Sunday, July 6, 2014

Another Riot Coming?

In Moradabad, UP, tensions are high. The SP-controlled local administration ordered a local temple to stop using its speakers. Why? Because, according to them, Moradabad is a Muslim-majority area and a temple blaring out bhajans will cause communal tensions in the area. So, it seems, according to the sagacious opinion of Akhilesh Yadav and his netaji father, UP must emulate Saudi Arabia in order to be secular and socialist. For, where Muslims are in a minority, they must get special treatment; but where they are in a majority, an Islamic state must be formed, for that alone is the way forward for secularism.

This is a blatant attempt to create communal tensions where none exist, a hallmark of the SP whenever they are in government. How does a temple or a mosque create communal tensions? How do people privately practicing their own religious faith lead to communal tensions? And, even if it does, is it the duty of the state to ghettoize its people on communal lines or to stand up for the rights of individuals to profess their own faith? It is precisely this sort of communal governance that led to the horrific riots in Muzaffarnagar last year, which ultimately saw a huge backlash against the SP in the Lok Sabha elections. And now it seems that the SP, like always, has failed to learn a lesson and is up to its old tricks again.
 While BJP workers did protest against this dangerous move to manufacture communal tension, their protest turned violent, injuring the local DM. While this is a sad development, the protest per se was absolutely justified, if not a civic duty. If nobody protests against this blatant attempt to pit Hindus against Muslims, people can forget about any acche din in UP. Of course, the liberal media did report that the protests turned violent - but just 'forgot' to report why the protest took place there in the first place. Clearly, the pseudo-secular machinery that kept the UPA alive for 10 long years is back to business after the setback in May.

India's secularism is not a product of the Constitution, with all due respect to the document that defines modern India, but of the diversity of the subcontinent over thousands of years. It does not need so-called socialists to defend it. If anything, it is these pseudo-secular parties, led by their godfather the Indian National Congress, which have thoroughly discredited it.

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