“Democracy” at the cost of Muslims by Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam (May 07, 2014)

In Brief

Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam

In India, anti-Muslim pogroms have become part of normal election process. The best way to ensure a BJP victory is to increase communal animosity with hate speech for a few weeks, followed by an inevitable anti-Muslim riot. Past and present voting patterns confirm that this strategy inevitably polarises society, leading to massive support to the BJP, which presents itself as the saviour of Hindus.

In UP, where the BJP is set to make large gains, the party was involved in one way or other in nearly 130 anti-Muslim riots over the last couple of years. Its hand was clearly visible in one of the worst riots in Muzaffarnagar where nearly 70 Muslims were killed and tens of thousands rendered refugees. In its operational details it was very much like the anti-Muslim pogrom of 2002 in Gujarat.

With so many riots in UP to its credit, the BJP was sure to gain electorally. Amit Shah, whose role was so clear in Gujarat 2002, has been busy creating a Gujarat in UP with hate speeches and other vicious tactics, is the BJP election chief in UP. One can well guess the result.

In Assam, two years ago, the BJP and its fellow organisations built up anti-Muslim hysteria, which resulted in large-scale attacks on Muslims which resulted in great loss of life and property. Villages after villages were burnt down and four lakh Muslims forced to live in relief camps.

The same Bodos have struck again, provoked and backed by the Sangh, the parent body of BJP, VHP, Bajrant Dal and other affiliated organisations. Thirtyfive Muslims have been killed and thousands displaced. The Bodos, backed by the Sangh, did not endorse the choice of candidates by Muslim voters. Thus they decided to teach the Muslims a lesson.

This reminds us of Dr Paul Brass, an American professor studying communal riots. He says communal riots are part of India’s electoral process. Governments at Centre and in the states have not done anything meaningful to grab the criminals and through them into prison. They have never been brought to justice. That is why such killings are going to continue.


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