Easy to unleash myths, misconceptions about the ‘other’ today

The communal poisoning has been so systematically unleashed in our midst by the RSS-BJP combine that the masses have been brainwashed now

 IANS  
IANS
user

Humra Quraishi

Once when I had asked a Mumbai-based academic and several students, if love flourished between Hindu-Muslim students. This was the answer: “If Muslims and Hindus cannot live in the same housing societies then how can love ever take place…after all, it’s a known fact that Muslim families do not get apartments in Hindu dominated colonies. This has been a reality for several years. Earlier, there used to be an outcry if a Muslim couldn’t buy or rent a place in a particular society but no longer. Its all too futile to raise these issues, for who will hear us!”

Sadly, this reality is gaining ground in other cities and towns of the country. The gaps have been widened to such an extent that Hindu and Muslim families rarely get together and are clueless about each other’s everyday living and eating patterns. And in such a situation it is easy to unleash myths and misconceptions about the ‘other’.

Buried are those good, old carefree days when we used to walk across to our neighbours’ homes and sit there for hours. There was no question of who was a Hindu or a Musalman. A civilised lot ruled us, not like now when a political mafia has taken over, destroying us in every possible way. It demolished our togetherness, the backbone of our existence.

BJP-ruled states in the country seem to work overtime on spreading this hate for the other. Uttar Pradesh is brimming with communal incidents and as the 2019 elections near there is bound to be a sharp increase in targeted killings of the minorities

And in such a situation if a Hindu and Muslim dare to fall in love and are seen together, it’s not just the right-wing goons but also the cops who thrash and humiliate the couple.

In fact, I was provoked to write this column based on the incident of an adult Hindu woman who was humiliated and slapped by the cops in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut because she was found sitting at the home of her Muslim man-friend. Both were studying, preparing for the upcoming medical entrance examinations. The informers to this ‘crime’ were right-wing goons, who have nothing better to do. Sometimes, it makes me think that these goons are paid by the local mafia to spread fear and create mischief. And instead of the cops coming to the rescue of the Hindu woman and Muslim man, they were thrashed and abused. And leading this surcharged volley of words was a woman police officer.

This makes me wonder if it is a misconception that if there are more women in the police force or any other force it would guarantee a much more humane policing. The communal poisoning has been systematically unleashed in our midst by the RSS-BJP combine that the masses have been brainwashed now.

In fact, ever since LK Advani undertook the rath yatra to demolish the Babri Masjid, the right-wing’s sole mission is to demolish not just structures but also the very image of a Musalman.

Hate propaganda is now getting whipped up to such an extent that probably a whole new generation of Muslim-haters have come up. Of course, our planners and administrators are busy towing the political rulers, so where’s the will or the needed inclination to focus on this upcoming disaster

On my lone visit to Ahmedabad for a meet focusing on the 2002 pogrom, I was driven to the venue by a young man who passed was commenting how “dangerous and bad” Muslims were! “ They can do only two things – make bombs and produce babies!”

Of course, he didn’t realise I was a Muslim and he had continued vomiting hate- dripping words for Muslims. It was a torturous ride for me and I pitied that fellow, for he had been systematically fed on a hate diet—hate the ‘other’! Most likely from his early school days till, of course, his adult days.

And now it is this hate propaganda that is getting whipped up to such an extent that probably a whole new generation of Muslim-haters have come up. Of course, our planners and administrators are busy towing the political rulers, so where’s the will or the needed inclination to focus on this upcoming disaster.

BJP-ruled states in the country seem to be working overtime to spread this hate. Uttar Pradesh is brimming with communal incidents and as the 2019 elections near, there is bound to be a sharp increase in targeted killings of the minorities. In the last few days I have been hearing (on the small screen) speeches of several BJP men in Rajasthan and each one of them is laced with comments to provoke the majority community to hate, if not attack and hound, the minority community. These political-perverts, who are whipping up communal passions to grab votes, are least bothered about the divides widening beyond repair.

Where is the Election Commission or any other Commission to take note of the hate speeches being rendered so very openly by BJP in Rajasthan?

What do we, the hapless masses, do! Get readied to be ruled and over-ruled by political perverts who are hell bent on killing human beings, along any of the alibis in circulation—love jihad or cow raksha

Or do we sit back, like deadened spectators, and chant this verse of Nida Fazli - ‘Just  keep on Living’ (Translated  from Urdu by Baidar Bakht and Lesilie Lavigne)

‘Just keep on living,
Just keep on living like this,
Say nothing,
When you get up in the morning,
Take a head count of the family,
Slouch in the chair and read the paper,
There was a famine there,
And a war raged somewhere else,
Be thankful that you are safe,
Switch on the radio and listen to the new pop songs,
When you leave the house,
Paste a smile on your face,
Pack handshakes in your hands,
Keep a few meaningless phrases on your lips,
Be passed through different hands like a coin,
Say nothing,
A white -collar,
Social respect,
A few drinks everyday,
What else do you need,
Just keep on like this,
Say nothing.’

Click here to join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines