Muslims run riot during Hindu festivals – Sinister pattern emerges

published on April 18, 2010

Sinister pattern emerges
The Pioneer Edit Desk
Muslims run riot during Hindu festivals

A pattern has begun to emerge from the incidents of communal violence that have been witnessed at Meraj in Maharashtra, Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh and, most recently, Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh. In all these places, fanatical Muslims went on the rampage to prevent Hindus from observing their religious festivals or behaved in the most obnoxious manner to turn festivities into mourning. At Meraj, Ganesh mandaps were set upon and ransacked by belligerent Muslims with the clear intention of scaring away Hindus, forcing a curfew and thereby disallowing the majority community from observing an important religious festival. At Bareilly, Muslims led by a local mullah, whose deeds are far removed from his avowed profession, went on the rampage to prevent Hindus from taking out the traditional Ram Baraat. In Hyderabad, Muslims, egged on by the MIM, a rank communal organisation whose leaders spit venom, refused to take down their banners and buntings put up on the occasion of a long over festival with the malicious intent of provoking Hindus and triggering violence on Hanuman Jayanti. In all three places, Muslims bent upon creating discord have been successful, with more than a little help from the respective State Governments: Neither the Congress (or its ally, the NCP) nor the BSP is keen to rein in hoodlums lest it be construed as acting against the ‘sentiments’ of the minority community. Hence, it is not surprising that rioting mobs have had their way as the police have stood on the sidelines, twiddling their thumbs. The pattern of Muslim-instigated violence is highlighted by the manner in which mullahs incited Muslims to run amok in Karnataka; had the State Government not acted with a firm hand, full-scale rioting would have followed.

These and other facts have been skilfully suppressed by those sections of the media which mistakenly believe that reporting Muslim belligerence aimed at violating the law of the land would be considered as showing the least of all minorities in a poor light. That’s balderdash. First, the principles of fair reportage demand that the real reasons behind any incident of communal violence should be brought to light irrespective of the community or communities involved. Second, while it is true that not all Muslims participate in such misdeeds — indeed, the majority of them steer clear of rabble-rousing mullahs and aspire to live peacefully with Hindus — it would be self-defeating not to identify the culprits. Those who violate the law and indulge in criminal acts must not be allowed to escape punishment. Third, the velvet glove approach has not worked, nor shall it help tame fanatics who revel in bloodshed. We could manufacture a million reasons to justify the belligerence of Muslims who run riot, but that neither does credit to the community nor does it help Muslims in the long run.

Meanwhile, the community would do well to ponder over whether it serves its interest to prevent Hindus from observing their festivals in those cities, towns and villages which have a sizeable Muslim population. Retaliatory violence, no matter how undesirable, is something that cannot be wished away. Of course, sanity must prevail and Hindus should not step into the trap laid by Muslim fanatics; a vicious cycle of violence and counter-violence will only result in innocent people, both Hindus and Muslims, paying a terrible price. Restraint must be exercised in the face of extreme provocation.

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