News Analysis |
Individuals have expressed their fears and their horror over Bharatiya Janata Party members’ support for the accused. Several notable retired officers have written to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, expressing their distrust in, and reservations against, his government politics, especially those of his party Bharatiya Janata Party. BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengaris has been accused of being involved in the gang rape of Asifa Bano. They have demanded PM Modi to take steps to remove anyone from Government who has been associated with hate crimes and hate speeches.
Key points from the letter
- “the unspeakable horror of the Kathua and the Unnao incidents shows that the Government has failed in performing the most basic of the responsibilities given to it by the people.“
- “By giving sustenance to the brutality of one human being against another in the name of Hindus we have failed as human beings.”
- “Prime Minister, we write to you not just to express our collective sense of shame and not just to give voice to our anguish or lament and mourn the death of our civilisational values – but to express our rage. Rage over the agenda of division and hate your party and its innumerable, often untraceable offshoots that spring up from time to time, have insidiously introduced into the grammar of our politics, our social and cultural life and even our daily discourse. It is that which provides the social sanction and legitimacy for the incidents in Kathua and Unnao.”
- “In Kathua in Jammu, it is the culture of majoritarian belligerence and aggression promoted by the Sangh Parivar which emboldened rabid communal elements to pursue their perverse agenda. They knew that their behavior would be endorsed by the politically powerful and those who have made their careers by polarizing Hindus and Muslims across a sectarian divide.”
The reason Asifa was picked as a target by the accused because she “often comes to the forest”, was simple; they wanted to drive the Muslim community out in the Hindu dominated region of Kashmir, according to the investigations.
- On Unnao: “But even more reprehensible than such abuse of power, it is the response of the State Government in hounding the victim of rape and her family instead of the alleged perpetrator that shows how perverted governance practices have become. That the Government of UP finally acted only when it was compelled to do so by the High Court, shows its hypocrisy and the half-heartedness of its intent.”
It took three months and the exposure of horrific details for the outrage to be built and any action to be taken against the rape and murder of the girl
- “In both cases, Prime Minister, it is your party which is in power. Given your supremacy within the party and the centralised control you and your Party President exercise, you more than anyone else have to be held responsible for this terrifying state of affairs. Instead of owning up and making reparations however, you had until yesterday chosen to remain silent, breaking your silence only when public outrage both in India and internationally reached a point when you could no longer ignore it.”
While the outrage over Asifa’s rape and murder was muted – even missing – during the initial weeks, the eight accused men found a crusading force of lawyers and ministers from BJP in their support, some of whom insisted the police investigators were Muslims and had a bias towards the accused – all of whom Hindus.
- And even then, while you have condemned the act and expressed a sense of shame, you have not condemned the communal pathology behind the act nor shown the resolve to change the social, political and administrative conditions under which such communal hate is bred. We have had enough of these belated remonstrations and promises to bring justice when the communal cauldron is forever kept boiling by forces nested within the Sangh Parivar.
They have called upon Prime Minister Modi to reach out to the families of the victims in Unnao and Kathua, and seek their forgiveness on behalf of all of them. The letter “in the memory of these innocent children and all other victims of hate crime” has demanded to renew a pledge to “offer special protection to Muslims, to Dalits, to members of other minority communities, to women and children so that they need not fear for their life and liberty and any threat to these will be extinguished with the full force of State authority.”
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