”Why is talking of Muslim interest anti-national, and of Hindu interest nationalism?”, asks author of Lynch Files

Author of ‘Lynch Files’ Zia Us Salam (In the middle) at release of his book at an event hosted by Jamia Collective on weekend

 

By Naz Asghar

March 25, 2019
New Delhi: Mob lynchings have replaced riots as a convenient tool for Hindutava forces to cow down Muslims and serve as frequent reminder to the community that they have no place in this country, says veteran journalist and social commentator Zia Us Salam whose new book ‘Lynch Files: The Forgotten Saga of Victims of Hate’ has just been released.

The most disturbing aspect of all this is that perpetrators of communal violence, who earlier would run away from the scene to escape law enforcing authorities, are now releasing video of battered and mutilated face and bodies of victims in no time, confident that they can go on committing crime with impunity under the patronage of their political masters, he said while taking part in an interaction on ‘Lynch Files’, hosted by Jamia Collective at week end.

And their confident is fully justified in view of the fact that senior representatives of the Government would glorify and garland the culprits of the heinous crimes, Mr Salam said.

He cited the case of Union Minister for Culture Mahesh Sharma paying tribute to Ravin Sisodia, one of the accused of in the Dadri lynching case who died in hospital, with his body wrapped in tricolour, an honour which is given martyrs, and another Minister Jayant Sinha garlanding the convicts of lynching of Alim Ansari when they got bail from a higher court.

In almost all cases of lynching, the violence starts with unproven allegations of cow smuggling or cow, and the most disturbing thing is that the police slaps victims with cases on these charges instead of booking the culprits first, he said.

”When a riot takes place, it is the minority community that suffers most, but there are chances of the majority community also losing and life and property to some extent, but in lynching only one party is a sufferer, so lynching is safe to intimidate the whole community”.

The lynching of Akhlaq after Iduzzoha, of Junaid just before Ei’d and Asim two days after Eid are not just ramdom incidents, attacks but taking place at festival times under a design, which is to send out a message to the minority community that they could no longer celebrate their festivals in peace because it is not their ‘Punya Bhumi, and Pitrabhumi’, a RSS idelogue Guru Golwakar would say.

The forces of Hindutva do not want that Muslims and Hindus should celebrate festivals together and live in harmony, he added.

Mr Salam cited in his bok many more cases of lynching–Alimuddin Ansari in Ramgarh (Jhrakhand), Rakhbar in Alwar (Rajsthan), Qasim in Hapur(UP) where complicity of law enforcement agencies and politcal patronage of culprits was in full play, as is also evident from the fact that the Prime Minister has not tweeted a single line condemning such acts or expressing solidarity with the victims.

He also regretted that the lynching of Muslims was becoming a new normal for media and a section of the media was, in fact, acting in full collusion with forces of Hindutva.

later, replying to questions from the audience, the author said it was very strange that those who talk of Hindu interest and Hindu Rashtra are termed as nationalist and those who talk of Mulsim interest are branded as anti-national.

Branding and sidelining of people raising Muslims’ issues was just another means of marginalising and suppressing the community, he said.

”Such thinking is the sign of authoritarian forces at play,” said Salam, but added that he had full hope that these forces would finally not be able to contaminate the ”soul of India.”

He sought to clarify said that Hindutva should not be confused with Hinduism, underlining that Hindutva seeks to exclude followers of other religions like Islam and Christianity from any entitlement to live in India as its equal citizens.

Nor do they want to give any higher place to dalits too. For them people of lower caste are always to live as social inferiors. Lynchings have also taken place against people of these caste to tame them and intimidate them, he said.

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