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As ‘Jai Shri Ram’ gets vilified as a provocative ‘war cry’, ‘Sar Tan Se Juda’, a literal call for beheading gets a free pass

The “Gustakh-e-Rasool ki Ek hi saza, sar tan se Juda, sar tan se Juda” slogan raised by Islamists, which is literally a call for beheading on the charges of blasphemy, has resulted in actual murder of several persons in recent past

Ram Navami celebrations of 2023 marked a scale and spread of attacks by Islamists on Hindu processions and Shobha Yatras in various cities and states across the country like never before. Across India, religious fervour sparked clashes as Islamists targeted Ram Navami processions passing through Muslim-majority areas. Cities and towns from Vadodara in Gujarat to Howrah in West Bengal and Mumbai to Sambhaji Nagar were affected.

The violence was essentially fueled by radical Islamic extremism. As investigations are progressing in each of the individual cases, attempts were being made to insinuate that Jai Shri Ram chants by Hindus participating in the procession were the root cause of the incidents in most of the cases.

Many liberals in media and politics have presented this sacred chant of Hindus as a ‘war cry’ time and again. However, the Islamist slogan of ‘Sar Tan Se Juda’ – a literal call for beheading – is never addressed by these people with the condemning tone it actually deserves. It, therefore, becomes necessary to take an account of how a non-violent simple Dharmik chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ is demeaned as a provocative slogan as opposed to how an Islamist threat for beheading is comfortably ignored and gets a free pass.

Demeaning Jai Shri Ram gained momentum after BJP came to power in 2014

The ‘liberal’ group and their media allies are using the sacred ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogan to defame Hindus and portray them as hateful. They have a deep-rooted animosity towards Hindus and manipulate stories to portray any crime, particularly those involving Muslim victims, as a ‘hate crime’. This trend has increased since the BJP, known for its Hindutva beliefs, came to power in 2014. The false narrative of ‘Dara Hua Musalman’ is being widely promoted by them.

Incidents with Muslim victims are usually picked to peddle the agenda

The murder of a Muslim youth Asif Khan in Haryana on 16th May 2021 can be seen as an example of this trait of narrative peddling. Haryana Police had ruled out any communal angle in the murder of Muslim youth Asif Khan from Mewat. As per reports, Asif, along with his two cousins was returning from his sister’s house when he was allegedly attacked by a group of men and was beaten to death. However, soon after the report of his death poured in, some media houses claimed that he was forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ before being killed, thereby giving it a communal angle.

Kerala-based portal Maktoob Media claimed that Asif was ‘forced to chant Jai Shri Ram’ and referred to the religious slogan as ‘warcry of Hindu nationalist militants’. Sharjeel Usmani, the Newslaundry columnist, also used the unfortunate crime in Haryana to peddle hatred against the Hindu community. Sharjeel Usmani tweeted, “A Hindu chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ is ‘most likely’ a terrorist.” However, Maktoob Media offered no evidence to prove this fact. In fact, even the initial statement of one of the witnesses said how they were attacked by a group where most men were known to them. Eventually, it turned out to be a case of internal political rivalry and there was no communal angle in it.

In September 2020, the leftist media worked overtime to attribute a communal angle to the death of a Muslim cab driver named Aftab Alam claiming that he was lynched to death by a communal mob after forcing him to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’. Media houses like TheWire and Amar Ujala claimed that Aftab Alam was made to chant Jai Shri Ram. This fake narrative was soon busted by the Noida police who confirmed that they had examined the audio recording of the event and the victim, Aftab Alam, was not asked to chant Jai Shri Ram.

Islamists and their followers have been demonising the “Jai Shri Ram” slogan on social media, most notably Mohammed Zubair of Alt News, who made a false allegation that an elderly Muslim man in Ghaziabad had been beaten for not chanting the slogan. Later, it became clear that the attack happened as a result of personal hatred and a failed occult practice. Nonetheless, hordes of “liberals” rushed to defame the “Jai Shri Ram” chant and propagate the false information.

Similar attempts to demonise Jai Shri Ram slogans have been made, in which “liberals” and “Islamists” portray the peaceful slogan as a war cry in order to dissuade devout Hindus from chanting it, guilt-trip them into skipping another of their traditions, and force them to abandon their centuries-old custom. Many such instances can be quoted where these liberals attempted demeaning the sacred chant of Jai shri Ram.

Attack on Jai shri Ram slogan has now translated into attacks on Ram Navami processions

This vilification of the Hindu gesture of greeting each other, and praising their deity slowly turned into assigning a meaning to the Hindu festivals which suits most to the liberal narrative. Attacks on Ram Navami processions are a continuation of Islamic efforts to distort the holy chant “Jai Shri Ram” into a war cry and a sign of religious extremism. Mainstream liberal media has brought it into action with unmatched quickness.

In a latest example, after the Ram Navami processions were attacked by Islamists in West Bengal, “liberal” journalist Rajdeep Sardesai said while anchoring a TV debate, “The worry is the Ram Navami which is an occasion to celebrate the greatness of Ram, has now became an occasion for a militarist, aggressive, version of Ram which is directed against other community. And it is creating tensions. This is surely not what Ram Navami meant to be. Ram Navami was meant to celebrate Maryada Purushottam.”

Rajdeep Sardesai deliberately insinuated that Hindus in West Bengal were the culprits of the riots instead of condemning the Islamists attacking the Ram Navami processions peacefully taken by the Hindus when they reached the so-called Muslim areas recently legitimized by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

Sar Ta Se Juda slogan raised by Islamists

“Gustakh-e-Rasool ki Ek hi saza, sar tan se Juda, sar tan se Juda” is a slogan raised by Islamists in India in various violent protests and riots in recent times. The literal translation of this slogan is – “There is only one punishment for being disrespectful to Rasool (Prophet Muhammad), their head separated from their torso, their head separated from the torso”. This is clearly a call for beheading anyone who allegedly disrespects the Prophet Muhammad.

It is pertinent to recall here that Jai Shri Ram means ‘Glory to Ram’. Even the word Jai in this Dharmik chant does not literally translate to some victory in some war. Rather it is said to praise the deity. Clearly, Jai shri Ram is not a ‘war cry’ as vilified by liberals and Islamists. Chanting Jai Shri Ram does not initiate, incite, or inspire any act of violence, terror, bloodshed, or antisocial activity of any sort whatsoever. However, this is not the case with the Sar Tan Se Juda slogan which is clearly a call for beheading.

Islamists practising Sar Tan Se Juda in India

India widely witnessed this beheading call wildly turning into action in the year 2022 after Alt News co-founder Mohammad Zubair dogwhistled bloodthirsty Islamists to attack former Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Nupur Sharma for her allegedly blasphemous remarks against the Prophet Muhammad during a TV debate in May 2022. Mohammad Zubair shared the video of the debate in a manner that incited fanatic Islamists who started issuing threats to Nupur Sharma. Multiple cases were filed against her for this alleged blasphemy.

But this was not all. Threats were issued to Hindus who supported Nupur Sharma on social media. As many as 6 innocent Hindus were beheaded by Islamists in various cities of the country after this incident. Kanhaiya Lal’s gory beheading in Udaipur and heinous killing of Umesh Kolhe in Amravati for just supporting Nupur Sharma on social media spread a countrywide fear of this slogan in the minds of innocent law-abiding majority community Hindus. Moreover, many cities in the country saw aggressive mobs of Muslim men and women coming to streets in large numbers and chanting this beheading call together thereby rooting a sense of traumatizing terror in the society. A terror that silently said, ‘if you touch our sensitivities even a little bit, you desrve to be killed by us’.

Notably, beheading threats issued to Nupur Sharma and subsequent murders of Hindus who supported her on social media was not the first case where this ‘Sar Tan Se Juda’ call was taken into actual practice by some Islamists. In January 2022, a young man from Dhadhuka in rural Ahmedabad, Kishan Boliya alias Kishan Bharwad was shot dead by two men from the Muslim community. Kishan had shared a video which allegedly showed an image of Prophet Muhammad. Muslims firmly believe that visual depiction of Muhammad is forbidden. Islamists believe that such a visual depiction is blasphemy and an ‘insult’ to Muhammad, and beheading the one who blasphemed is the appropriate punishment.

The threat of “Sar Tan Se Juda” chants against Kamlesh Tiwari materialised in 2019 when Islamists entered his house under the guise of Hindus and slit his throat for remarks made on Prophet Muhammad years ago, for which he had already served jail time. But, those who religiously believe in ‘Sar Tan Se Juda’, never settle on anything except Islamic punishments for blasphemy, killed Kamlesh Tiwari. Similarly a century ago in 1920, Mahashay Rajpal was killed for publishing Rangeela Rasool. In a latest incident, these slogans were raised in Una of Gujarat on 31st March 2023.

Silent liberals

While Islamists played havoc by translating this beheading call of Sar Tan Se Juda into action, killing many people, liberals in Indian media and politics remained silent. None of them condemned these acts in as many words as Sar Tan Se Juda slogan is a terrorist call for beheading and it has no place in a country ruled by law. Those who were peddling their agenda against Jai shri Ram and Ram Navami celebrations preferred to keep mum when radical Muslims came to the streets in mobs and chanted this slogan.

The so-called liberals did not show the same enthusiasm and zeal to condemn this violent slogan that claimed at least a dozen lives in the last few years. The same liberals are still comfortably running a bandwagon to prove Jai Shri Ram – a simple praise of a deity – a war cry. The condoning of such slogans, believing they are just a cathartic expression of a livid mob aggrieved over the purported insult of their prophet, is nothing but wishful thinking because chances are that some religious zealot in the crowd, egged on by the slogans, would be motivated to pick up the weapon and proceed to kill someone like Kanhaiya Lal.

‘Jai Shri Ram’ is a slogan singing praise to the glory of Lord Rama. ‘Jai Shri Ram’ is a cultural slogan. For a long time, it has been a manner of greeting each other for Hindus, along with another variant ‘Jai Siya Ram’. Calling ‘the slogan’Jai Shri Ram’ a provocative war cry is just another attempt to spite Hindus and create a division within Hindu society, while comfortably being silent on beheading calls like Sar Tan Se Juda which is a precursor to a terror attack and a direct incitement to violence.

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Amit Kelkar
Amit Kelkar
a Pune based IT professional with keen interest in politics

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