Paint the Town Saffron

Vigilantism is a two edged sword: it often swings to kill the offender and on other days, whom the vigilante thinks the offender is.

Recent news has been flooding everyone’s Facebook feed, the more intrigued have been keeping tabs on the newspapers and news channels. Fierce debates with aggressive moderators sell intolerance like it’s the new trend coming next fall. It’s become a fashion to protest, no wonder people are finding all ways possible to be heard and noticed. The incapacitated police and judicial system in its current state is not even close to getting this situation under control anytime soon. Activism is rampant, being aggressively vocal is trendy and taking the law in one’s own hands is the norm nowadays.

Just a few days ago the bus taking the pilgrims for the holy Amarnath Yatra was attacked, killing a few people and injuring many. The news was a national headline; Jammu and Kashmir’s Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti called it “a blot on all Muslims and Kashmiris”. This attack was seen as a religious statement, made from extremists of one religion to mark their territory against the other. However, the problem did not end there. The Hindus protested in various parts of the country, many of which took an ugly turn. In Hisar, Hindu protesters from the Bajrang Dal marched down into a colony; three people went into a mosque and pulled the Imam out, misbehaved with him and even slapped him on the face. Such mistreatment of Muslim citizens who are not associated with the attacks is atrocious, even more so because that is exactly the cause for which the protest was held. How can one kill or attack innocent people engaged in their own religious activity? If that is the question the Hindu protesters are asking, how dare they do the same?

Such outrageous behaviour is backed by the silence of the central government. RSS ideology driven NDA have been so tight-lipped about the issue that it must bother the nation. But one cannot blame them entirely. After all, the government is so busy taking care of the so-called cow vigilantes that have brought even the goons portrayed in Bollywood to shame. It is not a small feat, managing a campaign and ensuring victory from popular vote for the subsequent election and at the pushing the underlying Hindutva agenda, and being covert about it. If there has ever been a day for a Muslim-intolerant Hindu to live, that day is today. Now Hindus will not only roam about the streets freely cursing their Muslim neighbour, but they will also control what their neighbour eats.

With the Supreme Court putting a stay order on the nationwide ban on sale of cows and buffaloes for slaughter, courtesy advocate Kapil Sibal, we as a nation have a little more time on our hands to reflect on recent happenings and draw conclusions as to where all this is headed. The Hindu extremists going by the alias of cow vigilantes have been creating terror amongst the people with their lynching and killing of tens of people across the country, all in the name of religion. Whenever questioned by the media, these Hindu extremists claim to be simply protecting their sacred animal. Even if we consider the cow vigilantes to be sincere about their efforts to protect cows and not simply use it as an excuse to attack people of other faiths, where are these vigilantes when the very same cows are seen on the roads, eating polythene bags from garbage piles? The country is in such a state of mockery that even Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray considered himself to be in a position where he could take dig at the recent lynching by cow vigilantes. “If terrorists carried beef, they would have been killed”, were his words as he talked about how the terrorists who attacked Amarnath pilgrims would not have survived if they carried beef rather than weapons.

We started off with loving the Patni and fearing the Begum, but it seems like we now have to fear the Patni too.

By Sneha Kumari


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