It is a very disturbing fact…most of us cannot see beyond religion. It is an argument where i have perenially failed in voicing my opnion among a bunch of unrelenting and ‘never going to be convinced individuals.’
It is also disturbing to see how biased we are about people from other religions. We fail to see that we share a common culture that which can be traced to our struggle for independence..where we fought as Indians and not Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs or Christians.
It also worries me to see that people have become so violent and so sensitive about faith that they overlook the defeaning cry of their fellow human. Religious hooliganism has crossed boundaries of humanity…and the impact is scary.
Surprisingly, we all have our prejudices about the ‘typical hindu/muslim/christian’…we do not realise that they are after all people who are very much a part of the common thread that we share which ultimately goes into building a strong nation.
Today, I was reading a front page story on the Bilkis Banu case.
Fourteen of her relatives were murdered by a bunch of sick ‘hindutva fundamentalists’ during the Godhra riots of 2002. Banu who was 8 months pregnant then was gangrapped by these men and her 3 year old son was smashed to death. It is a crime…it is the most disturbing and inhuman story i heard of in recent times. Even thinking of it gives me goose pimples…..the only thought that comes to me is ‘Why did they do it?’ And the only definite answer i can draw is that they were muslims…that is why?? Those Hindutvas believed that each of those innocent muslims deserved death….BUT WHY??
Only because 50 karsevaks were burned in a train at Godhra station…was that a ticket to commit Mass murder in the name of religion. Political hypocrisy has existed far too long…and my blood boils when i read stories of my innocent fellow country men who are victimised for someone elses crime…only because they belong to the same religion. It pinches me to learn that the leader of the same state who takes an oath to protect citizens commits mass genocide and still gets away with it because of the support of the majority…
Further, the accused in Bilkis Banu’s case have been given life imprisonment as the judge termed it as not being ‘the rarest of rare’ and so the accused couldnt be sent to the gallows (death sentence).
Godhra happened in 2002, i was young then,it is 2008 and people havent yet recieved justice…our system is flawed, her pain is fresh and i personally believe that Justice delayed is justice denied.
Even the Sikh riots of 1984 (after the assasination of Indira Gandhi) is shockingly dismaying. Scores of sikhs were burned/beaten to death and many women raped only because the assasinators of Indira Gandhi were Sikhs. It was a Hindu backlash of sorts to teach the community of the perpetrators a lesson.
Male members of Sikh community were taken out, “were beaten first and then burnt alive in a systematic manner. In some cases tyres were put around their neck and then petrol was poured on them. In some cases white inflammable powder was thrown on them, which immediately caught fire. This was common pattern followed. The shops were identified and looted and then burnt.”
To top it all Rajiv Gandhi (her son) on being asked what the government was doing to control the riots, very insensitively commented, “When a tree falls (Indira Gandhi..he meant) the tremors would be felt.”
Such political insensitivity has destroyed foolish religious minds. I am still hoping to see a day when we would see each other as self made Indians than religious entities. What makes ‘people’ is not their ‘religion’….we need to understand that and learn….But when?
Are we Indians so suseptible to religious instigation and political exploitation…I think our own GODS are too embarrased too answer for our shameful deeds