Friday, October 20, 2006

Afzal zinda hai

The title refers to news that Mohammad Afzal Guru's execution, originally scheduled for today morning 6am, has been put off. However, this post is not about Afzal. But I got to writing this thanks to him.

Yesterday being the last day before the fazi, I happened to enter a couple of noicy rooms filled with people baying for blood, one on an orcut community and another on The Times of India page, and one would be shocked to see the amount of misinformation that gets propagated and becomes common wisdom.

It seems the Supreme Court order said "[the attack on parliament] had shaken the entire nation and the collective conscience of the society will only be satisfied if capital punishment is awarded to [him]. But scanning through the aawaaz, I realized that this "collective conscience" won't be satisfied until the last Muslim in this nation is hanged.

The blogpage ToI promoted on its page had comments like

"DHANAJAY SERVED 14 YEARS IN JAIL AND THEN HE WAS HANGED
THE IDIOT PRESIDENT DID NOT EVEN ALLOW HIS FAMILY MEMBERS TO MEET HIM IN RASTRAPATI BHAVAN

BECAUSE HE WAS A HINDU

HOWEVER A MUSLIM TERRORISTS FAMILY GOT AN APPOINTMENT FOR HALF AN HOUR WITH PRESIDENT IN A DAY
"..

(yes, in all caps) and

"B*star'd Abdul Kalam finally he also chose to be Mus'lim first than an Indian President"..

(and much more)

When I responded to making Dhananjoy vs Afzal a Hindu/Muslim issue, asking him to get their facts right (If one chooses to make it a Hindu versus others issue then it has been a huge triumph for the caste Hindus, as almost 100% of the people hanged in independent India are Dalits or religious minorities), someone (who calls himself "SUDIP IS AN ASSHOLE") writes, "WHY DO YOU DIVIDE BASED ON CASTE FIRST OF ALL"?[** footnote on this below the post]

S.I.A.S continues: "YOU MUST BE A COMMIE ASS* STILL SUPPOTING MUSLIMS
DO YOU KNOW IN KERALA, WEST BENGAL (COMMIES LAND) MUSLIM POPULATIONS HAVE EXCEEDED THAN THAT OF HINDU POPULATION IN MORE THAN 50% DISTRICTS

IN KERALA MANY PLACES HINDUS ARE DISALLOWED TO COOK IN THE DAY TIME IN THE MONTH OF RAMZAN
"

Well I didn't know this one! I hail from Kerala, and from the *only* district in Kerala that has more Muslims than Hindus (Kerala has 14 districts). I still would like to know the source of this guy's information, as this gives an idea how intense is the hate campaign against Muslims of this country.

I do get to hear glimpses of such "wisdom" making rounds once in a while from various sources. For instance, when I once visited some schools run by the Sangh Parivar in the tribal areas of Maharashtra. They are teaching the children, so far so good, but one lesson that is repeated often is that Muslims and Christians are our enemies. Even the games and songs talked of how one should take to talvaar (the sword).

Another popular myth links Bombay riots (1992 Dec-93 Jan/Feb) to 1993 March Bombay blasts, about which Dilip writes here.

And about the "bombs in every house" that is women, and the parents who allow her to go to college which ends up in them in "having love affairs, often with Muslims" and how can we prevent this from happening..? Prasant Jha in Himal, got link from Shivam's blog. By now, not quite shocking.

* * *

[** Why do you divide based on caste? Seemingly innocent question. Like those people who say "why do you want to divide people with reservations". There was a time when I used to ask this too. When one section takes all the privileges that it has got in the society being the "dominant" section, and when some sections are denied most of those previleges, that is not "dividing" people. When one tries to account for the discrimination, she is.

Why is it that it is always Dalits (who are outside the castes), and then Muslims and Christians, who get death sentence?

I don't count Afzal in this, his has been a speacial case, he got good media attention, has got good connections including foreign ones.. Most other victims of death penalty in independent India haven't had such luxury. Here's one reference.]

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Sudeep,
First of all , I would like to disown myself from all the comments you have posted from outraged "Hindu" Indians. For me the case against Afzal is plain and simple. None of those arguing for his clemency actually claim he is innocent. Various excuses are on offer - his hanging will incite Kashmiri separatism ala Maqbool Bhatt, hanging as a punishment is a violation of human rights ( of course the security guards who died during the attack were neither human nor did have any rights ) , hanging a Muslim during Ramzan etc etc. I dont want to go into more detail here but check out my posts on Afzal if interested.
Sachin.
p.s : I travelled through Malappuram two weeks back and there was not a single hotel ( Hindu or Muslim ) open in the entire district. To put things in perspective that day I had a cup of tea at a Muslim hotel in Kozhikode.

Sharique said...

Well it was expected and i am not even surprised. People have this inner feeling and mostly they would post an anonymous. The best thing to do is to neglect them and never discuss them.

Well to be frank its really sad that people have put the religious cloak on Afzal issue...the poor president getting raped!

sudeep said...

Dear Sachin, I agree with you afzal is a different issue thats why before beginning the post I made it clear it was not about him. But in that particular case itself, the bigger players are happily roaming around. I avoided writing on this issue all these days because Afzal hanging was everywhere already. One link I found interesting was Colin's and Jethmalani's letters.

I am personally against death penalty per se. Going by your argument on human rights of those who died, every murder convict should be hanged? (And I have seen more arguments than you have listed here, against hanging this guy. We can discuss that separately).

About having "no Hotel* open in entire Malappuram district, I find it hard to believe (though I agree religious fundamentalist forces are getting stronger by the day) so I'll check with my dad and would comment on this (I'm not in Kerala right now).

sudeep said...

I did check, many hotels/restaurants were open in the district. However, some weaker ones (without much social/political power) were forced to close down due to pressure from extremist elements.