The Human Family (IV)

October 11, 2013

In Blog

Muzaffarnagar is a city in the most populous Indian state, Uttar Pradesh. Beginning Aug 27, 2013, anti-Muslim pogroms, euphemistically termed ‘riots’ in the Indian media, have claimed 43 lives and injured 93. The immediate trigger for the violence is disputed, and alternates between a traffic accident and alleged sexual harassment of Hindu women by Muslim youths, although there is little evidence to support the latter claim. The deeper and more substantive reason is the seeds of hatred being slowly and methodically planted by the fascist Hindu party BJP against the Muslims. BJP knows that Uttar Pradesh, where it is electorally weak, is key to winning the next elections. BJP’s new leader and potential Prime Ministerial candidate is none other than Narendra Modi, currently the Chief Minister of Gujarat, under whose watch the notorious 2002 Gujarat carnage took place.
A method to the Muzaffarnagar madness can be discerned, for example in this report . BJP and its fascist affiliates have been spreading rumors of a ‘love jihad’ where young Muslim men lure Hindu women, marry them, and then shift the demographic balance in the favor of Muslims. Around six months ago, Modi sent Amit Shah, an erstwhile Home Minister under his Gujarat Government, to Uttar Pradesh. Shah, who was in prison at the time for inciting riots, was freed on bail and unleashed on the unsuspecting population of Uttar Pradesh. Immediately upon his arrival, Shah started distributing swords to the Hindu youths in Western Uttar Pradesh. Emboldened by and egged on by Shah and three other BJP MLAs (Members of Legislative Assembly), Hindu youths started wandering around Muslim colonies, terrorizing their denizens. They would enter mosques unhindered, and would try to stop the Azaan (the Islamic call to prayer). Shah and his henchmen would start demonstrations against Muslims on the flimsiest of pretexts, and spread rumors of ‘love jihad’ which spread like wildfire. In short, an environment of extreme hatred and contempt was and is being created, and its casualties have been poor Muslims. The upshot is that 147 villages in which Hindus and Muslims had lived peacefully for decades have now been emptied of Muslims, many of whom were evacuated by the army and paramilitary forces. 
What follows is a translation of a heartrending account of some of the relief camps. Hopefully, it provides more than a glimpse of what the new, aggressive, and ‘virile’ India is all about. The author is Himanshu Kumar who blogs at  [Note by Sanjeev Mahajan]
I have been visiting camps sheltering riot affected Muslims. The official story is that these are Hindu Muslim riots, but then why are there only Muslim camps? This mischief should be exposed.  I met  five Muslim girls hailing from the village of Fugana. They had been raped during these ‘riots’. Although they had filed a report, the rapists are free and full of swagger. No one has been arrested. 
A five-year-old daughter of Fugana’s Altaf has been missing ever since the ‘riots’. When Altaf asked me if I would help locate his daughter, only I know how hard it was to stop tears from rolling down my cheeks. Aasmuhammad, the eighteen-year-old son of the elderly woman Hafeezan has also not been heard from ever since the riots. Hafeezan also asked my help in locating her son. Shafeeq, a young brother of Fugana’s Dilshad is also missing. On 8th of September, 300 Muslim houses were burnt in Fugana. Two individuals were murdered. 
Five hundred Muslim families had to flee and were rendered refugees in their own country. The Muslims staying in camps are not angry. Neither were they rearing at the bit to wreak vengeance. But they were definitely bewildered. Bewildered because they did not know for what reason such horrors had been visited upon them, since they had done nothing wrong. But how would these simple folks know that in order for Modi to become Prime Minister, it is necessary to attack Muslims?
On 8th of September, a Muslim colony in the village of ‘Lakh’ was burnt. Eleven Muslims were murdered. 
In Fugana, rioters banged on the door of Mukeem’s house. Mukeem was at home, along with his wife and three daughters. Mukeem and his family slipped out through the back door, and ran towards the fields. Mukeem’s wife was carrying two of the daughters in her lap. The eldest daughter, fourteen-year-old Shahnaz was behind them. The whole family was running as fast as they could. And then Shahnaz fell. Moments later, Mukeem and his wife saw that sword wielding youth who were following them had reached the spot where Shahnaz had fallen. They started to tear her clothes off. Mukeem knew that had he stopped, it would mean certain death for his entire family. Mukeem asked his wife to run. Shahnaz was screaming and imploring her father to help. But Mukeem did not stop. That was the last Mukeem and his family saw of Shahnaz. I met Mukeem today. He showed me a complaint he had filed with the police. In his complaint, he had also provided names of the rioters. Yet not one of these culprits has been arrested. 
Noordeen is 90 years old. He said that he had experienced the partition, and that this insanity and inhumanity had been again awakened as if from a deep slumber. Noordeen was not able to flee with his family. The entire Muslim colony of Fugana had been deserted, and now bore a desolate look. Noordeen was now alone in his house. A rioter argued that since he was going to die of hunger anyhow, there was no need to kill Noordeen. 
Noordeen stayed put in his house for a full twelve days. He found some dried gram in a sack belonging to his grandson. Since he has no teeth, Noordeen would crush the gram peas and eat them. He was eventually rescued by CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force). 
Fugana’s Asif Loi now stays in a camp. On 4th of October,  Asif had gone to try to rescue all the stuff he could salvage from his burnt house. CRPF and police were also there. The Hindus from the village slowly congregated there, and intoned that he would only be allowed to take his belongings if he signed a piece of paper they handed out to him. Bewildered Asif asked how he could sign a blank sheet of paper. The Hindus beat Asif mercilessly and broke his teeth, and all the while police stood there passively watching the whole spectacle. 
Children’s school documents have been all burnt along with the houses, so they cannot even go to school. Around eighty thousand Muslims are either in relief camps or are living with relatives. Chances are vanishingly small that they will ever be able to return.