July 21, 2019

HATE, THREAT & VIOLENCE: VHP Tries to Whip Up Communal Sentiments in Delhi

Satyaki S

BARELY a day passes without reports about Muslims being attacked and forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in various parts of the country. In the first two weeks of July, over a dozen such cases were reported from different areas, particularly in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. As the ruling BJP refuses to act against right-wing goons creating havoc across the country, Muslims and Dalits are bearing the brunt.

The right-wing forces are now trying to expand their footprint across the country and create communal tension. In Delhi, days after a parking row escalated into a communal flare-up in the Hauz Kazi area, leading to the vandalism of a temple, leaders of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) tried to whip up communal frenzy. But the Muslim community frustrated their brazen attempts. On July 9, RSS-affiliated outfits took out a huge rally in the Hauz Kazi and Ballimaran areas to install idols at the temple vandalised in the June 30 scuffle, with the active support of the Muslim community. In the procession, hundreds of people waved saffron flags to the slogan of Jai Shri Ram. Despite the support extended by Muslim community members, who distributed food and water to those in the procession, VHP leaders delivered communal speeches in front of the gathering.

In stark contrast to what the Muslim community leaders were doing, right-wing Hindutva leaders tried to threaten and intimidate the minorities. Addressing the gathering, Surendra Jain, the international joint general secretary of the VHP, said: “Hum Hauz Qazi ko, Ballimaran ko Ayodhya bana sakte hain… Ab Hindu pitega nahi, ye unko samajh lena chahiye (We can turn Hauz Qazi, Ballimaran into Ayodhya… Hindus will not be beaten any longer, they should understand this).” Addressing the crowd, Akhil Bhartiya Sant Samiti general secretary Jitendra Nand Saraswati said, “One might think this is a programme in Chandni Chowk. No, Hindus across the world are watching it through different social media, and they want to know — are Hindus of Delhi impotent? Delhi’s Hindus are on the roads to tell that this is the last reaction. You did what you did, but don’t force our hand. We will not migrate, and if they will force us, we will ensure they migrate from this country.”


Incidents of right-wing mobs attacking Muslims and Dalits in the name of beef are now spreading to Tamil Nadu in southern India as the communal forces make hectic attempts to gain grounds in the region. On July 11, 24-year-old Mohammed Faizan was stabbed with a knife and beaten with iron rods by a group of people in Tamil Nadu's Nagapattinam district for uploading a picture of himself consuming beef soup. Speaking to the media from his hospital bed, Faizan told the media that the attackers belonged to a right-wing group. “…They yelled at me saying I can't eat beef curry. But I insisted it was my right. They then took sickles and rods to beat me. They were wearing masks and only let me go because a police officer came to the spot,” he said.

The CPI(M) Tamil Nadu state committee has condemned the incident and demanded strict action against the perpetrators. “Incidences of Sangh Parivar outfits attacking dalits and minorities in the name of beef are now surfacing in Tamil Nadu as in north Indian states. The state government and police should nip such episodes in the bud. Those behind the murderous attack (on Faizan) should be given stringent punishment,” the CPI(M) state secretary said in a statement. The incident also triggered an outrage on social media. #Beef4life, #WeLoveBeef and #BeefForLife became the top trends on Twitter as hundreds of people, especially from Tamil Nadu, tweeted in support of the freedom to eat beef.