New Champions of Human Rights by FAISAL HASHMI (NOVEMBER 28, 2007)

It seems the Sangh falls immediately in love with whatever annoys or hurts Muslims. The latest example is RSS chief’s magnanimous declaration that people who have been evicted from everywhere else are welcome in his home.

The person being extended such warm welcome is Taslima Nasreen, who is in the eye of a storm over her derogatory remarks about Islam and its prophet (peace be upon him) in her latest book Dwikhandita.

Another Nasreen sympathiser is no other than Mr Narendra Modi, whose role in the 2002 Gujarat riots was laid threadbare in the Tehelka expose recently. Both the perpetrators and victims of Gujarat carnage think Mr Modi was the mastermind behind the mass murder and forced homelessness of thousands of people. Ironically, the same Mr Modi (who is proudly unrepentant) has offered Ms Nasreen a safe haven in his state.

Mr Modi has said he has the “courage” to give the lady the asylum she needs. To him courage also means attacking a small undefended minority with full backing of the state apparatus and with a force of half crazed mass of hate-driven folk.

BJP and its allied organisations conveniently forget that MF Husain has been forced to live in exile for similar reasons (causing hurt to religious feelings), the crew of the film Water was hounded out and an artist, his work, and studio was attacked in Ahmedabad. All that was done for similar reasons. Muslims don’t defend any side in the conflict, but BJP, which with its allies has routinely indulged in such clashes, is defending Ms Nasreen. Overnight it has become liberal. Such posturing hardly carries any conviction.



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