Two incidents have made it to national headlines within the space of a few hours that highlight very real cultural problems in India today. The two incidents might appear extremely different on the face of it but both of them highlight a very significant problem within Indian society. By any measure, the Faridabad incident and the Munger shooting are indeed absolutely shocking.
We are living in a culture of denial of the obvious. We have made denial of reality the cornerstone of our worldview. Even though all of us are well aware of the truth, we will go to extraordinary lengths to pretend otherwise during public life. For instance, we are well aware that on the best of days, the Police are perceived as people to be avoided at all costs.
There are the much vaulted arguments about police reforms. One would expect the number 1 priority on that list would be reforming the culture that has come to dominate our police force but somehow, it is never on the agenda. There needs to be far more accountability for the police and far stricter punishment for dereliction of duty. Most of all, it is necessary for everyone to see that justice is being done.
There is no point in blaming the Police alone. Our systems work because there are great men and women working in the government, the bureaucracy, the Judiciary and the Police who manage to compensate for the systemic flaws just enough so as to ensure that the edifice could be maintained. The system itself is rotten to the very core.
The Munger shooting is the most obvious in a series of incidents that reflect the utter moral depravity of the secular state. First of all, the Election Commission of India reserved the 28th of October for the first phase of the Bihar Assembly Elections. Either they were not aware of the specific traditions of Munger or they did not believe they were important enough. In either case, it reflects their remarkable incompetence.
Then, the Police suddenly discovered their bravado while dealing with Hindu devotees. There are different versions of what precisely happened but there are videos that suggest that the Police used brutal force against the devotees when they took out a procession for the Visarjan at around midnight on the intervening night between Monday and Tuesday.
The Police apparently thrashed the devotees which sparked a protest that ultimately led to the death of one and critical injuries for six others. Ideally, the entire team of police officials responsible for the madness should be suspended prior to an investigation and charges related to murder ought to be invoked if some of them are found guilty for the death of the Hindu devotee.
The brutal murder of the Hindu devotee, and that is what it precisely was, highlights a very salient aspect that has been hitherto ignored. Genuine Police reforms ought to be the concern of every concerned Hindu and reforming the culture of the Police is an extremely Hindu issue. Because ultimately, it is the Hindu masses who suffer the most due to police brutality.
The Police is too afraid to act against even genuine criminals from minority Abrahamic communities because they are actually scared for their lives. It is the law-abiding Hindus which bear the brunt of their brutality as it is against the weak that the bullies discover their strength all of a sudden. And make no mistake, the ordinary masses of all communities are weak.
Some compensate for it by building tight-knit communities where ‘One for All, All for One’ is the motto. Those communities that fail to do so have to suffer the consequences for their lack of organisation. We cannot afford to live in a culture of denial of the obvious anymore about the actual extent of malfeasance within the Police. And until the Police is reformed, the Hindu masses will continue to suffer and pious devotees will continue to be slaughtered.
Imagine the monstrosity of the whole situation. Hindu devotees embark on the annual Visarjan procession and in the way, they are brutalised by the Police and one of them even loses their lives. And yet, after a few days, the same governments which cannot adequately punish and reform the rot that has set in within government institutions will attempt to reform Hindu society itself. It is quite disgraceful.
The culture of denial is again prominent in the murder of Nikita Tomar in Faridabad. The 21-year old was shot dead in broad daylight by two men outside the Aggarwal college in Ballabgarh. The two accused fled the scene after committing the murder. One of the accused, Taufeeq, appears to have been an obsessive stalker of the girl who murdered her when she refused his advances.
There is no point in denying here that significant sections of the Muslim community harbour opinions that are radically at odds with the mandate of civil society. Reports have emerged which suggest that the victim was being coerced into converting to Islam and marry the accused which she was resisting. And hence, she was murdered.
Instead of speaking out against this menace, our cultural institutions are busy promoting nonsense such as the Tanishq ad which actually leads to the death of Hindu women. In this particular instance, it was a case of Islamist murder but there have been too many occasions in the past when Muslim boys have lured Hindu women by forging false identities and subsequently murdered them when their actual identity was discovered.
The two incidents highlight the fact that we cannot afford to live in a culture of denial anymore. It leads to the actual death of ordinary Hindu citizens who want nothing more than to live in peace. The elites might delude themselves by intricate fantasies but the masses do not have the luxury of entertaining such delusions.
Until we rid ourselves of the culture, ordinary Hindu citizens will continue to be murdered with impunity and without any consequences when all they want to do is participate in the Visarjan of their beloved deity. Until we rid ourselves of the culture, we will continue to have murders like that of Nikita Tomar who had to forfeit her life because she did not wish to marry a psychopath.
Both these incidents are heart-breaking, to put it mildly. But there are lessons from them that Hindus must learn. Until the appropriate lessons are learnt, such incidents will continue to occur with an obscene frequency. The unfortunate deaths of both Nikita Tomar and the Hindu devotee in Munger should only strengthen our resolve to ensure the reformation that we seek in our institutions and public life.