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Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Why does our blood not boil??????|
|03/08/02 at 22:26:20|
We read daily about muslims being butchered in countless numbers all over this world and yet we do nothing myself included. We sit in our homes reading and posting and stuck in the daily grind and vicious circle of attaining material things for this world. I think our hearts have softened and our blood has frozen. It is not going to boil at all the atrocities being committed on innocent muslims all over the world, like in the article below. Shame on me and my fellow brothers who sit at home and do nothing. How are we preparing to face our Lord Almight on the day of judement?????
The what can we do drama
By Seema Mustafa
Sixteen-year-old Afsana fled her home with her five-year-old brother when they were attacked by a mob. Her parents and sisters were not so lucky. Finding shelter in a neighbour’s home, Afsana saw her parents being killed and sisters raped and killed by the mob.
Unable to think or feel she was told by the neighbour that all was well and she should leave. She came out only to find that the mob had not left, and Afsana and her brother were doused with kerosene and set on fire.
With clothes burning she caught hold of her tiny brother and ran for her life. She climbed up on a wall, dragging her screaming brother by the hand. His hold weakened and he fell down on the ground. Afsana, on the wall, could only watch her brother burn to death. She is now in a camp, completely traumatised and unable to speak.
This then is the story of Gujarat. Under Chief Minister Narendra Modi. This is also the story of India. Under Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. One has come repeatedly on television to insist that nothing has gone wrong in Gujarat, and that the reaction merits the action.
The other has addressed the nation pleading for harmony, without a single word about what the Executive, entrusted by the people of India to safeguard their homes and lives, would do to check the violence.
There was not a word about an impending crackdown on the mobs chasing people, burning them alive, raping them, and looting their meagre belongings. There was only a show of helplessness: a what can we do in the face of righteous wrath?
One can only hang ones head in grief, anger and total shame. For the story begins long ago. And it has obviously not come to an end. It is the duty of the Indian State to guard against communalism, to ensure that people are not terrorised, that lives are not lost, and that no one repeat no one is allowed to play with the future of the nation.
There is no justification when the State stands by passively and allows groups of karsevaks to harass vendors at railway stations or passengers in the trains.
The Washington Post has put out a report quoting senior police officers in Godhra by name to state that for several days karsevaks travelling to and from Ayodhya had been exposing themselves to passengers, harassing commuters and vendors and raising slogans of all kinds. This had vitiated the atmosphere in the area where there is a considerable Muslim presence.
Why did the police then not take action? Why were steps not taken by the Modi government to ensure that the communally sensitive area did not go up in flames. Reports suggest that the local administration was well aware of the tension in Godhra and surrounding villages. Why then was preemptive action not taken? To ensure that the people were not instigated further by local fanatics, and that peace was made to prevail at all levels?
Godhra happened. Fifty passengers, including women and children, were burnt alive. It was a terrible incident that shocked every civilised person in the country. Why then was action not taken to identify the mob? To identify those responsible for the instigation? To arrest each one of those found involved, without fear or favour? Why has Narendra Modi closed Godhra from impartial enquiry? Why is the journalist not being allowed to enter the area to ascertain what the situation really is? The entire country would have supported Modi, and his mentors in Delhi, if he had followed the rule of law, arrested the guilty, and put them before the court for speedy and effective trial.
But that was not to be. Instead a worse crime was committed, not by a mob but by the State. The New York Times has carried an extensive report about the connivance of the local administration in the violence. The BBC has captured footage showing policemen standing by while mobs looted and burnt at will. It is not the Indian media, Mr Modi but the world media that has captured the horrific images of a State turning into a mob.
Gujarat was set on fire. By the State government while the Centre watched. Just as Delhi had been set on fire. By the Central government while the nation watched. Hundreds were hunted down, and burnt alive.
In Ahmedabad, in Baroda, in Rajkot. Senior jurists, politicians, labourers — no one was spared. Each story filtering out of Gujarat is tragic. It brings tears to sensitive eyes, arouses anger in the heart, and makes one wonder how humanity could so easily be made to disappear.
The Indian State retaliated against its own people. And today those who organised the retaliation are seeking to shoot the messenger, the media which is perhaps the only institution during this violence, to have done its job with integrity and a visible sense of purpose. Every single person who has been killed is a citizen of India.
It was the duty of the government, of the State to step right into Godhra. If not before the violence, after all the Indian State has never been so responsive, then definitely after Godhra. It should have stepped in to one, identify the guilty; two, arrest and take action against them; and three, and as important, to assuage tension, to take concrete steps to establish peace and harmony by isolating the fanatics and reassuring the innocents.
This is the role of the State envisaged by all those who fought for India’s freedom. This is the role of the State given formal shape in the Constitution of India. The State for whom all citizens are equal. The State which sees no religion or caste, which holds law breakers accountable, which gives security, dignity and respect to its people, which upholds the law. For there is nothing more terrifying for the common person than to have the State turn on him. For him then it is the end of the road.
There is a lot of rhetoric that has flown around since the violence erupted. Prime Minister Vajpayee has been on television speaking of the blot on the nation. That was a speech for you and I to make, one had expected something different from the Prime Minister.
One had expected him to assure the nation that the State would not compromise, that there would be a crackdown on those responsible, that the violence would stop then and there. It is still continuing, not in Ahmedabad but in the villages of Gujarat. If Hindus and Muslims are being saved it is not because of the State, but because of their own compassion for each other.
Home Minister L K Advani, dug in his heels in Delhi, until he was literally compelled by a questioning media to visit Gujarat. He spoke at length at a press conference, with Chief Minister Modi by his side. But there was little that he said about what action was being taken to stem the violence, to restore confidence between the communities, to identify those responsible for the killings. In fact there have been few words on action, and more words on Modi’s “exemplary” behaviour by the BJP and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad who have all embraced the Chief Minister for allowing the State to burn.
This columnist has covered communal riots all over the country for the past 20 years. One has seen innocent people killed in front of ones eyes in Assam, Punjab, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar. The houses burn and the people die for as long as the State wants them to. Violence can be checked by a determined administration and government within a day.
The Indian State is a mighty and formidable foe, and an awesome friend. The tragedy is when the State identifies the enemies as those fighting for peace and communal harmony, and embraces those lighting the fires of violence and death. The media seeking to report the truth has been identified as the enemy. The police standing by and watching people being killed is the friend.
The argument often heard against the violence is: have they gone mad, they cannot kill the entire community of Muslims? Of course not. But that is also not the intention. The intention is to ensure that every member of the minority is terrorised to accept whatever is doled out to him.
That the spirit is broken. That the heart trembles with fear. That every man, woman or child sees himself as a walking target. That he is made to feel that he is here on sufferance, and that there is no nook, cranny or dark corner where he is safe. Fear silences voices. Terror makes people give up their rights.
That is why the targets today, in and outside Gujarat, are those who have stood out against communal violence. All communal fingers are pointing at the media. One deliberately mentioned the foreign press earlier in this column, to emphasise that it is not just the Indian television and newspapers which are highlighting the complete complicity of the State administration.
That intimidation and threats might work, but only up to a point. The first people to come out on the streets in protest against the violence were journalists in Delhi. Most of the protest meetings today are being organised by the scribes, who are furious about being attacked by political minions for doing their job, honestly and courageously.
The communal extremists might think they are on the way to changing society. Temporary gains might be seen by them as permanent ideological changes. But when the dust settles, the violence abates, the fear and terror subsides, the bottomline will remain unchanged.
We are one people. We revel in our religions, our languages, our cultures, our literature. We are proud of our pluralism. And a handful of fanatics because that is all they really amount to, be they Hindus or Muslims at any point of time, cannot change the essence of India. The people will fight back.
Not on the streets, perhaps. But definitely through the vote that every politician fears. It will then be their turn to tremble.
|Re: Why does our blood not boil??????|
|03/08/02 at 22:58:34|
:( :( :( We really do need to work on our priorities, InshaAllah.
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