Monday, June 17, 2024
HomeSpecialsFrom introducing IPC 295a to Sharia in NIT Srinagar: Indicative list of how perennially...

From introducing IPC 295a to Sharia in NIT Srinagar: Indicative list of how perennially outraged Islamists have their halal-certified cake and eat it too

Having realised the effectiveness of 'street veto' over the past few decades, Islamists are now using it regularly to terrorise common people, and threaten their livelihood and survival.

The life of Prathamesh Shinde, a 4th year engineering student studying at NIT Srinagar, took a drastic turn on Tuesday (28th November). A mob of frenzied Islamists accused Shinde of committing ‘blasphemy’, carried out large demonstrations and chanted murderous slogans against him.

Chants of ‘Sarr Tan se Juda (STSJ)’, ‘Allahu Akbar’ and ‘Naara e Takbeer’ reverberated across various institutes in Kashmir. Contrary to the claims made by the Islamist mob, Shinde did not make any remarks that could be deemed ‘insulting’ even by Islamists.

The student from Maharashtra had merely shared a video of Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of Hamas terrorist Sheikh Hassan Yousef, who was seen criticising Prophet Muhammad and Islam. Hamas has killed 1400 Israeli civilians so far, which resulted in a large-scale Israel-Hamas war.

Although the remarks were not made by Prathamesh Shinde, Islamists latched onto the fact that he shared the video on his Instagram story. They, of course, did not have the temerity to speak against Mosab Hassan Yousef, knowing well that his criticism could not be done bereft of his identity as the son of a Hamas terrorist.

As such, the victim of this lynch mob became a Hindu boy from Maharashtra. The Islamists took to the streets in protest of ‘blasphemy’ and coerced the State machinery into submission. The college administration rusticated Prathamesh Shinde from NIT Srinagar for one year.

The police too gave in to the ‘Islamist street veto’ and booked the 4th year engineering under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections 295A (acts intended to outrage religious feelings), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 153 (giving provocation with intent to cause riots).

Islamists, who took to the streets to make the allegations of blasphemy, openly called for killing Prathamesh Shinde.

“Our Prophet Our Honor…Our love for the Prophet is our Faith…Any dishonour to him is a call for your murder. Do you think you can live peacefully after committing blasphemy,” a radical Muslim remarked.

“Look here…We are ready to sever your head from the rest of your body,” he announced without any fear of law. Shinde has been the recipient of numerous threats from Islamists, baying for his blood. However, no action has been taken against the Islamists.

Exercising the power of ‘street veto’ and subsequent success

This is in line with a tried and tested model of taking the State hostage using violence as the ransom. With their innate ability to mobilise in large numbers in the name of religion, Islamists have been able to mould laws to their advantage.

A helpless State apparatus thus finds itself at the crossroads between ‘law and order’ and ‘vote bank politics.’ More times than not, it gives in to the might of Islamist street veto in a shameless display of political opportunism, which renders the common people vulnerable to attacks from lynch mobs.

The case of Prathamesh Shinde is no different. The stringent action taken by the college administration and the police subsequently against the engineering student clearly shows that the Islamist street veto has yet again reigned supreme.

This was despite the fact that Prathamesh Shinde did not make any remarks against any religion on his own accord and had merely shared a video on his Instagram story. The high-handedness of the State and NIT Srinagar has added to the false impression that the Hindu man is complicit in ‘blasphemy.’

They have necessarily thrown him to the wolves, fearing an overreaction from fanatic Muslims. The circumstances have now left Shinde and his family at the mercy of Islamists, who do not shy away from violence, murders and destruction.

India’s political history is replete with examples where Islamist mobs have not only elicited inaction from local governments but successfully forced their writ on Central governments. The result has been favourable to upholding Sharia laws in a ‘constitutionally secular’ country.

1. Section 295A in the Indian Penal Code

The first substantial achievement for Islamists came with the inclusion of Section 295A in the Indian Penal Code, which deals with deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage reli­gious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or reli­gious beliefs.

The genealogy of Section 295A has its roots in 1927 when a book called ‘Rangeela Rasool’ was published in response to continuous provocation by the Islamists mocking Hindu Gods and Goddesses.

Hindus, who refused to take the insult of their faith lying down, decided to give Islamists back in the same coin. They launched a pamphlet titled ‘Rangeela Rasool’, a satirical take on the domestic life of Mohammed.

The pamphlet elicited a sharp reaction from the minority community of then undivided India on the grounds that it allegedly contained demeaning passages about the founder of the Islamic faith.

The opposition to the pamphlet swelled and metamorphosed into widespread protests, with Islamists at the time hitting the streets and demanding the arrest of its author and the publisher. Mahashay Rajpal, the publisher, was initially arrested but was later acquitted by the court.

This naturally raised the hackles of the Islamists who have been demanding capital punishment for him for having hurt their ‘religious sentiments’. In several places, riots broke out after provocative speeches given by religious leaders.

Al-Jamiat an official arm of the Jamiat-Ulaima-i-Hind warned in an article that “under sharia the punishment for insulting the prophet is death and it is legally permissible to kill those who insult the prophet”.

The street protests and demonstrations witnessed after Rajpal’s acquittal forced the British Government of the day to enact a specific law against causing insult to religious feelings, resulting in the insertion of Section 295A in the Indian Penal Code in 1927.

However, despite winning the concession in the form of the inclusion of Section 295A in the IPC, Islamists remained resentful toward Mahashay Rajpal, for ‘Ghustake Rasool ki Ek hi saza, sar tan se juda’, and two years later, in 1929, a 19-year-old Islamist named Ilm ud din stabbed him to death.

2. The infamous ‘Shah Bano’ case

In 1986, the Indian state headed by Rajiv Gandhi set a dangerous precedent of capitulating to Muslim hardliners. The Mohd. Ahmad Khan vs. Shah Bano Begum & Others case and the subsequent legislation passed by the Rajiv Gandhi government in 1986 is often remembered as a pivotal moment in India’s political history.

It all started when Shah Bano, the 62-year-old Muslim woman, filed a petition in court in April 1978 demanding maintenance from her divorced husband Mohammed Ahmad Khan, a renowned lawyer in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.

Shah Bano’s husband Khan divorced her by uttering triple talaq later in November stating he was not obliged to pay her any maintenance as she is not his wife under Islamic law.

The two were married in 1932 and had five children — three sons and two daughters. Shah Bano’s husband had forced her to move out of the residence three years before, after living with Khan and his second wife.

Shah Bano, who went to court against her husband, filed a claim for maintenance for herself and her five children under Section 123 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

In August 1979, Shah Bano won the maintenance case in the local court, which ordered Khan to provide her with the maintenance of Rs 25 per month. However, Khan contested the claim on the grounds that the Muslim Personal Law in India required the husband to only provide maintenance for the iddat period after divorce.

Years later, Shah Bano filed another plea seeking revised maintenance in Madhya Pradesh High Court. In April 1985, in a historic judgment, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Shah Bano and upheld the decision by the High Court stating that she was entitled to be paid for maintenance by her husband.

Islamists, having commanded the art of using street violence to their advantage once again pulled the arrow of violence and intimidation out of their quiver. Large-scale protests were launched, with Muslim fundamentalists describing the judgment as an attempt to undermine the Muslim Personal Law.

The Muslim hardliners, and clerics pushed the then Rajiv Gandhi government, elected in 1984, to pass the Muslim Women (Protection on Divorce Act), 1986. This law overturned the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Shah Bano case.

The 1986 Muslim Women (Protection on Rights of Divorce) Act diluted the Supreme Court judgment and allowed maintenance to a divorced woman only during the period of iddat, or till 90 days after the divorce.

The Muslim Women Act in 1986, virtually pitted women’s individual rights against the rights of a religious group and the latter with their street veto power were capable of enforcing the law over a weak, minority appeasing government led by Rajiv Gandhi.

3. The Satanic Verses

In 1989, author Salman Rushdie’s ‘The Satanic Verses’ stirred massive controversy after outrage swept among the Muslim community over the content of the book that they said was blasphemous.

Muslim critics of ‘The Satanic Verses’ accused Rushdie of portraying Islam as a “deceitful, ignorant, and sexually deviant religion”, sparking transnational uproar and widespread protest from the Muslim community.

India, with one of the largest Muslim populations in the world, was also affected by the ripples caused by Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses. Giving in to the Islamists, India, which preened itself on being a bastion of democracy and free speech, became one of the first countries in the world to ban The Satanic Verses.

The Home Ministry of India had then recommended Rajiv Gandhi-led Congress government that the publication and sale of the said book could cause a riots-like situation in India, advising it to ban the book to maintain communal harmony in the country.

The Home Ministry anticipated violent reaction from the Muslim community over ‘The Satanic Verses’ and preempted them by recommending the Centre on banning the book.

The Rajiv Gandhi government accepted Home Ministry’s recommendation and announced a ban on the book, months before the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran issued a fatwa ordering Muslims to kill Rushdie.

Even ‘moderate Muslims’ within the Congress party such as former Union Minister Salman Khurshid, who is an Oxford graduate, justified and defended the ban on the book.

The episode underscored the Indian government’s cowardly surrender to the rioting Islamists, fearing whom it deemed acceptable to ban a book without proper scrutiny, as alleged by Salman Rushdie years later.

In his memoir, Joseph Anton, Rushdie writes that The Satanic Verses “was not examined by any properly authorised body, nor was there any semblance of judicial process”, before the Indian ban was enacted, and that “the ban came, improbably enough, from the finance ministry, under section 11 of the Customs Act, which prevented the book from being imported.”

Several Islamic nations undid the initial ban on the book, but India continued to enforce the ban, fearful that the removal of the ban could trigger Islamist violence, ultimately forcing the government into imposing the ban again.

Nevertheless, the entire episode underlined the shocking pusillanimity of the Indian government by allowing radical extremists to influence its decisions and undermine its longstanding commitment to freedom of speech and secularism.

4. Enactment of Places of Worship Act of 1991

The Ram Janmabhoomi movement in the late 1980s and early 90s was married with violence and riots as the Muslim fundamentalists took to the streets to oppose the Hindu side’s demand for the reclamation of the disputed site of the Babri structure, where they said a Ram temple existed before Mughals brought it down.

As the Ram Janmabhoomi movement was at its peak, the Islamists once again resorted to deploying violence as a strategic tool to pressurise the government into granting them concessions.

Consequently, the Narasimha Rao govt at the centre brought a new law with a motive to prevent Ram Janmabhoomi-like reclamation movements by Hindus in India. This law was the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act 1991.

The statement of objects and reasons of this act reads as, ‘An Act to prohibit conversion of any place of worship and to provide for the maintenance of the religious character of any place of worship as it existed on the 15th day of August 1947, and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto’.

The act declares that the character of a place of worship freezes on 15 August 1947, meaning if a place of worship is a mosque as on 15 August 1947, its character is that of a mosque even if it was originally a temple.

It provides for punishment if any person changes or attempts to change the character of any place of worship of one religious denomination or section thereof into another section of the same denomination or other.

The act provides for abatement of any suits or proceedings in any courts in the country relating to disputes about the character of places of worship already pending at the time of commencement of this act.

It also prohibits any suits or proceedings that may be instituted after the commencement of this act. Ram Janmabhoomi dispute had been excluded from the purview of this act.

5. Calcutta Quran petition

An application was filed on March 29, 1985, under Article 226 (power of the High Court to issue some writs) of the Indian Constitution by advocate Chandmal Chopra and one Sital Singh, asking the Calcutta High Court to direct the government to ‘forfeit’ every copy of the ‘Quran’.

The petition argued that every copy of the Quran is ‘liable to be forfeited’ under Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) Section 95 (Power to declare certain publications forfeited) when read with Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion) and 295A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage reli­gious feelings).

It argued that Muslims have been exploiting the laws so far to ban books critical of Islam. Chandmal Chopra and Sital Singh cited direct verses from the Quran, calling for violence against the ‘infidels’. 

The matter initially came up before Justice Khastgir J of the Calcutta High Court. Far from dismissing the application, as one would expect today, the learned Judge had entertained the application.  She also issued notice to the contending parties.

Communist Party of India (Marxist), Jamait-e-Islami and Kerala Muslim Association of Calcutta were soon up-in-arms. A ‘Quran Defence Committee‘ was set up to strengthen the movement.

The CPIM-led-West Bengal government claimed that the petition was filed with malafide intent and that such a petition has never been filed in Indian history. The Congress-led-Union government also sided with the Left and opposed the plea.

With mounting political pressure, Justice Khastgir dropped it from her list and sent it to the Court of Justice Satish Chandra. On the advice of state Advocate-General S.K. Acharyya, the matter was transferred to the Bench of Justice Bimal Chandra Basak, who dismissed the petition on May 17, 1985.

The Islamist opposition thus ensured that the Court could not rule on the tenets of Islam.

6. Nehru-Liaquat Pact

The Nehru- Liaquat pact of 8th April, 1950, also known as Delhi Pact attempted to address the issue of refugees moving across the newly-constructed and largely fluid borders.

The pact promised near-secular safeguarding of rights of the minority in India, East and West Pakistan. While the secular constitution of India kept its part of the promise, it was odd for India to have believed the applicability of the same in the freshly-created State of Pakistan.

Liaquat Ali Khan who signed the Delhi Pact with Nehru assuring safeguarding the minorities (Hindus, Sikhs and Christians) in his new nation was the framer of Objective resolutions which proudly proclaimed Pakistan to be a theocratic Islamic state.

These Objective resolutions became the unalterable foundation for the multiple iterations of the Constitution which came about in Pakistan, each more orthodox and anti-minority than the previous one.

So in a way, Nehru-Liaquat pact ensured full-fledged Muslim appeasement in ‘secular’ India while Hindus and other religious minorities faced marginalisation and ostracism in Pakistan.

A lesson to remember: Islamism and violence

The above instances (merely indicative and not exhaustive) have been the result of the State’s weakness to the tyranny of street hooliganism.

Having understood its effectiveness over the past few decades, Islamists are now using it regularly to terrorise common people, dog-whistle against them online, and threaten their livelihood and survival. The case of BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma perfectly fits the context.

She found herself at the centre of a raging storm after Islamists, egged on by the likes of AltNews co-founder Mohammed Zubair, issued multiple threats against her and her family for expressing her views on Prophet Muhammad and Islam.

Sharma was part of a debate panel on Times Now, discussing the finding of Shivling in the Gyanvapi complex and the subsequent mockery of the Hindu Gods and Goddesses that followed in the wake of the discovery.

In response to the contempt and scorn poured over Hindu Gods and Goddesses, BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma asked them to refrain from insulting Hindu Gods and cited Islamic scriptures and Holy Quran for substantiating her remarks on Prophet Muhammad and Islam.

Zubair shared an incomplete video of the debate, touching off Sar Tan Se Juda protests all over the country. While Islamists went on a rampage on the streets in many cities across the country, it was essentially Mohammed Zubair who was responsible for kindling a fire that had gone on to assume uncontrollable proportions.

Nupur Sharma received support from the likes of Kanhaiya Lal (Udaipur), Umesh Kolhe (Amravati), and others. And so, Lal was a marked man the moment he came out in support of Nupur Sharma. Islamists, provoked by Mohammed Zubair, dished out death threats to him for what they considered an unpardonable sin committed against Prophet.

And days later, the Hindu man was killed for something as trivial as just sharing a social media post in support of Nupur Sharma. A similar fate befell Umesh Kolhe, a chemist living in Maharashtra’s Amravati, who was murdered by four Muslim assailants while he was returning from his pharmacy on the night of June 22, 2022. 

Opindia had reported in details cases of murders and assaults faced by the Hindu community for extending their support to the former BJP spokesperson.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Exclusive from Mira Road: Hindu residents protest against Muslims who brought goats for slaughter inside building society premises, police action awaited

The local Hindu groups demanded removal of goats from the society concerning the civic health of the residents. The Hindus also filed an official complaint at the Kashigao Police Station, but the same is yet to be registered as an FIR.

India refuses to endorse joint communique favouring Ukraine: How India has been advocating for dialogue and diplomacy rather than one-sided bullying

It is rather ironic that 80+ countries adopted a joint communique for lasting peace in Ukraine without inviting the other party in the conflict—Russia—to the Summit. It seemed like the only agenda of this communique was to build a consensus that peace in Ukraine must not be at the expense of territorial integrity.

Recently Popular

- Advertisement -