By Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam
As a roaring chorus of condemnation of the Sangh-inspired storm of intolerance rises to high heavens, the perpetrators of crimes against humanity are busy defending the indefensible. Sangh stalwarts, with the silent backing of the government at the Centre, are in denial, pretending that nothing has happened that required such nationwide outrage and protest by the best of our writers, poets, artists and scientists across the country.
Taking the lead, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has said that much is being made out of small things, thus indirectly ignoring the devastating wave of intolerance sweeping northern India. Worried over the trend of hate and hysteria unleashed by the Sangh, the President of India has cautioned the country thrice over the last couple of weeks against this mischief.
Not only the intellectual leaders of the country, whose numbers are now too large to be counted easily, have warned against this anti-national mischief but the Reserve Bank Governor Raghuramrajan has warned the country twice over the last few days. The last high-profile person to publicly vent his worry over intolerance, for which he has been denounced by the Sangh as a crypto-Pakistani, was actor Shahrukh Khan.
The fact remains that to describe the ongoing orgy of murder and mayhem as mere intolerance is a gross understatement. The brilliant Indian writer Arundhati Roy has explained why she has returned her award. (She also refused a Sahitya Akademi award in 2005).
“First of all, ‘intolerance’ is the wrong word to use for lynching, burning, shooting and mass murder of fellow human beings. Second, we had plenty of advance notice of what lay in store for us. So I cannot to be shocked by what has happened after this government was enthusiastically voted into office with an overwhelming majority. Third, these horrific murders are only a symptom of a deeper malaise…Whole living populations – millions of Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims and Christians – are being forced to live in terror, unsure of when and from where the assault will come.”
The growing intolerance in the country has drawn everybody’s attention including the global rating agency Moody’s analysis wing, Moody Analytics, which has shown concern over the deteriorating business and investment environment in India because of violence and instability. The Sangh-controlled government at the Centre has tried to pooh-pooh the Moody Analytics view saying that those were merely the views of a “junior” employee. To that Modi Analytics has replied that these were not the views of a single “employee”, but of Moody Analytics as a whole, as an organisation.
In the face of such horror, the common government and Sangh view is that there is nothing wrong with the communal environment in the country and those who are protesting are doing it under a vaguely defined “conspiracy,” which seems to be known to them only. Thus they are trying to defend the indefensible.
Seeing the public outrage growing, even the Prime Minister has twice appealed for public serenity and peace. If there is no turmoil, what is the reason from such an appeal? We are further befuddled when we see the same Prime Minister on two days in Bihar clearly trying to trigger a civil war between Muslims, Backward castes and Dalits telling them that Lalu-Nitish are trying to “steal” reservation from them and pass it on to “a community”. We all know which community he is talking about.
Whatever BJP-RSS may claim about the Moody Analytics, the British home secretary has said that he would talk to Prime Minister Modi about the Moody Analytics report. The British PM, too, will raise the issue of the Moody report. After all, the report cannot be dismissed so easily.
Dr. Alam is the President of All India Milli Council.