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Who is to blame for this exodus of Kashmiri Pandit gov't employees?

Let down by gov't on security, Kashmiri Pandit migrant employees posted in the Valley under PM’s job scheme, begin shifting out en masse

02 Jun 2022

exodus of Kashmiri Pandit
Image Courtesy:timesofindia.indiatimes.com

In wake of a spate of killings of Hindus in Kashmir, Kashmiri Pandit migrant employees under the PM’s job scheme have now begun to move out of the Valley. Sources on the ground have said that while the first few groups have already begun to move out on Thursday, other groups, including those who were sitting in protest in Sheikhpora, have begun to pack their belongings and are likely to leave by this evening.

This mass migration of the Pandit community comes after they said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government has failed to relocate them to safer places outside the Valley. They had given a 24 hours notice to the government to move them to a safer place. 

“Tents will be packed up today and residents of the colony will start moving towards Jammu,” said a source from the Valley. This was soon confirmed by the afternoon’s news breaks.

 

The angry Kashmiri Pandits posted in the Valley had warned the government that they would undertake a mass-migration and had set up a 24-hour deadline for their transfer out of Kashmir. This was their final warning after the targeted terror killing of Rajni Bala (36) a Hindu teacher at a South Kashmir school. She was shot dead at the morning assembly of the schools, and the murder was witnessed by students. It was Bala’s last day at the school, as she had been “transferred to a relatively safer area in the face of increased attacks on migrants.”

On Thursday, Bank Manager Vijay Kumar who hailed from Rajasthan was shot at by suspected militants, succumbed to his injuries in hospital. Kumar worked at  Ellaqie Dehati Bank at Areh Mohanpora in Kulgam district. He received grievous gunshot injuries and later succumbed. 

This was perhaps the last straw for the terrified community. On Thursday, many Kashmiri Hindus were seen sending additional security vehicles back, refusing to be confined further in the employees camps in the Valley. Some can be heard telling the security officers “it was too late”, that the people do not want to be locked in, and just want to save their lives. According to a report in the New Indian Express, the administration “sought to take the middle road by shifting them to secure locations at district/tehsil headquarters within the Valley itself.” 

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1612742582438785&id=1277987180&sfnsn=wiwspwa

According to a report in Frontline, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on his first visit to Jammu and Kashmir following the abrogation of its special status in August 2019, had said that the slew of government measures would uplift the lives of Jammu and Kashmir’s young people. But today, the Kashmiri Pandit community of the Valley seems to have lost all hope. They are openly blaming the Narendra Modi government for targeted attacks. The community has been raising slogans against the BJP government, and that anger has intensified in the recent past. According to the Frontline report, from the heavily fortified Vessu camp in Anantnag, where entry is barred to all outsiders, including mediapersons, a resident said, “Something changed with the abrogation of Article 370”.

Sanjay Tikoo, president of the Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti, has been among the few who has openly said that the vilification of Muslims, had added to the vulnerability of the Kashmiri Pandits in the valley 

However, according to the report, “The BJP is confident that Kashmiri Pandits do not doubt its fidelity to their cause.”  It quoted BJP’s spokesperson Rahul Sharma, saying “Some of them are upset, but the feeling is temporary. The Pandits look to us with hope, they know it is only the BJP that has the political will to uproot terrorism in all its forms.”  

It was reported that the estimated 6,000 Hindu beneficiaries of the PM’s job scheme posted in the Valley as well as Jammu-based minority employees posted in militancy-hit Kashmir “will get fresh posting orders”  by Monday, June 6. on Wednesday J&K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha reportedly chaired a high level security meeting to discuss the targeted killings of last month. These seven victims included a Kashmiri Pandit, and a Hindu teacher as well as three Muslim policemen. 

It has been speculated that elections may soon be held in the Union Territory, and for the BJP many of the Kashmiri Pandit and Hindu government job beneficiaries are also an important vote bank. However after they are posted in vulnerable areas of the Kashmir valley and have repeatedly said they are prone to terror atatcks. According to news reports most of these employees are posted in distant districts and tehsil headquarters.    

The TNIE reported that the government had also claimed that the “security apparatus around all transit accommodations for migrant Kashmiri Pandit employees in the Valley will be beefed up and additional security personnel deployed in these areas for day and night patrolling.” The General Administration Department also set up a dedicated cell to resolve grievances of employees of minority communities in Kashmir, stated the report, the complaints were to be registered on “jk.minoritycell@gmail.com or call 0194-2506111 and 0194-2506112 from 10 am to 5.30 pm,” an administration spokesman told the media.

However, the attack on the bank manager followed. According to news reports, for the second time in “less than a fortnight” Union home minister Amit Shah called for a meeting on Friday to discuss security in J&K.

These frequent killings, especially those of migrant employees in the Valley, is a blot on the Centre’s rehabilitation policy. Members of the Pandit community have consistently put the blame at the door of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Union government accusing them of politically exploiting the community but not doing enough to ensure their security on the ground.

The Kashmiri Pandit Sangarsh Samiti had expressed concerns about the increase of targeted attacks in the Valley.

 

Rajni Bala's killing came soon after to the killing of Kashmir TV artiste Amreen Bhat (35), and her 10-year-old nephew was also injured after terrorists shot at him and his aunt in the Chadoora area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district. Before this protesters were already on the streets following the killing of Rahul Bhat by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir's Budgam district on May 12. Bhat’s wife, Meenakshi Raina, had said his death had been ignored by the BJP government, and soon after that Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha visited the family in Jammu to extend his condolences and assurances.

So far 5,928 of the 6,000 posts set aside for Pandit migrants in Kashmir under the rehabilitation package have been filled. According to a Telegraph report “no more than 1,037 of them have been given secure accommodation or allowed to stay in transit camps while the rest live in rented quarters outside the secure zones.” 

Related:

Kashmir: School teacher Rajni Bala gunned down by terrorists in front of students during morning assembly
Kashmiri TV artiste Amreen Bhat killed in cold blood
Jammu & Kashmir: A grieving widow’s angry words, make admin act
Striving for peace in strife-torn Kashmir
Protests continue over Kashmiri Pandit’s murder 
Kashmiri Pandits stage protest in Valley, face tear gas, seek justice for Rahul Bhat

Who is to blame for this exodus of Kashmiri Pandit gov't employees?

Let down by gov't on security, Kashmiri Pandit migrant employees posted in the Valley under PM’s job scheme, begin shifting out en masse

exodus of Kashmiri Pandit
Image Courtesy:timesofindia.indiatimes.com

In wake of a spate of killings of Hindus in Kashmir, Kashmiri Pandit migrant employees under the PM’s job scheme have now begun to move out of the Valley. Sources on the ground have said that while the first few groups have already begun to move out on Thursday, other groups, including those who were sitting in protest in Sheikhpora, have begun to pack their belongings and are likely to leave by this evening.

This mass migration of the Pandit community comes after they said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government has failed to relocate them to safer places outside the Valley. They had given a 24 hours notice to the government to move them to a safer place. 

“Tents will be packed up today and residents of the colony will start moving towards Jammu,” said a source from the Valley. This was soon confirmed by the afternoon’s news breaks.

 

The angry Kashmiri Pandits posted in the Valley had warned the government that they would undertake a mass-migration and had set up a 24-hour deadline for their transfer out of Kashmir. This was their final warning after the targeted terror killing of Rajni Bala (36) a Hindu teacher at a South Kashmir school. She was shot dead at the morning assembly of the schools, and the murder was witnessed by students. It was Bala’s last day at the school, as she had been “transferred to a relatively safer area in the face of increased attacks on migrants.”

On Thursday, Bank Manager Vijay Kumar who hailed from Rajasthan was shot at by suspected militants, succumbed to his injuries in hospital. Kumar worked at  Ellaqie Dehati Bank at Areh Mohanpora in Kulgam district. He received grievous gunshot injuries and later succumbed. 

This was perhaps the last straw for the terrified community. On Thursday, many Kashmiri Hindus were seen sending additional security vehicles back, refusing to be confined further in the employees camps in the Valley. Some can be heard telling the security officers “it was too late”, that the people do not want to be locked in, and just want to save their lives. According to a report in the New Indian Express, the administration “sought to take the middle road by shifting them to secure locations at district/tehsil headquarters within the Valley itself.” 

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1612742582438785&id=1277987180&sfnsn=wiwspwa

According to a report in Frontline, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on his first visit to Jammu and Kashmir following the abrogation of its special status in August 2019, had said that the slew of government measures would uplift the lives of Jammu and Kashmir’s young people. But today, the Kashmiri Pandit community of the Valley seems to have lost all hope. They are openly blaming the Narendra Modi government for targeted attacks. The community has been raising slogans against the BJP government, and that anger has intensified in the recent past. According to the Frontline report, from the heavily fortified Vessu camp in Anantnag, where entry is barred to all outsiders, including mediapersons, a resident said, “Something changed with the abrogation of Article 370”.

Sanjay Tikoo, president of the Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti, has been among the few who has openly said that the vilification of Muslims, had added to the vulnerability of the Kashmiri Pandits in the valley 

However, according to the report, “The BJP is confident that Kashmiri Pandits do not doubt its fidelity to their cause.”  It quoted BJP’s spokesperson Rahul Sharma, saying “Some of them are upset, but the feeling is temporary. The Pandits look to us with hope, they know it is only the BJP that has the political will to uproot terrorism in all its forms.”  

It was reported that the estimated 6,000 Hindu beneficiaries of the PM’s job scheme posted in the Valley as well as Jammu-based minority employees posted in militancy-hit Kashmir “will get fresh posting orders”  by Monday, June 6. on Wednesday J&K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha reportedly chaired a high level security meeting to discuss the targeted killings of last month. These seven victims included a Kashmiri Pandit, and a Hindu teacher as well as three Muslim policemen. 

It has been speculated that elections may soon be held in the Union Territory, and for the BJP many of the Kashmiri Pandit and Hindu government job beneficiaries are also an important vote bank. However after they are posted in vulnerable areas of the Kashmir valley and have repeatedly said they are prone to terror atatcks. According to news reports most of these employees are posted in distant districts and tehsil headquarters.    

The TNIE reported that the government had also claimed that the “security apparatus around all transit accommodations for migrant Kashmiri Pandit employees in the Valley will be beefed up and additional security personnel deployed in these areas for day and night patrolling.” The General Administration Department also set up a dedicated cell to resolve grievances of employees of minority communities in Kashmir, stated the report, the complaints were to be registered on “jk.minoritycell@gmail.com or call 0194-2506111 and 0194-2506112 from 10 am to 5.30 pm,” an administration spokesman told the media.

However, the attack on the bank manager followed. According to news reports, for the second time in “less than a fortnight” Union home minister Amit Shah called for a meeting on Friday to discuss security in J&K.

These frequent killings, especially those of migrant employees in the Valley, is a blot on the Centre’s rehabilitation policy. Members of the Pandit community have consistently put the blame at the door of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Union government accusing them of politically exploiting the community but not doing enough to ensure their security on the ground.

The Kashmiri Pandit Sangarsh Samiti had expressed concerns about the increase of targeted attacks in the Valley.

 

Rajni Bala's killing came soon after to the killing of Kashmir TV artiste Amreen Bhat (35), and her 10-year-old nephew was also injured after terrorists shot at him and his aunt in the Chadoora area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district. Before this protesters were already on the streets following the killing of Rahul Bhat by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir's Budgam district on May 12. Bhat’s wife, Meenakshi Raina, had said his death had been ignored by the BJP government, and soon after that Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha visited the family in Jammu to extend his condolences and assurances.

So far 5,928 of the 6,000 posts set aside for Pandit migrants in Kashmir under the rehabilitation package have been filled. According to a Telegraph report “no more than 1,037 of them have been given secure accommodation or allowed to stay in transit camps while the rest live in rented quarters outside the secure zones.” 

Related:

Kashmir: School teacher Rajni Bala gunned down by terrorists in front of students during morning assembly
Kashmiri TV artiste Amreen Bhat killed in cold blood
Jammu & Kashmir: A grieving widow’s angry words, make admin act
Striving for peace in strife-torn Kashmir
Protests continue over Kashmiri Pandit’s murder 
Kashmiri Pandits stage protest in Valley, face tear gas, seek justice for Rahul Bhat

Related Articles


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Education in India being ‘edited’ to suit a right-wing syllabus... one chapter at a time

Communalising classrooms is no longer a mere threat; the process began a while ago, and once printed in textbooks, threatens to stay

19 May 2022

saffronisation of education

In 2020 the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), was in the news for ‘editing’ its Class 12 history syllabus. The CBSE dropped the chapter titled 'The Mughal Court: Reconstructing Histories through Chronicles'. The next thing that made news was the decision by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to drop chapters on “federalism, citizenship, nationalism, and secularism” from the political science curriculum of Class 11. Also reportedly deleted was a section on demonetisation. However, as the news was followed by  much debate, these 'deleted' topics were restored in the 2021-22 academic session.

The education board had claimed that the edits were to lessen the “burden” on students as the Covid-19 pandemic was raging. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) removed selected portions from the textbooks of Classes 9 to 12. This reportedly reduced around 30 percent of lessons/text taught in as many as 190 subjects for the academic year 2020-21, stated news reports. However, closer study by academics revealed that much of this was yet another attempt to inject the Hindutva, or Sangh Parivar’s agenda of so called ‘nationalism’ onto the students, many in the higher classes, just a couple of years away from casting their first electoral votes.

According to a detailed report in Frontline, the deletions were specific chapters on federalism, citizenship, nationalism and secularism which were “completely deleted” from the Class 11 Political Science syllabus. Other deletions included “business ethics, the Planning Commission and Five-Year Plans, demonetisation, goods and services tax (GST)” and “Indian democracy, social structure, stratification and social processes have been removed from Sociology”. The publication also reported that “entire chapters on early societies, nomadic cultures and confrontation of cultures have been removed from World History," and that "portions about peasants, zamindars and the state and understanding Partition have been axed from Indian History. Issues pertaining to gender, caste and social movements have also been removed.”

The All India Forum for Right to Education (AIFRTE) had issued a public statement in reaction, observing that “democratic theory of the separation of legislative, executive and judicial powers of the state, and the federal structure of the Indian state, strengthened by institutionalisation of local self-governance, is unacceptable to the RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh]-BJP which believes in complete centralisation and concentration of power in a Supreme Leader—an idea that the RSS, drawing inspiration from Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s Germany, has propagated since the early 1930s. In opposition to the Constitution, their goal is ‘One leader, one nation, one state’.”

The  new New Education Policy (NEP) was proposed by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, within weeks of returning to power for a second term in May 2019. It was a part of the Alliance’s election promise.  

The All India Forum for Right To Education had also organised a meeting in New Delhi on November 11, 2021, demanding the repeal of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. The AIFRTE has been at the forefront of raising concerns about the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, which its Organising Secretary Dr Vikas Gupta even called as a policy that implements an RSS agenda of communalisation of education. He said, “It is totally against the students, especially those who are Dalits, Adivasis, religious and linguistic minorities, disabled and LQBTQIA+. This policy aggravates the caste-based and communal divide in education.” 

The AIFRTE had demanded the repeal of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. An ‘NEP Quit India campaign’ was also announced that year.

However, the NEP has stayed, and Saffronisation of education has continued, in both, schools and colleges. In February 2022, Jawaharlal Nehru University’s newly appointed Vice-Chancellor Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit, reportedly said her focus would be on “constructing Indo-centric narratives," as well as “the implementation of the National Education Policy”. The statement by the first woman VC of JNU who is also an alumna of the university, showed that her ‘agenda’ was on the same lines as that of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Union Government. "The immediate focus of this administration would be to provide a clean administration, student-friendly and gender-sensitive environment for academic excellence. We would strive to implement NEP-2020, the vision of our Hon'ble Prime Minister, especially in interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary areas of studies, JNU rising to greater heights of academics and research. The focus would be in constructing Indo-centric narratives," read the statement, attributed to her, that was shared by politician Varun Gandhi. 

Mahabharata, Ramayana ‘patriotism’, yoga, mantras enter classrooms

In 2021, the Madhya Pradesh government added Mahabharata and Ramayana as courses in the Engineering syllabus. This was reportedly done as “a part of National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 and for the learning of students” and reportedly “add cultural tenets to technical education.” The state’s Higher Education Minister Mohan Yadav told the media, "Whoever wants to learn about Lord Ram's character & contemporary works can do so in engineering courses… if we can bring our glorious history forward, no one should have any issue with it.”

According to a report in the Hindustan Times, “Applied philosophy of Shri Ramcharitmanas was being introduced as an optional subject in art stream; the foundation course of English, preface to Mahabharata by C Rajagopalachari will be taught to first-year students. Besides English and Hindi, yoga and meditation were also introduced as the third foundation course, which includes ‘Om Dhyan’ and reciting of mantras as part of syllabus.” 

 

 

Perhaps they were inspired by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Admi Party (AAP) government that has introduced ‘patriotism’ as a subject in schools, since  2021. The ‘Deshbhakti curriculum’ and classes is also one of the ‘top achievements’ that the AAP lists when it talks about the famed ‘Delhi model’, the government schools also have a massive National Flag installed on the campus. Kejriwal said, “The country had focused on all other subjects over the years,” but “Deshbhakti (patriotism) was not taught in schools” and so his government wanted to teach children “sense of respect for constitutional values” with themes such as: Knowledge (awareness of constitutional values, plurality and diversity, and freedom struggle, among others), Values (honesty, integrity, love and respect for the country) and Behaviour (standing up against injustice, scientific reasoning). There are also prayers to Saraswati, the Hindu Goddess of learning recided by all students in these schools, stated some reports.


Drop Faiz, Lankesh, Ramakrishna and other ‘Left’ writers, add RSS’s Hedgewar

By April 2022, the CBSE also dropped poems of Faiz Ahmed Faiz, sections on Non-Alignment Movement, Cold War era, rise of Islamic empires in Afro-Asian territories, chronicles of Mughal courts, and the industrial revolution, from the CBSE’s Class 11 and 12 political science syllabus.

That was then. Flashforward to May 2022, Karnataka government included the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar’s speech as in the Class X Kannada (first language, State syllabus) textbook from the 2022-23 academic year.  It has also dropped works by Karnataka’s iconic writer and journalist P. Lankesh, titled “Mruga Mattu Sundari” and another by Leftist thinker G. Ramakrishna’s “Bhagat Singh”. The lessons that ‘replace’ them are works by writer Shivananda Kalave’s “Swadeshi Sutrada Sarala Habba” and M. Govinda Pai’s “Naanu Prasa Bitta Kathe”, reported The Hindu. Also dropped “in the detailed text are Sara Aboobacker’s “Yuddha”, A.N. Murthy Rao’s “Vyaghra Kathe”, and Shivakotyacharya’s “Sukumara Swamy Kathe”. Instead “Vedic scholar the late Bannanje Govindacharya’s “Sukanashana Upadesha” and Shatavadhani R. Ganesh’s “Shrestha Bharatiya Chintanegalu” were included. 

Up North, in the hill state of Uttarakhand, which like Karnataka has a BJP-led government, it was declared that the Vedas, Ramayana, and the Bhagavad Gita may be taught in schools across the state. Education Minister Dhan Singh Rawat also said that an MBBS course in Hindi is next on the agenda, reported The Print. Rawat claimed, this too was “in line with the National Education Policy (NEP), and “Indian knowledge systems instruction in the local language or “mother tongue” that it has suggested.

 

Related:

Goa gov't will reprint books by Savarkar, Karnataka will teach Hedgewar’s speech

Is Taj Mahal not a part of Indian Culture?

Why the indigenous language movement in J&K's erstwhile Doda is crucial

Karnataka: Hindu Janajagruti focuses on ‘Bible in classrooms’, after hijab controversy

Rashtriya Shiksha Shredder: Rahul Gandhi on CBSE’s latest omissions

Hindi Imposition and Hindu Nation

Saffronisation of education is okay, but hijabs are out?

Education in India being ‘edited’ to suit a right-wing syllabus... one chapter at a time

Communalising classrooms is no longer a mere threat; the process began a while ago, and once printed in textbooks, threatens to stay

saffronisation of education

In 2020 the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), was in the news for ‘editing’ its Class 12 history syllabus. The CBSE dropped the chapter titled 'The Mughal Court: Reconstructing Histories through Chronicles'. The next thing that made news was the decision by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to drop chapters on “federalism, citizenship, nationalism, and secularism” from the political science curriculum of Class 11. Also reportedly deleted was a section on demonetisation. However, as the news was followed by  much debate, these 'deleted' topics were restored in the 2021-22 academic session.

The education board had claimed that the edits were to lessen the “burden” on students as the Covid-19 pandemic was raging. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) removed selected portions from the textbooks of Classes 9 to 12. This reportedly reduced around 30 percent of lessons/text taught in as many as 190 subjects for the academic year 2020-21, stated news reports. However, closer study by academics revealed that much of this was yet another attempt to inject the Hindutva, or Sangh Parivar’s agenda of so called ‘nationalism’ onto the students, many in the higher classes, just a couple of years away from casting their first electoral votes.

According to a detailed report in Frontline, the deletions were specific chapters on federalism, citizenship, nationalism and secularism which were “completely deleted” from the Class 11 Political Science syllabus. Other deletions included “business ethics, the Planning Commission and Five-Year Plans, demonetisation, goods and services tax (GST)” and “Indian democracy, social structure, stratification and social processes have been removed from Sociology”. The publication also reported that “entire chapters on early societies, nomadic cultures and confrontation of cultures have been removed from World History," and that "portions about peasants, zamindars and the state and understanding Partition have been axed from Indian History. Issues pertaining to gender, caste and social movements have also been removed.”

The All India Forum for Right to Education (AIFRTE) had issued a public statement in reaction, observing that “democratic theory of the separation of legislative, executive and judicial powers of the state, and the federal structure of the Indian state, strengthened by institutionalisation of local self-governance, is unacceptable to the RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh]-BJP which believes in complete centralisation and concentration of power in a Supreme Leader—an idea that the RSS, drawing inspiration from Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s Germany, has propagated since the early 1930s. In opposition to the Constitution, their goal is ‘One leader, one nation, one state’.”

The  new New Education Policy (NEP) was proposed by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, within weeks of returning to power for a second term in May 2019. It was a part of the Alliance’s election promise.  

The All India Forum for Right To Education had also organised a meeting in New Delhi on November 11, 2021, demanding the repeal of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. The AIFRTE has been at the forefront of raising concerns about the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, which its Organising Secretary Dr Vikas Gupta even called as a policy that implements an RSS agenda of communalisation of education. He said, “It is totally against the students, especially those who are Dalits, Adivasis, religious and linguistic minorities, disabled and LQBTQIA+. This policy aggravates the caste-based and communal divide in education.” 

The AIFRTE had demanded the repeal of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. An ‘NEP Quit India campaign’ was also announced that year.

However, the NEP has stayed, and Saffronisation of education has continued, in both, schools and colleges. In February 2022, Jawaharlal Nehru University’s newly appointed Vice-Chancellor Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit, reportedly said her focus would be on “constructing Indo-centric narratives," as well as “the implementation of the National Education Policy”. The statement by the first woman VC of JNU who is also an alumna of the university, showed that her ‘agenda’ was on the same lines as that of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Union Government. "The immediate focus of this administration would be to provide a clean administration, student-friendly and gender-sensitive environment for academic excellence. We would strive to implement NEP-2020, the vision of our Hon'ble Prime Minister, especially in interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary areas of studies, JNU rising to greater heights of academics and research. The focus would be in constructing Indo-centric narratives," read the statement, attributed to her, that was shared by politician Varun Gandhi. 

Mahabharata, Ramayana ‘patriotism’, yoga, mantras enter classrooms

In 2021, the Madhya Pradesh government added Mahabharata and Ramayana as courses in the Engineering syllabus. This was reportedly done as “a part of National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 and for the learning of students” and reportedly “add cultural tenets to technical education.” The state’s Higher Education Minister Mohan Yadav told the media, "Whoever wants to learn about Lord Ram's character & contemporary works can do so in engineering courses… if we can bring our glorious history forward, no one should have any issue with it.”

According to a report in the Hindustan Times, “Applied philosophy of Shri Ramcharitmanas was being introduced as an optional subject in art stream; the foundation course of English, preface to Mahabharata by C Rajagopalachari will be taught to first-year students. Besides English and Hindi, yoga and meditation were also introduced as the third foundation course, which includes ‘Om Dhyan’ and reciting of mantras as part of syllabus.” 

 

 

Perhaps they were inspired by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Admi Party (AAP) government that has introduced ‘patriotism’ as a subject in schools, since  2021. The ‘Deshbhakti curriculum’ and classes is also one of the ‘top achievements’ that the AAP lists when it talks about the famed ‘Delhi model’, the government schools also have a massive National Flag installed on the campus. Kejriwal said, “The country had focused on all other subjects over the years,” but “Deshbhakti (patriotism) was not taught in schools” and so his government wanted to teach children “sense of respect for constitutional values” with themes such as: Knowledge (awareness of constitutional values, plurality and diversity, and freedom struggle, among others), Values (honesty, integrity, love and respect for the country) and Behaviour (standing up against injustice, scientific reasoning). There are also prayers to Saraswati, the Hindu Goddess of learning recided by all students in these schools, stated some reports.


Drop Faiz, Lankesh, Ramakrishna and other ‘Left’ writers, add RSS’s Hedgewar

By April 2022, the CBSE also dropped poems of Faiz Ahmed Faiz, sections on Non-Alignment Movement, Cold War era, rise of Islamic empires in Afro-Asian territories, chronicles of Mughal courts, and the industrial revolution, from the CBSE’s Class 11 and 12 political science syllabus.

That was then. Flashforward to May 2022, Karnataka government included the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar’s speech as in the Class X Kannada (first language, State syllabus) textbook from the 2022-23 academic year.  It has also dropped works by Karnataka’s iconic writer and journalist P. Lankesh, titled “Mruga Mattu Sundari” and another by Leftist thinker G. Ramakrishna’s “Bhagat Singh”. The lessons that ‘replace’ them are works by writer Shivananda Kalave’s “Swadeshi Sutrada Sarala Habba” and M. Govinda Pai’s “Naanu Prasa Bitta Kathe”, reported The Hindu. Also dropped “in the detailed text are Sara Aboobacker’s “Yuddha”, A.N. Murthy Rao’s “Vyaghra Kathe”, and Shivakotyacharya’s “Sukumara Swamy Kathe”. Instead “Vedic scholar the late Bannanje Govindacharya’s “Sukanashana Upadesha” and Shatavadhani R. Ganesh’s “Shrestha Bharatiya Chintanegalu” were included. 

Up North, in the hill state of Uttarakhand, which like Karnataka has a BJP-led government, it was declared that the Vedas, Ramayana, and the Bhagavad Gita may be taught in schools across the state. Education Minister Dhan Singh Rawat also said that an MBBS course in Hindi is next on the agenda, reported The Print. Rawat claimed, this too was “in line with the National Education Policy (NEP), and “Indian knowledge systems instruction in the local language or “mother tongue” that it has suggested.

 

Related:

Goa gov't will reprint books by Savarkar, Karnataka will teach Hedgewar’s speech

Is Taj Mahal not a part of Indian Culture?

Why the indigenous language movement in J&K's erstwhile Doda is crucial

Karnataka: Hindu Janajagruti focuses on ‘Bible in classrooms’, after hijab controversy

Rashtriya Shiksha Shredder: Rahul Gandhi on CBSE’s latest omissions

Hindi Imposition and Hindu Nation

Saffronisation of education is okay, but hijabs are out?

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

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Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Poisoning young minds, one film at a time

The Kashmir Files, has inspired another propaganda film, which hit the market hoping for the same commercial success

07 May 2022

Movie
Image Courtesy:Twitter

The Kashmir Files , a communally polarising movie, has made a lot of money since it was released, breaking records of sorts, as a lot of people paid to see it in cinema halls across the country.

Many rich people bought hundreds of tickets each, so many more could see the film for free. There were calls to make it tax free across the country. The film was mentioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Parliament, and continues to be promoted by other politicians and the cash registers have not stopped ringing for the filmmakers. It is not yet known if they have donated a portion of these massive profits to help rehabilitate the displaced Kashmiri Pandits back in the Valley, as the film's story is based on the exodus of the community from their homes following militant attacks.

However, there is another lesser known impact of The Kashmir Files. It seems to have inspired a series of wannabe films, which have also hit the market. These films however, do not have any political patronage so far, and therefore, have not had the hype to help them market their hate agendas. Unlike The Kashmir Files, these films have a cast and crew who are unknown so far, and need all the help from right-wing social media influencers to promote themselves along with the film.  

The latest release is a titled The Conversion which  is made on the bogey of Love Jihad, a concept the right-wing has created to criminalise and attack marriages and relationships between Muslim men and Hindu women. The makers of this film are now using the tagline that it is “Dedicated to India's Daughters”.

Video clips are now being released on social media to promote it, and encourage young girls to see it. This itself is a hate campaign that is using children to promote communal hate towards Muslims. The film is being promoted using hashtags #SaveOurDaughters #TheConversion, with videos of young children asking people to go see it.

There are also videos doing the rounds of WhatsApp, where a woman is trying to convince young students to ask their teachers and parents to make arrangements for them to see the film, saying, “This film is for girls.” The video is marked BJYM, that stands for Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha. The woman says it is important to see the film as it talks about the “crime of Love Jihad” and how “girls as little as 6 months, 10 year etc…. Are being made victims of Love Jihad.” The woman volunteers to make arrangements if the girl's parents cannot afford to take them for the film which was released in theatres across the country on May 6.

The Conversion is set in Varanasi, and its cast includes Vindhya Tiwari, Prateek Shukla and Ravi Bhatia. It has been directed  by Vinod Tiwari, written by Vandana Tiwari, and produced by Raj Patel, Raj Nostrum, Vipul Patel. The screenplay and dialogues are by Rakesh Tripathi. It is not known if all the Tiwaris mentioned in the credit rolls are related.  

They have of course been busy, some since 2021, to promote the film on various right-wing platforms, and are giving interviews to various right-wing social media ‘influencers’.

According to a review by Times of India, the film only deserves two stars. Though looking at the trailer it is apparent to any movie viewer that it is two stars too many. Though the lead does try very hard to act, and even the better performers are sunk by the bad cliches that make up for dialogues in the movie which starts with Sakshi and Babloo college students who fall in love. Babloo is Muslim and yet Sakshi decides to marry him. 

As the trailer shows, there is violence etc., but the ‘performances’ made the drama seem more like an ridiculous comedic attempt at acting. “This film with its below-par production values and average performances, turns out to be a dreary affair,” reviewed TOI.

The film's mood seems set in the 80s and 90s and is as stale as leftover bread from the era. Sakshi played by Vindhya Tiwari and Babloo played by Prateek Shukla, seem as interesting as last month's film magazine. Even veteran actors like Manoj Joshi and Amit Behl cannot help keep it afloat due to the cliched dialogues they have to mouth and the direction which perhaps should not be called that.

However, what is dangerous is not how boring the film is likely to be, it is the fact that the filmmakers are hoping to find the same political favour like the makers of The Kashmir Files. It is aimed at pleasing, and earning rewards, from the so called ‘Hindutva nationalist’ crowds which have proven how cinema halls are now added to their venues of spreading hate. 

Related:

Hate meme touting questionable statistics - worrying or laughable?
Sheath the swords, while there is still time!
This is what we feared: Sanjay Tickoo on the rising attacks in Kashmir since March
Hate Watch: ‘Swami’ Sanjay Prabhakaranand twists patriotic song into hate noise 
Pandits are being used by people, some of whom look down upon Kashmiris: Kashmiri IAS officer
Kejriwal’s scathing speech against BJP promoting The Kashmir Files
Kashmir Files hate project: Radicalising people, one show at a time?
Kashmiri Pandit organisation files curative petition in SC

Poisoning young minds, one film at a time

The Kashmir Files, has inspired another propaganda film, which hit the market hoping for the same commercial success

Movie
Image Courtesy:Twitter

The Kashmir Files , a communally polarising movie, has made a lot of money since it was released, breaking records of sorts, as a lot of people paid to see it in cinema halls across the country.

Many rich people bought hundreds of tickets each, so many more could see the film for free. There were calls to make it tax free across the country. The film was mentioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Parliament, and continues to be promoted by other politicians and the cash registers have not stopped ringing for the filmmakers. It is not yet known if they have donated a portion of these massive profits to help rehabilitate the displaced Kashmiri Pandits back in the Valley, as the film's story is based on the exodus of the community from their homes following militant attacks.

However, there is another lesser known impact of The Kashmir Files. It seems to have inspired a series of wannabe films, which have also hit the market. These films however, do not have any political patronage so far, and therefore, have not had the hype to help them market their hate agendas. Unlike The Kashmir Files, these films have a cast and crew who are unknown so far, and need all the help from right-wing social media influencers to promote themselves along with the film.  

The latest release is a titled The Conversion which  is made on the bogey of Love Jihad, a concept the right-wing has created to criminalise and attack marriages and relationships between Muslim men and Hindu women. The makers of this film are now using the tagline that it is “Dedicated to India's Daughters”.

Video clips are now being released on social media to promote it, and encourage young girls to see it. This itself is a hate campaign that is using children to promote communal hate towards Muslims. The film is being promoted using hashtags #SaveOurDaughters #TheConversion, with videos of young children asking people to go see it.

There are also videos doing the rounds of WhatsApp, where a woman is trying to convince young students to ask their teachers and parents to make arrangements for them to see the film, saying, “This film is for girls.” The video is marked BJYM, that stands for Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha. The woman says it is important to see the film as it talks about the “crime of Love Jihad” and how “girls as little as 6 months, 10 year etc…. Are being made victims of Love Jihad.” The woman volunteers to make arrangements if the girl's parents cannot afford to take them for the film which was released in theatres across the country on May 6.

The Conversion is set in Varanasi, and its cast includes Vindhya Tiwari, Prateek Shukla and Ravi Bhatia. It has been directed  by Vinod Tiwari, written by Vandana Tiwari, and produced by Raj Patel, Raj Nostrum, Vipul Patel. The screenplay and dialogues are by Rakesh Tripathi. It is not known if all the Tiwaris mentioned in the credit rolls are related.  

They have of course been busy, some since 2021, to promote the film on various right-wing platforms, and are giving interviews to various right-wing social media ‘influencers’.

According to a review by Times of India, the film only deserves two stars. Though looking at the trailer it is apparent to any movie viewer that it is two stars too many. Though the lead does try very hard to act, and even the better performers are sunk by the bad cliches that make up for dialogues in the movie which starts with Sakshi and Babloo college students who fall in love. Babloo is Muslim and yet Sakshi decides to marry him. 

As the trailer shows, there is violence etc., but the ‘performances’ made the drama seem more like an ridiculous comedic attempt at acting. “This film with its below-par production values and average performances, turns out to be a dreary affair,” reviewed TOI.

The film's mood seems set in the 80s and 90s and is as stale as leftover bread from the era. Sakshi played by Vindhya Tiwari and Babloo played by Prateek Shukla, seem as interesting as last month's film magazine. Even veteran actors like Manoj Joshi and Amit Behl cannot help keep it afloat due to the cliched dialogues they have to mouth and the direction which perhaps should not be called that.

However, what is dangerous is not how boring the film is likely to be, it is the fact that the filmmakers are hoping to find the same political favour like the makers of The Kashmir Files. It is aimed at pleasing, and earning rewards, from the so called ‘Hindutva nationalist’ crowds which have proven how cinema halls are now added to their venues of spreading hate. 

Related:

Hate meme touting questionable statistics - worrying or laughable?
Sheath the swords, while there is still time!
This is what we feared: Sanjay Tickoo on the rising attacks in Kashmir since March
Hate Watch: ‘Swami’ Sanjay Prabhakaranand twists patriotic song into hate noise 
Pandits are being used by people, some of whom look down upon Kashmiris: Kashmiri IAS officer
Kejriwal’s scathing speech against BJP promoting The Kashmir Files
Kashmir Files hate project: Radicalising people, one show at a time?
Kashmiri Pandit organisation files curative petition in SC

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Sheath the swords, while there is still time!

Swords, tridents, axes, just a few of the weapons Hindutva groups want your neighbours to stock up

09 Apr 2022

TridentRepresentational Image/nmtv.tv

The trishul (trident), along with sharp edged swords and axes seem to be replacing saffron shawls as a must have for those who want to be seen as “protectors of the Hindu faith”. Leading from the front to arm the masses, claiming that the trishul, for one, is a religious symbol or artefact and not a weapon is Pravin Togadia, surgeon-turned-Hindutva leader, now the president of Antarashtriya Hindu Parishad (AHP). 

Recently, the AHP organised an event in Gujarat where they distributed thousands of swords and tridents to the people. What kripan is to a Sikh, a trishul is to a Hindu. And it is precisely for that reason that both are exempt from the provisions of the Indian Arms Act, as was analysed by SabrangIndia’s sister publication Communalism Combat in 2001.  

This weapon distribution event was attended by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Member of Parliament (MP) Dipsinh Rathore, MLA Raju Chavda and members of VHP and Bajrang Dal. This weapon distribution event even had a religious title of “Trishul Diksha” (or trident initiation ceremony) and was reportedly organised by the Bajrang Dal North Gujarat unit in the Swaminarayan Temple at Himmatnagar. It was reported that 5,100 people were administered an “oath” where they promised to “protect Hindu religion” and were then armed with tridents. According to the Bajrang Dal’s North Gujarat Coordinator Jwalit Mehta, “similar programmes”  will now be organised across other towns in the coming weeks. Now armed with tridents, the masses reportedly took out a rally across Himmatnagar town displaying their newly acquired trident and swords.

Soon, Pravin Togadia resurfaced in Assam, where he has been making anti-Muslim statements at different events. On April 6, Togadia was Golokganj, Dhubri district where he made anti-Muslim remarks. He claimed that Dhubri now has only “20% Hindus” and 12 Lakh Muslims have come here from Bangladesh. He demanded that the DNA of Muslim migrants who came here after 1951, be tested by the State Government. According to him those who ‘fail’ this test as it were, should be sent to detention camps or arrested. Togadia said Assam state should restart the National Register of Citizens (NRC) with 1951 as the cutoff year. He claimed that if that was not done, a film by the name of “Assam files” will be made 20 years later, doffing his hat to the controversial movie The Kashmir Files. Togadia told the media, “If the government wants to stop similar situations like Kashmir then it should take urgent steps to prepare a fresh NRC with 1951 cutoff year. Why should there be two cutoff dates in the country? If for the rest of India, the cutoff year to identify a foreigner is 1951, the NRC in Assam should also have the same cutoff date.”

He applauded Chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for “freeing Assam’s land from illegal Bangladeshi encroachers'' and asked him to “detected, isolate and deport'' illegal migrants claiming that “illegal infiltrators'' were living freely in Assam. He went on to suggest if “Bangladesh did not take back the illegal foreigners, India must capture an area inside Bangladesh and settle them there” reported local news portal Time8. 

He added that the Bajrang Dal and his own group were going to raise units in various areas. It is crucial to note that now that involves programmes like “trishul diksha” where sharp weapons will be given to the masses as it is being done in Gujarat. He is emboldened by the fact that there has been no police action so far against this mass public distribution of weapons. Togadia’s claims and threats against Muslim living in the area, calling for mass arrests of Muslims can be heard here: 

On April 8, he was in the  Udalguri district and asked his followers, “Was there Islam in the world 1,400 years ago? If there was no Islam in the world 1,400 years ago, was there any Muslim in the world 1,400 years ago? Jesus Christ did not exist on earth 2,000 years ago. Tell me, could there be any Christian on earth 2,000 years ago?” He then told them that there were “only Hindus in the whole world. There were Hindus in India, there were Hindus in Mecca, Medina and Arab countries. There were also Hindus in Europe, America and Australia.” 

Togadia then kept up his mythological discourse and claimed that “Sri Purushas who were born from their thousands of luminous bodies to run the creation are our ancestors” adding that it was “God himself gave birth to our ancestors. So tell me, are we children of God?” This was his way to the lay the ground for the anti-Muslim hate speech that followed where he claimed that Muslims came to Assam from Bangladesh. He claimed that Muslims were “increasing their population by giving birth to many children. Not one or two, wholesale.”

https://www.time8.in/togadia-insulted-assam-accord-aiudf-opposes-fresh-nrc/

The resurrection of Pravin Togadia is to revive what he did in the 2000s. He was on the forefront of Militarising Hindu society. The process was documented by Communalism Combat in 2001. The Bajrang Dal had undertaken countrywide Trishul Diksha Samarohs. Rajasthan’s chief minister, Ashok Gehlot, had said that over 40 lakh Hindus had been armed with trishuls within months. The Bajrang Dal’s trishuls were as Congress leaders and police officials had then pointed out, “Rampuri knives that can kill, specially crafted to look like a religious symbol”. The Bajrang Dal was engaged in a national programme to ‘militarise’ Hindus. 

In Rajasthan, which was a Congress–ruled state then, as it is once again now, over 40 lakhs of Bajrang Dal’s ‘trishuls’ — carefully disguised Rampuri knives that can kill — had been distributed in 2001, as documented in the November 2001 edition of CC.  The original piece may be read here

In 2016, in Uttar Pradesh the Bajrang Dal started training its cadres in the use of rifles, swords and lathis ostensibly to 'protect Hindus from non-brothers'. Camps were organised in Ayodhya and other areas of Uttar Pradesh which was to have Assembly elections in 2017. Here is an axe being brandished by Hinduvta ‘monk’ Bajrang Muni, now in the news again for issuing rape threats to Muslim women, this clip is reportedly from 2017.

Flash forward to April 2022 in Gujarat. The Antarashtriya Hindu Parishad has now received that program and has planned many more. Weapons were seen during the screening of The Kashmir Files in March 2022. Videos of hate speech being made by Hindutva leaders, some who got weapons inside Movie theatres, are still viral. It is not known if these men have been arrested yet.

But the call to arms for Hindus, given by violence oriented Hindutva leaders was also heard in December 2021. “Carry swords to protect cows,” said Sadhvi Saraswati, a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader. Saraswati told Hindus to “buy swords and keep them at home to protect cows.” According to her, if people can buy phones worth a lakh, they can also buy swords “to protect cows from those who slaughter them.” Saraswati was speaking at the Hindu Sangama programme organised by the VHP and Bajrang Dal at the Karkala Gandhi Maidan on Sunday, December 12, 2021. She said, “In Karnataka, the cow is killed for meat. Such slaughterers have no right to live in this country. Cows are being stolen from the cowsheds of Hindus showing arms. We all should carry swords to save the Gau Matha.” 

In November 2021 swords were reportedly being sent to Hindutva groups by one Rajeev Brahmarshi, an aspiring Hindutva mob leader, who  announced on his Facebook page that “Weapons will reach every corner of #Hindustan”. As he has had no police action against him, he continues to do so even now. In March 2022 he said “I will give a sword to every youth who will be present in Shri Ram Navami. This time I will bring 5000 swords instead of 3000." 

Related:

Rajasthan: All you need to know about the Karauli violence

Teesta Setalvad is NOT making any movie titled “The Gujarat Files”: CJP to YouTube news channels

Bajrang Muni Das openly threatens Muslim women with sexual assault

‘What will it take for the Biden administration to call out Modi’s regime for human rights violations?’: US lawmaker, Ilhan Omar

Gujarat:  Antarashtriya Hindu Parishad is stage for anti-Muslim abuse, trident distribution

Aakar Patel granted relief, free to travel, CBI ordered to withdraw Look out Circular

Right-wing’s dangerous obsession with mosques and dargahs peaks during Ramzan

Gujarat HC grants protection to inter-caste couple

Allahabad HC dismisses revision petition against discharge order of BJP MP Sakshi 

 

Sheath the swords, while there is still time!

Swords, tridents, axes, just a few of the weapons Hindutva groups want your neighbours to stock up

TridentRepresentational Image/nmtv.tv

The trishul (trident), along with sharp edged swords and axes seem to be replacing saffron shawls as a must have for those who want to be seen as “protectors of the Hindu faith”. Leading from the front to arm the masses, claiming that the trishul, for one, is a religious symbol or artefact and not a weapon is Pravin Togadia, surgeon-turned-Hindutva leader, now the president of Antarashtriya Hindu Parishad (AHP). 

Recently, the AHP organised an event in Gujarat where they distributed thousands of swords and tridents to the people. What kripan is to a Sikh, a trishul is to a Hindu. And it is precisely for that reason that both are exempt from the provisions of the Indian Arms Act, as was analysed by SabrangIndia’s sister publication Communalism Combat in 2001.  

This weapon distribution event was attended by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Member of Parliament (MP) Dipsinh Rathore, MLA Raju Chavda and members of VHP and Bajrang Dal. This weapon distribution event even had a religious title of “Trishul Diksha” (or trident initiation ceremony) and was reportedly organised by the Bajrang Dal North Gujarat unit in the Swaminarayan Temple at Himmatnagar. It was reported that 5,100 people were administered an “oath” where they promised to “protect Hindu religion” and were then armed with tridents. According to the Bajrang Dal’s North Gujarat Coordinator Jwalit Mehta, “similar programmes”  will now be organised across other towns in the coming weeks. Now armed with tridents, the masses reportedly took out a rally across Himmatnagar town displaying their newly acquired trident and swords.

Soon, Pravin Togadia resurfaced in Assam, where he has been making anti-Muslim statements at different events. On April 6, Togadia was Golokganj, Dhubri district where he made anti-Muslim remarks. He claimed that Dhubri now has only “20% Hindus” and 12 Lakh Muslims have come here from Bangladesh. He demanded that the DNA of Muslim migrants who came here after 1951, be tested by the State Government. According to him those who ‘fail’ this test as it were, should be sent to detention camps or arrested. Togadia said Assam state should restart the National Register of Citizens (NRC) with 1951 as the cutoff year. He claimed that if that was not done, a film by the name of “Assam files” will be made 20 years later, doffing his hat to the controversial movie The Kashmir Files. Togadia told the media, “If the government wants to stop similar situations like Kashmir then it should take urgent steps to prepare a fresh NRC with 1951 cutoff year. Why should there be two cutoff dates in the country? If for the rest of India, the cutoff year to identify a foreigner is 1951, the NRC in Assam should also have the same cutoff date.”

He applauded Chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for “freeing Assam’s land from illegal Bangladeshi encroachers'' and asked him to “detected, isolate and deport'' illegal migrants claiming that “illegal infiltrators'' were living freely in Assam. He went on to suggest if “Bangladesh did not take back the illegal foreigners, India must capture an area inside Bangladesh and settle them there” reported local news portal Time8. 

He added that the Bajrang Dal and his own group were going to raise units in various areas. It is crucial to note that now that involves programmes like “trishul diksha” where sharp weapons will be given to the masses as it is being done in Gujarat. He is emboldened by the fact that there has been no police action so far against this mass public distribution of weapons. Togadia’s claims and threats against Muslim living in the area, calling for mass arrests of Muslims can be heard here: 

On April 8, he was in the  Udalguri district and asked his followers, “Was there Islam in the world 1,400 years ago? If there was no Islam in the world 1,400 years ago, was there any Muslim in the world 1,400 years ago? Jesus Christ did not exist on earth 2,000 years ago. Tell me, could there be any Christian on earth 2,000 years ago?” He then told them that there were “only Hindus in the whole world. There were Hindus in India, there were Hindus in Mecca, Medina and Arab countries. There were also Hindus in Europe, America and Australia.” 

Togadia then kept up his mythological discourse and claimed that “Sri Purushas who were born from their thousands of luminous bodies to run the creation are our ancestors” adding that it was “God himself gave birth to our ancestors. So tell me, are we children of God?” This was his way to the lay the ground for the anti-Muslim hate speech that followed where he claimed that Muslims came to Assam from Bangladesh. He claimed that Muslims were “increasing their population by giving birth to many children. Not one or two, wholesale.”

https://www.time8.in/togadia-insulted-assam-accord-aiudf-opposes-fresh-nrc/

The resurrection of Pravin Togadia is to revive what he did in the 2000s. He was on the forefront of Militarising Hindu society. The process was documented by Communalism Combat in 2001. The Bajrang Dal had undertaken countrywide Trishul Diksha Samarohs. Rajasthan’s chief minister, Ashok Gehlot, had said that over 40 lakh Hindus had been armed with trishuls within months. The Bajrang Dal’s trishuls were as Congress leaders and police officials had then pointed out, “Rampuri knives that can kill, specially crafted to look like a religious symbol”. The Bajrang Dal was engaged in a national programme to ‘militarise’ Hindus. 

In Rajasthan, which was a Congress–ruled state then, as it is once again now, over 40 lakhs of Bajrang Dal’s ‘trishuls’ — carefully disguised Rampuri knives that can kill — had been distributed in 2001, as documented in the November 2001 edition of CC.  The original piece may be read here

In 2016, in Uttar Pradesh the Bajrang Dal started training its cadres in the use of rifles, swords and lathis ostensibly to 'protect Hindus from non-brothers'. Camps were organised in Ayodhya and other areas of Uttar Pradesh which was to have Assembly elections in 2017. Here is an axe being brandished by Hinduvta ‘monk’ Bajrang Muni, now in the news again for issuing rape threats to Muslim women, this clip is reportedly from 2017.

Flash forward to April 2022 in Gujarat. The Antarashtriya Hindu Parishad has now received that program and has planned many more. Weapons were seen during the screening of The Kashmir Files in March 2022. Videos of hate speech being made by Hindutva leaders, some who got weapons inside Movie theatres, are still viral. It is not known if these men have been arrested yet.

But the call to arms for Hindus, given by violence oriented Hindutva leaders was also heard in December 2021. “Carry swords to protect cows,” said Sadhvi Saraswati, a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader. Saraswati told Hindus to “buy swords and keep them at home to protect cows.” According to her, if people can buy phones worth a lakh, they can also buy swords “to protect cows from those who slaughter them.” Saraswati was speaking at the Hindu Sangama programme organised by the VHP and Bajrang Dal at the Karkala Gandhi Maidan on Sunday, December 12, 2021. She said, “In Karnataka, the cow is killed for meat. Such slaughterers have no right to live in this country. Cows are being stolen from the cowsheds of Hindus showing arms. We all should carry swords to save the Gau Matha.” 

In November 2021 swords were reportedly being sent to Hindutva groups by one Rajeev Brahmarshi, an aspiring Hindutva mob leader, who  announced on his Facebook page that “Weapons will reach every corner of #Hindustan”. As he has had no police action against him, he continues to do so even now. In March 2022 he said “I will give a sword to every youth who will be present in Shri Ram Navami. This time I will bring 5000 swords instead of 3000." 

Related:

Rajasthan: All you need to know about the Karauli violence

Teesta Setalvad is NOT making any movie titled “The Gujarat Files”: CJP to YouTube news channels

Bajrang Muni Das openly threatens Muslim women with sexual assault

‘What will it take for the Biden administration to call out Modi’s regime for human rights violations?’: US lawmaker, Ilhan Omar

Gujarat:  Antarashtriya Hindu Parishad is stage for anti-Muslim abuse, trident distribution

Aakar Patel granted relief, free to travel, CBI ordered to withdraw Look out Circular

Right-wing’s dangerous obsession with mosques and dargahs peaks during Ramzan

Gujarat HC grants protection to inter-caste couple

Allahabad HC dismisses revision petition against discharge order of BJP MP Sakshi 

 

Related Articles


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Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

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Podcasts

Sabrang

This is what we feared: Sanjay Tickoo on the rising attacks in Kashmir since March

Kashmiri Pandits had warned that The Kashmir Files movie made them and others who lived in the UT more vulnerable; appeals for enhanced security have fallen on deaf ears

05 Apr 2022

Sanjay TickooSanjay Tickoo |  Image courtesy: AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan

Violence has once again been unleashed in Jammu and Kashmir, and the victims are migrant workers and members of the Kashmiri Hindu minority community.

On Sunday, suspected militants shot at and injured a driver and a conductor, both from Pathankot in Punjab, at Nowpora village of Litter, reported the Indian Express. One of the men was hit in the chest and is serious. A senior police officer told the publication that the purpose of this attack seemed to be “to create fear among migrant workers and drive them out of the Valley. Otherwise, the militants could have easily killed them if they wanted.”

Then, on Monday, Patlashwar Kumar and Jakku Chowdary from Bihar who were working as labourers in Kashmir were shot at, reportedly by unidentified gunmen in Pulwama district. According to a report in India Today, the two are under treatment now. One of the men was shot in the chest and the other had a leg injury. As per a report in the IE, hours later, on Monday evening, “suspected militants fired at a Kashmiri Pandit in South Kashmir’s Shopian.” 

“This is what we feared,” said Sanjay Tickoo, President of the Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti, a group devoted to upholding and defending the rights of non-migrant Kashmiri Pandit families. When the Kashmiri Pandit exodus took place, 808 families stayed behind, and even today, continue to live in refugee camps in the Valley. They had raised safety concerns in wake of the release of the movie The Kashmir Files. “We were expecting this [violence] when the movie came out… This is the outcome of this movie, I have said it before. I also said we don't know how many poor people will be killed in the future," reminded Tickoo and further said, "Even yesterday, a Kashmiri Pandit was shot at, three times, and seriously injured.”

Tickoo had previously told SabrangIndia that The Kashmir Files had made “resident Kashmiri Pandits unsafe.” KPSS is a partner organisation of CJP, and it has been closely observing the hate generated online and offline soon after the movie was released. In fact, CJP had also pointed out the possible impact of a movie like this, especially given how different senior members of the government had been promoting it, despite there being some distortion of facts under the guise of artistic license. We had invited all Indians to join us as we petitioned all Chief Ministers, top police officials and administrators of all Union Territories to step in and put an end to the prevalent culture of hate, in order to prevent blood from being spilled on the streets. We had also appealed for the setting up of Mohalla Committees, or groups of local residents in each neighbourhood that will interact with the local administration during a crisis situation and prevent an escalation of violence, as well as protect vulnerable minorities. You too can sign the petition here.

Meanwhile in Kashmir, the victim of the incident referred to by Tickoo has been identified as Bal Krishan, of Chotigam village, and according to a report in the Indian Express, he remains “in a critical condition.” The attack on him on Monday, April 4, was the first on Kashmiri Pandits this year. In October 2021, militants had shot dead a well known businessman, Makan Lal Bindroo at his shop in the high-security zone of the Iqbal Park area of Srinagar. Makhan Lal Bindroo had been settled here since 1947. Other victims of violence at this time included a street food vendor named Virendra Pasan, and Mohammed Shafi Lone, a resident of Naidkhai village, who headed Sumo Car Stand, an association of taxi owners in Shahgund village in Bandipora. Then school principal Deepak Chand and a female teacher Supinder (Satinder) Kour were killed in Safa Kadal area of Srinagar. 

Anguished at the series of attacks on minorities and Muslims by terrorists in the Valley, Sanjay Tickoo had told Sabrangindia at the time that repeated pleas with Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha to enhance security for Pandit families had gone unanswered. It is noteworthy that though security had been provided previously, it was withdrawn in 2016, leaving the minority Kashmiri Hindu non-migrant families vulnerable! “Welcome back to 1990,” Tickoo had said at the time, a chilling warning of what was to come.

Now more innocent lives have been lost, most of the victims are economically weak people working hard to make a living. “Yes. Bal Kishan Bhatt is just around 40, and runs a medical shop. This month is very crucial. All these attacks are (the result of) intelligence failure, and there are no punishments given for that,” said an anguished Tickoo recalling that it was the government who in 2016 had “removed security covers” in over 200 vulnerable areas. “We keep asking for security, but the government ignores it. The establishment is not listening. They must see to the security of the people,” he says. According to Tickoo, even locals share inputs with the authorities. “Act on those inputs by citizens. They should be taken seriously and acted on. They [administration] just hear them, and say ‘ok’. Then an attack happens. Attacks are rising…” he warned. 

In Monday's attack, a CRPF personnel was shot dead, and the two migrant workers from Bihar were injured in the heart of Srinagar’s crowded Maisuma neighbourhood, reported IE. Head Constable Vishal Kumar succumbed to his injuries at hospital. The attack on migrant labourers was the second in two days and the fourth in a fortnight, reported IE and other media. All of the attacks were reported from South Kashmir’s Pulwama district. The report cited another attack on March 19, by suspected militants in which Mohammad Akram, a carpenter from Uttar Pradesh, was targeted. This was followed, just two days later, with an attack on Biswajeet Kumar a labourer from Bihar, who was shot at. 

In a bitter irony, these attacks took place even as the government told Parliament that 30 people from outside Jammu and Kashmir have purchased property in the Union territory” a sensitive issue in the Valley, reported IE. According to the news report, on Monday, a team of the Delimitation Commission arrived in the UT to hold public consultations over redrawing of constituencies. 

Tickoo had said last month, that he feared The Kashmir Files will only “polarise communities, spread hate, and even fuel violence that people of Jammu and Kashmir, and elsewhere do not want repeated ever again.” His words of warning have been prophetic. 

Related:

The Kashmir Files: Calls for Muslim genocide ring out in cinema halls, hate brews outside

The Kashmir Files making resident Kashmiri Pandits feel unsafe

Hundreds mourn Srinagar resident Mohammad Ibrahim Khan

J&K: More migrant workers shot dead by terrorists over the weekend, all eyes on Centre

Friday Sermons Urge Protection for Kashmiri Pandits/Sikhs in kashmir Valley

Srinagar: Grief envelopes Valley as Supinder (Satinder) Kour’s last rites are performed

Govt to Blame, where is the security for KP families in the Valley, asks Sanjay Tickoo, KPSS

This is what we feared: Sanjay Tickoo on the rising attacks in Kashmir since March

Kashmiri Pandits had warned that The Kashmir Files movie made them and others who lived in the UT more vulnerable; appeals for enhanced security have fallen on deaf ears

Sanjay TickooSanjay Tickoo |  Image courtesy: AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan

Violence has once again been unleashed in Jammu and Kashmir, and the victims are migrant workers and members of the Kashmiri Hindu minority community.

On Sunday, suspected militants shot at and injured a driver and a conductor, both from Pathankot in Punjab, at Nowpora village of Litter, reported the Indian Express. One of the men was hit in the chest and is serious. A senior police officer told the publication that the purpose of this attack seemed to be “to create fear among migrant workers and drive them out of the Valley. Otherwise, the militants could have easily killed them if they wanted.”

Then, on Monday, Patlashwar Kumar and Jakku Chowdary from Bihar who were working as labourers in Kashmir were shot at, reportedly by unidentified gunmen in Pulwama district. According to a report in India Today, the two are under treatment now. One of the men was shot in the chest and the other had a leg injury. As per a report in the IE, hours later, on Monday evening, “suspected militants fired at a Kashmiri Pandit in South Kashmir’s Shopian.” 

“This is what we feared,” said Sanjay Tickoo, President of the Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti, a group devoted to upholding and defending the rights of non-migrant Kashmiri Pandit families. When the Kashmiri Pandit exodus took place, 808 families stayed behind, and even today, continue to live in refugee camps in the Valley. They had raised safety concerns in wake of the release of the movie The Kashmir Files. “We were expecting this [violence] when the movie came out… This is the outcome of this movie, I have said it before. I also said we don't know how many poor people will be killed in the future," reminded Tickoo and further said, "Even yesterday, a Kashmiri Pandit was shot at, three times, and seriously injured.”

Tickoo had previously told SabrangIndia that The Kashmir Files had made “resident Kashmiri Pandits unsafe.” KPSS is a partner organisation of CJP, and it has been closely observing the hate generated online and offline soon after the movie was released. In fact, CJP had also pointed out the possible impact of a movie like this, especially given how different senior members of the government had been promoting it, despite there being some distortion of facts under the guise of artistic license. We had invited all Indians to join us as we petitioned all Chief Ministers, top police officials and administrators of all Union Territories to step in and put an end to the prevalent culture of hate, in order to prevent blood from being spilled on the streets. We had also appealed for the setting up of Mohalla Committees, or groups of local residents in each neighbourhood that will interact with the local administration during a crisis situation and prevent an escalation of violence, as well as protect vulnerable minorities. You too can sign the petition here.

Meanwhile in Kashmir, the victim of the incident referred to by Tickoo has been identified as Bal Krishan, of Chotigam village, and according to a report in the Indian Express, he remains “in a critical condition.” The attack on him on Monday, April 4, was the first on Kashmiri Pandits this year. In October 2021, militants had shot dead a well known businessman, Makan Lal Bindroo at his shop in the high-security zone of the Iqbal Park area of Srinagar. Makhan Lal Bindroo had been settled here since 1947. Other victims of violence at this time included a street food vendor named Virendra Pasan, and Mohammed Shafi Lone, a resident of Naidkhai village, who headed Sumo Car Stand, an association of taxi owners in Shahgund village in Bandipora. Then school principal Deepak Chand and a female teacher Supinder (Satinder) Kour were killed in Safa Kadal area of Srinagar. 

Anguished at the series of attacks on minorities and Muslims by terrorists in the Valley, Sanjay Tickoo had told Sabrangindia at the time that repeated pleas with Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha to enhance security for Pandit families had gone unanswered. It is noteworthy that though security had been provided previously, it was withdrawn in 2016, leaving the minority Kashmiri Hindu non-migrant families vulnerable! “Welcome back to 1990,” Tickoo had said at the time, a chilling warning of what was to come.

Now more innocent lives have been lost, most of the victims are economically weak people working hard to make a living. “Yes. Bal Kishan Bhatt is just around 40, and runs a medical shop. This month is very crucial. All these attacks are (the result of) intelligence failure, and there are no punishments given for that,” said an anguished Tickoo recalling that it was the government who in 2016 had “removed security covers” in over 200 vulnerable areas. “We keep asking for security, but the government ignores it. The establishment is not listening. They must see to the security of the people,” he says. According to Tickoo, even locals share inputs with the authorities. “Act on those inputs by citizens. They should be taken seriously and acted on. They [administration] just hear them, and say ‘ok’. Then an attack happens. Attacks are rising…” he warned. 

In Monday's attack, a CRPF personnel was shot dead, and the two migrant workers from Bihar were injured in the heart of Srinagar’s crowded Maisuma neighbourhood, reported IE. Head Constable Vishal Kumar succumbed to his injuries at hospital. The attack on migrant labourers was the second in two days and the fourth in a fortnight, reported IE and other media. All of the attacks were reported from South Kashmir’s Pulwama district. The report cited another attack on March 19, by suspected militants in which Mohammad Akram, a carpenter from Uttar Pradesh, was targeted. This was followed, just two days later, with an attack on Biswajeet Kumar a labourer from Bihar, who was shot at. 

In a bitter irony, these attacks took place even as the government told Parliament that 30 people from outside Jammu and Kashmir have purchased property in the Union territory” a sensitive issue in the Valley, reported IE. According to the news report, on Monday, a team of the Delimitation Commission arrived in the UT to hold public consultations over redrawing of constituencies. 

Tickoo had said last month, that he feared The Kashmir Files will only “polarise communities, spread hate, and even fuel violence that people of Jammu and Kashmir, and elsewhere do not want repeated ever again.” His words of warning have been prophetic. 

Related:

The Kashmir Files: Calls for Muslim genocide ring out in cinema halls, hate brews outside

The Kashmir Files making resident Kashmiri Pandits feel unsafe

Hundreds mourn Srinagar resident Mohammad Ibrahim Khan

J&K: More migrant workers shot dead by terrorists over the weekend, all eyes on Centre

Friday Sermons Urge Protection for Kashmiri Pandits/Sikhs in kashmir Valley

Srinagar: Grief envelopes Valley as Supinder (Satinder) Kour’s last rites are performed

Govt to Blame, where is the security for KP families in the Valley, asks Sanjay Tickoo, KPSS

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How Halal is your harassment?

Right wing ecosystem, wants to “Boycott Himalaya” products for its Halal Certificate, do they even know that Adani, Patanjali and Reliance have one too?

02 Apr 2022

Halal

 

The right wing ecosystem, amplified by its social media team of keyboard punchers, have now decided to trend “Boycott Himalaya” as it has a Halal Certificate. The trend began as soon as goons of right wing outfits in Karnataka began harassing Muslim vendors, meat shop sellers having halal certification of their products. Online groups began sharing Himalaya's Halal certificate and asking that the products made by cosmetic/pharmaceutical companies be boycotted. The right wing trolls, were inspired to attack Himalaya as it was founded and is owned by a Muslim. The right wing influencers added their two bits to the trend.

 

 

They remained obsessed that Himalaya was a Muslim owned and run company. However, the anti-Muslim rant is bizzare, at best, because the  9 out of 10 people who make up Himalaya’s  team of are not Muslim.

 

 

According to fact checkers, a Halal certificate, that is the norm especially for those who export their products, is also held by companies such as Adani, Patanjali,  Reliance  and many more.

 

 

As far as Himalaya is concerned, it was founded by M. Manal,  according to the company;s website Manal’s “vision was to bring the traditional Indian science of Ayurveda to society in a contemporary form.” Himalaya products are available in 68 countries in Europe, the Middle East, CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States), and Africa. Himalaya claims it was “the first Indian pharmaceutical company to be registered with the Ministry of Health in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).”

On its leadership now are Shailendra Malhotra who heads its Middle East operations, Saket Gore who is the business head of the Consumer Products Division (CPD), Jatin Brahmecha the global CFO of Himalaya Global Holdings, Jayashree Ullal who leads Himalaya India’s Finance and Operations. 

KG Umesh who runs its Human Resource Management function, Rajesh Krishnamurthy its  Business Head, Consumer Products Division (CPD).  Others include Sharat Sutrave its Director, Manufacturing, Anil Jiandani who heads the Pharmaceutical and Animal Health divisions of Himalaya India,  Dr. Rangesh’s the  Chief Scientific Officer who was once a Lecturer in Ayurveda Medical Colleges in Bangalore and Mysore. Nabeel Manal, the only Muslim on the leadership team is from Himalaya's founding family,  who joined the company  in 2004.

Harassment over Hahal continues offline

On Friday, Karnataka Police told the media that they have arrested seven members of the Bajrang Dal accused of assault of vendors selling of halal meat in Shivamogga district. Right Wing groups have been active on the streets of Karnataka allegedly intimidating vendors, and demanding a ban on halal products. A “campaign” has been launched to influence the government to mull over a ban on Halal and keep the economic boycott on buying of meat from Muslim traders boiling. The intention is clear, to attack the minority community’s right to earn a living. 

These RW groups include the Hindu Jagruthi Samithi, Sri Rama Sene, Bajarang Dal who, according to The News Minute (TNM), have demanded that vendors remove their halal certifications from the signboards. The groups have asked “Hindus not to buy meat which is halal cut” but to opt for the 'Jhatka' method of slaughter. According to TNM, Pramod Muthalik, Founder of Sri Ram Sene called for boycott of halal cut meat in Karnataka, which was then amplified by multiple RW organisations who asked for boycott of halal meat during the post-Ugadi 'Hosa Tadaku'.

According to the TNM report the RW groups claimed, “Islamic organisations are trying to make a parallel financial system in the country. It is dangerous for the security of the country. When there are government certifying agencies like FSSAI and FDA for food certification, where is the need for certification based on religion? Halal certification is against the precepts of secularism and gross injustice to the traditional butchers and meat traders.” Shivamogga Superintendent of Police BM Laxmi Prasad had told the media that a first information report was registered over the incident at the Hosamane police station in Bhadravati.

The RW goons have been active on the streets harassing Muslim shop owners. Those recently arrested have been identified as Vadivelu, Savayi Singh, Ramu, Sanjay, Srikanth, Lokesh and Manjunath, residents of Bhadravati. According to news reports on Wednesday, members of the Bajrang Dal attacked a Muslim meat vendor named Thousif. They told him “to sell only non-halal meat since his shop was located in a Hindu majority area.”  

 

 

Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra who on Thursday said those who do not respect the Constitution and honour the court verdict on hijab “should be taught a lesson.”  Such a call seems to bae all that  Bajrang Dal goons needed. A group barged into a Janta Hotel and “threatened hotel staff not to serve Halal food” they reportedly “also attacked a muslim customer Usama for having Halal food.

 

 

 

Related

Bajrang Dal smells an opportunity in stirring the halal pot, pastes boycott posters 

'Halal food is economic jehad': BJP gen sec CT Ravi cooks up fresh hate

Why is iD dosa batter giving communal trolls indigestion?

Four arrested for issuing ‘notice’ to bakery to remove halal info, had called it ‘discriminatory’

Hate-monger Sangeet Som’s Sena bristles at hate video

Tripura: Muslim man lynched on suspicion of cattle theft

West Bengal: Muslim mason allegedly lynched by Hindutva mob

How Halal is your harassment?

Right wing ecosystem, wants to “Boycott Himalaya” products for its Halal Certificate, do they even know that Adani, Patanjali and Reliance have one too?

Halal

 

The right wing ecosystem, amplified by its social media team of keyboard punchers, have now decided to trend “Boycott Himalaya” as it has a Halal Certificate. The trend began as soon as goons of right wing outfits in Karnataka began harassing Muslim vendors, meat shop sellers having halal certification of their products. Online groups began sharing Himalaya's Halal certificate and asking that the products made by cosmetic/pharmaceutical companies be boycotted. The right wing trolls, were inspired to attack Himalaya as it was founded and is owned by a Muslim. The right wing influencers added their two bits to the trend.

 

 

They remained obsessed that Himalaya was a Muslim owned and run company. However, the anti-Muslim rant is bizzare, at best, because the  9 out of 10 people who make up Himalaya’s  team of are not Muslim.

 

 

According to fact checkers, a Halal certificate, that is the norm especially for those who export their products, is also held by companies such as Adani, Patanjali,  Reliance  and many more.

 

 

As far as Himalaya is concerned, it was founded by M. Manal,  according to the company;s website Manal’s “vision was to bring the traditional Indian science of Ayurveda to society in a contemporary form.” Himalaya products are available in 68 countries in Europe, the Middle East, CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States), and Africa. Himalaya claims it was “the first Indian pharmaceutical company to be registered with the Ministry of Health in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).”

On its leadership now are Shailendra Malhotra who heads its Middle East operations, Saket Gore who is the business head of the Consumer Products Division (CPD), Jatin Brahmecha the global CFO of Himalaya Global Holdings, Jayashree Ullal who leads Himalaya India’s Finance and Operations. 

KG Umesh who runs its Human Resource Management function, Rajesh Krishnamurthy its  Business Head, Consumer Products Division (CPD).  Others include Sharat Sutrave its Director, Manufacturing, Anil Jiandani who heads the Pharmaceutical and Animal Health divisions of Himalaya India,  Dr. Rangesh’s the  Chief Scientific Officer who was once a Lecturer in Ayurveda Medical Colleges in Bangalore and Mysore. Nabeel Manal, the only Muslim on the leadership team is from Himalaya's founding family,  who joined the company  in 2004.

Harassment over Hahal continues offline

On Friday, Karnataka Police told the media that they have arrested seven members of the Bajrang Dal accused of assault of vendors selling of halal meat in Shivamogga district. Right Wing groups have been active on the streets of Karnataka allegedly intimidating vendors, and demanding a ban on halal products. A “campaign” has been launched to influence the government to mull over a ban on Halal and keep the economic boycott on buying of meat from Muslim traders boiling. The intention is clear, to attack the minority community’s right to earn a living. 

These RW groups include the Hindu Jagruthi Samithi, Sri Rama Sene, Bajarang Dal who, according to The News Minute (TNM), have demanded that vendors remove their halal certifications from the signboards. The groups have asked “Hindus not to buy meat which is halal cut” but to opt for the 'Jhatka' method of slaughter. According to TNM, Pramod Muthalik, Founder of Sri Ram Sene called for boycott of halal cut meat in Karnataka, which was then amplified by multiple RW organisations who asked for boycott of halal meat during the post-Ugadi 'Hosa Tadaku'.

According to the TNM report the RW groups claimed, “Islamic organisations are trying to make a parallel financial system in the country. It is dangerous for the security of the country. When there are government certifying agencies like FSSAI and FDA for food certification, where is the need for certification based on religion? Halal certification is against the precepts of secularism and gross injustice to the traditional butchers and meat traders.” Shivamogga Superintendent of Police BM Laxmi Prasad had told the media that a first information report was registered over the incident at the Hosamane police station in Bhadravati.

The RW goons have been active on the streets harassing Muslim shop owners. Those recently arrested have been identified as Vadivelu, Savayi Singh, Ramu, Sanjay, Srikanth, Lokesh and Manjunath, residents of Bhadravati. According to news reports on Wednesday, members of the Bajrang Dal attacked a Muslim meat vendor named Thousif. They told him “to sell only non-halal meat since his shop was located in a Hindu majority area.”  

 

 

Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra who on Thursday said those who do not respect the Constitution and honour the court verdict on hijab “should be taught a lesson.”  Such a call seems to bae all that  Bajrang Dal goons needed. A group barged into a Janta Hotel and “threatened hotel staff not to serve Halal food” they reportedly “also attacked a muslim customer Usama for having Halal food.

 

 

 

Related

Bajrang Dal smells an opportunity in stirring the halal pot, pastes boycott posters 

'Halal food is economic jehad': BJP gen sec CT Ravi cooks up fresh hate

Why is iD dosa batter giving communal trolls indigestion?

Four arrested for issuing ‘notice’ to bakery to remove halal info, had called it ‘discriminatory’

Hate-monger Sangeet Som’s Sena bristles at hate video

Tripura: Muslim man lynched on suspicion of cattle theft

West Bengal: Muslim mason allegedly lynched by Hindutva mob

Related Articles


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Is Gujarat's Pirana dargah emerging as the newest communal hotspot?

Attempts to appropriate the 600-year-old shrine of Imam Shah Baba, a figure revered by both Hindus and Muslims are at their peak

21 Mar 2022

communal hotspot
Image Courtesy:ismailimail.blog

The last time most media focussed on Pirana village, a short drive away from Ahmedabad, Gujarat was when the trust that looks after the 600-year-old dargah (shrine) of Imam Shah Baba, a figure revered by Muslims, Hindus and others, suddenly decided to build a wall between the shrine and a mosque next to it, virtually cutting off smooth passage between the two. This was seen by the minority Muslim community as a “deliberate act of aggression”, and many families migrated out of the village. Nearly 500 of them were detained, and released later.

They are all now back home in Pirana, but last week, to their shock, they realised that a major transformation had taken place inside the dargah compound which had been closed until recently, as there was a massive conclave of Hindutva groups.

According to Azhar Saiyyed, one of the descendants of the Pir, who lives in Pirana, there was a programme by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) from March 1-17, and on March 19-20, there was another program by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal. Entry to the dargah was restricted to all other people during this period. He told SabrangIndia, that this decision had been informed beforehand by the dargah committee, and the villagers wanted to maintain peace, so they did not object to it. However, when they visited the shrine on Saturday, to mark Shab-e-Barat they saw that there were statues of Hindu gods installed in the dargah compound!

“Even the gaddi (seat) of Imam Shah Baba was broken and a statue they say is of him was placed there,” recalled Azhar. Locals shared photos showing a statue of a bearded man installed. A man wearing a saffron cap is seen putting a tilak (Hindu vermillion mark of prayer, reverence or respect) on the statue. However Muslim devotees are aghast that any such statue has been installed, as Islam does not permit idor worship or reverance of any statues.

So far, the dargah has only had the grave of the Pir or saint, and the ‘seat’ marking the place he is said to have sat on, prayed and met people, where respects are paid even now. “Both Hindus and Muslims prayed at this spot in their own ways, usually putting flowers and lighting diyas but there was no statue installed there, no one had ever thought of this. This statue also has a ‘tilak’ on it now”, said Azhar adding, “This installation work has been done illegally in the 17 days when the dargah had been kept closed.” Locals say the statues may have been brought in and installed at night, as no one in the village was aware of it. 

More photos from the compound show Hindu dhwaja or saffron flags on the installed domes, and that a large temple flag staff has also been installed. The villagers who had not been allowed inside during those days, say they were not aware that so much activity was going on inside. According to Azhar who has regularly alerted the authorities, “The collector and police tell us to go to court, we file RTIs for relevant documents, and are rejected.” 

Imam Shah Dargah

It is crucial to note that such meetings of Hindutva groups have been held before, but no such statues, or flagpoles were installed then. Locals say that police personnel have been deployed at the venue since March 1 till today March 21. Azhar and Shahebaz Saiyed, a local peace activist, who is also a descendant of the Pir’s clan and a resident of the village ask, “How can such things like installation, desecration of the holy gaddi be done when there was/ is so much police deployed?”

Imam Shah Dargah

Now that the Hindutva group’s meetings are over, the devotees have begun to visit the dargah again. However they too noticed a massive, and for many a disturbing change. “I went on Saturday, and realised that each Muslim devotee was shadowed or followed by some people who had sticks in their hands. They said nothing to us, just followed, stood next to us  and kept looking at the Muslim devotees,” said a local adding that 50 such men were in the compound. No one had seen these men before.

Azhar and others also alerted the senior police officials that so many lathi-wielding men were inside the dargah. Locals are now saying that Pirana [issue] will be the “epicentre around which the Gujarat Assembly elections will be fought.” Azhar said the community had an aprehension that statues may be installed in the Muslim shrine and had written to the authorities ar various levels, once they saw the ‘renovation’ work going. But locals said no action was taken then. “The government has not replied to RTI applications or denied them,” added Azhar. 

Imam Shah Dargah

"Way back in 1994, there was a VHP convention at the dargah compound and we had expressed apprehensions that idols will be installed,” recalled Shahebaz, adding that the caretaker locally called Kaka, had himself filed an affidavit in the court so that this will not happen. The Kutchi Patels, who revere this Pir and are identified as Satpanthis, say they do not follow idol worship as a norm. However, a few years ago Hindu idols and symbols were painted in the compound, then they had called it simple art.

However, in 2010 the plans for “renovation” were ready, and if you see the plan it is easy to see major changes were being envisioned even then, recalled  Shahebaz who had alerted the authorities even then. However, all the red tape, delays in action, the locals say have led to the massive change they saw this weekend. For now there is peace, but there seems to be ample provocation from so far unidentified Hindutva elements. The onus to maintain the peace is once again on Muslims.

Imam Shah Dargah

A Tense Timeline Recall

1993: Villagers were prevented from entering the dargah. They went to court, the court ordered in their favour that they should not be restricted from visiting. The stay order is still valid. 

2003: The wire fencing was done again and an open FIR was registered after an altercation, anyone could be picked up for questioning against it. The villagers sat on a hunger strike in 2010 to remove the fencing. The collector called the villagers and the committee members and ordered a status quo that any changes will need a collector’s order. “It stood for 11 years! We had gone to court again citing the 1993 stay order against the fencing. The court case is still pending,” Saiyyed recalled. 

Imam Shah Dargah

November 3, 2011: CJP led several peace activists and human rights defenders to raise concerns surrounding the Pirana Dargah being on the agenda of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). That year, the VHP had planned to hold a three day Dharm Prasar Akhil Bharatiya Karyakarta Sammelan (or a conclave of volunteers working to spread religion) starting November 5, 2011, a day before Bakr Eid. Local news reports had begun carrying confirmation of the event, and that those attending will be staying in the premises of the Dargah. That the Hindutva stage was often used to spread communal tension, the timing of this gathering was reported as a cause of concern.

CJP's petition

CJP responded quickly to the developing situation, and wrote to Dr. Kamla Beniwal, then Governor of Gujarat alerting her about the “unnecessary and provocative attempts to provoke communal tension within the state of Gujarat” and that concern had been expressed both by local residents and the religious head of the Pirana Darga." CJP feared that VHP’s intention to hold the gathering “will be used as an occasion to utter hate speech and generate tension." CJP further said, "The fact that the festival of Bakr Eid falls on November 6-7 makes these intentions of the VHP all the more worrisome and suspicious. It appears as not a coincidence that the timing of the VHP’s three day convention after years of silence comes at a time when efforts of the victims of 2002 and legal rights groups to get justice for the state sponsored violence of 2002.” The letter, signed by human rights defender and peace activists Teesta Setalvad, J.S.Bandukwala, Senior Advocate B .A. Desai, Mallika Sarabhai, Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer, Irfan Engineer, Fr. Cedric Prakash, Hanif Lakdawala, Sophia khan, Sukla Sen, Amita Buch, Ashoke Chatterjee, Adv Kamayani Bali Mahabal, and M K Raina, urged the Governor to act and “ensure that the permission for this is revoked, failing which strict undertakings are taken from the organisers to ensure civilised and peaceful conduct of the proceedings.”

2020: The Imamshah Baba Roza Sanstha asked the collector to grant permission for repairs of the terrace; they were allowed but were told not to change the basic fundamental structure and carry out repairs. 

July 16, 2021: Three graves were allegedly "broken" on the Northern side of the dargah and a platform was constructed on them. 

July 23, 2021: The wall construction began. The villagers called the police who called for a peace meeting. 

July  24, 2021: More graves were broken, allegedly by the Satpanthis. 

July 27, 2021: An official meeting is called and word given that no more graves are to be broken. The Deputy Collectors and officials were present and told that broken graves will be repaired. The one foot high wall was to be merged with the soon to be repaired flooring. This undertaking was given in writing. 

January 25, 2022: The Imamshah Baba Roza Sanstha passes a resolution at 5.30 P.M. They take it to the Tehsildar office after that. 

January 26, 2022: Republic Day is a public holiday however, the Daskroi Mamlatdar (Tehsildar) Axar P. Vyas allegedly allowed construction. 

January 30, 2022: The wall construction begins again, and upset families, including the Sufi’s descendants decide to move en masse from the village. “Videos of our procession went viral and police detained us after 6 kms. Late at night community leaders came to the police station and asked us to stop protesting and take legal action. We agreed,” says Saiyyed.

March 2022: Hindu idols installed, saffron flags raised. Sangh Parivar conclaves held.

Imam Shah Dargah

Imam Shah Dargah

Related:

Uttar Pradesh: Dargah desecrated on the eve of Holi, Shab-e-Barat in Fatehpur
Aland Dargah appropriation: Why were only Muslims arrested?
Gujarat’s people do not want communal tensions: Concerned citizens write to Governor
Direct police to apprehend criminals propagating anti-Muslim hate messages: Gujarat citizens to CM
Pirana: Attempts to erase the history of the 600-year-old dargah?

 

Is Gujarat's Pirana dargah emerging as the newest communal hotspot?

Attempts to appropriate the 600-year-old shrine of Imam Shah Baba, a figure revered by both Hindus and Muslims are at their peak

communal hotspot
Image Courtesy:ismailimail.blog

The last time most media focussed on Pirana village, a short drive away from Ahmedabad, Gujarat was when the trust that looks after the 600-year-old dargah (shrine) of Imam Shah Baba, a figure revered by Muslims, Hindus and others, suddenly decided to build a wall between the shrine and a mosque next to it, virtually cutting off smooth passage between the two. This was seen by the minority Muslim community as a “deliberate act of aggression”, and many families migrated out of the village. Nearly 500 of them were detained, and released later.

They are all now back home in Pirana, but last week, to their shock, they realised that a major transformation had taken place inside the dargah compound which had been closed until recently, as there was a massive conclave of Hindutva groups.

According to Azhar Saiyyed, one of the descendants of the Pir, who lives in Pirana, there was a programme by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) from March 1-17, and on March 19-20, there was another program by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal. Entry to the dargah was restricted to all other people during this period. He told SabrangIndia, that this decision had been informed beforehand by the dargah committee, and the villagers wanted to maintain peace, so they did not object to it. However, when they visited the shrine on Saturday, to mark Shab-e-Barat they saw that there were statues of Hindu gods installed in the dargah compound!

“Even the gaddi (seat) of Imam Shah Baba was broken and a statue they say is of him was placed there,” recalled Azhar. Locals shared photos showing a statue of a bearded man installed. A man wearing a saffron cap is seen putting a tilak (Hindu vermillion mark of prayer, reverence or respect) on the statue. However Muslim devotees are aghast that any such statue has been installed, as Islam does not permit idor worship or reverance of any statues.

So far, the dargah has only had the grave of the Pir or saint, and the ‘seat’ marking the place he is said to have sat on, prayed and met people, where respects are paid even now. “Both Hindus and Muslims prayed at this spot in their own ways, usually putting flowers and lighting diyas but there was no statue installed there, no one had ever thought of this. This statue also has a ‘tilak’ on it now”, said Azhar adding, “This installation work has been done illegally in the 17 days when the dargah had been kept closed.” Locals say the statues may have been brought in and installed at night, as no one in the village was aware of it. 

More photos from the compound show Hindu dhwaja or saffron flags on the installed domes, and that a large temple flag staff has also been installed. The villagers who had not been allowed inside during those days, say they were not aware that so much activity was going on inside. According to Azhar who has regularly alerted the authorities, “The collector and police tell us to go to court, we file RTIs for relevant documents, and are rejected.” 

Imam Shah Dargah

It is crucial to note that such meetings of Hindutva groups have been held before, but no such statues, or flagpoles were installed then. Locals say that police personnel have been deployed at the venue since March 1 till today March 21. Azhar and Shahebaz Saiyed, a local peace activist, who is also a descendant of the Pir’s clan and a resident of the village ask, “How can such things like installation, desecration of the holy gaddi be done when there was/ is so much police deployed?”

Imam Shah Dargah

Now that the Hindutva group’s meetings are over, the devotees have begun to visit the dargah again. However they too noticed a massive, and for many a disturbing change. “I went on Saturday, and realised that each Muslim devotee was shadowed or followed by some people who had sticks in their hands. They said nothing to us, just followed, stood next to us  and kept looking at the Muslim devotees,” said a local adding that 50 such men were in the compound. No one had seen these men before.

Azhar and others also alerted the senior police officials that so many lathi-wielding men were inside the dargah. Locals are now saying that Pirana [issue] will be the “epicentre around which the Gujarat Assembly elections will be fought.” Azhar said the community had an aprehension that statues may be installed in the Muslim shrine and had written to the authorities ar various levels, once they saw the ‘renovation’ work going. But locals said no action was taken then. “The government has not replied to RTI applications or denied them,” added Azhar. 

Imam Shah Dargah

"Way back in 1994, there was a VHP convention at the dargah compound and we had expressed apprehensions that idols will be installed,” recalled Shahebaz, adding that the caretaker locally called Kaka, had himself filed an affidavit in the court so that this will not happen. The Kutchi Patels, who revere this Pir and are identified as Satpanthis, say they do not follow idol worship as a norm. However, a few years ago Hindu idols and symbols were painted in the compound, then they had called it simple art.

However, in 2010 the plans for “renovation” were ready, and if you see the plan it is easy to see major changes were being envisioned even then, recalled  Shahebaz who had alerted the authorities even then. However, all the red tape, delays in action, the locals say have led to the massive change they saw this weekend. For now there is peace, but there seems to be ample provocation from so far unidentified Hindutva elements. The onus to maintain the peace is once again on Muslims.

Imam Shah Dargah

A Tense Timeline Recall

1993: Villagers were prevented from entering the dargah. They went to court, the court ordered in their favour that they should not be restricted from visiting. The stay order is still valid. 

2003: The wire fencing was done again and an open FIR was registered after an altercation, anyone could be picked up for questioning against it. The villagers sat on a hunger strike in 2010 to remove the fencing. The collector called the villagers and the committee members and ordered a status quo that any changes will need a collector’s order. “It stood for 11 years! We had gone to court again citing the 1993 stay order against the fencing. The court case is still pending,” Saiyyed recalled. 

Imam Shah Dargah

November 3, 2011: CJP led several peace activists and human rights defenders to raise concerns surrounding the Pirana Dargah being on the agenda of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). That year, the VHP had planned to hold a three day Dharm Prasar Akhil Bharatiya Karyakarta Sammelan (or a conclave of volunteers working to spread religion) starting November 5, 2011, a day before Bakr Eid. Local news reports had begun carrying confirmation of the event, and that those attending will be staying in the premises of the Dargah. That the Hindutva stage was often used to spread communal tension, the timing of this gathering was reported as a cause of concern.

CJP's petition

CJP responded quickly to the developing situation, and wrote to Dr. Kamla Beniwal, then Governor of Gujarat alerting her about the “unnecessary and provocative attempts to provoke communal tension within the state of Gujarat” and that concern had been expressed both by local residents and the religious head of the Pirana Darga." CJP feared that VHP’s intention to hold the gathering “will be used as an occasion to utter hate speech and generate tension." CJP further said, "The fact that the festival of Bakr Eid falls on November 6-7 makes these intentions of the VHP all the more worrisome and suspicious. It appears as not a coincidence that the timing of the VHP’s three day convention after years of silence comes at a time when efforts of the victims of 2002 and legal rights groups to get justice for the state sponsored violence of 2002.” The letter, signed by human rights defender and peace activists Teesta Setalvad, J.S.Bandukwala, Senior Advocate B .A. Desai, Mallika Sarabhai, Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer, Irfan Engineer, Fr. Cedric Prakash, Hanif Lakdawala, Sophia khan, Sukla Sen, Amita Buch, Ashoke Chatterjee, Adv Kamayani Bali Mahabal, and M K Raina, urged the Governor to act and “ensure that the permission for this is revoked, failing which strict undertakings are taken from the organisers to ensure civilised and peaceful conduct of the proceedings.”

2020: The Imamshah Baba Roza Sanstha asked the collector to grant permission for repairs of the terrace; they were allowed but were told not to change the basic fundamental structure and carry out repairs. 

July 16, 2021: Three graves were allegedly "broken" on the Northern side of the dargah and a platform was constructed on them. 

July 23, 2021: The wall construction began. The villagers called the police who called for a peace meeting. 

July  24, 2021: More graves were broken, allegedly by the Satpanthis. 

July 27, 2021: An official meeting is called and word given that no more graves are to be broken. The Deputy Collectors and officials were present and told that broken graves will be repaired. The one foot high wall was to be merged with the soon to be repaired flooring. This undertaking was given in writing. 

January 25, 2022: The Imamshah Baba Roza Sanstha passes a resolution at 5.30 P.M. They take it to the Tehsildar office after that. 

January 26, 2022: Republic Day is a public holiday however, the Daskroi Mamlatdar (Tehsildar) Axar P. Vyas allegedly allowed construction. 

January 30, 2022: The wall construction begins again, and upset families, including the Sufi’s descendants decide to move en masse from the village. “Videos of our procession went viral and police detained us after 6 kms. Late at night community leaders came to the police station and asked us to stop protesting and take legal action. We agreed,” says Saiyyed.

March 2022: Hindu idols installed, saffron flags raised. Sangh Parivar conclaves held.

Imam Shah Dargah

Imam Shah Dargah

Related:

Uttar Pradesh: Dargah desecrated on the eve of Holi, Shab-e-Barat in Fatehpur
Aland Dargah appropriation: Why were only Muslims arrested?
Gujarat’s people do not want communal tensions: Concerned citizens write to Governor
Direct police to apprehend criminals propagating anti-Muslim hate messages: Gujarat citizens to CM
Pirana: Attempts to erase the history of the 600-year-old dargah?

 

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Hate Watch: Cornered after news of anti-Muslim resolution, Udupi temple issues ‘clarification’

Only Hindus were allowed to have stalls at the annual fair at Marigudi Temple in Kaup, Udupi; management later denied discrimination as news spread 

21 Mar 2022

Only Hindus were allowed to have stalls at the annual fair at Marigudi Temple in Kaup

Cornered after news reports that Muslims would not be allowed to install stalls at the annual fair at Marigudi Temple in Kaup, Udupi, Karnataka, the temple management Shree Kote Marikamba Seva Samiti “clarified” its stand saying, “The decision to allot stalls is left to the person who has won the tender and the committee does not interfere with the process”

According to a report in The New Indian Express, the temple committee has claimed that “no community is kept out of the celebrations”. Its president S K Mariyappa told the media on Sunday that “people should not lend their ears to rumours that a particular community is being kept out of the celebrations.” 

Mariyappa also claimed that Muslims “are taking part in different activities related to the fair” and that “Muslims bring rice and other essential products for the jatra. Hence, there is no need for unnecessary confusion.” His claims come close on the heels of news reports that Muslims were not allowed to set up stalls at the temple fair. Mariyappa has now clarified, “The tender has been won by one Nagaraj, who will take a call on whom to allot stalls. The jatra committee will not interfere in the decision of the tender-holder. But, we have put a condition that no stalls should be erected around the temple.” 

The fair is being held after a gap of two years since Covid restrictions were put in place on such gatherings, and according to Mariyappa, people of all religions would have stalls in the past and that “the Marikamba jatra welcomes people of all faiths, and hence, one should ignore such rumours. Everyone must cooperate in the peaceful conduct of the fair.” However, he has now claimed according to TNIE that someone else had won the tender earlier, but he gave it up after allegedly “receiving some threat calls.” However he did not explain what these calls were or who made them. After this one Nagaraj, won the tender. Mariyappa told the media that the committee had “learnt a lesson from what happened around the tender issue. We will rectify the same for the fairs in future.”

What are temple authorities clarifying now?

The committee presidents reactions and ‘clarificaion’ comes soon afte news that The Marigudi Temple in Kaup, Udupi,  Karnataka had decided not to allow Muslim traders to set up shops at its annual fair. 

As SabrangIndia reported on Sunday, this is in clear violation of the Indian constitutional maxim of equality for all (Article 14) and non-discrimination to none (Article 15) and under pressure from Hindutva groups, the organisers of an historic festival in Karnataka have banned Muslim shopkeepers from conducting business during it. According to a report in The Hindu, the temple administration committee president Ramesh Hegde, had said a resolution was passed allowing “only Hindus to participate in the auction of shops.” This disctrimination fuelled economic boycott against Muslims it seems was the temples way of ‘punishing’ the community as some Muslim traders shut down their shops on March 17 in the city, to protest the Karnataka High Court’s decision on the hijab issue. Following this the managing committee of Hosa Marigudi Temple in Kaup, Udupi district “decided not to allow Muslims to bid for the auction to allocate shops for the annual ‘Suggi Mari Pooje’ (annual fair)”. The auction was held on March 18, and the ‘Suggi Mari Pooje’ will be held in the temple on March 22 and March 23. 

According to news reports, the temple’s administration committee “also added that the individuals who participate in the auction have been informed not to sub-contract their shops to any Muslim traders to avoid law and order issues.” Hegde told mediapersons, “Hindu organisations had appealed to the temple committee not to allot the stalls/shops to Muslims as they did not respect the court’s verdict and the law of the land in the Hijab issue.” He claimed that “as over a lakh people would visit the festival on two days, there should not be any law and order problem. So a consensus decision was taken.’’

Had Hindu Jagarana Vedike sent a warning?

It was reported that Prakash Kukkehalli, Mangaluru divisional general secretary, Hindu Jagarana Vedike (HJV), had claimed that it was this group that had written “to the chief officer of Kaup Town Municipality not to permit Muslims to open their shops/stalls during the annual fair” and they also told the temple management committee to allow only Hindus to participate in the auction process. He claimed to speak on behalf of local devotees saying they “were also upset that Muslims had closed down their shops on March 17 supporting the Karnataka bandh. The decision taken by the temple on Friday had the approval of all stakeholders.” Kukkehalli told the media that “the temple authorities were told that if it allowed Muslims to participate in the auction, it might lead to law and order issues during the festival.”

According to news reports, it was only this temple that had auctioned shops for its fair and the other two Marigudi Temples in Kaup – Hale temple (old) and Moorane temple (third one) which also participate in this annual fair do not auction any shops/stalls. The Hosa Marigudi auctioned about 100 shops. The three temples have separate management committees, stated the news report.

India is a secular country: Chief Officer of Kaup Town Municipality 

Meanwhile the Chief Officer of Kaup Town Municipality Venkatesh Navada told the media that “they are examining the issue,” but added that “as India is a secular country, traders from all communities can open the shops.” 

 

Related:

Bowing to pressure from Hindutva groups, Karnataka festival 'bans' Muslim traders

Hijab row: Udupi girls dubbed terrorists by BJP leader

How a state suffocated by Saffron got a new breath from Blue

Hate Watch: Dalit man thrashed, dragged like an animal by so called "upper caste" goons

Hate Watch: Cornered after news of anti-Muslim resolution, Udupi temple issues ‘clarification’

Only Hindus were allowed to have stalls at the annual fair at Marigudi Temple in Kaup, Udupi; management later denied discrimination as news spread 

Only Hindus were allowed to have stalls at the annual fair at Marigudi Temple in Kaup

Cornered after news reports that Muslims would not be allowed to install stalls at the annual fair at Marigudi Temple in Kaup, Udupi, Karnataka, the temple management Shree Kote Marikamba Seva Samiti “clarified” its stand saying, “The decision to allot stalls is left to the person who has won the tender and the committee does not interfere with the process”

According to a report in The New Indian Express, the temple committee has claimed that “no community is kept out of the celebrations”. Its president S K Mariyappa told the media on Sunday that “people should not lend their ears to rumours that a particular community is being kept out of the celebrations.” 

Mariyappa also claimed that Muslims “are taking part in different activities related to the fair” and that “Muslims bring rice and other essential products for the jatra. Hence, there is no need for unnecessary confusion.” His claims come close on the heels of news reports that Muslims were not allowed to set up stalls at the temple fair. Mariyappa has now clarified, “The tender has been won by one Nagaraj, who will take a call on whom to allot stalls. The jatra committee will not interfere in the decision of the tender-holder. But, we have put a condition that no stalls should be erected around the temple.” 

The fair is being held after a gap of two years since Covid restrictions were put in place on such gatherings, and according to Mariyappa, people of all religions would have stalls in the past and that “the Marikamba jatra welcomes people of all faiths, and hence, one should ignore such rumours. Everyone must cooperate in the peaceful conduct of the fair.” However, he has now claimed according to TNIE that someone else had won the tender earlier, but he gave it up after allegedly “receiving some threat calls.” However he did not explain what these calls were or who made them. After this one Nagaraj, won the tender. Mariyappa told the media that the committee had “learnt a lesson from what happened around the tender issue. We will rectify the same for the fairs in future.”

What are temple authorities clarifying now?

The committee presidents reactions and ‘clarificaion’ comes soon afte news that The Marigudi Temple in Kaup, Udupi,  Karnataka had decided not to allow Muslim traders to set up shops at its annual fair. 

As SabrangIndia reported on Sunday, this is in clear violation of the Indian constitutional maxim of equality for all (Article 14) and non-discrimination to none (Article 15) and under pressure from Hindutva groups, the organisers of an historic festival in Karnataka have banned Muslim shopkeepers from conducting business during it. According to a report in The Hindu, the temple administration committee president Ramesh Hegde, had said a resolution was passed allowing “only Hindus to participate in the auction of shops.” This disctrimination fuelled economic boycott against Muslims it seems was the temples way of ‘punishing’ the community as some Muslim traders shut down their shops on March 17 in the city, to protest the Karnataka High Court’s decision on the hijab issue. Following this the managing committee of Hosa Marigudi Temple in Kaup, Udupi district “decided not to allow Muslims to bid for the auction to allocate shops for the annual ‘Suggi Mari Pooje’ (annual fair)”. The auction was held on March 18, and the ‘Suggi Mari Pooje’ will be held in the temple on March 22 and March 23. 

According to news reports, the temple’s administration committee “also added that the individuals who participate in the auction have been informed not to sub-contract their shops to any Muslim traders to avoid law and order issues.” Hegde told mediapersons, “Hindu organisations had appealed to the temple committee not to allot the stalls/shops to Muslims as they did not respect the court’s verdict and the law of the land in the Hijab issue.” He claimed that “as over a lakh people would visit the festival on two days, there should not be any law and order problem. So a consensus decision was taken.’’

Had Hindu Jagarana Vedike sent a warning?

It was reported that Prakash Kukkehalli, Mangaluru divisional general secretary, Hindu Jagarana Vedike (HJV), had claimed that it was this group that had written “to the chief officer of Kaup Town Municipality not to permit Muslims to open their shops/stalls during the annual fair” and they also told the temple management committee to allow only Hindus to participate in the auction process. He claimed to speak on behalf of local devotees saying they “were also upset that Muslims had closed down their shops on March 17 supporting the Karnataka bandh. The decision taken by the temple on Friday had the approval of all stakeholders.” Kukkehalli told the media that “the temple authorities were told that if it allowed Muslims to participate in the auction, it might lead to law and order issues during the festival.”

According to news reports, it was only this temple that had auctioned shops for its fair and the other two Marigudi Temples in Kaup – Hale temple (old) and Moorane temple (third one) which also participate in this annual fair do not auction any shops/stalls. The Hosa Marigudi auctioned about 100 shops. The three temples have separate management committees, stated the news report.

India is a secular country: Chief Officer of Kaup Town Municipality 

Meanwhile the Chief Officer of Kaup Town Municipality Venkatesh Navada told the media that “they are examining the issue,” but added that “as India is a secular country, traders from all communities can open the shops.” 

 

Related:

Bowing to pressure from Hindutva groups, Karnataka festival 'bans' Muslim traders

Hijab row: Udupi girls dubbed terrorists by BJP leader

How a state suffocated by Saffron got a new breath from Blue

Hate Watch: Dalit man thrashed, dragged like an animal by so called "upper caste" goons

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The Kashmir Files making resident Kashmiri Pandits feel unsafe

Movie twists narrative to generate communal hate, makes us unsafe, say Kashmiri Pandits who continue to live in J&K

17 Mar 2022

kashmir files

The Kashmir Files makes resident Kashmiri Pandits unsafe,” said the Kashmiri Pandit Sangarsh Samiti (KPSS), which has been closely observing the hate generated online and offline soon after the Bollywood movie was released. The Samiti is an organisation that has for decades worked to address the concerns of resident Kashmiri Pandits and Hindus who have stayed back in the Valley.

The Kashmir Files, directed by Vivek Agnihotri is based on the trials and tribulations of the Kashmiri Pandit community that was forced to leave their homes in wake of a Pakistan sponsored intimidation campaign in the region in the late 1980s and early 1990s. However, in 2022, it has presented a dramatised version of the narrative, painting Muslims as villians, and glossing over the responses or the lack of responses of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supported government of that time. This is what the resident Kashmiri Pandits are hoping that the viewers understand before the onground situation takes a violent turn.

 

 

As the hate continues to brew, it is also making the Kashmiri Pandits, as well as Muslims feel more vulnerable and unsafe now. This is especially true in the aftermath of this controversial film.

Squarely blaming the government, KPSS president and Human Rights Defender Sanjay Tickoo has often asked, where is the security for KP families in the Valley?

Tickoo told SabrangIndia that while the incidents of attacks in the film did happen, the way they have been “dramatised” is wrong. “Another mistake they made is connecting abrogation of Article 370 to this [narrative], and it shows the entire Muslims as jihadi, that is wrong. In 1990 there were local militants, our hamsayas, then when the massacres started Pakistani [terrorists] were involved,” he said.

According to Tickoo, the hate going on in the past few days, as seen on social media, is being generated by those who “do not have a stake in Kashmir”. He further said, “It is the non Kashmiri Pandits who are chanting Jai Sree Ram slogans,” and therefore they are not the ones generating the divisive discourse. 

The Kashmiri Pandits have never chanted this slogan traditionally, revealed Tickoo. “We chant the name of Krishna Bhagwan when we take out the jhanki (procession), chant hare ram hare ram, ramm ramm hare hare on Shivatarty; all prayers are for Bhagwan Shankar,” he says adding that the slogans like ‘jai shree ram’ used now were not uttered before the 1900. The Kashmiri Pandits who moved away to other states, heard these there in the mixed culture they were exposed to. “Never in Kashmir, not even now,” he says.

Ironically, the 808 Kashmiri Pandit families who are still living in the Valley have not seen the movie. “All the cinema halls are shut here,” said Tickoo, “Those outside are all seeing it.”  

Reflecting further on ground realities, Tickoo said, “Not even one Kashmiri Pandit has returned to live in the valley after the abrogation of Article 370. Those claiming otherwise are lying.”

From Jammu’s Jagti township that was built in 2011 where about 4,000 displaced Kashmiri pandit families currently reside. According to a BBC report, the Pandits are saying that “even after three decades, the central and state governments could not ensure” their safe return home. They asked, “Why did the then National Front government not protect us?”

 

 

The hate generated by this movie in 2022, is being called out by many as “getting ready for the 2024 elections” so it can be claimed to the world “that there has been atrocities against Kashmiri Pandits” reported BBC quoting Sunil Pandita, a social worker who lives in Jagti Camp. “Pakistan devastated us in 1990, targeting us among terrorists sponsored by Pakistan and non-Muslims living in Kashmir. BJP people have been telling everyone for a few days, ‘Congress has done all this’,” he said, asking if the people were told which government was at the centre? He clarified, “The Janata Dal was supported by the BJP from outside and VP Singh was the Prime Minister.”

The residents told the BBC, “From 1990 till today, only films have been made in our name and nothing has happened…We have been used everywhere since 1990 till now, just like a 'political tissue paper'. Even today, the same is happening. From government officials to media and politicians have sold us everywhere. How long will this continue to happen? We want a permanent solution, want to return to our homes, nothing else."

Pandita told the BBC that “from 1990 till today, the people of the civil society worked hard to reduce the distance between us and the people of Kashmir, but because of this film, those distances have increased.”

The families reiterated that those still living in the valley are scared, “They are afraid that something will happen. Let no untoward incident happen.” According to the news report, Pandita said he too was also getting threats in Jammu,. He said, "I want to ask the Indian government that when our migration happened in 1990, then the government was also responsible for it. Why did they not protect us at that time. From where 30,000 to 50,000 people used to come to our village at that time. Slogans were raised, slogans of Kashmir's independence were raised, but the government was nowhere to be seen. It was just a failure of the Indian government.”

The news report quoted him asking, "How such a large quantity of weapons from across the border came inside the border of India. Whatever the government says, for 32 years we have been searching for our nest, we will not get it so soon and if such films are made they will be available only on both sides. Will create distance between people and nothing else."

Another resident Jagti township, Pyare Lal Pandita, was quoted by the BBC saying, “The film narrates an incomplete story of Kashmir,” and, “Along with Kashmiri Pandits, people belonging to the Muslim and Sikh community of Kashmir were also displaced but they are not mentioned anywhere in this story.”

 

Related:

The Kashmir Files backed by PM, FM, CMs; continues to fuel divide

Hate floods in the wake of ‘The Kashmir Files’

Never-the-less, they persisted: Human Rights Heroes of 2021

Hundreds mourn Srinagar resident Mohammad Ibrahim Khan

J&K: More migrant workers shot dead by terrorists over the weekend, all eyes on Centre

Friday Sermons Urge Protection for Kashmiri Pandits/Sikhs in kashmir Valley

Srinagar: Grief envelopes Valley as Supinder (Satinder) Kour’s last rites are performed

Govt to Blame, where is the security for KP families in the Valley, asks Sanjay Tickoo, 

The Kashmir Files making resident Kashmiri Pandits feel unsafe

Movie twists narrative to generate communal hate, makes us unsafe, say Kashmiri Pandits who continue to live in J&K

kashmir files

The Kashmir Files makes resident Kashmiri Pandits unsafe,” said the Kashmiri Pandit Sangarsh Samiti (KPSS), which has been closely observing the hate generated online and offline soon after the Bollywood movie was released. The Samiti is an organisation that has for decades worked to address the concerns of resident Kashmiri Pandits and Hindus who have stayed back in the Valley.

The Kashmir Files, directed by Vivek Agnihotri is based on the trials and tribulations of the Kashmiri Pandit community that was forced to leave their homes in wake of a Pakistan sponsored intimidation campaign in the region in the late 1980s and early 1990s. However, in 2022, it has presented a dramatised version of the narrative, painting Muslims as villians, and glossing over the responses or the lack of responses of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supported government of that time. This is what the resident Kashmiri Pandits are hoping that the viewers understand before the onground situation takes a violent turn.

 

 

As the hate continues to brew, it is also making the Kashmiri Pandits, as well as Muslims feel more vulnerable and unsafe now. This is especially true in the aftermath of this controversial film.

Squarely blaming the government, KPSS president and Human Rights Defender Sanjay Tickoo has often asked, where is the security for KP families in the Valley?

Tickoo told SabrangIndia that while the incidents of attacks in the film did happen, the way they have been “dramatised” is wrong. “Another mistake they made is connecting abrogation of Article 370 to this [narrative], and it shows the entire Muslims as jihadi, that is wrong. In 1990 there were local militants, our hamsayas, then when the massacres started Pakistani [terrorists] were involved,” he said.

According to Tickoo, the hate going on in the past few days, as seen on social media, is being generated by those who “do not have a stake in Kashmir”. He further said, “It is the non Kashmiri Pandits who are chanting Jai Sree Ram slogans,” and therefore they are not the ones generating the divisive discourse. 

The Kashmiri Pandits have never chanted this slogan traditionally, revealed Tickoo. “We chant the name of Krishna Bhagwan when we take out the jhanki (procession), chant hare ram hare ram, ramm ramm hare hare on Shivatarty; all prayers are for Bhagwan Shankar,” he says adding that the slogans like ‘jai shree ram’ used now were not uttered before the 1900. The Kashmiri Pandits who moved away to other states, heard these there in the mixed culture they were exposed to. “Never in Kashmir, not even now,” he says.

Ironically, the 808 Kashmiri Pandit families who are still living in the Valley have not seen the movie. “All the cinema halls are shut here,” said Tickoo, “Those outside are all seeing it.”  

Reflecting further on ground realities, Tickoo said, “Not even one Kashmiri Pandit has returned to live in the valley after the abrogation of Article 370. Those claiming otherwise are lying.”

From Jammu’s Jagti township that was built in 2011 where about 4,000 displaced Kashmiri pandit families currently reside. According to a BBC report, the Pandits are saying that “even after three decades, the central and state governments could not ensure” their safe return home. They asked, “Why did the then National Front government not protect us?”

 

 

The hate generated by this movie in 2022, is being called out by many as “getting ready for the 2024 elections” so it can be claimed to the world “that there has been atrocities against Kashmiri Pandits” reported BBC quoting Sunil Pandita, a social worker who lives in Jagti Camp. “Pakistan devastated us in 1990, targeting us among terrorists sponsored by Pakistan and non-Muslims living in Kashmir. BJP people have been telling everyone for a few days, ‘Congress has done all this’,” he said, asking if the people were told which government was at the centre? He clarified, “The Janata Dal was supported by the BJP from outside and VP Singh was the Prime Minister.”

The residents told the BBC, “From 1990 till today, only films have been made in our name and nothing has happened…We have been used everywhere since 1990 till now, just like a 'political tissue paper'. Even today, the same is happening. From government officials to media and politicians have sold us everywhere. How long will this continue to happen? We want a permanent solution, want to return to our homes, nothing else."

Pandita told the BBC that “from 1990 till today, the people of the civil society worked hard to reduce the distance between us and the people of Kashmir, but because of this film, those distances have increased.”

The families reiterated that those still living in the valley are scared, “They are afraid that something will happen. Let no untoward incident happen.” According to the news report, Pandita said he too was also getting threats in Jammu,. He said, "I want to ask the Indian government that when our migration happened in 1990, then the government was also responsible for it. Why did they not protect us at that time. From where 30,000 to 50,000 people used to come to our village at that time. Slogans were raised, slogans of Kashmir's independence were raised, but the government was nowhere to be seen. It was just a failure of the Indian government.”

The news report quoted him asking, "How such a large quantity of weapons from across the border came inside the border of India. Whatever the government says, for 32 years we have been searching for our nest, we will not get it so soon and if such films are made they will be available only on both sides. Will create distance between people and nothing else."

Another resident Jagti township, Pyare Lal Pandita, was quoted by the BBC saying, “The film narrates an incomplete story of Kashmir,” and, “Along with Kashmiri Pandits, people belonging to the Muslim and Sikh community of Kashmir were also displaced but they are not mentioned anywhere in this story.”

 

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Even in a BJP ‘wave’, UP voters blew out many flames of hate

Many hate mongers, Hindutva harliners, including those accused in Muzzafarnagar riots cases, tasted defeat on their home turfs

12 Mar 2022

BJP
Image Courtesy:thewire.in

The names of Sangeet Som, Suresh Rana and Umesh Malik are well known in Uttar Pradesh and beyond. They have been in the news as being mascots of Hindutva, and were among the key accused in Muzaffarnagar 2013 riots. They, along with Mriganka Singh (daughter of the late Babu Hukum Singh, of Kairana, Shamli), have all lost their seats in the recently concluded Assembly elections.

The voters of Uttar Pradesh have shown them that their hate speeches have had no impact. Another hate monger who lost was Raghavendra Pratap Singh who had attacked Muslims with a vengeance in his campaign speeches. In the list of Hindutva mascots who lost, are also 11 ministers, who were all said to be close to chief minister Adityanath. It is crucial to note that these 10 men, and a woman, lost because both Muslims, and many Hindus did not deem them worthy of a vote. 

This is especially true for Sangeet Som, Suresh Rana and Umesh Malik who had come in on a ‘strong plank’ and this was evident even in March 2021, after a Muzaffarnagar court allowed withdrawal of cases against these BJP leaders as well as former MP Bhartendu Singh and Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Sadhvi Prachi, who were booked for violating prohibitory orders, deterring public servants from discharging their duties, wrongful restraint and for making incendiary speeches that led to the riots. The application made by the Adityanath-led UP government stated that it has been decided to not proceed with the cases against the BJP leaders “in public interest”. 

Over 60 people died and around 40,000 were displaced in the riots. After which, arrests were made and the National Security Act (NSA) was also invoked. However, later on, the NSA advisory board had revoked the charges against them and bail was granted. Many of the accused went on to thrive in politics. But the people did not forget their history this year. Here is a look at some of heroes of Hindutva brigade who lost face, and seats this election:

Sangeet Som, lost Sardhana, Meerut: In March 2021, a Muzaffarnagar court accepted the closure report filed by Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the case of  BJP MLA Sangeet Som’s controversial statement with respect to an inflammatory video ahead of the communal riots in the area, in 2013. Sangeet Som was accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots. Som has been defeated by Samajwadi Party’s Atul Pradhan. Known in the area as Thakur Sangeet Som, he was confident of retaining his position as the Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from the Sardhana constituency. He had a lead in the initial phases of voting but by the end of counting Samajwadi Party candidate Atul Pradhan crossed the winning line with a massive 18,160 margin. It is for the first time that SP has won from this constituency, according to ground reports, Muslims, Gurjars and Jats all voted against the BJP and in favour of Atul Pradhan.

Suresh Rana, lost Thana Bhawan, Shamli: Rana was the Sugarcane Minister of the state and said to be very close to Chief Minister Adityanath. He was among those accused of inciting the 2013 riots, and was known for spreading communal hatred. In 2013, his was the first major arrest of a politician for the Muzaffarnagar violence.  Suresh Rana was arrested on charges of making provocative speeches to cause riots by Lucknow police while he was on his way to Gomti Nagar from the party office, stated news reports from that year. He has now lost his home seat to RLD’s Ashraf Ali Khan by well over 10,000 votes. RLD candidate Ashraf Ali Khan got 82,566 votes and Rana got 72,080 votes.

Umesh Malik lost Budhana, Muzaffarnagar: Named in Muzaffarnagar riots case Umesh Malik (56) hoped that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Hindutva card, and his own image as a Hindutva leader would help him retain his seat. It didn't. Malik lost to RLD’s Rajpal Baliyan by a massive margin of 28,130 votes. According to news reports the BKU’s headquarters in Sisauli is under this constituency, and Malik’s defeat is also a reflection of the farmers’ anger as well as that of the Jaat community.

Mriganka Singh lost Kairana, Shamli: She is the daughter of the late Babu Hukum Singh, and was defeated by Nahid Hasan of Samajwadi Party who won with a margin of 25,887 votes. Hukum Singh was a minister in the BJP governments of Kalyan Singh and Rajnath Singh. He was named as an accused in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots case. Singh was reportedly the one who alleged a "Hindu exodus" from Kairana. He was also accused of “orchestrating the issue to promote the political career of one of his five daughters,” stated a Mail Today report adding it was the UP police who claimed that “Singh brought up the exodus issue to consolidate Hindu votes to benefit his daughter in the 2017 elections.” This year, Kairana had got special attention from Home Minister Amit Shah as well as CM Adityanath. Both invoked the communal riots of Muzaffarnagar and Saharanpur, and the alleged "exodus" of Hindus from Kairana. The CM had been claimed, "Those who had allegedly forced the traders and residents of Kairana to flee had in the past four-and-half-years been forced to flee themselves," adding, "If a criminal dares to shoot a trader or a citizen, then the bullet will hit him and will send him next world (‘doosre lok’)." 

Raghavendra Pratap Singh lost Domariyaganj: Saiyada Khatoon of Samajwadi Party (SP) defeated the incumbent Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Domariyaganj Raghavendra Pratap Singh of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Khatoon's victory is a resounding slap in the face of divisive forces, given how Singh had claimed that if he were elected again, Muslims will wear tilaks. Saiyada Khatoon has won from the Domariyaganj assembly seat  by a margin of 771 votes, polling  85,098 votes against Singh’s 84,327 votes. Singh who is said to be devoted to Uttar Pradesh’s chief minister Adityanath, had had an anti-Muslim stance during his election campaign. He had made shocking statements such as, “If you make me MLA again, they (Muslims) will stop wearing skullcaps and start applying tilaks.” Singh also claimed that after he got elected in the last election, “250 acres of land belonging to Muslims got confiscated, their shops destroyed.” 

Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya lost Sirathu: Maurya emerged as one of the biggest losers in UP Assembly elections and was defeated by SP’s Dr Pallavi Patel. Proof that voters rejected a culture of hate in many areas which had powerful BJP candidates. In January this year, Keshav Prasad Maurya had walked out of a BBC interview when he questioned the BJP leadership's silence over Haridwar dharma sansad’s hate speeches. Maurya went a step ahead and defended the right of expression of the hate speech makers. Maurya too is known for his anti-Muslim speeches, and in the recent past has called Muslims “lungi chaap, jaalidaar topi goondas” .

Anand Swaroop Shukla lost Ballia Nagar: A minister, Shukla was defeated by SP candidate Jaiprakash Anchal by about 12,000 votes. According to news reports, his fate was sealed when BJP rebel Surendra Singh dented his vote bank. Singh won over 28,000 votes. Jaiprakash Anchal got 71,241 votes, and Shukla got 58,290 votes.  Anand Swaroop Shukla had said in 2021, that Hindu gods Ram, Krishna, and Shiva were “ancestors of Indian Muslims” and Muslims should bow to the “land and culture of India”. He claimed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath have “defeated the mindset which intended to create an Islamic State in the country by raising the flag of Hindutva and Indian culture.” He had in 2021, written to the Ballia district magistrate, asking that the volume of loudspeakers at mosques should be fixed according to the High Court orders claiming “Namaz is offered five times in a day, and throughout the day. As a result of it, I face problems in doing Yoga, meditation, puja (worship) and discharging government duties." 

Then there are more ministers who lost including Chhatrapal Singh Gangwar who was defeated by Ataur Rehman of SP by 3,355 votes in Baheri seat of Bareilly district. Rural Development Minister Rajendra Pratap Singh alias Moti Singh who lost the Patti seat of Pratapgarh to Ram Singh of SP by 22,051 votes and Minister Chandrika Prasad Upadhyay, lost in Chitrakoot to SP's Anil Kumar by 20,876 votes.

Related:

UP Assembly Elections: Margin of victory less than 500 votes in 11 seats!
UP's tribal belts show unusual voter activity
Case registered against Saiyada Khatoon, newly elected MLA of Domariyaganj 
Anil Bhanot, Director-Trustee, Hindu Council UK, quits when called out for Islamophobia
UP Assembly Elections: More poll code violations, CJP moves ECI again

Even in a BJP ‘wave’, UP voters blew out many flames of hate

Many hate mongers, Hindutva harliners, including those accused in Muzzafarnagar riots cases, tasted defeat on their home turfs

BJP
Image Courtesy:thewire.in

The names of Sangeet Som, Suresh Rana and Umesh Malik are well known in Uttar Pradesh and beyond. They have been in the news as being mascots of Hindutva, and were among the key accused in Muzaffarnagar 2013 riots. They, along with Mriganka Singh (daughter of the late Babu Hukum Singh, of Kairana, Shamli), have all lost their seats in the recently concluded Assembly elections.

The voters of Uttar Pradesh have shown them that their hate speeches have had no impact. Another hate monger who lost was Raghavendra Pratap Singh who had attacked Muslims with a vengeance in his campaign speeches. In the list of Hindutva mascots who lost, are also 11 ministers, who were all said to be close to chief minister Adityanath. It is crucial to note that these 10 men, and a woman, lost because both Muslims, and many Hindus did not deem them worthy of a vote. 

This is especially true for Sangeet Som, Suresh Rana and Umesh Malik who had come in on a ‘strong plank’ and this was evident even in March 2021, after a Muzaffarnagar court allowed withdrawal of cases against these BJP leaders as well as former MP Bhartendu Singh and Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Sadhvi Prachi, who were booked for violating prohibitory orders, deterring public servants from discharging their duties, wrongful restraint and for making incendiary speeches that led to the riots. The application made by the Adityanath-led UP government stated that it has been decided to not proceed with the cases against the BJP leaders “in public interest”. 

Over 60 people died and around 40,000 were displaced in the riots. After which, arrests were made and the National Security Act (NSA) was also invoked. However, later on, the NSA advisory board had revoked the charges against them and bail was granted. Many of the accused went on to thrive in politics. But the people did not forget their history this year. Here is a look at some of heroes of Hindutva brigade who lost face, and seats this election:

Sangeet Som, lost Sardhana, Meerut: In March 2021, a Muzaffarnagar court accepted the closure report filed by Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the case of  BJP MLA Sangeet Som’s controversial statement with respect to an inflammatory video ahead of the communal riots in the area, in 2013. Sangeet Som was accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots. Som has been defeated by Samajwadi Party’s Atul Pradhan. Known in the area as Thakur Sangeet Som, he was confident of retaining his position as the Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from the Sardhana constituency. He had a lead in the initial phases of voting but by the end of counting Samajwadi Party candidate Atul Pradhan crossed the winning line with a massive 18,160 margin. It is for the first time that SP has won from this constituency, according to ground reports, Muslims, Gurjars and Jats all voted against the BJP and in favour of Atul Pradhan.

Suresh Rana, lost Thana Bhawan, Shamli: Rana was the Sugarcane Minister of the state and said to be very close to Chief Minister Adityanath. He was among those accused of inciting the 2013 riots, and was known for spreading communal hatred. In 2013, his was the first major arrest of a politician for the Muzaffarnagar violence.  Suresh Rana was arrested on charges of making provocative speeches to cause riots by Lucknow police while he was on his way to Gomti Nagar from the party office, stated news reports from that year. He has now lost his home seat to RLD’s Ashraf Ali Khan by well over 10,000 votes. RLD candidate Ashraf Ali Khan got 82,566 votes and Rana got 72,080 votes.

Umesh Malik lost Budhana, Muzaffarnagar: Named in Muzaffarnagar riots case Umesh Malik (56) hoped that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Hindutva card, and his own image as a Hindutva leader would help him retain his seat. It didn't. Malik lost to RLD’s Rajpal Baliyan by a massive margin of 28,130 votes. According to news reports the BKU’s headquarters in Sisauli is under this constituency, and Malik’s defeat is also a reflection of the farmers’ anger as well as that of the Jaat community.

Mriganka Singh lost Kairana, Shamli: She is the daughter of the late Babu Hukum Singh, and was defeated by Nahid Hasan of Samajwadi Party who won with a margin of 25,887 votes. Hukum Singh was a minister in the BJP governments of Kalyan Singh and Rajnath Singh. He was named as an accused in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots case. Singh was reportedly the one who alleged a "Hindu exodus" from Kairana. He was also accused of “orchestrating the issue to promote the political career of one of his five daughters,” stated a Mail Today report adding it was the UP police who claimed that “Singh brought up the exodus issue to consolidate Hindu votes to benefit his daughter in the 2017 elections.” This year, Kairana had got special attention from Home Minister Amit Shah as well as CM Adityanath. Both invoked the communal riots of Muzaffarnagar and Saharanpur, and the alleged "exodus" of Hindus from Kairana. The CM had been claimed, "Those who had allegedly forced the traders and residents of Kairana to flee had in the past four-and-half-years been forced to flee themselves," adding, "If a criminal dares to shoot a trader or a citizen, then the bullet will hit him and will send him next world (‘doosre lok’)." 

Raghavendra Pratap Singh lost Domariyaganj: Saiyada Khatoon of Samajwadi Party (SP) defeated the incumbent Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Domariyaganj Raghavendra Pratap Singh of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Khatoon's victory is a resounding slap in the face of divisive forces, given how Singh had claimed that if he were elected again, Muslims will wear tilaks. Saiyada Khatoon has won from the Domariyaganj assembly seat  by a margin of 771 votes, polling  85,098 votes against Singh’s 84,327 votes. Singh who is said to be devoted to Uttar Pradesh’s chief minister Adityanath, had had an anti-Muslim stance during his election campaign. He had made shocking statements such as, “If you make me MLA again, they (Muslims) will stop wearing skullcaps and start applying tilaks.” Singh also claimed that after he got elected in the last election, “250 acres of land belonging to Muslims got confiscated, their shops destroyed.” 

Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya lost Sirathu: Maurya emerged as one of the biggest losers in UP Assembly elections and was defeated by SP’s Dr Pallavi Patel. Proof that voters rejected a culture of hate in many areas which had powerful BJP candidates. In January this year, Keshav Prasad Maurya had walked out of a BBC interview when he questioned the BJP leadership's silence over Haridwar dharma sansad’s hate speeches. Maurya went a step ahead and defended the right of expression of the hate speech makers. Maurya too is known for his anti-Muslim speeches, and in the recent past has called Muslims “lungi chaap, jaalidaar topi goondas” .

Anand Swaroop Shukla lost Ballia Nagar: A minister, Shukla was defeated by SP candidate Jaiprakash Anchal by about 12,000 votes. According to news reports, his fate was sealed when BJP rebel Surendra Singh dented his vote bank. Singh won over 28,000 votes. Jaiprakash Anchal got 71,241 votes, and Shukla got 58,290 votes.  Anand Swaroop Shukla had said in 2021, that Hindu gods Ram, Krishna, and Shiva were “ancestors of Indian Muslims” and Muslims should bow to the “land and culture of India”. He claimed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath have “defeated the mindset which intended to create an Islamic State in the country by raising the flag of Hindutva and Indian culture.” He had in 2021, written to the Ballia district magistrate, asking that the volume of loudspeakers at mosques should be fixed according to the High Court orders claiming “Namaz is offered five times in a day, and throughout the day. As a result of it, I face problems in doing Yoga, meditation, puja (worship) and discharging government duties." 

Then there are more ministers who lost including Chhatrapal Singh Gangwar who was defeated by Ataur Rehman of SP by 3,355 votes in Baheri seat of Bareilly district. Rural Development Minister Rajendra Pratap Singh alias Moti Singh who lost the Patti seat of Pratapgarh to Ram Singh of SP by 22,051 votes and Minister Chandrika Prasad Upadhyay, lost in Chitrakoot to SP's Anil Kumar by 20,876 votes.

Related:

UP Assembly Elections: Margin of victory less than 500 votes in 11 seats!
UP's tribal belts show unusual voter activity
Case registered against Saiyada Khatoon, newly elected MLA of Domariyaganj 
Anil Bhanot, Director-Trustee, Hindu Council UK, quits when called out for Islamophobia
UP Assembly Elections: More poll code violations, CJP moves ECI again

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