Hate in Haridwar: Amit Shah silent on call for ‘genocide’
In multiple interviews, Yati Narsinghanand said that he had no regrets, no fear of the police, that the situation for Hindus in India had become intolerable and it was his mission to ‘awaken Hindus’
Mild statements from Uttarakhand Police— such as, ‘this was wrong’, ‘this was illegal’ etc—followed public outrage at the call for genocide of Muslims made at a conclave of Hindu sadhus at Haridwar between December 17 and 19. ‘Islamic Bharat Me Sanatan Ka Bhavishya’ (Future of Sanatan Dharma in an Islamic India) was the bewildering theme ahead of assembly elections in Uttarakhand and UP early next year. Ironically, the conclave was called a ‘Dharma Sansad’ or a parliament of religions.
In multiple interviews to media outlets, the chief organiser, Yati Narsinghanand, who his followers claim is an engineer-turned-monk, went on record to say that he had no regrets, that he had no fear of the police, that the situation for Hindus in India had become intolerable and hence it was his mission to ‘awaken Hindus’.
The silence of the Union Home Minister and the ruling BJP has been deafening. Uttarakhand DGP said a complaint had been received and registered and that investigation was on.
Leaking the incendiary videos on social media (platforms have not been asked to take them down) and allowing the outrage and publicity to play out in the media may have served a political purpose; but it has raised fundamental questions about Rule of Law. Former Indian Army Chief General V.P. Malik (Retd) and former chief of the Indian Navy, Admiral Arun Prakash (Retd) expressed concern that the intemperate, reckless and irresponsible statements would cause disharmony and provoke minorities.
In one of the several video clips which surfaced, Narsinghanand is heard saying, “economic boycott won’t work. Hindu groups need to update themselves. Swords look good on stage only. This battle will be won by those with better weapons. It is not Satya (Truth) but Shashtra (weapons) which triumphs”.
He goes on to promise an award of one crore rupees to any Hindu Sanyasi, who is ready to become Prabhakaran. Hindus, he declares, needed people like ‘Prabhakaran, Bhindranwale & Shahbeg Singh’.
In another shocking video clip, Dharamdas Maharaj from Bihar is heard saying, “If I was present in parliament when then prime minister Manmohan Singh said that minorities had first right over national resources, I would’ve followed Nathuram Godse, I’d have shot him six times in the chest with a revolver.”
Sagar Sindhuraj Maharaj and Anand Swaroop Maharaj threatened to wage a war ‘scarier than 1857’ and called upon Hindus to learn a lesson from Myanmar’s military junta, which carried out a genocide against Rohingya Muslims. Swami Prabodhanand says, “Get ready to Kill or get Killed”. While Sindhu Sagar Swami advises people to buy land owned by Muslims and make villages free of Muslims. He boasts of having trapped at least 10 Muslims in fake cases and asks others to do the same.
Two other calls were made. Each Hindu couple must produce 10 children and hotels in Uttarakhand should not be allowed to celebrate Christmas and host parties.
• The Supreme Court, which took suo motu cognizance of the Lakhimpur Kheri killing of farmers, may take similar cognizance of the call for genocide
• If being the majority, Hindus can demand India to be a Hindu Rashtra, what logic do you have to say no to Kashmiris asking to join Pakistan, Sikhs creating a Khalistan, Nagaland, and Mizoram becoming a Christian Federation?
• Sections 153 and 505 of the Indian Penal Code deal with inciting violence and spreading communal hatred and carry punishment ranging from imprisonment for six months to three years, with or without fine
• Several FIRs have been lodged against Yati Narsinghanand in Uttar Pradesh. He is out on bail in the Muzaffarnagar riot case
• Assembly elections are due in UP and Uttarakhand early next year along with three other states
(This article was first published in National Herald on Sunday)