On the day of Hanuman Jayanti, Delhi’s Jahangirpuri became a scene of brutal violence. Relentless stone-pelting, arson, and even firing at the Hindus taking the procession or Shobha Yatra on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti by the local Muslim residents sparked communal tensions in the area.
Soon after the Jahangirpuri violence, certain ‘secular-liberals’ came out with a claim that the violence was sparked because the Hindu devotees had tried to enter a mosque to hoist a saffron flag. This attempt at blaming Hindus for the violence was expected, because, less than a week back, the blame for similar stone-pelting attacks on Ram Navami processions in multiple states was put on the Hindus too, saying that they had played ‘provocative songs’.
The blames and excuses are aplenty. “Hindus were using provocative songs, they should not have used ‘provocative slogans’, they should not have taken their procession through Muslim areas, they should not carry saffron flags”, etc etc.
In the Jahangirpuri violence, there were videos of Muslims pelting stones at Hindus going around on social media. So the ‘secular-liberals’ came up with some crafty claims. They said the Hindu mob tried to forcefully enter a mosque to hoist a saffron flag. So, the victim card and the blame card were out. It was the Hindus’ fault again that some Muslims just had to resort to pelting stones.
However, Delhi Police soon punctured holes into those claims. Police stated that no attempts were made to hoist the saffron flag in a mosque during the Jahangirpuri Hanuman Jayanti procession.
The thing is, the recent spate of violence is neither unique nor confined. In Karauli, the Muslim mob had pelted stones and attacked a Hindu procession during the Hindu New Year celebrations. Days later, Ram Navami Shobha Yatras saw multiple attacks in Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, West Bengal, Gujarat, Odisha etc.
This is just the list of attacks in April 2022. A simple Google search will tell you that Hindu festivities and processions or ‘Sobha Yatras’ which are a part of the traditional celebrations have been attacked by Islamists for a very long time. Such incidents have been happening in many states, across many areas for decades.
‘Muslim areas’ and other such claims of ‘secular liberals’
‘Secular liberals’ seem to assert that the very act of taking a Hindu procession through these so-called ‘Muslim areas’ is provocation enough. They don’t explicitly say that the stone-pelting should be done and the attacks are justified, but the very fact that they highlight the procession and its passage through the alleged ‘Muslim areas’ and not the fact that stones were pelted on a passing procession in a particular neighbourhood, tells you who they want to blame it on.
As per the ‘secular liberals’, these so-called ‘Muslim areas’ are actually ‘Muslims only’ areas. In reality, these are ghettos where forget Hindu festivities, even police presence and medical workers are unwelcome.
In a densely populated city in India that is 80% Hindu, an alleged ‘Muslim area’ can never be ‘Muslim only’ area. There will be Hindus living in pockets, there will be temples, Hindu shops and schools. What the ‘secular liberals’ are theorizing here is that there should exist Muslim exclusive ghettos where non-Muslims cannot practise their faith with the freedom that is granted by the constitution of this country.
Today, there is another bunch of ‘secular liberals’ claiming that Hindus are to blame for the violence because the very idea of taking out a procession is at fault. Apparently, Hindus should confine their faith to only the premises of their homes. Religious processions on roads (for Hindus) are not allowed.
Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera has shared a video saying that he keeps his faith at home and doesn’t take it on the road, a sly comment on the Hindu processions on the Hanuman Jayanti of course.
आस्था एक व्यक्तिगत मामला है। मेरी आस्था का स्थान मेरे घर और मेरे मन में है। सड़क पर नहीं। ना मैं अपनी आस्था किसी पर थोपता हूँ, ना किसी और को अपने उपर थोपने देता हूँ। मेरे लिए धर्म निरपेक्षता का यही अर्थ है। https://t.co/pey6fs2Aw9— Pawan Khera 🇮🇳 (@Pawankhera) April 19, 2022
In November 2021, Pawan Khera wrote an op-ed for The Quint, defending the right of Muslims to use public spaces in Gurugram for Friday Namaz and saying that the people opposing the usage of public spaces for Namaz are a threat to the proud spirit of secular India and mature multicultural societies should not behave like that. “Muslims congregate for community prayers on Fridays. They have done so for centuries,” Khera wrote.
So for Pawan Khera, Muslims of Gurugram using public spaces like roads, parks etc, apart from their mosques and Waqf compounds for Namaz every Friday is totally acceptable and should be welcomed by the Hindu community. But the Hindu community celebrating Hanuman Jayanti by taking out a Shobha Yatra is not a good way to practice the faith.
Please bear in mind that the protesting resident groups in Gurugram were not pelting stones at the Muslims offering Namaz in public spaces. They were protesting peacefully, legally, asking the administration to ensure public spaces are not blocked. Nobody pelted stones, nobody torched buses.
Places change, occasions change, but attacks continue
As said before, the instances of an Islamist mob attacking Hindu processions are aplenty. They don’t even need the alleged “provocation” of a procession or slogans, a photoshopped image on social media is enough ‘provocation’ to gather a violent mob and go on a stone-pelting, vehicle burning spree. If there are temples on the way, they will be attacked too.
A WhatsApp post shared by a boy was all that it took for a mob of hundreds of Muslims in Karnataka’s Hubballi to attack a police station, torch vehicles and pelt stones at a Hanuman Temple.
Welcome to the new normal – Muslim mobs on a rampage. This one from Hubballi, Karnataka didn’t even make the primetime news cycle.— Anand Ranganathan (@ARanganathan72) April 18, 2022
11 cops badly injured. A Hanuman temple stoned. Reason? A photoshopped WhatsApp post showing a saffron flag on a mosque. pic.twitter.com/NayuMfCOAX
Last year, a mosque caretaker in Bangladesh intentionally placed a copy of the Quran near a Hindu idol in a Durga Puja pandal and it became enough of a trigger for the local Muslims to start attacking pandals, temples and assault the Hindus.
Durga Puja pandals and Visarjan processions have been attacked multiple times in various Indian states. Just because they do not happen in Delhi, they have been swept away from the news cycle soon, without the national media discussing it in loud debates. The festivals differ, the cities differ, but the constant theme in these incidents is that when the procession passes through an alleged ‘Muslim area’, it comes under attack.
Not so long ago, just weeks back, a young boy named Rupesh Pandey was lynched by a Muslim mob when a Saraswati Puja Visarjan was attacked in Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh.
Even the pilgrimage of Hindus to the Amarnath shrine has been criticised, tarnished by ‘secular-liberals’, Leftists and their Islamist comrades over the years. OpIndia did a series of articles to highlight those elements. Articles in Foreign Policy and TRT have called the Amarnath Yatra ‘a state-sponsored attempt to ‘capture Kashmir’. Remember that the whole idea of Article 370, Kashmir’s ‘separate’ status and the secession politics is nothing but a weaponised, larger version of the ‘Muslim area’ theory.
Why so intolerant?
The irony is, while the mainstream media paints the picture of a belligerent intolerant Hindu majority in the country. We do not see reports of Muharram processions coming under attack by Hindus. Considering that the country is 80% Hindu and there are far more ‘Hindu areas’ than ‘Muslim areas’ in the nation, why is the stone-pelting, arson is a one-sided affair? Has anybody pondered over it?
The thing is, there is zero accountability from Islamists and their apologists for acts of deliberate and planned violence. The mainstream media rushes in to whitewash crimes of stone pelters and arsonists, the victim card is flashed in an instant and the mentality that creates the lawless ghettos and calls them ‘Muslim areas’ keeps spreading like a virus.
India is a Hindu majority country that allows all citizens to practice their faith freely within the ambit of the law. Propagation of the ‘Muslim areas’ mentality has given us one partition in 1947 and then the Bangladesh genocide, and dozens of riots over the years. It is the duty of the government and the administration to ensure that lawless ghettos do not flourish in the country. By allowing certain disruptive elements to wield the threat of violence and get away with it year after year, the authorities are indirectly paving the way for anti-India elements to exploit those faultlines and push the nation into chaos whenever, wherever they want.