency for him of jobless youth, coming from traditional family backgrounds who are going to equate class issues with religion issues.

Pink Chaddi campaign aims to rub this humiliation deeper.

Read this balanced article by Sagarika Ghose (I don't have much regards for her, but this article was surprisingly unbiased).

The other act of Street Violence happened over last one week.

And was ignored.

The victim was a part of the educated, English speaking elite - the editor of The Statesman Newspaper.

His crime ??

Reprinting an article from the Independent, UK. The original article by Johann Hari called "Why should I respect these oppressive religions?" raises a question that Whenever a religious belief is criticised, its adherents say they're victims of 'prejudice'. And this, he believes is diminishing the space for a mature debate / discussion.

In response, the Muslim crowds were protesting. In increasing numbers every day. And then they started rioting, pelting stones and setting fire to passerby's vehicles. Standard fare for Jehadi street violence.


At the core of both the issues, the common point is one - respect for individual, respect for law, respect for diversity of opinion.

But the responses to the similar actions are not similar.

When Muthalik breaks the law, left / liberal groups run amok, ridiculing every thing Hindu, posting photographs of a pink underwear draped over the Om sign, a Union minister launches a "pub bharo" (fill the pubs) movement (very conveniently forgetting the Directive Principles of Indian constitution that promote prohibition) and over 36, 000 people sign up a Facebook group supporting used women's underwear being sent to Muthalik's address that is published - what is privacy or Human Rights of Hindu accused.

When Muslims break law, vandalise, issue death threats, bring Kolkatta to its knees by street violence, the victim himself- person who has received threats from Jehadi Muslim groups - the editor of The Statesman - gets arrested. For "deliberately acting with malicious intent to outrage religious feelings”.

These malicious intent to outrage religious feelings happens only if these are Muslim feelings. If the feelings are those of Hindus - for example M F Hussain painting nude paintings of our goddesses, then it is a question of freedom of speech.

And the response of English media - Total Silence. Deafening Silence.

So, can I be blamed, if I believe, that if you are a Hindu in India, you get the end of the stick. It is indeed becoming a crime to be a Hindu in India.

Muslims can do any act of street violence. And get away with it. Ideally with the intervention and support of the party in power.

Be it CPM, Congress, Mulayam, BSP - what ever.

I am amazed that the left / liberals forget the lessons of Action Day, 1946, Kolkatta.

Muslim League had given a call for Action in 1946 in run up to Independence. The Action Day dawned and action meant slaughter, rape, loot and murder of Hindus.

The "secular" communist Hindus were shocked when they were set upon by communist Muslims.

But we are communists. Aren't we ??

Sure, but first I am a Muslim.

Forget that at your own peril.

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