Bigotry, human rights violation and our present violence ridden times

Nah, I am not going to wait till December 10, World Human Rights Day, to detail the horrific human rights violations ongoing here, in our country, in these current times

Bigotry, human rights violation and our present violence ridden times

Humra Quraishi

Nah, I am not going to wait till December 10, World Human Rights Day, to detail the horrific human rights violations ongoing here, in our country, in these times where the actual or the official killers are seldom caught and nailed. It's those labeled as ‘sympathizers’ who get hounded and harassed to such an extent that they sit ruined for generations to come.

Mind you, the prime accused killer in the Lakhimpur Kheri killings couldn’t really flee because of the tremendous pressure put forth by the Opposition leaders and also by the farmer leaders; otherwise Ashish Mishra and his father, Ajay Mishra, who happens to be MOS Home, had come up with all possible alibis and false narratives against his son’s involvement in those killings.

With this in the background it is no mathematical quiz to not comprehend the basic crucial ‘why’ the crime rate is on a huge high. In fact, in the last one week, there’s been one incident after another of communal violence against young teenagers in the states of Karnataka and Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh but till date, I have not heard any condemnation from any of the Child Rights forums or even from any of the Ministries and Commissions said to be looking after the well-being of the human beings!

Details of these three incidents have been reported in the non- Godi media yet no apparent outcry or condemnation! This level of apathy, when the targeted are the young—in Karnataka’s Bagalkote Muslim students were attacked and thrashed by a group of Hindutva men, for wearing skull caps in the tuition class. This incident took place just a couple of days after two madrasa students, Umar and Khizar, were beaten by a Hindutva mob in the Paldi area of Gujarat. And then the news came in from Madhya Pradesh that four Muslim men, including two students, were targeted by Bajrang Dal men for entering a Garba venue! Mind you, they were just not targeted by the Hindutva goons but even arrested with that stale ‘Love Jihad’ accusation thrown at them!

In fact, in the recent days one alarming incident after another of blatant human rights violations is being reported in Madhya Pradesh. So much so that just days back a Muslim family in Indore’s Kampel locality (said to be the only Muslim family residing in that locality) was targeted by a Hindutva group. And when the Muslim family tried to file an FIR, a counter FIR was filed against them!

Tell me, what’s going on! To the human beings of our country and to human rights!

Indira Goswami's ‘Five Novellas About Women’

The well-known writer and commentator, Indira Goswami, passed away exactly ten years back. Winner of India’s highest literary award, the Jnanpith (2001), as well as the Sahitya Akademi Award (1983), and the Principal Prince Claus Laureate (2008), she was also an editor, poet, professor, and scholar, best known for her novels such as The Moth Eaten Howdah of the Tusker, Pages Stained with Blood and The Man from Chinnamasta.

Publishers Niyogi Books have recently launched Indira Goswami’s novellas. Titled, ‘Five Novellas About Women’ (translated from Assamese by Dibyajyoti Sarma). I am looking forward to reading this latest translated work of Indira Goswami, more so as I had met and interacted with her on several occasions.

This was about twenty years back, when she was teaching at the Delhi University and residing in the campus. A simply done-up, neat home with an abundance of warmth. In fact, two aspects stand out to this day, even whilst I’m keying in. Her pet dog was always kept far away from guests and visitors, as she would tell us that she doesn’t believe in inflicting or imposing her pets on visitors. No matter what time or day one landed at her place the dog wasn’t allowed to enter the drawing room.

The other aspect was that tea and snacks and sweetmeats were served on a tray or platter and she would insist that we don’t go back hungry from her home. There was something genuinely sincere about her and the minute one entered her home she would greet with a smile, followed by the tea and snacks and then our talks would go on …nah, she wasn’t inquisitive nor curious, but then as our talks would take off there’d be much of the offloading.

Do listen to what Shatrughan Sinha has to say about Aryan Khan annd the entire case!

I do make it a point to watch and hear news on NDTV. It is far away from the Godi media news, and so comes across as genuine and real news!

Just a couple of days back, I watched this bold and frank interview of Shatrughan Sinha with NDTV’s Manoranjan Bharti, where the veteran actor commented on Aryan Khan and the drugs case and the general scenario spreading out. He said all that he could possibly say in his typical bold fearless style. No, none of the Khans would have said so much, so very openly!

Shatrughan Sinha does carry a personality. I had interviewed him just once and that was several years back when he was fighting elections, pitted against Rajesh Khanna for the New Delhi seat. I recall it was tough tracking down exercise but once that got over, the rest wasn’t too difficult … it had taken me five days to find out where Shatrughan Sinha was putting up in New Delhi and together with that, his contact telephone numbers. And finally his brother, Dr Lakhan Sinha, had given the time for the interview, at their apartment at the erstwhile controversial building, The White House (then situated close to the Mandi House complex ).

And when the interview finally took off, it was a longish interview with our differing views making it even longer but it was all very civil. No, I wasn’t apprehensive of getting thrown off from the eleventh floor because of my repeatedly questioning him for fighting on the BJP ticket.

When I had asked him why he’s with a political party which had been bringing along divisions amongst the masses he said, “ I’m not communal…I don’t believe who is a Hindu or who is a Musalmaan or a Christian …just believe in Insaniyat. I have been telling my party workers to treat all communities equally.” He had even gone on to detail his friendships with Muslim families in the country and elsewhere in the world.

And as the interview went ahead, we had arguments on the BJP’s stand on the Babri Masjid and on several other sensitive issues. And even when I openly disagreed with his views or view-points, I knew I was interviewing a thorough gentleman!

(Views are personal)

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