Modi should make his stand clear on Togadia

By S. Aziz Haider, Real News International,

Not long ago, a famous actor from Mumbai, belonging to the Minority community, stated that it was difficult for a Muslim in Mumbai to get a house on rent. Nobody complained against him. But the police took suo-motto action for disturbing communal harmony and lodged an FIR against the actor.

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The other day when Pravin Togadia told a VHP-Bajrang Dal organized gathering outside a house purchased by a Muslim businessman near Meghani Circle in Bhavnagar (Gujrat) that the Muslim occupant had 48 hours to vacate the house that he has purchased and exhorted the mob that ‘if he does not relent, go with stones, tyres and tomatoes to his office,” there was no action until a complaint was filed against him by the opposing party. Police on its own didn’t realize that the communal harmony was being disturbed.

Togadia even mocked at the law machinery by saying that “There is nothing wrong in it. Killers of Rajiv Gandhi have not been hanged… there is nothing to fear and the case will go on.” He even mocked at our judicial system by saying that there were two ways to stop such deals. One is to pressurize the state government to bring in Disturbed Areas Act in Bhavnagar, which prevents inter-community sale of immovable property. The second is to take forcible possession of the house and fight a legal battle later which will go on for years.

VHP and Bajgrang Dal members have lately been organizing ‘Ram Dhuns’ and ‘Ram Darbars’ to thwart purchase of property in Hindu areas by Muslims. Togadia joined one such meeting and asked the protesters to take complete control of the house and put a ‘Bajrang Dal’ on board on it.

Interestingly, this is happening in Narendra Modi’s home state whereas the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate is going around saying that it is wrong to say that people from a particular community would be targeted if Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister. Only yesterday, Modi’s close confidant Amit Shah said in a TV interview that the secular Hindus and Muslims should not fear Modi becoming the Prime Minister.

Togadia, while elaborating on his advice to VHP and Bajrang Dal supporters to forcibly occupy the house of the Muslim and then fight the battle in court, even said that he has done the same in the past as well and ‘Muslims have lost both property and money’. It is unfortunate that people like Togadia speak to certain galleries and then even cash the sentiments if certain police action is taken against them.

Togadia’s words have hurt the sentiments of crores of Muslims once again. They are of the opinion that views like this are a slap on the face of democracy. They are of opinion that no action is taken against those in the country who are flaring communal passions. Had the similar views had been expressed by a Muslim leader, media and public would have created a hue and cry. Muslims are of the opinion that none dares to speak against such people because of the fear of RSS. Till such people and such parties are there, democratic India cannot progress. Not only the Muslims but the Hindus as well should unite to defeat these communal forces and then alone will the country progress.

It is for Narendra Modi as Chief Minister of Gujarat and as the Prime Ministerial candidate of BJP to make his stand clear on Togadia’s statement and safeguard the constitution by taking appropriate action against him. What Modi and the BJP is actually doing is to play to the galleries of Hindutwa brigade that comprises of VHP and Bajrang Dal whereas at the same time talking of development model of Gujarat in front of the secular Hindus and approaching Bismillah Khan’s family members or bringing some skull-cap clad Muslims to show that they are secular.