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From busy Jehangirpuri to quiet Tungnath peak, blaming Muslims is the new fad

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat* 

The bulldozer politics has now reached Delhi. It is shameful that the Delhi chief minister 'condemned' the violence during shobhayatra at Jahagirpuri, but could not find out the truth behind it. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is an 'expert' organisation, and elections show, they have their volunteers who have plenty of 'information' and 'sources' everywhere. In propaganda they are second to none; perhaps they compete with the Sangh Parivar.
What stopped the Delhi chief minister from speaking against the illegal drive? Why is it happening that governments are now taking law in their hand, destroying livelihood of the poor just because they happen to be Muslims, without following the due process of law?
The collapse of our institutions is complete. The only answer to this is the political unity among all those who believe in an inclusive, socialist India. Land sharks are eyeing all the urban land and some sections have become the biggest obstacle for them. Netas don't even think before speaking: they are seen blaming everyone as being Bangladeshis.
A few days back when I was trekking Tungnath peak at the altitude of 3,600 metres in Uttarakhand Himalayas, while returning, a boy was walking briskly, dancing. His mobile speaker was loud: "Ayodhya me bhagwa fehrayaa hai, abhi Mathura me bhi fehrayenge, mandir wahi baneygne". Thee song has the lines, "Shiv bhi bole, Jai Shri Ram..."
I stopped and asked the boy as why should Lord Shiva, who is termed as Adi Dev, call Jai Shri Ram? How is Lord Shiva expected to chant Jai Shri Ram? But this has happened. There were two other persons who started asking me whether I knew Puranas, told me Shiva worshipped Lord Ram. I told them all this is Brahminical mischief -- of stealing the Gods of indigenous people, defining these Gods as per their whims and fancies.
Anyway, my problem was not what was being said but the way the song was being interpreted. All these bhajans are being made to create provocation, thought. I felt how much poison are we creating among our youth.
It was strange: I was travelling to an old temple of Lord Shiva, which is located at the highest altitude in the world, and yet there were no bhajan dedicated to Lord Shiva; you are instead chanting Jai Shri Ram even at this high altitude and saying, "Mandir wahi banayenge."
The way things are being defined and taken to the places which are peaceful suggests how much our youth have been driven by such propaganda in the name of faith and identity.
Indeed, we are at a very critical phase of our national life when the political class has decided that it is not going to provide any hope in terms of socio-economic development of the people.
For every failure, Muslims are sought to be blamed. The middle classes of the dominant caste groups which had felt till now that all their issues are happening because of the reservation being provided to SC-ST-OBCs, has found one more villain in the form of Muslims.
Will political parties speak up loudly? I don't think that media or judiciary will come to the rescue of citizens on their own; still, the fact remains, the Constitution and existing institutions, are the only way to fight it out. When the political system changes, institutions too follow up and that is the only hope.
Everywhere in the world, we are witnessing authoritarianism and majoritarianism raising their head. We are no different than our other friends in South Asia; actually we have become very much like these others.
Gone are the days when we were proud in saying that India is a democracy and we respect diversity of faiths and culture. It is time for political parties to make alliances and start thinking for a strong coalition much before the 2024 polls. That only is the hope.
*Human rights defender



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