Unidentified men attack Muslim
lawmaker from IHK with ink
Hindu Sena, a Hindu extremist group led by Vishnu
Gupta claims ink attack on Engineer Rashid.─ Courtesy: Times Now
NEW DELHI: In the second attack
within a fortnight, an independent Muslim lawmaker from India-held Kashmir,
Engineer Rashid, had ink thrown on him by three unidentified men in New Delhi
on Monday, according to Indian media reports.
"People talk of Talibanisation
of Pakistan, look what is happening in India... They are mentally ill. 80,000
people have died in Kashmir, putting ink on one Engineer Rashid will not change
anything," Mr Rashid was quoted by the NDTV website, after three
unidentified men attacked him with ink while addressing a press conference at
the New Delhi press club.
Video:Kashmiri lawmaker salutes Quaid-e-Azam
after ink attack - MUST WATCH
"What happened with Kulkarni,
happened to me today," he further said. Rashid was accompanied by the
family members of the two people who were recently lynched in Udhampur.Hindu
Sena, a Hindu extremist group led by Vishnu Gupta claims ink attack on Engineer
Rashid, according to ANI reports.
The Press Trust of India reported
that two people have been detained for the attack.
Two truckers were severely injured
after they were attacked with petrol bombs by a mob on October 9 in Ud Udhampur
area over rumours that three cows were killed in the area. They were shifted to
a hospital in New Delhi for treatment.
While the truck driver is still under
treatment at the hospital hospital, the conductor, Zahid succumbed to his
injuries at on Sunday, nine days after the attack.
Earlier, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)members
had beat lawmaker Engineer Rashid Ahmed, in the India-held Kashmir's assembly soon after its session began on
October 8 for hosting a party where he served beef.The recent ink attack comes
eight days after 10 to 15Shiv Sena activists had attackedin a similar fashion, Sudheendra Kulkarni, organiser of former
Pakistani foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri's book launch, hours before
The group was also accused of using
threats to force the cancellation of an appearance in Mumbai by Pakistani
singer Ghulam Ali.Earlier in the morning, activists of India's far-right
political group Shiv Sena attacked the Mumbai headquarters of the office Board
of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) just before Pakistan Cricket Board
(PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan was to meet BCCI chief Shashank Manohar to
discuss a bilateral series in December.
According to a NDTV report, Sena
activists crashed through the gates of the office in Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium
that serves as the headquarters of the BCCI.
The activists shouted anti-Pakistan
slogans and held posters that read 'Shahryar Khan go back', determined to stop
Manohar from meeting his Pakistani counterpart. The protesters entered
Manohar's office and crowded around his desk, shouting slogans.
While in September, a 50 year old
Muslim man Mohammad Akhlaq was dragged from his house in Dadri, a small town in
the outskirts of Indian capital New Delhi, and beaten to death by around 100
people over suspicions he had eaten or stored beef.
The incident occured soon after a
nearby temple made an announcement via loudspeaker that the family had consumed
Sudheendra Kulkarni, chairman of the Observer Research
Foundation Mumbai, with his face smeared with black ink, speaks to journalists
in Mumbai, India, October 12, 2015. —Reuters
NEW DELHI: Former foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri survived dire
threats from the rightwing Shiv Sena ahead of his book launch in Mumbai on
Monday while his host Sudheendra Kulkarni was plastered with black paint by
“I welcome Mr Kasuri to this great city. I thank him for coming even
though we already had indications about some forces threatening him,” Mr
Kulkarni told a news conference, hours after his face was smeared with paint.
Mr Kasuri sat by his side at the press meet, the painted face glistening in
camera lights.Mr Kulkarni blamed the Shiv Sena for the attack on him and said
the group had threatened to disrupt the launch of Kasuri’s book in “typical
Shiv Sena style”. He added: “Even then the scheduled launch will be held as
planned.”Former Deputy Prime Minister of India, L.K. Advani condemned the
attack on Sudheendra Kulkarni, his erstwhile aide.
“I strongly condemn whosoever has done this,” said Mr Advani, adding
that “of late we have seen an increase in cases of intolerance, this is against
Mr Advani had, on the 40th anniversary of the Emergency in June, said
that conditions that could give rise to another Emergency today continued to
prevail in India.Mr Kulkarni, under the aegis of the Observer Research
Foundation (ORF) was organising the launch of Mr Kasuri’s book Neither a Hawk
nor a Dove: An Insiders Account of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy. The Shiv Sena had
openly opposed the function.
Mr Kasuri told the media he recognised everyone’s right to protest but
not in the manner in which his Indian host was attacked.“As a political worker,
I recognise the right to protest. I have faced police lathi charges. I know
what political opposition is. But what happened to Kulkarni is beyond that
right,” he said.
Mr Kasuri said he had “great faith” in the common man of India and
Pakistan.The threat to Mr Kasuri’s book launch came days after a warning from
the Shiv Sena led to the cancellation of concerts in Mumbai and Pune by popular
Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali.
The attack on Mr Kulkarni happened when he was leaving his home in
south-central Mumbai, as a group of around a dozen alleged Shiv Sena activists
They shouted slogans and asked him to cancel the event before smearing
him with black paint.
Mr Kulkarni told NDTV that Mr Kasuri was his guest and he had taken a
principled stand to go ahead with the book launch.
“It is our duty to protect and honour Mr Kasuri. I will host him even
after this attack on me,” he said. Mr Kulkarni said he shared the Shiv Sena’s
concerns about terrorism emanating from Pakistan but made it clear that ideas
should not be opposed through violence.
Mr Kulkarni had tweeted that the conflict between India and Pakistan
could be resolved only through dialogue. He said the book launch was a small
endeavour to keep the process of dialogue alive.
Mr Kulkarni is a former member of the BJP, was a key member of former
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s team and helped write his speeches. In
recent years, he has been critical of right-wing groups allied to the BJP.
Published in Dawn, October 13th , 2015
India arrests six Shiv Sena activists for attacking Kasuri
book launch organiser
Indian activist Sudheendra Kulkarni (L), whose face
was blackened by ink in an alleged attack, looks on as former Pakistani foreign
minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri speaks to media in Mumbai on October 12, 2015.
MUMBAI: Indian police said Tuesday
they had arrested six members of far-right political group Shiv Sena over anink attack on an activistwho organised the launch of former Pakistani
foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri’s book.
Video:Shiv Sena attacks Kasuri’s book launch
organizer - 12th October 2015
As he left his Mumbai home on Monday,
Sudheendra Kulkarni had ink thrown on him by a group of activists from the
Hindu nationalist Shiv Sena party, in the latest apparent attack on free speech
in the country.
“We have arrested six men, they are
all Shiv Sainiks and have been released on bail,” Mumbai Police Deputy
Commissioner Dhananjay Kulkarni told AFP.
Sudheendra Kulkarni condemned the
incident as an “assault on democracy” as he addressed the media in Mumbai on
Monday, his face and hair covered in ink.
The launch of Khurshid Mahmud
Kasuri's book “Neither a Hawk nor a Dove: An Insider's Account of Pakistan's
Foreign Policy” later passed in the western Indian city without incident.
MUMBAI: Sudheendra Kulkarni, chairman of the Observer Research
Foundation, Mumbai, his face smeared with black ink, holds a copy of the book
by former foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri ‘Neither a Hawk Nor a Dove’
during a news conference here on Monday.—Reuters
Speaking to a news conference,
Kulkarni said: “I welcome Mr Kasuri to this great city. I thank him for coming
even though we already had indications about some forces threatening
him.”Kasuri sat by his side at the press meet, the painted face glistening in
camera lights, Dawn newspaperreported.
Kulkarni blamed the Shiv Sena for the
attack on him and said the group had threatened to disrupt the launch of
Kasuri’s book in “typical Shiv Sena style”. He added: “Even then the scheduled
launch will be held as planned.”
Kulkarni had earlier tweeted that the
conflict between India and Pakistan could be resolved only through dialogue. He
said the book launch was a small endeavour to keep the process of dialogue
alive.Kulkarni is a former member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was a
key member of former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s team and helped
write his speeches. In recent years, he has been critical of right-wing groups
allied to the BJP.
The Shiv Sena, a junior partner in a
ruling coalition with the BJP in the Maharashtra state government, was last
week accused of using threats to force thecancellation
of an appearance in Mumbai by Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali.There are growing concerns over
freedom of speech in India after the execution-style killing in August of M.M.
Kalburgi, a leading secular scholar who had angered hardline Hindu groups.Shiv
Sena spokesman Sanjay Raut described the ink attack as a “non-violent protest”.
Shiv Sena storms BCCI HQ to protest
Indo-Pak cricket meeting
A meeting between
Pakistan and India’s cricket boards officials was cancelled on Monday after
Shiv Sena workers stormed the Mumbai office of the Board of Control for Cricket
in India (BCCI).
Board (PCB) chief Shahryar Khan and the head of the PCB’s executive committee
Najam Sethi had arrived in India on Sunday to hold talks with BCCI in a bid to
finalise the India-Pakistan cricket series in December.
Video:Shiv Sena attack derails India-Pakistan
However, according to NDTV, the Hindu right-wing party activists crashed through the
gates of the office in Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium chanting anti-Pakistan slogans
and demanding Shahryar and Sethi’s immediate return.
be seen entering Manohar’s office and crowding around his desk, shouting
slogans and appearing determined to stop him from meeting the Pakistan cricket
board chief. At least 10 protesters were arrested.
The Shiv Sena,
which rules Maharashtra in alliance with the BJP, says it will not allow any
engagement with Pakistan.
Chairman Shahryar was still optimistic despite the incident. Talking to the
Indian media, Shahryar said, “I was invited by Shashank here and the mindset is
that we have signed an MoU and we should honour it.”
to the incident, former PCB chairman Khalid Mehmood regretted the incident
saying the Shiv Sena activists also resorted to acts of violence in the past.
The Congress condemned the attack on BCCI. “BCCI is a responsible body and will
not do anything against national interest. Cricketing decisions should be left
to BCCI. Cricket is a gentleman’s man and the spirit of the game expects same
generosity and tolerance from those who love the game,” tweeted Congress
lawmaker Rajeev Shukla, who served as BCCI vice president in the past.
Sethi were scheduled to meet Manohar, BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur and other
government officials to discuss Pakistan, India bilateral series scheduled for
December in UAE.
Last week, Shiv
Sena’s protests forced the cancellation of legendary Pakistani singer Ghulam
Ali’s concert. Further, the Hindu right-wing party activists threw black
paint on columnist Sudheendra Kulkarni for organising the launch of former
Pakistani foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri’s book launch.
The Indian and
Pakistani boards had signed a pact for six bilateral series between 2015 and
2023, beginning with Pakistan’s home series in December.
threatens Pakistani umpire
Sena has threatened Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar to avoid officiating in the
fifth ODI between India and South Africa.
A protest erupted
outside the PCB headquarter on Monday in reaction to Shiv Sena’s actions in
People vented out
their anger against the Indian board with anti-BCCI chants and slogans.
No talks to be
held in New Delhi: Thakur
Anurag Thakur denied the reports that the talks between PCB and the Indian
board have been shifted to New Delhi.
“Officially there is no meeting scheduled in New
Delhi. If the talks happen, they will take place in Mumbai at the BCCI
headquarters. The BCCI and PCB have some outstanding issues and the PCB chief
wanted to meet the BCCI president to discuss those things but those have been
cancelled now,” Thakur told reporters, quoted by NDTV.
“I condemn this
attack because you cannot barge into the BCCI office and force cancellation of
the talks. In a democracy, you can protest but you can do it on the streets but
you can’t barge into anyone’s office, home or headquarters,” added Thakur, who
is a Lok Sabha member of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
measures required: FO
Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, on Monday, said that they have taken serious note
of the increasing number of violent protests aimed at disrupting scheduled
events in India involving Pakistan nationals.
of the meeting of Chairman, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), with his counterpart
in Mumbai [Manohar], due to the protests by an extremist organization, is the
latest in a series of such incidents that have taken place in the recent past.
measures are required to prevent continuous recurrence of such incidents in
India.” The Express Tribune,
Lawmakers in India-held Kashmir punch colleague for
Independent lawmaker, Engineer Rashid (CL-back)
shouts after being thrashed by Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) legislators in the
legislative assembly in Srinagar on October 8, 2015. — AFP.
India-held Kashmir's main opposition party National
Conference legislators rescue Independent lawmaker, Engineer Rashid after being
thrashed by Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) legislators in the legislative assembly
in Srinagar on October 8, 2015. — AFP
Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir state Mufti
Mohammad Sayeed sits inside the state legislature house in Srinagar, India-held
Kashmir, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015.— AP
SRINAGAR: Lawmakers from India's
ruling Hindu nationalist party in India-held Kashmir have kicked and punched an
independent member of the state assembly for hosting a party where he served
beef. Slaughtering of cows is banned in most Indian states.Bharatiya Janata
Party (BJP) members beat lawmaker Engineer Rashid Ahmed, a Muslim, in the
assembly soon after its session began Thursday.
Other opposition lawmakers rescued
Ahmed and later staged a walkout.
The ruling party lawmakers were angry
over a party hosted by Ahmed the previous night at which he served beef.Differences
have deepened within Kashmir's ruling coalition, with the Hindu nationalist
party demanding a ban on slaughtering cows and selling beef in the
Moves to protect cows have
intensified since Modi's Hindu nationalist BJP came to power after general
elections last May.Many Hindus regard the cow as the living symbol of their
religion and consider it sacred. Hindu welfare organisations run gaushalas, or
cow shelters, in many cities where abandoned cows found wandering the streets
are given food and shelter.
Feeding a cow is seen by many Hindus
as a way to appease the gods and get one’s wishes fulfilled.
Curtsey:DAWN.COM,OCT 08, 2015
India-held Kashmir protests death of truck conductor
cow slaughter rumours
Zahid, a truck conductor died in a petrol bomb attack
after rumours that he had slaughtered a cow.─ AP/File
SRINAGAR: Protesters in India-held
Kashmir clashed with security forces during the funeral a Muslim conductor who
was attacked 10 days ago over cow slaughter rumours,Times of India reported on Monday.
Cufew-like restrictions imposed
across the Valley after pro-liberation leaders called for a shutdown over death
of Zahid, a truck conductor who was injured in a petrol bomb attack over
rumours that he had slaughtered a cow.Indian forces have put several Kashmiri
leaders including pro-liberation All Parties Hurriyat Conference leader Syed
Ali Shah Geelani and Shabir Ahmad Shah under house arrest and movement of
people was restricted in police station areas in South Kashmir.
Strict restrictions have been imposed
in eight police station areas of Srinagar including M R Ganj, Nowhatta, Safa Kadal,
Maisuma, Rainawari, Khanyar. Anantnag and Bijbehara.A resident of Anantnag
area, the young trucker Zahid was attacked with petrol bombs by a mob on
October 9 in Ud Udhampur area over rumours that three cows were killed in the
area.Severely injured, Zahid along with the truck's driver Shaukat Ahmed were
moved to Delhi for treatment. While the truck driver is still in hospital,
Zahid succumbed to his injuries at on Sunday, nine days after the attack.
Indian officials have claimed arrest
of at least nine suspects for their involvement in the attack.Earlierthis month, lawmakers from India's ruling
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) attacked a Muslim member in India-held Kashmir'
legislative assembly over eating beef.
Television footage showed several BJP
legislators pushing and shoving Abdul Rashid in the Jammu and Kashmir state
assembly for holding what they called a “provocative beef party”.While inSeptember,a 50 year old Muslim man Mohammad Akhlaq was
dragged from his house in Dadri, a small town in the outskirts of Indian
capital New Delhi, and beaten to death by around 100 people over suspicions he
had eaten or stored beef.The incident occured soon after a nearby temple made
an announcement via loudspeaker that the family had consumed beef.Dadri Lynching: Meat in Muslim man's
fridge mutton not beef, forensic test reveals
While in more recent incident, a mob
nearly killed two Muslims in Uttar Pradesh's Karhal town of India.The two men,
55-year-old Mohammad Shafiq and 27-year-old Mohammad Kalam, were skinning a cow
when they were accused of slaughtering the animal.Very rapidly, a mob of
1,000-1,500 people converged on the spot stripped and beat the duo.After the police
succeeded in rescuing Shafiq and Kalam, the mob loaded the cow onto a cart and
paraded it through Karhal.Jammu and Kashmir high courtin
Septemberdirected police to ensure
implementation of a ban on the sale of beef in India-held Kashmir.
The ruling followed bans on
slaughtering the animals and selling their flesh which were recently introduced
in several Indian states, however the Indian Supreme Court suspended the ban
imposed by high court in Indian held-Kashmirearlier
ban was sought by hardliner Hindus and is seen by religious minorities as a
sign of their growing power since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi won a
landslide general election last year.
Pak family refused accommodation in Mumbai, spends night on
Pakistani family was refused accommodation by various hotels and lodges in
Mumbai as many were unwilling to fill out the ‘Form-C’ required to house
tourists from other nationalities. (ANI Photo/ Twitter)
Five members of a Pakistani family who arrived in Mumbai to pray
at the Haji Ali ‘dargah’ had to spend the night on a pavement after they were
denied accommodation by several hotels.
The Pakistani nationals, who reached the city on Wednesday from
Jodhpur, were turned away because hotels did not want to take the trouble of
submitting mandatory forms for foreign guests, police said.
“The only reason for refusal by lodges and hotels was that they
(hotels) didn’t want to complete the formality of filling ‘Form-C’, which is to
be submitted to a government department if people from outside the country come
to the city on visa and stay in their lodges and hotels,” said RPF sub-inspector
He said the family members were told by owners at the lodges
that they did not have the manpower to fill and submit such forms.
Chauhan found the family on Thursday morning, took them to a
cabin at the Mumbai Central police station and told them to rest for some time,
besides offering them tea and snacks.
The family members told Chauhan that they had arrived in the
city to visit the dargah to pray for their 12-year-old son who was mentally
They visited the dargah on Thursday and later left for Jodhpur
via Loksatti Express (from Bandra Terminus) by cancelling their initial return
tickets for October 18.
Times, Oct 16, 2015
man beaten to death, son injured over beef eating 'rumours'
man was beaten to death, while his 22-year-old son was severely injured in
Uttar Pradesh's Dadri after it was rumoured that the family had been storing
and consuming beef, police said.Muhammad Akhlaq and his son were beaten
allegedly by residents of Bisara village,Indian Express reported.The attack
on Akhlaq and his family occurred around 10pm on Monday night, after a local
temple allegedly announced the family had been consuming beef.Farm worker
Akhlaq succumed to his injuries, while his son Danish was admitted to a
government hospital in what doctors called "critical" condition.
erupted after six people suspected of involvement in the incident were arrested
near Delhi.Bisara village sarpanch Sanjeev Kumar Rana ─ who also runs a
shop near the temple ─ claimed the temple priest and an aide were among those
arrested.Police said the priest was released after questioning.Senior
Superintendent of Police (SSP) Gautam Buddh Nagar Kiran S said that preliminary
investigations revealed an announcement had been made from the temple about the
family consuming beef."The priest was picked up for questioning as we need
to investigate the involvement of others in the case," he said.He said
that a case of rioting and murder had been registered against 10 people, of
which six had already been arrested. Rupendra, vivek, Sri Om, Sandeep, Saurav
and Gaurav, who are all residents of Bisara village.
The SSP said
police had been told of a group of people entering the temple and using a
microphone to make the announcement. "However, investigations are still
underway. We do not know if any of the accused are associated with the
temple."Akhlaq's 18-year-old daughter Sajida said the family kept
"mutton in the fridge", not beef.She said a group of over 100
villagers arrived at the family's home. "They accused us of keeping cow
meat, broke down our doors and started beating my father and brother."
was dragged outside the house and beaten with bricks. We came to know later
that an announcement had been made from the temple about us eating beef,” she
said.Samples of the meat were sent "to the forensics department for
examination", police said .
Nagar District Magistrate N P Singh said police had been deployed in the area
and the situation was under control."Some locals spread rumours that
Akhlaq had cow meat at his home and engaged in cow-slaughtering," he said,
adding "Following the rumours, tension ignited and some locals attacked
his home in Bisara village."
Bisara and nearby villages clashed with police following news of the arrests.
Protesters damaged vehicles, including a police van and a motorocycle.One man,
Rahul, was injured as police resorted to firing.His brother, Narendra, said,
“Around 500 protesters from nearby villages had assembled there. A policeman
fired a shot in the air but it hit Rahul on the side of his
abdomen."Senior police officials contested Narendra's version. SSP Kiran
said "We are yet to ascertain the type of bullet and the weapon from which
it was fired."
regard the cow as the living symbol of their religion. Hindu welfare organisations
run gaushalas, or cow shelters, in many cities where abandoned cows found
wandering the streets are given food and shelter. Feeding a cow is seen by many
Hindus as a way to appease the gods and get one’s wishes fulfilled.
Not all BJP-led
states are pushing for tighter restrictions on beef. The chief minister of Goa,
another BJP-led state, has refused to back the ban, saying that two-fifths of
people there eat beef and he respected the rights of minorities.Meanwhile,
Hindu nationalist groups affiliated to Modi's BJP want to set up more cattle
camps and cow shelters to house animals no longer wanted by farmers. India has
some 300 million cattle, and animals foraging for food are a familiar sight on
the rubbish-strewn streets of towns and villages.
Curtsey:DAWN.COM, SEP 30, 2015
Lynching: Meat in Muslim man's fridge mutton not beef, forensic test reveals
visits, relations with India after scripture desecrated
Pakistani Sikhs on Monday boycotted
visits and relations with India until the person who desecrated the holy book
A committee headed by Evacuee Trust
Property Board Chairman Siddque-ul Farooq and Sardar Sham Singh held a meeting
in Lahore’s gurdawara today.
The meeting agreed unanimously to a
resolution passed by MPA Sardar Ramesh Singh Arora in the Punjab Assembly. The
resolution states that no Pakistani Sikh would visit India until the culprit is
arrested.The participants also showed concern over repulsive treatment of
people belonging to minority faiths in India.
Earlier on 12, a holy book,birwas desecrated in Bargari village near Faridkot’s
Kotkapura area. The book was reported stolen in June from a gurdwara. Last
Sunday, pages of the book were seen torn and thrown in the street.
Following the blasphemous act,
clashes between police and Sikhs have claimed at least two lives while nearly
70 are reported injured in Indian Punjab.
‘Khalistan’ movement led by Sikhs is
also ongoing in India. Sikhs have demanded separation from India due to
tensions in the past while the recent act has fueled the friction.The Sikh
community raised pro-Pakistan slogans in Indian occupied Kashmir on Monday. The
community, in Baramulla of northern Kashmir took to the streets and burnt tyres
as demonstration of protest against the desecration of the holy book.
continue over Guru Granth Sahib's desecration
Sikh protesters continued to block
roads in Punjab's Malwa region on Sunday to protest against the desecration of
Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture of Sikh religion.
protesters continued to block roads in Punjab's Malwa region on Sunday to
protest against the desecration of Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture of
The blockade, however, was reduced to one location in each district from Sunday
instead of several locations. Protest leaders said
the road blockade would be from 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. so that ordinary
people, particularly motorists, do not suffer much inconvenience. The
protesters carried black flags and placards and brandished swords and sticks.
Video:Bhai Pinderpal on the badvi of Guru
Granth Sahib ji
The blockade, in the past week, had
affected life in Malwa region. The worst hit were Moga, Faridkot and Bathinda
districts, police said. The protests, called by radical Sikh groups, are
against the desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib. The protesters want action
against those involved in the desecration.
A 'bir' (holy book) was desecrated in Bargari village, 15 km from Kotkapura,
leading to tension on October 12. Over 100 pages of the Sikh holy book were
found scattered on a street near a gurdwara. The holy book had been stolen from
a gurdwara in June. At least two people were killed and nearly 70 injured,
including police officials, on Wednesday in clashes between police and Sikhs
near Kotkapura town in Faridkot district, 230 km from here. The two
victims are yet to be cremated.
In Amritsar, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Saturday offered
prayers at 'Harmandar Sahib', popularly known as Golden Temple, for peace and
communal harmony. Congress leader Amarinder Singh on
Saturday visited the families of the two people killed in police firing.
Curtsey:Times of India, 18 Oct, 2015
church attack: 'Christians living in fear' as Agra vandals behead Infant Jesus statue
assailants desecrated statues at the St Mary's Church in Agra, India
representatives have accused India's nationalist government of not doing enough
to tackle religious violence, after a church in the popular tourist city of
Agra became the latest target in a series of violent attacks blamed on Hindu
vandalised St Mary's Church, which lies a few kilometres away from the iconic
Taj Mahal mausoleum in Uttar Pradesh, beheading an effigy of the infant Jesus
and tying a dog chain around the neck of a Mother Mary statue.
The parish priest's car,
parked in the courtyard, had its windows smashed in the night attack.
Santosh, secretary to the archbishop of Agra, toldIBTimes
other religious minorities felt threatened. He said security for them had
seriously deteriorated since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of Prime Minister
Narendra Modi came into power last year.
Santosh accused the
Hindu nationalist PM of turning a blind eye to the increasingly brazen actions
undertaken by extremist movements allied to his party.
are thriving because the Prime Minister doesn't utter a word against them,"
Santosh said. "They need to speak up. We didn't have this [situation] with
the previous government."
Modi is no stranger to
this type of allegation. In 2002 when he chief minister of Gujarat State he
became an international pariah, banned from the US and ostracised by Britain,
over accusations he failed to halt religious violence that killed more than
1,000 people, mostly Muslims.
The desecration of the
almost 100-year-old St Mary's Church comes a month after a Christian convent
school near Calcutta was ransacked and a septuagenarian nun living in the
adjacent convent raped.
The incident sparked an
international outcry and was condemned by Modi, but was also the occasion for
inflammatory comments by other Hindu nationalist leaders loosely affiliated to
Jain also justified the
mob destruction of a church construction site in the state of Haryana as the
natural reaction of local residents who feared they would be targeted by
priests for conversion.
like the VHP, which belongs to the same Hindu nationalist group umbrella group
of Modi's BJP, argue that all Indians are Hindus by birth and those who have
embraced Christianity or Islamshould
revert to their ancestral religion.
Such rhetoric has grown
exponentially in recent months, accompanied by allegations that Muslims and
Christians have in some instances been forced or cheated into attending mass
Most of the so-called
battle for souls is centred on the Dalits -- previously known as untouchables.
For them, in fact, religion change represents an opportunity to escape the
stigma attached to their low status in the rigid Hindu caste system.
After the desecration of
St Mary's Church, the archdiocese of Agra said the situation was becoming
unbearable, urging authorities to take action.
institutions are deemed sitting ducks by these fringe elements and deliberately
targeted by them to further their vested interest," a statement from the
Archdiocese said."This has spread fear among Christians and we feel very
unsafe in our own motherland.
"We, the Christian
fraternity, humbly request the authorities look into the matter seriously, nab
the culprits and take punitive actions against them according to the law of the
land so that such incidents are not repeated in the future and the Christians
can live in peace," it concluded.
Police said they were
investigating the incident, although Santosh said that after more than 24 hours
they have not been informed of any development.
Almost 80% of India's
1.2 billion people are Hindus. Muslims make up more than 14% of the population,
with Christians (2.5%), Buddhists (0.8%), Sikhs (1.9%) and other minorities
dividing the remaining share.
Curtsey :International Business Times, April 17, 2015 13:03
Violence: Two Dalit children burnt alive in Faridabad revenge
killing, mother critical
Rajputs allegedly set fire to the home of a Dalit family in Sunpedh, a village
in Faridabad near Delhi, in the early hours of Tuesday, killing both the
sleeping children inside aged 2 years and 9 months while their parents have
suffered severe burn injuries.
Police said the
attack was an act of revenge that was born out of a year long tussle over a
Vaibhav, 3, and
his nine-month-old sister Divya were brought to Safdarjung Hospital around 3 am
with 60-70 per cent thermal burns. Both were declared dead. Their mother Rekha,
23, is critical.
father Jitender suffered burn injuries on his palms, he has been
were Rajputs and they had a confrontation with Dalits over a murder in October
last year. They barged into our home when we were sleeping and they poured
petrol from the window after locking our door from the outside. I could smell
petrol and tried to wake up my wife, but by then the fire had started. My
children died in the fire,” Jitender told The Indian Express.
tension in the village, all shops were closed and heavy police force was
deployed in the area.Deputy Commissioner of Police, Ballabgarh, Bhupinder Singh
said that the situation in the area was tense but under control.
In Chandigarh, a
state government spokesman said that three accused - Balwant, Dharam Singh and
Kartar of Ballabgarh - have been arrested.He said that four policemen, who were
among the seven police personnel deployed with the victim family for security,
have been suspended.
Bali Mohammed, Vikas and Sandeep have been placed under suspension for
dereliction of duties because they failed to protect the victims as they were
deployed for the security of victim's family."Inspector Anil Kumar,
officer-in-charge of police station Sadar Ballagbarh, has been placed under
suspension for dereliction of duties,” the spokesman said.
government has announced financial assistance of Rs.10 lakh to the
family.Police said that an incident that took place on October 5, 2014, when
three people were killed in clashes between two groups of the village, may have
led to Tuesday's arson.
were booked for the triple murder including three members of Jitender's family
after the 2014 violence.
detained four people -- Balwant, Kartar, Guddu and another relative -- over the
incident. All four belong to the influential Balu Rajput camp in Sunped village
in Faridabad district.The Sunpedh village near Ballabgarh is home to around 5,000
people who are a mix of high-caste Rajputs or Thakurs and the Dalits. While
there are 300 Rajput or Thakur families, 100 houses belong to Dalits.
villagers and senior police officers, a bitter rivalry has been on for almost
three decades between the Rajput Balu family and the Dalit Lalji camp.
The Balu camp
comprises rich landlords (farmers) of Sunped village while the Lalji camp
members are mostly in government service, including in telecom sector and armed
forces -- a few of the latter are also in law and medical professions, said an
elderly villager adding that the fight betwen them is one of one-upmanship.
"We do not
have any problem with the rest of the villagers," Jitender's cousin
Surender told IANS, adding that only the Balu camp doesn't want to see them in
the village.He said Jitender, who runs a clinic in Ballabgarh, had returned to
the village around six months back after leaving the village with his family
following an October 5, 2014 clash in which three people from the Balu camp
, by FP Staff Oct 21, 2015
‘Throw stones at dog, blame Govt?’ VK Singh’s remarks kick up
comments of Singh, Union Minister of State for External affairs, drew sharp
criticism from the opposition, including the Congress, which demanded his
to Faridabad Dalit killings ,Gen V K Singh said , “For everything…like if
somebody throws a stone at a dog, then the government is responsible…it is not
The opposition demanded the resignation of Union Minister Gen V K
Singh and the registration of a case under the SC/ST Act against him for
allegedly using “casteist” and “inhumane” remarks Thursday while attempting to
delink the Central Government from the murder of two Dalit children in Haryana.
Responding to a question on the killing, Singh told reporters in
Ghaziabad: “Kabhi sthaniya ghatnaon ka sarkar se talluk mat rakhiye. Uske upar
inquiry chal rahi hain. Parivaron ke beech mathbhed tha.. voh mathbhed kis roop
mein parivartit hua, kahan par intazamiyan ka failure hain, administration ka?
Uske bad voh sarkar ke upar aata hain (Never associate local incidents with the
Central Government. There is an inquiry going on.
There was a dispute between families. The dispute…how did it turn
out…where did the arrangements fail, the administration?
After all this, it falls upon the Central Government).”
He added: “To har cheez par, ki wahan par pathar maar diya kutte ko
to, sarkar jimmewaar hai. Aisa nahi hai. (For everything…like if somebody
throws a stone at a dog, then the Central Government is responsible…it is not
Singh’s reference to the dog triggered demands for his resignation
the Left parties and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and CPI(M), which also sought
registration of a case against him under Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
(Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
“Today is Dussehra. If (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi wants to
celebrate Dussehra, he should get rid of evil and arrogance from his Cabinet.
He should remove VK Singh from his cabinet by evening,” Delhi Chief MinisterArvind Kejriwaltweeted.
“AAP will go to the police station tomorrow to file an FIR against Gen V K
Singh demanding his arrest as under the SC/ST Act, the offence is non-cognisable,”
senior AAP leader Ashutosh said.Congressleader Randeep Surjewala described
Singh’s comments as “shocking, condemnable and inhumane”. “General V K Singh
has insulted not only the entire Dalit community of this country but all
Indians,” he said.
However, in a series of tweets, Singh later sought to clarify his
comments and said they were “trivialised”.
Singh tweeted: “My statement wasn’t intended 2 (to) draw an analogy.
My men & I put our lives on the line 4 (for) the nation irrespective of
caste, creed & religion… I standby to serve India with the same spirit,
right now and always. Our nation, its success and its people motivate me
daily.”TheBJPalso came to the defence of Singh,
saying his comments should not be blown out of proportion.
Said party spokesperson Sambit Patra: “As far as the statement of
minister V K Singh is concerned, he has himself given a clarification… He has
said he was misquoted. He never meant what was in fact showed in the media. He
really condemns the incident, which happened in Faridabad… I think we should
not blow the whole thing out of proportion.”
CPI(M) politburo member Brinda Karat described Singh’s remarks as
“arrogance of casteism” and demanded the registration of a case against him.
“His statement is a clear casteist statement and it comes under the provisions
of the prevention of crime against SC Act,” she said.
The CPI said Singh’s remarks were “visible signs of emergence of
cultural fascism” in the country.
NEW DELHI: One
of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ministers was accused of stoking caste
tensions in India on Thursday after two Dalit children were burnt alive in a
case that has triggered street protests.
minister V.K. Singh sought to deflect criticism of the government over the
sensitive case by saying the administration could not be blamed for everything,
even somebody stoning a dog.
say even a dog getting hit by a stone, you can’t blame the government. That is
not the way,” Singh told reporters early on Thursday.
political parties seized on the comments and accused the minister of likening
India’s lowest social caste of Dalits, formerly known as untouchables, to dogs.
came after a nine-month-old boy and his toddler sister were burnt alive in an
arson attack on Tuesday in Faridabad district, around 40 kilometres outside New
Delhi. His mother is in critical condition in hospital.
caste violence is not the motive for the attack, but the district has since
been tense, with Dalits blocking a highway in protest on Wednesday and police
pouring into the area.
has long blighted India where the ancient and rigid social hierarchy still
holds sway especially in rural areas.
mounting backlash, Singh, a former army general, rejected on Thursday night the
criticism, saying his comments about dogs and the tragic deaths were unrelated.
“What I said was
very clear that please do not blame the government for everything local that
happens,” Singh told India Today TV.
“If by any
stretch of imagination, (though) it was not intended...if someone has felt hurt
because someone has maliciously twisted my sentences then I have no qualms in
apologising,” he added.
Congress party called for his resignation, branding the comments shameful and
Rahul Gandhi has accused the government of not doing enough to protect the poor
and those from the lowest castes who suffer prejudice and violence.
have been arrested over the attack in which the family’s home was doused with
petrol and set alight.
authorities have said the case was related to a long-running feud between the
victims’ family and members of the higher Rajput caste, which also claimed the
lives of three people a year ago.
Dawn, October 23rd, 2015
Australian couple mobbed in India over
Hindu deity leg tattoo
harassed in Bengaluru over tattoo
Australian couple have defended their right of expression after they were
mobbed, harassed and unlawfully detained in India over the man's tattoo of a
student Matthew Gordon was at a restaurant in the southern city of Bangalore
with his girlfriend on Saturday when around a dozen activists from the ruling
Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party began harassing the couple.
They said a
tattoo of the Hindu fertility goddess Yellama on his shin offended their
religious sentiments, and ordered him to remove it.
them came to me and confronted me about my tattoo. Soon they surrounded us and
threatened to skin my leg and remove the tattoo," Mr Gordon told Indian
media on Sunday.
reported the group quickly grew to over 25 men who blocked them from exiting
policeman arrived and said this is India and one couldn't sport such a tattoo
on the leg," Mr Gordon told local media.
relieved to see a policeman, but much to my shock he started to blame me, and
said this is India and we are insulting Hindus."
The pair were
reportedly taken to the Ashok Nagar police station "for their own
took me to the station ... we were forced to sit there for three hours. They l
et me go only
after I gave an apology saying I will cover this tattoo," Mr Gordon said.
Mr Gordon took
to Facebook to defend his right to show off the tattoo.
not have to apologise for what is on my skin and be put in a traumatising
situation where it is apparently acceptable to be harassed, threatened and
mobbed," he wrote on Facebook.
understanding and equality is what we live by I respect India and Hinduism
why I spent ... [four] hours getting the Goddess of the lowest rung of Indian
society (Yellamma) on the only bit of space I had left on my body."
Mr Gordon told
local media he had a strong attachment to the faith after spending three years
in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.
High Commission said it was concerned about the incident and was speaking to
My forced letter of apology that I had to write before I could
leave the police station at Ashok Nagar. I should not have to apologise for
what is on my skin and be put in a traumatising situation where it is
apparently acceptable to be harassed, threatened and mobbed. Tolerance,
understanding and equality is what we we live by I respect India and Hinduism
completely. That's why I spent 35 hours getting a massive Ganesha put on my
back and 4 hours getting the Goddess of the lowest
rung of Indian society (Yellamma) on the only bit of space I had left on my
body. Because my spiritual journey is my decision, as are the markings on my
body. I do not deserve to be victimised and have to physically defend myself
and my girlfriend every day. She does not deserve sexual abuse both physical
and verbal. We support equality for all, tolerance of everyone and especially
for the women in this country. Please support us as we try to bring awareness
to crimes of injustice.
ICC pulls Aleem Dar out of India-South Africa series
Shiv Sena threats
“Under the present circumstances, it will be
unreasonable to expect from Aleem that he will be able to perform his duties to
the best of his abilities. - AFP/file
The International Cricket Council
(ICC) today announced that it has withdrawn Aleem Dar from the remaining
matches in the ongoing India-South Africa series over security concerns.
The ICC made the decision following
Monday’s incident in Mumbai where a group of activists of India's far-right
political group Shiv Sena attacked the headquarters of the Board of Control for
Cricket in India (BCCI), just before Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman
Shaharyar Khan was to meet BCCI chief Shashank Manohar to discuss a bilateral
series in December.
Shiv Sena had also threatened to stop
Dar from officiating in the fifth and final ODI between India and South Africa
to be played in Mumbai on Sunday.
Video:Shiv Sena protest leads to cancellation
of Pakistan, India cricket meeting
“Under the present circumstances, it
will be unreasonable to expect from Aleem that he will be able to perform his
duties to the best of his abilities. As such, he has been withdrawn and his
replacement will be announced in due course,” an ICC spokesman said.Aleem, a
member of the Elite Panel of ICC Umpires, had officiated in the first three
One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and was also scheduled to umpire in the fourth
and fifth ODIs in Chennai and Mumbai on 22 and 25 October, respectively.
Earlier today, Sena activists crashed
through the gates of the office in Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium, which serves as
the headquarters of the BCCI, to disrupt a meeting of BCCI and PCB
officials.The activists shouted anti-Pakistan slogans and held posters that
read 'Shahryar Khan go back', determined to stop Manohar from meeting his
The protesters entered Manohar's
office and crowded around his desk, shouting slogans and demanded that the
Indian chief cancel talks with PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan that were planned in
Mumbai on Monday.
Shiv Sena targets Mahira, Fawad
extremist organisation is at it again, this time targeting Pakistan's biggest
Sena just can’t keep out of the news. After attacking BCCI headquarters to
derail the Pakistan-India cricket series, the extremist group is now targeting
Pakistani superstars Mahira Khan and Fawad Khan.
According to a report published inEmirates 24/7, the Hindu extremist organisation has vowed not to
let the Fawad and Mahira promote their films in Maharashtra of which Mumbai is
the capital city.
Mahira’s debut Bollywood filmRaees is
set to be released on Eid next year and features India’s biggest star — Shah
Rukh Khan. Fawad’s filmAe
Dil Hai Mushkilis
currently being shot in Austria and is being directed by Karan Johar. It’s cast
includes Bollywood A-listers Ranbir Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai and Anushka Sharma.
Pakistani actor Imran Abbas also has a special appearance in the film.
“We have taken a stand not to allow any Pakistani actor,
cricketer or performer to step on Maharashtra soil,”Emirates
24/7 quoted Akshay Bardapurkar, a top Shiv Sena leader as
Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar had to cut short their stay in India and return
to Pakistan due to threats from Shiv Sena. Ghazal singer Ghulam Ali, The Mekaal
Hasan Band and Atif Aslam’s concerts have also been cancelled recently
following protests by the Hindu extremists organisation.
megastar too has had problems with Shiv Sena. In 2013, theatre owners in Mumbai
were forced to take down his posters due to pressure from the extremist
“Rallies have been held where leaders have exhorted me to
leave and return to what they refer to my original homeland [Pakistan],” SRK
had then written in the Outlook
Curtsey:The Express Tribune, Published: October 20, 2015
Akram, Akhtar forced to leave India
over security concerns
In this representative photo, Pakistan's
cricket legend Wasim Akram speaks during a press briefing in Karachi on August
1, 2015. — AFP
India’s failure to provide security to
Pakistan’s commentators and match officials, following Shiv Sena’s hooliganism,
has forced Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar to quit the ongoing India-South Africa
series and head home early,ESPNcricinforeported.
The development comes a day after the
International Cricket Council (ICC) withdrew Pakistan's Aleem Dar from
officiating in the rest of the India-South Africa series after threats from
far-right political group Shiv Sena.
Akram’s agent Arsalan Haider told
Cricinfo that after commentating in fourth one-day international in Chennai,
the former Pakistan captain will return home on October 23, along with Akhtar
who is also part of Star Sports' commentary team.
The final ODI between India and South
Africa is scheduled to be played in Mumbai on October 25.
Mumbai has traditionally been a
stronghold of Shiv Sena and the party has in the past, too, protested against
the participation of Pakistani players. However, it is worth noting that the
ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), often labelled as a “Hindu revivalist”
party, is in power in the state.
The drama began on Monday when the
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Shaharyar Khan was due to meet the Board
of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief Shashank Manohar.
Manohar had invited Shaharyar to discuss
the prospect of a bilateral series between the two countries. But as soon as
Shaharyar reached the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai, some workers of Sena stormed
into the building protesting the PCB chief’s visit and shouting anti-Pakistan
Anurag Thakur, the BCCI secretary, while
talking to Cricinfo, urged the Indian people to maintain the country’s image
ahead of the World T20 in 2016.
“There was a possibility of a protest in
Saurashtra too where more than 50000 spectators attended. What is the threat
and what is the perception, I can't get into it,” said Thakur.
“India has to host the World T20 in 2016
so it is the responsibility of every Indian to maintain the image that we have
of appreciating and enjoying performances of even the opponents. Political
issues should be kept aside.”
not discussed in PCB-BCCI meeting
It is clear though that the BCCI is
unwilling to move forward on the prospects of cricket between the two teams and
will let the Indian government have a final say on the matter.
PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan met Indian
Premier League chief Rajiv Shukla on Tuesday but in a bizarre statement by the
latter, 'cricket was not discussed.'
Shukla described the meeting between
officials of the two boards at his residence as a 'courtesy call' after
“It was a courtesy call, we exchanged
pleasantries, there were no official talks. Whatever talks happen will be done
by the BCCI President, he will take a final call on these matters,” DNAIndia
quoted Shukla as saying after the meeting.
“The series, whether it will happen or
not, where it will happen, how it will happen, will be decided only after
talks, if at all the talks take place.
“We should not jump to conclusions.
Process of dialogue should be on. When that dialogue will happen is upto the
BCCI President,” Shukla said.
Ghulam Ali concert called off after Shiv
in April, Ghulam Ali held a concert in Varanasi, Indian PM Narendra Modi's
constituency. — AFP/File
Sena is at it again. This time, the party has forced the organisers to cancel
the Mumbai concert of renowned Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali.
the party had warned the administration of Shanmukhanand Hall, where the
concert was to be held, to cancel the show as the singer belongs to “a country
which is firing bullets at Indians.”
of Army men are dying for no reason. We as a patriotic organisation will always
oppose the concert by a Pakistani singer. We request you to cancel the show
considering the emotions of the citizens,” said the letter by the Sena.
Bardapurkar, general secretary of party’s Cine Wing toldThe Hinduthat his letter would send the “right
message” to the authorities concerned, adding that calling a Pakistani singer
to perform was an insult to all Indians.
evening, the organisers of the concert held a meeting with party president
Uddhav Thackeray seeking his intervention. However the discussions were
unsuccessful and the concert was cancelled.According to Sena leaders present at
the meeting, Mr. Thackeray informed the organisers that his party would not
tolerate a Pakistani artist performing in Mumbai.
the singer has been a regular visitor to the city and has previously sung at
the same venue.This is not the first time that the Sena has opposed a programme
by a Pakistani artist. A few months ago, the party had opposed singer Atif
Aslam’s concert in Pune, which had to be cancelled.Sena’s move is also seen as
an attempt to counter the strategy of its arch-rival Maharashtra Navnirman Sena
(MNS) which was in the forefront in opposing Pakistani artists performing in
High Commission in Delhi also took note of the cancellation, with High
Commissioner Abdul Basit saying he "regretted the opposition made by Shiv
Sena". "Our position is very clear, we encourage people to people
contacts, we encourage our artists to visit both sides and perform. Indian
artists when they go to Pakistan do not face such opposition," he told
Hindu, October 8, 2015
Ghulam Ali, Shiv Sena forces cancellation of Mekaal Hasan Band’s concert
Phadnis / Hasan
Artists involved in the cross border collaborations weigh in on India’s
treatment of Pakistani artists. PHOTO: MEKAALHASANBAND.COM
NEW DELHI /
KARACHI: After forcefully cancelling Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali’s concert
in Maharashtra, and smearing the face of the man who organised Pakistan’s
former foreign minister Khursheed Kasuri’s book launch, Shiv Sena forced
organisers to abandon a show by Indo-Pak sufi rock band – The Mekaal Hasan
concert — led by guitarist Mekaal Hasan– was to be held on Sunday night in Ahmedabad. However,
prior to the start of the show around a dozen Shiv Sena activists gathered
outside the venue and started shouting anti-Pakistan slogans.The police later
arrested the activists for defying their orders. In light of the situation
the organisers decided to cancel the event.
“We have arrested
them for violating the Police Commissioner’s order which bars people from
holding such protests without our permission,” said an official. The activists,
who had been booked under IPC Section 188 (for defying orders of police),
appeared before a court after which they were released on bail on Monday.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Mekaal Hasan said the band decided to call
off the concert keeping in mind the fact that it was taking place at an
academic institution. “We did not want students or the school property to be
harmed by the party. Obviously these are certain elements [and] all Indians are
not like this,” he said.
India’s far right
party, which is notorious for its anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan stance, is part
of the BJP-led ruling coalitions in Maharashtra as well as the central
government.Although this is not the first instance of Pakistani artistes facing
backlash in India but the back-to-back nature of these events may be a matter
of concern for local actors and musicians travelling for work to India.
Jawed Sheikh, a frequent in Bollywood films, although disappointed at the
incidents believes that it was only in certain areas that such events occurred.
“What people need to understand is that such incidents tend to take place in
certain locations mainly Mumbai, Maharashtra. Otherwise I have performed all
over India and have never faced any such problems.”
He added, “It is
nice to see their civil society waking up and taking notice of this; even
reputed actors such as Naseeruddin Shah have spoken about how well they are
treated when they visit Pakistan and for the sentiment to be reciprocated.
Hopefully their government would also look into this matter now.”
Other actors who
have been known to feature in motion pictures across the border have also
expressed their dismay at the situation. Actor Alyy Khan was ‘disappointed’ at
how local artistes were being robbed of the chance to perform in India.
“Fortunately for Pakistani actors, the local industry is getting better so it
is not like they’d be out of work.”
returned from a successful tour of India with his troupe, Ajoka, playwright and
screenwriter Shahid Nadeem noted that these events were actually the result of
a ‘political struggle’ taking place in India right now. “Due to the political
tension in India right now these groups are using Pakistan-shaming and banning
our artistes as bait to start protests.”
He said the best
response would be to, “remain unaffected and show no reaction at all, but just
continue doing our job as artistes.”
Curtsey:The Express Tribune, Published: October 14, 2015
Aslam's concert in India cancelled after Shiv Sena threat
Atif Aslam has cancelled a concert
scheduled for April 25 in Pune, India after having received threats from
extremist outfit Shiv Sena. ─ File
Atif Aslam has cancelled a concert scheduled for April 25 in Pune, India
after having received threats from extremist outfit Shiv Sena, reported NDTV.
According to NDTV, Shiv Sena had threatened to disrupt the event if it
happened and opposed the idea of Atif Aslam's concert in the city.More than a
thousand tickets for Atif’s concert had been sold, which will now have to be
refunded, said the report.
Atif Aslam has acquired a huge fan following in India, where he has lent
his voice to a number of popular Bollywood tracks over the years. He has
performed at concerts in India on several occasions and has also been a judge
on Indian reality television shows.Shiv Sena, a hardline outfit founded by the
late Bal Thackeray, has in the past threatened Pakistani athletes to deter them
from engaging in competitive sports in India.
Thackeray often referred to Indian Muslims as “anti-nationals” and
called for Hindu suicide squads to counter what he saw as a rise in ‘Islamic
terrorism’.In January 2013, the outfit had protested against Pakistani players joining Indian hockey league franchises. Around 100 workers of the
right-wing Shiv Sena party protested at a stadium where the Mumbai Magicians
team, which had four Pakistani players in its squad, was practising.Shiv Sena
has always opposed the performance of Pakistani artists in India, citing
Pakistan’s ‘ceasefire violations along the Line of Control’.
Curtsey:DAWN..COM, APR 22, 2015
Shiv Sena pressure forces Patna to bench Pakistani players
Jaipur Pink Panthers players attempt
to tag the U Mumba team raider (R, in orange) during the final match between U
Mumba and Jaipur Pink Panthers in the Pro Kabaddi League in Mumbai on August
31, 2014. — AFP/File
KOLKATA: The two Pakistani players signed up for an ongoing professional
kabaddi league in India will not turn up for their team in any match held in
Mumbai and Pune due to “security concerns”, tournament organisers have said.
“Franchises will not field players of Pakistani origin for matches held
in Mumbai and Pune,” said Mashal Sports, the organisers of Pro Kabaddi 2015, in
a written statement to Dawn.“This is in light of security concerns for the
safety and success of the tournament while being hosted in Mumbai and Pune,”
the statement said. The organisers, however, did not clarify what the “security
Both the venues are located in the western state of Maharashtra.Mashal
said the decision was taken “in consultation with the AKFI and the IFK” – the
Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India and the International Kabaddi Federation.
The move comes after the Maharashtra-based Shiv Sena party protested
against the inclusion of Pakistani players. The Bharatiya Janata Party, often
labelled as a “Hindu revivalist” party, is in power in the state.
Last year, too, three Pakistani players participating in the inaugural
season were kept away from matches in the state by their teams on account of
the threat to them.This year, both the Pakistani players have been bought by
the Patna franchisee, the Patna Pirates. Of the two, Waseem Sajjad made his
debut in the inaugural season in 2014, also for Patna, and was a key member of
The other Pakistani for Patna this season, Nasir Ali, is a debutant in
the Pro League, having been signed up the franchise owners for a fee of INR
800,000 (PKR 1.23 million).However, Ali will not debut in Patna’s first match
on Monday, given that it is in Mumbai (against Mumbai). He will have to wait
for his team’s second game, against Bengaluru Bulls, in Kolkata on Wednesday.
While the Patna franchisees could not be contacted for comments, Kailash
Kandpal, Team Director of Pune team Puneri Paltan, said the two Pakistanis
“must be very good” as they had been bought for the league.“But even if they
sit out, their [Patna’s] bench strength is very good,” he said.
If Patna reaches the semis, the two Pakistani stars will have to sit out
as the two semis, the final, and the face-off for the third and fourth
positions will be played in Mumbai.Top international participants from Japan,
South Korea, Poland, Kenya, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are also competing
in the Indian league, seen as kabaddi's answer to cricket's IPL.The tournament
kicked off its second season on Saturday with Mumbai franchisee U Mumba pulling
off a thrilling 29-28 win over defending champions Jaipur Pink Panthers.
Shiv Sena madness
threat posed by the hard-line right wing Shiv Sena group seems to be growing
into a monster that may prove very hard to control. The main thrust of the
attack appears to be directed against anyone opposed to their extremist Hindu
ideology; Pakistan and Pakistanis seem to be the main targets. In the latest
episode, award winning umpire Aleem Dar, respected around the world as one of
the best umpires on the international scene, has been threatened by the Shiv
Sena and asked to leave India. He is in the country to officiate for the
ongoing home series being played by India against visiting South Africa.
Following the threats, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has reportedly
stopped Dar from officiating in the remaining two one-day internationals. The
threats came soon after the Shiv Sena attacked the Board of Cricket Control in
India offices in Mumbai to warn against it going ahead with the meeting between
the visiting PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan and BCCI President Shashank Manohar.
The meeting in Mumbai has now been cancelled and will take place in New Delhi
at an undisclosed time. Meanwhile, in Indian-held Kashmir MLA Engineer Rashid
has again been attacked – this time with ink – over his stance on the beef ban
issue. On October 7 he had been beaten up by BJP members in the assembly a day
after he had reportedly hosted a ‘beef party’.
It is obvious the Shiv Sena terror is getting out of hand. There have been
repeated incidents over the past few months. Yes, the party has existed in the
past and raised its ugly threats from time to time, but never with such force
and venom. The fact that it is allied to the ruling BJP is of course a huge
factor in the lack of government response to its extremist acts. For the sake
of India, its image and the region, New Delhi needs to act. Already, we see a
huge gap opening up as far as relations between Pakistan and India go. It is
hard to see how these will be patched over at any time in the near future.
Relations are now more fragile than has been the case for years and through the
actions of the Shiv Sena, we see how much hatred exists for Pakistan in a
country that has always held high its secular and democratic values. What is
even more disconcerting is that there has been little or muted reaction from
international human rights organisations. We hope to hear more international
concern in a situation that seems to be only becoming worse.
The alarm bells are ringing; India
needs to reaffirm its commitment to pluralism and diversity.—Reuters/File
FREEDOM is under threat in India and many of its right-thinking citizens
are speaking out against the wave of right-wing violence and repression.
On Monday, no less a figure than L.K. Advani was moved to condemn what
he said is “an increase in cases of intolerance” and suggested that democracy
itself was under threat in India.
There is genuine reason for alarm. Some of the violence and intimidation
has been Pakistan-related, with Shiv Sena activists in Mumbai forcing the
cancellation of a concert by Ghulam Ali recently and, more menacingly, dousing
in black paint the organiser of a talk featuring former Pakistani foreign
minister Khurshid Kasuri.
But much of the intolerance and extremism is directed inwards, at
India’s rich cultural and religious diversity.This year alone, two progressive
voices have been silenced forever with the murders of Govind Pansare, in
February, and M.M. Kalburgi, in August. Both men were known for their
opposition to religious extremism and had spent much of their lives championing
The lynching of a Muslim man in a village outside Delhi for allegedly
consuming beef shocked not just India, but the world. In India-held Kashmir,
communal tensions have been stoked by the revival of a long-dormant law banning
the sale and consumption of beef.Worried by the rise in religiously inspired
extremism and by the indifferent attitude of the federal government led by
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India’s vibrant civil society is pushing back.
More than 40 intellectuals and writers have returned literary awards or
written open letters to protest the rise in intolerance and the assault on free
speech.Last week, Nayantara Sahgal, nationally recognised writer and a niece of
Jawaharlal Nehru, announced her decision to return her Sahitya Akademi (academy
of letters) award in a public letter titled The unmaking of India.
In her letter, Ms Sahgal has condemned Prime Minister Modi for remaining
silent about the “reign of terror” that has been unleashed in India and offered
her support to “all dissenters who now live in fear and uncertainty”.The
growing public outcry is a welcome sign that India’s history as a constitutionally
protected secular democracy will not be erased by a single election or by
extremists emboldened on the fringes of society.
Welcome as the pushback is, much more will need to be done if India is
to protect its cultural diversity and pluralism.This country’s long, painful
slide towards extremism and intolerance suggests that if problems at the
fringes are not addressed quickly by state and society, extremism can become
mainstream and fiendishly difficult to roll back.
The Pakistani experience has also made terribly clear the destabilising
effects on the region when intolerance and extremism is on the march
nationally. In India’s case, the rise of the right-wing could have even more
toxic effects regionally.The alarm bells are ringing; India needs to reaffirm
its commitment to pluralism and diversity.
Published in Dawn, October 14th, 2015
kills man for ‘smuggling’ cows to be slaughtered
NEW DELHI: A village mob in northern India beat a Muslim man to
death with sticks and injured four others who were accused of smuggling cows to
be slaughtered for beef, police said on Friday.
The survivors were arrested for alleged animal cruelty.
Hard-line Hindus have been trying to force a national ban on cow slaughter,
triggering mob violence.
A Muslim man was lynched in Uttar Pradesh state last month over
false rumours his family had eaten beef for dinner.
Officer Somya Sambhasivam said police were searching for
villagers who fled after the attack on Wednesday in Sarahan, a village in
Himachal Pradesh state. The area is nearly 260 kilometres north of New Delhi.
The mob chased the truck loaded with five cows and 10 bulls and
attacked the five men in the vehicle, Sambhasivam said.
The five hid in the forest until police found them and took them
to hospital, where one of them died, she said. Police arrested the four
survivors for alleged cruelty towards the animals, causing injuries to them
during transportation in the truck, she said.
Police were investigating whether the assailants belonged to a
Hindu hard-line group.
The Press Trust of India said those attacked were all Muslims
from neighbouring Uttar Pradesh state.
Violence by Hindu fringe groups has increased since Hindu
nationalist Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party came to power last year.
Dawn, October 17th, 2015
Video:Political leaders reaction after Shiv Sena attack derails India-Pak
NEW DELHI: A British documentary. A YouTube comedy clip. A book on
Hinduism. Each offended some segment of Indian society, and each was banned or
suppressed as a result.
Over the last year, at least two books and two films have become
off-limits in India. “The Satanic Verses” has been forbidden since the 1990s.
And the film censor board has issued a list of unacceptable words. India is the
world's largest democracy and has made huge economic leaps in the last few
decades to become a key Asian power.
And yet, as its official and unofficial bans show, this country of 1.2
billion continues to grapple with a complex tangle of deep sensitivities and a
political process that is deeply influenced by religious and caste loyalties.
“Religious communities, ethnic
groups, historical figures are all off-limits,” says Shiv Vishvanathan, a social
scientist at O.P. Jindal Global University. “The state is electorally
subservient to any ethnic or religious group that throws a tantrum.“The most
recent example of what Vishvanathan calls “India's ban epidemic” took place
last week when the government halted the screening of “India's Daughter,” a
British documentary on a 2012 gang rape, an attack so brutal that it sent shock
waves through this nation long inured to violence against women.
The reasons for banning the film were never spelled out, but officials
seemed to suggest a range of possibilities, from fears that the film denigrated
India to anger that it aired an interview with one of the convicted and
condemned attackers.Santosh Desai, a social commentator and newspaper
columnist, said that instead of tackling serious issues such as sexual
violence, the government often turns ostrich-like, banning attempts to provoke
discussion.“Women's safety is a complex problem and banning a film that draws
attention to it gives the illusion of action,” Desai said.
Bans are also a result of the fact that politics in this massive,
chaotic country is still largely focused on identity, religious or ethnic.While
the constitution protects the right to freedom of expression, the country's
penal code threatens up to three years' imprisonment against those who appear
to act “with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging religious
Indian intellectuals reacted with outrage and condemnation in the
aftermath of the jihadist attacks on the French satirical magazine Charlie
Hebdo, but few show support when books and artists are banned in India, largely
because they know the state often won't step in to protect them.India-born
writer Salman Rushdie's book “The Satanic Verses” has been banned here since
1998, since many Muslims consider it blasphemous.Rushdie was forced to cancel a
2012 appearance at the Jaipur Literary Festival amid protests and threats by
prominent Muslim clerics.
Last year, the publishing house Penguin India pulled from shelves and
destroyed all copies of American historian Wendy Doniger's “The Hindus: An
Alternative History,” after protests and a lawsuit from a Hindu right-wing
group.The group's main objection was that the book described Hindu mythological
texts as fictional.And in January, Tamil writer Perumal Murugan was hounded
from his home in southern India after right-wing Hindu groups and local caste
groups called for his death and burned copies of his book “One Part Woman,”
saying it offended members of the Gounder caste.
In response, the writer posted on his Facebook page that “Perumal
Murugan, the writer is dead. As he is no God, he is not going to resurrect
himself.”He urged his publishers to stop selling his work, and his readers to
burn copies of his books. Vishvanathan said no one stood up to defend Murugan:
“Our institutions don't have any teeth and our intellectuals don't stick to
Movies are another common target. India's film censor board rejected the
erotic drama “Fifty Shades of Grey,” and Hollywood movies that do appear on
Indian screens are routinely scrubbed of sex scenes.Religious content also can
draw censorship: “The Da Vinci Code” was banned in the Indian state of Goa,
which has a large Christian population, because religious groups objected.
The censor board recently issued a list of words it considered too racy
- mostly expletives but also “masturbation” and any “double meaning words” in
any language.The list is currently on hold, but the board did mute the word
“lesbian” in a Bollywood film released last week.
The Internet is no safe haven, as a comedy group's roast of several
well-known movie stars recently showed.The roast was equal parts crass, vulgar
and hilarious.None of the stars seemed offended, but the language offended
several religious and political groups.
Within weeks of the Jan. 20 roast, the group had been forced to pull the
video off YouTube and all participants, including the movie stars, had been
served legal notices for offenses ranging from using vulgarity in front of
women to circulation of obscene content on the Internet.It's unlikely anyone
will actually serve jail time, but it's added a layer of caution in a society
where there's already a great deal of self-censorship.Bans can even extend to
A newly elected Hindu right-wing government in Maharashtra state
recently made all slaughter, sale and consumption of beef a criminal offense
punishable with a five-year prison sentence.While Maharashtra's ban is one of
the most stringent, similar bans are in place in several Indian states because the
cow is revered in Hinduism.
“Banning beef is like banning books,” says Vishvanathan. “We can, so we
state of Maharashtra bans beef
The Indian state of Maharashtra has
banned the possession and sale of beef. — AFP/File
MAHARASHTRA: The Indian state of Maharashtra has banned the possession
and sale of beef, according to Indian media reports.
Now anyone found in the process of selling or consuming beef can be
sentenced to jail for five years and fined Rs10,000.
The Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill was initially
passed by the Maharashtra Assembly during the Shiv-Sena rule in 1995 but did
not receive assent from Indian President Pranab Mukherjee until today.
Slaughtering of cows was forbidden under the Maharashtra Animal
Preservation Act of 1976, but with the implementation of the 1995 bill, the
slaughtering of bulls and bullocks is prohibited as well.
Right-wing groups and Jain organisations of India have been rooting for
the end of beef trade in Maharashtra.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis tweeted on his official
Twitter account: "Thanks a lot Hon President Sir for the assent on
Maharashtra Animal Preservation Bill. Our dream of ban on cow slaughter becomes
a reality now."
The new Act will still allow
water buffaloes to be slaughtered which provides inferior quality carabeef that
makes up only 25 per cent of the total beef market in the state.
Mohammed Qureshi, the president of the Mumbai Suburban Beef Dealer
Association said that: “apart from rendering people jobless, the immediate
effect will be the spiraling price of other meats as people will be forced to
gravitate to them.”
Beef traders are trying to find a legal way around this ban as this will
not only impact their income, but also that of farmers.
In February, beef traders went on a strike to protest the harassment
against them. The strike was, however, called off after Fandvais met with a
delegation and assured protection to the traders.
Cow is a a sacred animal for the majority Hindu population in India
which is a stronghold of vegetarianism.
Curtsey:DAWN.COM, —MAR 03, 2015
protests in Indian-held Kashmir
after rising tension over beef ban
Internet services blocked for two days to prevent Muslims
from uploading photos of animal sacrifices. -AP
Government forces have fired tear gas and used batons to quell thousands of
anti-India protesters who turned violent after Eid prayers in various mosques
in India-held Kashmir.
Police say the
protesters, waving Pakistani flags, hurled stones at government forces who
tried to stop them from marching in Srinagar and at least two other places in
the region on Friday.
tightened security and blocked all mobile and landline Internet services for
two days as a measure to stop Muslim protesters from uploading pictures of
animal sacrifices, especially slaughter of cows which are worshipped by Hindus.
Tension has been
building in the region after a court upheld a law banning slaughtering cows and
selling beef in the region, a decision resented by Muslims.
Curtsey:DAWN.COM,. SEP 25, 2015
Shiv Sena calls Modi
'dhongi' who used to bow before 'sahib'
MUMBAI: The atrocities of Hindu extremist organization
Shiv Sena are continuing and this time the hardline group launched a scathing
attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders.
to Indian website Times of India, the rift between the BJP and its ally Shiv
Sena appeared to widen on Wednesday with the latter displaying a huge poster
with pictures of BJP leaders with the late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray. The
poster included a picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi bowing before the
late Shiv Sena chief.
the PM Modi and others, the poster says, “those who do dhong should not forget
the day when their head used to bow before sahib,” Zee News website reported.It
added that besides Modi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Nitiin Gadkari, LK
Advani, Atal Behari Vajpayee, Raj Thackeray are portrayed in the poster.
News, October 21, 2015
Indian media slams Shiv Sena for branding
an Indian citizen a ‘Pakistani agent’
LAHORE: Well, it is not just the Pakistanis who have been
historically dubbed traitors or Indian agents at home, because in recent years
some Indian citizens on the other side of the fence have also been branded as
Pakistani agents with utter disdain by their compatriots.
In Pakistan, any politician, media outlet, political entity or a
religious party can get up and accuse anybody of being an Indian agent with
absolute ease and without any guilt, but in India, the task to “identify” and
label people as the “Pakistani or ISI agents” has chiefly been handled by the
extremist Indian political party Shiv Sena (the Army of Hindu God Shiva Jee).
Shiv Sena, a 50-year old group, once again proved that it was both
chauvinist and fascist, when a renowned politician and columnist Sudheendra
Kulkarni, the man who had endeavoured to organize the launch of former
Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri’s book “Neither a Hawk nor a
Dove: An Insider’s Account of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy” in Mumbai, had ink
sprinkled all over his face by the Thackeray family loyalists.
Known for writing the speeches of a former Indian Premier Atal
Behari Vajpayee and for acting as a strategist of another important BJP leader
and a former Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani, the poor Kulkarni was
promptly given the title of a “Pakistani agent” by Shiv Sena.
“The Indian Express” had stated in one of its recent editions:
“The Shiv Sena has owned up to the assault on the Chairman (Mumbai) of the
Observer Research Foundation, Sudheendra Kulkarni, calling him a Pakistani
agent. The party has further claimed that it will not compromise when it comes
to the issue of Pakistanis being allowed to hold functions in the state.”
This esteemed Indian newspaper had quoted a Shiv Sena MP Sanjay
Raut as saying: “If Kulkarni says that the Shiv Sena has done it then we have
done it. Who else in the state has the courage to do such things? Kulkarni
should also check if there was ink flung on his face or whether his face was
blackened by tar. Uddhav saheb had firmly told Kulkarni when they met yesterday
that the party will not compromise on Pakistan and all those who espoused the
cause of Pakistan needed to be beaten up.” “The Indian Express” had further
added: “Raut claimed that the party had warned Kulkarni that there would be no
compromise on the issue of Pakistan and alleged that Kulkarni was a Pakistani
Although the Indian police claimed they had arrested six people
over an ink attack on Kulkarni, according to the October 12, 2015 edition of
the Times of India, the more hawkish elements within Shiv Sena had called it a
very mild form of democratic protest.
The Hindustan Times had maintained that attack on Kulkarni was a
black mark on democracy.Another publication, the Economic Times, had quoted
Congress as calling Shiv Sena the “Desi Taliban.”
The Hindu had reported that Bal Thackerey’s son had honoured the
man who had thrown paint on Kulkarni’s face.The India Today had quoted Kulkarni
as saying that he was an agent of peace and not that of Pakistan.
The NDTV had compared Shiv Sena to Ajmal Kasab.Sena leader Sanjay
Raut said, “smearing ink is a very mild form of democratic protest. They are so
upset about ink. Imagine when our soldiers are killed and their blood is
spilled. It is not ink, it is the blood of our soldiers”. But then Shiv Sena
also does not tolerate any remark being aired or published at home against it,
even if such statements are correctly attributed to country’s
globally-acknowledged celebrities, sportsmen or stars.
Just to cite one example in this context, in November 2009, Shiv
Sena Chief Bal Thackeray had blasted the all-time great Indian Cricketer Sachin
Tendulkar when he had viewed that every community in the country owned the city
of Mumbai and it was “Mumbai for all.”
Tendulkar had opined: “Mumbai belongs to India. That is how I look
at it. And I am a Maharashtrian and I am extremely proud of that but I am an
Thackeray had criticized Tendulkar by saying that there was no
need for the cricket icon to take a “cheeky single” and hurting the Marathi
psyche by moving to the pitch of politics.
“There was no need for him to take a cheeky single by making such
remarks,” the Shiv Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamna’ had quoted Thackeray as saying.
“By making these remarks, you have got run-out on the pitch of
Marathi psyche. You were not even born when the ‘Marathi Manoos’ got Mumbai and
105 Marathi people sacrificed their lives to get Mumbai,” Thackeray had said.
Shiv Sena activists had then gone on to attack and vandalize the
offices of a Hindi and Marathi TV Channel IBN7 for criticizing the policies of
Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray in Mumbai and Pune, besides having manhandled
the media outlet’s senior editor.
The Shiv Sena spokespersons had tried to justify the attacks and
refused to apologize for their acts of violence.
(References: NDTV, The Hindu, the Statesman, CNN-IBN Live and the
November 16, 2009 edition of the Times of India)
Just a few years ago, Shiv Sena had launched a vicious campaign
against Bollywood great Shah Rukh Khan, after the icon had vouched for the
inclusion of Pakistani cricketers in the Indian Premier League.
Often alleged to have responsible for the May 1984 rioting and
communal violence in the state of Maharashtra—an ugly episode that had left 278
dead and 1,178 injured—the Shiv Sena has also been blamed for the December 1992-January
1993 violence that had claimed over 900 lives after Muslims had staged protests
against the demolition of the Babri masjid despite a court order.
The 1992-93 riots were followed by the March 12, 1993 Bombay
bombings in which more than 300 people had lost lives. Underworld Don Dawood
Ibrahim has since been blamed for this incident.
In December 2003, Shiv Sena stalwarts had dug out the cricket
pitch of the Agra Sport Stadium which was supposed to host the cricket match
between Pakistan and India and in April 2005 this political party’s student
wing had attempted to prevent the New Delhi India-Pakistan One Day
It goes without saying that during all these years, Shiv Sena has
harassed numerous Pakistani artists who had gone to perform across the border.
Curtsey:The News, Thursday,
October 15, 2015
How Narendra Modi helped spread
The phrase "the buck stops
here" was popularised by the American president Harry S. Truman. Truman
famously had the phrase painted on a small wooden board and kept on his desk in
the Oval Office. He often invoked the words in his public speeches.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
has been compared to many Western leaders but it is quite apparent that Truman
will never be one of them.
Right now there is a veritable chorus
of voices whose sole aim is to prove that the buck does not stop with Modi –
and those voices have gone into overdrive in the wake of the lynching of
Mohammad Akhlaq in Dadri last Monday by a mob that claimed to be acting on
rumours that he had killed a calf and stored its meat in his home.
Stoking the embers of Dadri
Post the Dadri killing, Bharatiya
Janata Party (BJP) leaders and members of Modi’s own government are clearly
trying to stoke the embers of this conflagration for political gain.
Shrichand Sharma, the vice-president
of the BJP’s western Uttar Pradesh unit, wanted the victim’s family booked for
cow slaughter right after Akhlaq had been bludgeoned to death.BJP legislator
and Muzaffarnagar riots-accused Sangeet Som has threatened to give a
"befitting reply" if "innocents were framed" for Akhlaq's
Modi’s minister of culture, Mahesh
Sahrma, absolved the killer mob altogether, declaring their act to be an
"accident" and wanted everyone to be grateful that the mob had only
killed Akhlaq but not molested his daughter.Even after this, the prime
minister's admirers couldn't bring themselves to blame Modi. Consider, for
instance, the response of noted commentator Tavleen Singh.
Assigning a curiously passive role to
the prime minister, all Singh could say was that Modi "has done nothing to
stop them [his bigoted ministers and party members]."
Modi’s history of gau raksha politics
Not only has he failed to stop his
colleagues, Modi had, until not very long ago, enthusiastically joined them in
vitiating the atmosphere.
When it comes to Modi’s views on cow
slaughter, we don't even need to second guess his minister’s statements or his
own enigmatic silences.Before taking office as prime minister, Modi had spoken
extensively on the matter and his views are on the record.
In fact, one of the major themes of
the 2014 General Election campaign was a supposed "pink revolution"
that the Congress was promoting, an insidious plan to help slaughter more cows
and make money off their meat – a theme that fitted in neatly with the BJP’s
evergreen charge of minority appeasement.
Here’s a translation of a speech
delivered by Modi on April 2 in Nawada in Bihar, as part of his 2014 election
"I am coming from Dwarka city
and Dwarka has a direct connection to the Yaduvanshis [referring to Bihar’s
Yadav caste]. And because of this connection, I feel at home here.I am
therefore shocked that the same Yadavs who worship Shri Krishna, who keeps cows
as livestock, who serves the cow, it is their leaders who are in bed with the
same people who proudly massacre animals.
We’ve heard of the Green Revolution,
we’ve heard of the White Revolution but today’s Delhi sarkar wants neither;
they’ve taken up cudgels for a Pink Revolution.Do you know what that is?
[points to crowd]. That’s their game; they’re keeping the country in the dark.
I want to ask Mulayam Singh Yadav and Lalu Prasad Yadav: do you want to support
the people who want to bring about a Pink Revolution?
When you slaughter an animal, then
the colour of its meat is pink. This is what they call a "Pink
Revolution". And the centre said with pride that, last year, India has
earned the most from exporting meat. Across the country side, our animals are
Our livestock is getting stolen from
our villages and taken to Bangladesh. Across India too, there are massive
slaughterhouses in operation. And that’s not all. The Delhi sarkar will not
give out subsidies to farmers or to Yadavs keeping cows but will give out
subsidies to people who slaughter cows, who slaughter animals, who are
destroying our rivers of milk, as long as they set up qatlkhanas
The next day, Modi flew to Ghaziabad,
where he made the same speech, drumming up a sinister conspiracy to slaughter
cows. Ghaziabad is less than 20 kilometres away from Dadri.
An old campaign
This theme of cow slaughter was
repeated again and again through the 2014 campaign. But of course, the genesis
of this brand of politics is much older.
Whipping up religious passion by
raising the bogey of cow slaughter was a part of Narendra Modi’s politics even
when he was chief minister of Gujarat.Addressing the Jain International Trade
Organisation, a worldwide body of Jain businessmen and professionals, this is
what Narendra Modi had to say in 2012:
"It is the Central government’s
dream that they will bring about a Pink Revolution in India and export meat
throughout the world.This year, the Centre has itself announced that India is
the world’s largest beef exporter. Is this what we pride ourselves on? Brothers
and sisters, I don’t know whether this saddens you, but my heart screams out at
this. I am unable to understand why you are silent, why you are taking this
The same year, his speech on the
birth anniversary of Maharana Pratap, one of the foremost historical icons of
the Hindu Right, was even more fervent.
"Rana Pratap dedicated his life
to gau raksha (cow protection). He fought wars and sacrificed young men to
protect the cow. But what is happening today? Even the Supreme Court has said
that we need a national cow protection law.But due to vote bank politics, the
Central government is refusing to bring in such a law. Brothers and sisters, I
recall Maharana Pratap today with pride because my government in Gujarat has
brought in a cow protection law.
While we talk of the White Revolution
or the Green Revolution do you know what the Central Government is up to? Go to
the Internet and read up on it. The Centre’s dream is to bring about a Pink
Revolution....To make money, plans are being made to slaughter gaye maa [the
mother cow] and it is at moments like this that you remember Rana Pratap
(thumps lectern angrily)."
Narendra Modi, therefore, thinks that
fighting wars and sacrificing young men over cow slaughter is an example to be
emulated. He built a massive – and successful – election campaign that had the
ominous "pink revolution" as a key theme.Though Modi is now silent,
his party is merely saying the same things he was till 16 months back. As
commentator Pratap Bhanu Mehta put it, "Modi should have no doubt that he
bears responsibility for the poison that is being spread."
─ This post originally appeared on Scroll.in and
has been reproduced with permission.