Unmasking the pattern: Last Eid, it was Akhlaq; this year Junaid

A Gujarat-type riot will embarrass the government but stray incidents like these will have the same impact and push the Muslims into a perpetual state of fear

Photo by Burhaan Kinu/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Burhaan Kinu/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
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Zafar Agha

It was Akhlaq few days after Baqareid last year. It is Junaid three days before Eid this year. Akhlaq was beaten to death inside his own home allegedly for eating beef. Junaid was stabbed to death at Balabhgarh station this year for wearing a skull cap. There have been cases of mob lynching like Pehlu Khan in between too.


Apparently, these are isolated tragic events. But all of these have the same purpose and carry the same message: push the Indian Muslim community into a state of fear so that it lives under permanent siege.


It is an organised and well thought-out game. It is love jihad today; it could be gau-rakhsha tomorrow and it may be mob lynching day after. All have the same purpose and the same intent: scare the community into submission.


It is a ‘low cost’ plan with ‘maximum’ returns. It is low cost in the sense that you kill one Akhlaq or one Junaid but the impact is worth an entire Gujarat riot. Because, once the state keeps quiet in such a matter, the event conveys the message that it has the system’s tacit support. The community at the receiving end is made to feel that there is no one to defend you. It is enough to put the community under siege.


It is a new game plan. This devious strategy seems to have been devised by Sangh outfits after the BJP assumed power. Mass killings like Gujarat or engineered riots like the Babri Masjid demolition ended up with very high casualties. Those riots did generate both internal and external uproar. The BJP could still afford it because the party was not in power in Delhi.


Another Gujarat will now cause great embarrassment. It will reinforce lingering doubts that Modi was the engineer of the Gujarat mass murders. Secondly, mass murders now could lead to both internal and external embarrassment which would be difficult for the Modi government to afford.


So, it is a better idea to go for one Akhlaq or one Junaid with the impact of a Gujarat riot wherein thousands died.


The strategy of one-Akkhlaq-at-the cost-of-a-Gujarat-riot is not only ‘low cost’ in terms of human damage but it is also proving more beneficial in terms of ‘returns’.


The targeted community is pushed to a sort of psychological slavery. Once you are in a permanent state of siege, you have no time even to think about your constitutional rights. Life turns into a mere battle of survival which is the fate of a slave too.


Well, the strategy comes with a premium too. It generates hate within the majority community for the minority one. The hate cements the majority vote bank which is the basic purpose of the entire game.


You and I may love to hate such a cold-blooded game. Because we find it inhuman. But for Hindutva strategists who are ideologically convinced that Muslims should live as second-class citizens, it is a cool game plan.


For those whose hands are already soiled with blood from Gujarat, it is nothing new or strange. It will be easier to go to sleep after one Akhlaq or one Junaid than it is after hundreds are slaughtered. But we will be mistaken to think so. Those, who play such bloody games, can easily sleep with both an Akhlaq and a Gujarat on their conscience because it helps them to grab power at any human cost.


So, be rest assured an Akhlaq and a Junaid will keep repeating at regular intervals, no matter how you and I may feel about it.

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