The problem with the times we live in is that there are some things which no one can speak about, and then there are others on which anyone can speak about. Hinduism is, for instance, a free-for-all thing. When you debate on Triple Talaq, you need to have Muslim clerics debating on Television and when you talk about splitting Hindus between Shaivites and Non-Shaivites in Karnataka, you will have everyone from John Dayal to Akbaruddin Owaisi pontificating on how Hinduism is in essence and how it should be.
Secular thinkers oscillate between being the torch bearer of atheist secularism and are at the same time self-appointed guardians of religious practices which are essentially non-Hindu. On the questions of religious faith of Hinduism and associated faith, they are arrogantly and aggressively progressive, but swiftly and willingly get themselves transported to middle-ages and become the ritualistic and faithful believer when they want to defend regressive practices of any non-Hindu religion.
As some vigilant citizens in Haryana took note of Namaz in public places and objected to it, the State Government took a legal position on it. The legal position being that unauthorized religious activities, as a routine practice, cannot be allowed in open public spaces. This resulted in an immediate and aggressive response from those who would not lose a moment in seeking a ban on Kanwariyas for a few days of inconvenience, each year.
The arguments are flimsy and the positional justification they bring in by claiming themselves to be religion-neutral, thus placing themselves above the common men as objective atheists have as many holes as a badly torn mosquito-net. One wrote an article denouncing the statement of Gurgaon administration claiming they will maintain the sanctity of public spaces and keep them free of religious encroachment, trying to find a very arrogant and absurd equivalence to unauthorized and routine religious assembly with the invitation of a revered Jain saint to the Haryana assembly, who is addressed in the headline by the journalist earlier caught peddling lies of class divide in Delhi Metro in an extremely disparaging manner as ‘naked Jain monk’. Let us leave that article from Shekhar Gupta school of stupid outrage apart, and look at another one which appeared in DailyO.in by a lady named Radha Khan.
She has written it as some sort of ordinary citizen who doesn’t usually have time to get involved in such religiously hued debate, but out of anguish she wrote a long essay under the name – “A Gurgaon resident on why the ‘Namaz row’ is just an excuse to bully Muslims‘. The good lady had earlier written an article in Scroll.in with a heading of My Name is Khan, apparently to illustrate the absurdity of religious dogmatism in modern India. However, the very title of the article with stress on her name (which is actually her surname, but who are we to quarrel?) Khan, right from the epiglottis, goes tangent to the supposed objective of her write-up.
In the earlier article, she’s amused that people assume that she is a Muslim because she has a Muslim surname. She explains that her mother and grandmother weren’t Muslims. Her grandfather, says she, was a Muslim and grandmother a Hindu. She says she is surprised as to why people presume her to be a Muslim when she carries a Hindu name and that her mother and grandmother were Hindus. Later in the same article, she talks about her mother that though she was born a Hindu, she is neither a practising Hindu nor a believer. That she finds it amusing that people presume her to be Muslim itself is amusing because of the surname she proudly carries as an atheist and non-believer. However, let us look at what she writes now, claiming that the attempt by the administration to implement the rule of law and a determination to stop encroachments on public land is an attempt to bulldoze Muslims as if Muslims have some religious obligation to expand and acquire government land illegally.
Her latest article, as well as her earlier one, exposes her own befuddled thought process. In her earlier article which was published by Scroll.in, she appears confused between her atheism and her affection with her surname. She keeps moving across her own contradictions.
Here, an extraordinarily confused line of thought begins from, well, the beginning. She says that the Namaazis were harassed in a nearby village and then proceeds to say that this happened in the middle of the millennium city. She probably realizes what contradictions she was weaving in and then defines old Gurgaon (the part on the other side of the National Highway) as a village. She begins by objecting to the fact that the so-called vigilante took law into their own hands. In an India, where Dalit’s funeral was attacked in Tamil Nadu, a young Tamil Boy was stoned to death by Islamist Jihadis of Kashmir only recently, a month back a boy was shot dead for chanting Vande Mataram another was beheaded right in the heart of National Capital, she calls interruption by ‘vigilantes’ to the Muslims blocking the public spaces for religious activity without any permission ‘taking law into their hands’.
She admits that after this incident, much bloated into a big issue, police took action and arrested those who objected to this attempt to illegally encroach on public space. But that is not sufficient for Radha with a surname to write a letter with 150 like-minded people to the authority registering protest against an attempt to infringe on the constitutional rights of a community. She, a learned individual, fails to explain which constitutional right corresponds with the right to illegally encroach on Government land.
She says they wrote to the state to protect the ‘constitutional rights’ of Muslims. Little does this atheist with Muslim surname realize that constitutional right is infringed when those who share her surname and such like entered private spaces in Kashmir to stop people from practicing their religion. Constitutional liberties impinge when state or other communities enter your religious spaces or private places and interrupt your activities; not when you take your religious practices and impose them on secular spaces. She laments that the pictures had shown a group of people showing ‘machismo and authority’ and Police watching from a distance. I am sure the lady has never seen Azaad Maidan Pictures of people showing ‘machismo and authority’ destroying the symbols of pride of an independent nation, with police nowhere to be seen, scared away by men molesting lady cops.
The atheist, a non-religious lady got together with Muslim men and others from different faiths to evaluate the ground situation as a concerned private citizen for a huge bothersome act which had no report of violence, but only of people asking men of another community to not encroach on Government land. For this routine act, she goes on to attacking Hindu festivals which are annual events like Durga Puja, Diwali Pandals, conveniently ignoring the facts that these are erected after due permission from the authorities and aren’t an everyday thing.
She wades into how Muslims are vilified in the name of ISIS and such. She stops short of claiming that it is actually Hindu Brahmins who are running ISIS. As is the standard practice of such Hindu hating articles, she does bring in Junaid into the discussion who became an NDTV and Congress-combine sponsored protest, ignoring the court’s decision which rejected the manufactured beef angle to propel the story into international media.
She concludes by claiming that the message being sent to the Muslim community is – ‘Do not dare to ask for your rights’. Is she somehow claiming that forcefully grab government land is a fundamental right? Much like the wall which was being constructed in UP and stopped by the upright Police officer Durga Shakti Nagpal who was promptly shunted out as the innocent wall became a mosque. It is really amazing how those who fool us with the claims of atheism and objectivity come out blatantly as closet fundamentalists. This article is a glaring example of how fake atheist credentials are used to peddle communal agenda and attacking Hindus is enough for a lousy writer to earn the credentials of an objective intellectual.
A technology worker, writer and poet, and a concerned Indian. Saket writes in Hindi and English. He writes on socio-political matters and routinely writes Hindi satire in print as well in leading newspaper like Jagaran. His recently published Hindi satire collection “Ganjhon Ki Goshthi” is on amazon and getting excellent reception and readership.