With Kamlesh Tiwari murdered in a way to send signals to Hindus that Islam will ultimately prevail regardless of electoral victories by the BJP, a sizeable section of the online supporters of the party have once again started questioning the BJP about what exactly it is doing to take on Islamic extremism, which in its most violent – but pristine – form has now reached doorsteps of assertive Hindus.
This question has been raised multiple times this year itself. When a Muslim mob shouting Allahu-Akbar desecrated and damaged Durga Mandir in Hauz Qazi area of Delhi, when multiple Dussehra and Durga Puja processions were attacked while passing through ‘Muslim areas’, when scores of Hindu activists were killed in various cities, especially in West Bengal, and now murder of Kamlesh Tiwari in Lucknow, which has been celebrated and supported by many ordinary Muslims and ‘intellectuals’ alike.
The party has not officially responded to such questions, but their supporters, as well as some leaders, have tried to address the issue and explain their position. The reactions range from expressing inability to take some radical step like dismissing Mamata government over law and order issue, to pointing out that steps have been taken wherever possible, e.g. in Kamlesh Tiwari murder case, the conspirators were arrested the next day. It has also been repeatedly pointed out that barring isolated incidents involving some individuals, Islamic terrorists have not been able to attack any civilian areas since the Modi govt took charge in 2014.
Even the critics will have to accept that internal security indeed has been far better since the UPA years, and while we get to know when lapses happen e.g. inability to provide foolproof security to Kamlesh Tiwari, we may not get to know how many other tragedies are being averted by timely action. Security agencies don’t make every information or step public. Do remember that they could foil plans of Islamic terrorists to poison prasad of Mumbreshwar temple in Maharashtra so that hundreds of Hindus are killed without even a bomb going off. They must have averted many more such plans of Jihadis.
The immediate anger of people is entirely understood and even justified. It will really be naïve if we expect people to do a rational analysis as above before expressing their anger and grief. I myself tweeted and then deleted at least one tweet in the aftermath of Tiwari’s murder, though many angry tweets remain on my timeline.
I am not saying that everything will be fine once the anger subsides with time, even though that’s exactly what might happen. That will not help anyone. That ‘all is well’ will be temporary. The scenes will be repeated again when a “dara hua musalman” upsets the carefully crafted narrative of the liberals, and taking one step a time towards Ghazwa-E-Hind.
Both the BJP as well as the angry Hindus need to find out the solution.
I will not write here what the BJP should do, because they have been being told what to do by many people. All I can tell them is that this anger of people, which might appear limited just to social media, should be taken seriously. Things indeed might become normal in a few days, but in the long run, it will hurt the party.
I instead want to put some thoughts to the angry Hindus for consideration. This might appear preposterous that I’m suggesting a course of action to a group that is amorphous and unorganised with no formal structure to plan or execute a decision, instead of suggesting steps to the BJP, which is an organised group and where decisions can actually be taken and executed. However, there is a flip side to it to. A large organisation suffers from bureaucracy and inertia and it is less likely to try out new things than a start-up.
I have two suggestions for the angry Hindus – one constructive and perhaps relatively easier to do, and another being a radical one and might even be argued as ‘destructive’.
Kamlesh Tiwari Act For Curbing Islamist Ideology
In British India, a murder that was triggered by accusations of insult to Prophet Muhammad had given rise to the introduction of blasphemy laws. You can read the details here. The man who carried the act of murder is idolised in Pakistan, and why not. Because people like Jinnah and Allama Iqbal had glorified the act and eulogised the murderer.
Basically, the murder of Kamlesh Tiwari is a testimony to the fact that the ideology that created Pakistan is safe and thriving in India. I repeat that his murder is being celebrated and supported by many ordinary Muslims and ‘intellectuals’ alike, and that is why I say it is thriving.
Many are demanding that if a similar murder last time led to the introduction of blasphemy laws, this one should lead to repealing of those laws. I think that activism is misplaced. The issue is not blasphemy here, but the mentality that created Pakistan. A mentality that is alive and thriving and receives intellectual support.
The real tribute to Kamlesh Tiwari won’t be repealing the blasphemy laws but introducing a law that curbs and counters this mentality that created Pakistan. A law specifically aimed at fighting Islamist ideology and activities.
Just like the Congress-left ecosystem pushed for communal violence bill and anti-lynching laws – the latter has become a reality in Rajasthan after Congress regained power there – the non-left ecosystem has to push for a law against Islamist ideology. There are far more justifications for having such a law because this is about the territorial integrity of India. We need this law if we want to avert another partition.
People who understand the law and public policy should be roped in to come up with a draft bill that takes on threat of Islamism. Say, how exactly did Maulanas or outfits that organised protest rallies demanding capital punishment for Kamlesh Tiwari escape punishment? Perhaps at best IPC 506 could have applied to them, and that too if someone went and file an FIR? I feel that the cowardice of state coupled with a lack of relevant laws allowed them to get away.
This proposed law should codify how the police must act suo-moto and put stringent punishments for anyone demanding any part of Shariyat laws to be applicable in any part of India.
This is just one aspect, the Jihadi and Islamist mindset goes beyond demanding Shariyat, and those need to be identified, codified and made punishable offences too. For example, false accusation of blasphemy, refusal to follow civil laws and rules citing religious preferences, promotion of Ummah, and many such things can be included. These aspects need to be discussed and debated.
We desperately need such a law, unless we want to create another Pakistan or become a Londonistan.
I think this will be a constructive step to take and one can channelize the anger towards achieving it. Such a bill might not become law immediately – and I didn’t mean that when I said that this option was perhaps easier – but at least the activism and attempt could be easier than the second option that I may propose.
Unite, Organise, Get Counted, Put Pressure
Before I come to the second solution that I believe is more difficult to execute and could be argued to be destructive, I want to briefly recount an article that I had written just days after BJP returned with even a bigger mandate in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, I had hinted why the right-wing (rather the non-left wing) too needs to understand Narendra Modi.
Modi is currently being attacked for his silence, ironically by people who are termed bhakts by those who are slaves of either a family or a dogma. He is being asked, primarily on Twitter, why does he not seem to care about people like Kamlesh Tiwari. That why was he getting pictures with Bollywood actors clicked a day after Tiwari was killed.
I don’t want to answer on behalf of Modi, that will be pointless at this juncture. All I can say is that while I may not agree with attacks on someone who has given hope for a Hindu resurgence after a lost decade, I entirely understand and empathise with the anger.
In my article, I had hinted that to make sure Modi listens to you, you have to form an identifiable and measurable crowd. And this suggestion is about that. It goes a step, rather multiple steps, beyond what I had suggested, and it is almost like fighting Modi, which incidentally I had advised against.
But it’s not really about fighting Modi, but proving yourself. It might anger many who are already angered, but one retort that has come from contrarians is that issues like Kamlesh Tiwari just make noise on social media. Not many appear bothered about it in the real world.
Personally, I don’t think the party thinks that way. The issue has received highest attention in Uttar Pradesh and then there have been leaders like Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Sadhvi Pragya Thakur from outside the state who spoke up. Many guys officially attached to the party have been aggressively raising the issue and helping Kamlesh Tiwari’s family.
But what if that doesn’t convince you and you still believe that a section of the party indeed thinks that way? The only way to catch their attention and change their thinking will be to show that these issues have an impact on the ground too. Can we settle this debate by choosing one constituency where you pick one guy to represent these issues and prove to the party that your crowd is identifiable and measurable?
In upcoming Delhi elections, let us choose one constituency, say Chandani Chowk, where Hauz Qazi Durga Mandir was desecrated. Put up one candidate who fights on all these issues. Prove your point. Then either BJP is forced to listen to you, or you realise that much more needs to be done and you start working towards that.
Please don’t take it as a dare thrown at you. I’m as much anguished as you. However, I prefer solutions. I prefer to channelize the anger into creating something that attempts to solve the problems. This website itself is an example of that.