oppn parties Dadri Incident: Alleged Involvement of BJP Leaders is Disturbing

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Dadri Incident: Alleged Involvement of BJP Leaders is Disturbing

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
If we see Dadri/Bisara in isolation, it will be a big mistake. It is an indication of a bigger malaise in society – fanned of course by politicians for their own electoral gains – that seeks to restrict freedom of choice and impose its own rules on the unwilling. India is fast becoming an intolerant society where the majority is trying to trample upon individual choices of minorities. It is not of consequence that the Dadri incident took place on a rumour – Akhlaque was killed even though the meat stored in his house was mutton and not beef. What is important is that the incident took place at all.

It is the mentality that seeks to “teach a lesson” to minorities that reeks of obscurantism. When India became independent, it rejected the formula of dividing the nation on religious lines. It rejected the whole scale transfer of population on religious lines. Pakistan became a religious state and India chose to remain home to all its people of all religions. Pakistan suppressed its minorities by enacting laws that restricted their freedom. Equality for all is the basis of all Indian laws. Minorities have, by and large, not faced discrimination from the government or the judiciary.

But a certain section of society and a certain class of politicians have never accepted minorities – especially Muslims and Christians – as Indians. Given the smallest opportunity, these people will create trouble for minorities. The Dadri incident is to be viewed in this context. The recent flare-up in Agomoni and Silchar in Assam should also be seen thus. Beef is a class of meat that is easily recognizable in meat shops. Cow slaughter is something that cannot be done behind closed doors. Hence, if there is a ban on sale of beef, there is little the minorities can do other than protest and try judicial remedy. To assume that they cannot do without beef and will try to break the law to lay their hands on the meat is absurd.

There was a ban on beef sale in Jammu & Kashmir for a long time. The state is a Muslim majority state but no incident of breaking the law and selling beef was reported there. Now, the Supreme Court has allowed sale of the meat by keeping in abeyance the high court order for two months. If things can remain peaceful after a beef ban in a Muslim majority state and if its people can wait for judicial remedy, it cannot be true that Muslims want to eat beef at any cost, including breaking the law. Hence, it is clear that the Dadri incident was engineered by vested interests to “teach a lesson” to the minority community.

The disturbing thing is the alleged involvement of BJP leaders and their hangers-on. Although equally disturbing, but it is at least expected that Hindu extremist organizations will indulge in such misdemeanours. It is in their DNA to do so. But when leaders of a party that is now talking of sabka saath, sabka vikas allegedly take part in, or otherwise lend support to, the lynching of a Muslim, it immediately disturbs all right thinking people. To add insult to injury, Sangeet Som, a BJP MLA already tainted by riot charges goes to the victim’s village and accuses the police of “appeasing cow killers” and “framing innocent youths.” Why the MLA was allowed to visit the Bisara given his antecedents is a mystery? It was natural that he would go there and fan further trouble.

Even as various off-shoots of the Hindutva parivar take on the minorities on various pretexts and the involvement of BJP leaders comes out in the open, it is becoming clear that Prime Minister Modi is losing the plot. It is difficult to govern a complex country like India. But it becomes more difficult when people of your own party create trouble for you. Modi has been surprisingly ineffective in stamping his authority on these elements – and everyone thought that Modi is a dictator. If things are allowed to drift, they will escalate. Nothing spurs trouble makers more than inaction on part of the administration. . Just a statement from the home ministry that there will be zero tolerance of incidents like Dadri will not do. Modi has to act decisively to put an end to this if he has any hopes of giving Indians the promised acche din.