News Analysis |
Just days after two Muslim men were beaten to death on suspicion of cattle theft in Jharkhand, social media users in India reacted with outrage at the news of a Muslim farmer, who was attacked and killed by a mob in Uttar Pradesh earlier on June 19, for apparently the same reason.
The roots of this hate lie in the rise of extremist Hindutva thought and the machinations of the British colonial masters.
Residents from Pilkhua Kotwali area’s Bajheda Khurd village thrashed two men on suspicion of cow slaughter, shows a viral video. The victim, identified as Qasim (45) was pronounced dead when he was brought to the hospital. His acquaintance is still being treated for his injuries. According to media reports, the two men were beaten up by irate villagers after rumors of them trying to steal three cows and a calf for slaughtering spread in the area.
Uttar Pradesh Police, on Thursday, issued an apology after a photograph emerged where a group of policemen was seen escorting men who were dragging the body of a man who was lynched by a mob. The state police came in the eye of the storm after a photograph emerged on social media where a group of men can be seen dragging the body of a man who was lynched by a mob in Uttar Pradesh’s Hapur district. In the photograph, three police personnel can also be seen along with the group.
In its clarification, the police said that the photograph was taken shortly after the arrival of the police and “the non-availability of the ambulance” led to the mishandling of the victim’s body. UP Police also admitted that the policemen should have been more sensitive in their conduct.
Before that, on 14th June, two Muslim men were lynched and killed by local villagers in Jharkhand State. The two victims were escorting some missing buffaloes from their property when they were attacked by a mob searching for the same animals.
These attacks echo several instances of terrorist attacks waged on India’s Muslim minority by Hindutva terrorists. In April, a few right-wing groups, and the local traders’ body in Uttarakhand’s Agastyamuni town, on Friday, vandalized up to 15 shops owned by Muslim traders in the town. This was done after a fake video was shared on social media along with statements alleging that a 10-year-old Hindu girl had been raped by a Muslim man in the town.
According to media reports, the two men were beaten up by irate villagers after rumors of them trying to steal three cows and a calf for slaughtering spread in the area.
At least 2,000 persons gathered near the police station at Agastyamuni, on Friday morning, demanding justice for the alleged rape victim. Simultaneously, up to 15 shops of Muslim traders were vandalized by the agitators, including people from the town’s traders’ body, a local students’ group Jai Ho, and members of the ABVP.
With the rise of the Hindutva fundamentalist, BJP, to power in 2014, Hindutva militants have become prominent in most parts of India. These brutal militants have enacted savage murders of mainly Muslims on various reasons such as “Gau Raksha” (Cow protection) and “Love Jihad.”
In the name of protecting Hinduism, Saffron terrorists have unleashed violence in several parts of India. Increasing incidents of ‘mob lynching’ and the silence of the Modi government has encouraged more hate groups and terrorists who have struck fear into the hearts of Muslims and lower-caste Indians.
Former Indian President Hamid Ansari, in his final speech, highlighted that Muslims in India felt unsafe. Several prominent Indian Muslims like film actor Amir Khan has time and again highlighted the injustices faced by local Muslims.
Muslims are a favored target due to their helplessness in India. Since the rise of the BJP, many Muslims have lost their lives at the hands of Saffron terrorists. They are also at the receiving end of much hostile legislation such as the ban on beef consumption.
On account of the brutal killings of Muslims – from Mohammed Akhlaq (on September 28th, 2015) to Ahmed Bashir (on January 8th, 2018) – the minority community feels insecurity in every part of the country. The roots of this hate lie in the rise of extremist Hindutva thought and the machinations of the British colonial masters.
Syncretic tendencies were somewhat reduced before the imposition of British power in the mid-18th century. Furthermore, British rule emphasized the distinctions between Hindu and Muslim and did not encourage efforts to harmonize the two religions. Most Hindutva extremists spread Islamophobia by linking the Muslim minority of India with India’s archenemy, Pakistan. This helps them to polarize society and convert animosity into votes and popular support.