On 30th June 2019, the Hindu faith was brutally attacked. The Durga Temple desecration did not happen in some remote village of India but in the heart of Delhi. In Hauz Qazi, Chandni Chowk, a Muslim mob desecrated a temple, according to the locals even urinated in the temple, broke the idols while chanting slogans like ‘Allah Hu Akbar’, ‘Naara-E-Taqbeer’, and reportedly, ‘Modi Murdabad’.
Ever since that harrowing night, there has been a concerted effort to whitewash the Hauz Qazi violence. Recently, when VHP and Hindu activists organised the Praan Pratishtha rituals of the idols, media was more than happy to propagate the theory that Muslims of Hauz Qazi were helping in reinstalling the idols. This was contested vehemently by Hindu activists who were involved in the event. Earlier, the case of the missing Hindu boy was shamelessly ignored by the media. For 3 days, nobody even reported that there was a Hindu boy missing since the Muslim mob went on a rampage. When this correspondent reported the missing boy, the media, like vultures, gave excuses for not covering the FIR that the mother sat clutching.
A new narrative is now being peddled, shamelessly, brazenly. Congress mouthpiece National Herald published an article by one Humra Quraishi which could only be called the most dishonest piece of reporting one has seen on the Hauz Qazi incident. The article has been headlined, “Delhi’s Hauz Qazi episode: If administration and police want, they can prevent communal riots”.
The fulcrum of the article is the following premise: “It was clear that AAP govt in Delhi genuinely wanted the communal surcharge to be contained swiftly and prudently. Why can’t this happen in other sensitive areas of the country?”.
Firstly, the author gives absolutely no evidence to support her premise that the AAP government in Delhi ‘genuinely’ wanted the communal surcharge to be contained. On the contrary, there are several reports and evidence that point towards the exact opposite. There were reports that eyewitnesses alleged that AAP MLA Imran Hussain was a part of the mob that pelted stoned in Hauz Qazi. Though, Hussain denied the charges and said that he was a part of the mob only to calm tempers. Times Now accessed video footage as well that showed Hussain as being a part of the mob.
The article in National Herald, interestingly, doesn’t mention any of this. Not the eyewitness’ version and not Imran’s version as well.
Interestingly, the treachery of the National Herald article is apparent when the author starts equating the Hauz Qazi incident to that of the 2002 Gujarat riots. Cutting through the drivel, the basic premise of the author is that while the government failed to control Gujarat riots, the AAP government controlled the Hauz Qazi communal flare up and the country and the governments of the country should follow AAP’s example.
In fact, the article is dishonest enough to not even mention why there was a communal flare-up in the first place. In the entire report, there is no mention of the temple vandalisation. There is no mention that the communal flare-up was due to a Muslim mob desecrating a temple and that the Hindus, who are confined to one narrow lane of Hauz Qazi allege that stones were pelted at their homes. The entire report also does not mention that a boy went missing after the communal flare-up and according to the boy himself, he was thrashed by Muslims on that day.
But perhaps the most troubling part not only of the National Herald report but the media coverage, in general, has been the downright denial that there was a communal flare-up at all.
The report in the National Herald too tries to insinuate that the situation was contained in Hauz Qazi and that there was no communal flare up at all, thanks to the alacrity shown by the AAP government, of which, she gives no proof.
However, what is the truth?
This correspondent spent the better part of the day on the ground and any insinuation that either the AAP government controlled the tension or that no tension existed at all is a farce.
While speaking to the locals Hindu residents, they made it amply clear that nobody from the AAP government had gone to visit them. In fact, the Hindu residents had startling allegations. They asserted that if Muslims had been attacked by the Hindu residents, Arvind Kejriwal would have been sure to visit them and that the Muslim population felt emboldened because of the AAP MLAs of the area.
Further, far more than assuaging tempers, the attempt in Hauz Qazi by the media and the police alike was to hush up the tension. Firstly, for 3 days, the news of a Hindu boy missing had been hushed up by the media. The parents alleged that their minor boy had been kidnapped by the Muslim mob. In fact, the mother sat there with the FIR clutched in her hand and would have spoken to anyone who would listen.
The media, while present in Hauz Qazi chose to ignore the parent’s plight. While this correspondent was on the ground, the father of the missing boy had threatened to commit suicide if his boy was not found, and the media chose to walk away. The pertinent question here is whether the media would have behaved in the exact same manner were the tables turned and a Muslim boy was missing amidst communal tensions. The answer is, perhaps, not.
The police on the other tried their best to suppress the news of the attack on Hindus. Firstly, while the parents of the missing boy were wailing, one of the policemen had alleged that their boy is hail and hearty. When the parents asked him how he knew that and whether he knew the whereabouts of the boy, the police denied. They said they didn’t know and were trying to locate the boy. This was on the 2nd of July. Interestingly, after the OpIndia report, the boy was found on the 3rd evening and the police had claimed that he was never kidnapped, however, he had run away to his relative’s place. The boy too had a similar version. That he was first thrashed by some Muslim youth when he said he was a Hindu and then later when the mob started building up, he was thrashed again after which he took a train to Haridwar. He said that he coincidentally met his relative at some station en route. The story, however, leaves many loopholes to be explored. Did the police know? if they did, why did the officers in Hauz Qazi deny knowledge of it? For the lack of more evidence, nobody has a choice but to accept the version being presented, however, even in that version, it is clear that the boy allegedly ‘ran away’ after being thrashed twice by the Muslim mob. Was his disappearance then not related to the communal tension? And despite everything, why did the media shy away from reporting an FIR? Does the media regularly not report FIRs or was it a choice to ignore this particular one and brand it as “responsible journalism”?
Furthermore, a vital piece of information was left out by the media, perhaps deliberately, because this correspondent can vouch for the fact that had any reporter spoken to the Hindus of the area for more than 15 minutes, this detail could not have been missed.
The Hindu residents alleged that the Delhi police tried to cover up the incident of the temple desecration altogether. The Hindu residents pointed towards idols that had allegedly been brought in by the Delhi police overnight to quietly replace the ones broken by the Muslim mob. The residents claimed that the police even changed the glass panels shattered by the Muslim mob overnight. The Hindus, however, did not let the police replace the idols and locked them up in a tinier area near the temple.
If this was not proof enough that Hauz Qazi was a tinderbox, when a group of people were arrested in connection with the communal tensions, they admitted to the police that they had broken the shutter of the temple and even entered the homes of Hindus to ‘terrorise them’.
Let that sink in.
The mob not only desecrated the temple but entered the homes of Hindus to terrorise them. This was reported by the Times of India. A publication that the ‘secular-liberal’ gang loves. The residents had told this correspondent that the mob had even urinated in the temple.
After all of this, Congress mouthpiece wants its readers to believe that the AAP government tried to assuage feelings. Tried to create normalcy. In fact, National Herald implies that the communal tensions were successfully controlled unlike that of Godhra. The comparison, as asinine it was, was made by a publication that could not even get itself to write that a temple was desecrated and Hindus were terrorised.
Perhaps the Hauz Qazi incident unnerved the Delhi Lutyens crowd because they could not claim tyranny of distance. Right under their nose, a Muslim mob took out the funeral of Ganga-Jamuna Tehzeen and it just had to be covered up. Should the police be held responsible for the attempted alleged cover-up? Yes. Should the collective ‘secular’ ecosystem be held responsible for whitewashing the plight of Hindus confined to a tiny bylane? Absolutely. Did the Congress mouthpiece simply peddle the same narrative and abandoned the Hindus by publishing this report? Without a doubt.