By utilizing a series of Hindu festivals celebrated in North India such as the Hindu New Year (Nav Samvatsar), Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti, the RSS saffron mob has resorted to fascistic rampages against Muslims in different parts of the country.
A riot which broke out during the Hindu New Year celebrations in Rajasthan’s Karauli town on April 2 was the beginning of a series of rampages. On that day, saffron goons took out a motorcycle rally into an area populated with Muslims. The saffron mob attacked Muslims and set ablaze shops and vehicles of Muslims in the area by alleging that the Muslims pelted stones at them.
In a similar fashion, on the occasion of Ram Navami on April 10, Muslims were attacked in different states of the country – Uttarakhand, Delhi, West Bengal, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka. On April 16, on Hanuman Jayanti, anti-Muslim riots were also staged in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri.
At least 20 houses were set on fire in a riot in Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone area. Ibris Khan, a 30-year-old youth, was beaten to death by a saffron gang. More than 24 Muslims were also injured in the riots.
In Khambhat town of Gujarat’s Anand district and Himatnagar in Sabarkantha district, Muslims were attacked and shops were set on fire. A 65-year-old man was killed in the riots.
At least 10 Muslims were injured in the violence in West Bengal’s Howrah. A Muslim man was killed in a riot in Jharkhand’s Lohardaga district and 12 Muslims were seriously injured.
The Sangh Parivar gang has mostly used the same method to carry out such terrorist attacks. In the procession, they shout “Jai Shri Ram” and carry murderous weapons like knives, swords and guns. All those processions deliberately go into areas inhabited by Muslims in large numbers. They stand together in front of the mosques there, and abuse Muslims on loudspeakers and raise slogans that incite violence. At the height of this, the ‘anti-Hindu’ demonstrators organized by them will throw stones at the procession. Thereafter, violent rampages against Muslims will begin.
This is the usual method adopted by the saffron gang to stage riots. These may remind us of rath yatras and Ganesh Chaturthi processions. But so far, there is no history of riots erupting in more than 10 states on any Ram Navami occasion. This is a new trend.
While there are no new differences in the manner in which the riots are being staged, the series of saffron rampages on Hindu New Year, Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti is a qualitative change that was never seen before in the RSS’s fascistic terror activities.
In states where saffron fascists have a foothold, several small-scale riots against the minorities often ouucr. In addition to this, widespread riots and fascist lynchings across the country on Ganesh Chaturthi processions, rath yatras have rarely been carried out from time to time.
But now the trend of fascistic rampages and massacres against minority Muslims has been initiated. The saffron gang is going to use every Hindu festival as a pretext for it.
Cultural imposition of saffron terrorists
In Delhi, on Ram Navami, the ABVP goons staged a protest and quarreled at the Kaveri hostel of the JNU and demanded that meat should not be cooked. The ABVP mob has not only beaten up the shopkeeper who was carrying meat but also threatened the hostel secretary not to cook non-vegetarian food.
Around 7:30 pm, the hostel students were surrounded and assaulted by the ABVP for allegedly eating non-vegetarian food. More than 60 students were injured in the attack.
On the campus of the Hyderabad University, the ABVP has built a Ram temple by stacking some stones. A saffron flag was hoisted on top of it and the pictures of Lord Rama and Hanuman were placed on it and pujas were conducted. The Vice-Chancellor of the University had also participated in the Ram Navami Puja organized by the ABVP at the Gurbaksh Singh Maidan of the University campus.
From these two events, one can understand the danger that the educational institutions are becoming a den of saffron terrorists. Moreover, the saffron party’s attack on meat eaters on Ram Navami is an attack on the right to food of the majority of the people. Even if we leave out the non-Hindus, the majority of Hindus do not avoid meat on Ram Navami.
Meanwhile, saffron fascists have banned the sale of meat on Ram Navami in the eastern and southern districts of Delhi, Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh and Bengaluru in Karnataka.
A mob deciding what we should eat, dress, speak, and like is a gruesome attack on privacy. The saffron parties have been systematically imposing brahmanical culture on the majority of the people in the name of ‘Hindu culture’ for ages. The students in the JNU are mostly Hindus. This is a proof that the Hindu Rashtra is against the majority of Hindus.
The bulldozer that demolished the democratic illusions
In a series of riots on the eve of the festivals, it was not just the saffron goons who hurled rampages on the Muslims. The state administration has also done its part in the ‘kar seva’.
Around 3 am, the day after the Ram Navami riots (April 11), the local administration landed with a bulldozer, claiming that it was an ‘eviction drive’ to demolish the houses and shops of Muslims in the Khargone area. Houses and shops of more than 50 Muslims were demolished.
First, they started breaking the gate of the Bilal Mosque there. When an elderly woman, who was living near the mosque, tried to stop them, the khaki goons (police) attacked her violently.
They did not pay any heed to the Muslims who begged, “Let us take our belongings out, at least the Quran out of the house”.
Home Minister Narottam Mishra openly spewed venom of hatred that “houses from where the stones were thrown will be turned into heaps of stones”. However, the Khargone district administration said that this was a legally binding exercise to remove encroachments. It said that it had nothing to do with the riots. Some of the demolished houses were built under the Modi government’s Awas Yojana scheme. From this, it can be clearly understood that ‘encroachment’ is just an excuse – a lie.
After Madhya Pradesh, shops and houses of Muslims were also demolished in Khambhat town of Gujarat’s Anand district. The Anand district collector also claimed that it was a step towards removing encroachments, just as the Khargone collector had said.
Delhi BJP Leader Adesh Gupta wrote to the North Delhi civic body to raze ‘illegal construction of rioters’ similar to that of Jahangirpuri demolition drive. Subsequently, on the morning of April 20, without any prior notice, houses and shops of Muslims in the area were demolished by bulldozers.
While the houses were being demolished, advocate Dushyant Dave hurriedly raised these issues in the Supreme Court and obtained a stay order. The municipality demolished more than 20 houses and shops for more than two hours after the court order was received. When asked to stop the demolition drive, it said ‘we have not received any notice’. The attack of the saffron goons which is fascistic is on the one hand while the attack of the state administration is on the other. The minorities face a dual attack.
Removal of encroachment is a blatant lie. Not only the BJP leaders had demanded that the houses of Muslims should be targeted and demolished, but also the Sanghis shared the slogan “If stones are thrown, bulldozers will come to the houses” across the social media. According to law, even if they are rioters, as the BJP says, demolishing their homes and driving them away as refugees is an indigestible anti-democratic act and a violation of human rights. This is the true face of the so-called ‘democratic country’.
It was Yogi Adityanath who launched the terror attack of demolishing the houses of those protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Uttar Pradesh. That model is currently being replicated by Madhya Pradesh’s BJP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Hence, the Sangh parivar calls Yogi ‘Bulldozer Baba’ and Shivraj Singh Chouhan as ‘Bulldozer Mama’.
The bulldozer itself has become the symbol of fascist terrorists who threaten the minorities. Bulldozers demolished not only buildings, but also democratic illusions.
The duality of the parties is cooperating to the fascists
While the fascist tendency is emerging across the country, we have consistently criticized the soft adherence to the BJP’s Hindutva policy by the parties that claim to be opposed to the BJP. This has been actively expressed among many parties during Ram Navami celebrations as well.
In West Bengal, it is customary for the Trinamool Congress and the BJP to compete and indulge in Ram Navami celebrations. This year too it has continued. Rallies organized by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal and Durga Vahini across West Bengal were attended by TMC leaders too.
Ram Navami is being celebrated in a grand manner on behalf of the Bhupesh Baghel-led Congress government in Chhattisgarh. A special scheme has been announced by the Government under the name of ‘Ram Van Gaman Tourism’. The aim of Ram Van Gaman Tourism Project is to renovate nine places in the state of Chattisgarh, where Lord Ram is said to have lived during his 14-year exile, and connect these ‘holy’ pilgrimage sites.
Speaking after inaugurating the Shivrinarayan temple, which is part of the project, on Ram Navami, Bhupesh Baghel said, “We are planning to develop Shivrinarayan temple on the lines of Ayodhya”. Some of us are saying that Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s criticism of the RSS is appreciable. But the question we are raising is why he didn’t condemn the Chattisgarh Chief Minister.
In the aftermath of these riots, 13 opposition leaders, including the Congress, Trinamool Congress, DMK, CPI and CPM, issued a joint statement condemning Modi’s “silent watch” of the communal violence. Apart from issuing statements, no leader could be seen on the ground when riots were being staged against the Muslims and their houses were demolished.
It was Comrade Brinda Karat, a member of the CPM politburo, and Hannan Mollah, general secretary of the All India Kisan Sabha, who came to the field during the demolition drive in Jahangirpuri. That’s the real opposition. The soft Hindutva of the other parties and the verbal opposition after the riots are just tacit collaborations with the fascists.
Towards an Islamic genocide
The opposition parties and the majority of the democratic forces have been claiming that the riots that took place during the Hindu festivals are being orchestrated by the BJP to win the upcoming elections. They have been repeatedly saying this every time whenever communal riots occur.
The customs, culture, thinking, etc., of the people of the country are being remodelled in accordance with the Hindu Rashtra during every riot. It is very bad to narrow down the process by which the RSS-BJP is distorting and transforming society with electoral limitations. For other vote parties, electoral victories could be everything. But for the RSS-BJP, which dreams of a Hindu Rashtra, elections are not the only ones that matter and are not the main ones.
In the first step to the genocide of the Jews, Hitler adopted a system called ‘ghettoization’. He confiscated the property of the Jews, destroyed their settlements, oppressed them economically and forced them to live in ‘ghettos’ (a slum where people of particular races/religions live in close isolation). He thereby isolated them from the public.
The Jews who lived there were treated as bonded labourers. The elderly and children fell ill and died in the ghettos, which had no basic amenities such as food and sanitation.
The saffron fascists are creating a trend similar to ghettoization in our country. The agendas that the saffron party has been pushing forward in the recent past such as the hijab ban, halal jihad, the ban on Muslims from doing business at festivals and the ban on the use of loudspeakers in mosques are pointing towards that. After the demolition of their houses with bulldozers in Madhya Pradesh, four Muslim families settled in the cowshed with no other place to stay. This is an example for the aforementioned trend. What happened to some Muslim families today could happen to most of the Muslims tomorrow.
All this is being done in the name of the religious beliefs of the majority of the Hindus. It is not possible to tolerate any more when the saffron mob subjects Muslims, who lived together like brothers, to such a cruel situation. It is also not humane for the Hindus to celebrate their religious festivals happily, while the Muslims are spilling their blood.
It is time to understand that the silence of the majority of the religious Hindus, act as an impetus to the communal mob. It is time to stand together with the Muslims and oppose the saffron fanatics. It is the responsibility of the revolutionary and democratic forces to mobilize the people and build struggles to chase away the fascists.