By Riyaz Arshad Nazish for TwoCircles.net
The gruesome killing of Mohammed Afrajul, an innocent labour in Rajasthan, is a terrifying incident that testifies the fact how minds of ignorant youth are poisoned with hatred by a concocted narrative against Muslims under the bulwark of nationalism. Pushing a poor labour into death does not depict any saga of valour; neither brings pride to any religion. Had it been so, why didn’t he catch a real love jihadi instead of a helpless labour, and on that why had he to trap him into death? The insane youth could have become a hero, had he found a real love jihadi if at all it exists. Love Jihad is a term created by hate mongers and coined by media. What they call ‘Love Jihad’ is, in fact, the previous part of our culture that cannot be curbed or dictated by any power of the time. Culture dwells and flourishes in the exchange of it. It is like water; one cannot hold it in a fist. The more you tighten it, the more it will spill out. Water is clean and fresh only until it flows freely, the moment it stagnates, it rots.
With the concatenation of such incidents and loud voices advocating them in the social media, it is nothing but obvious that a sizeable group of youths derive the meanest sense of pride and pseudo-patriot jingoism out of it.
However, such incidents are not about infusing terror to the minorities alone as they appear to be, but a cowardice display of panic, fear and paranoia that has been injected to the young minds to keep them away from the real issues of education, health and social security. Of late, such perpetrators get legal leniency, justification and even reward too in the making of new India. This was evident when the coffin of Akhlaq’s killer was draped in tricolour and he was hailed as a martyr. If the incident of Rajasthan is to terrify the minorities, it’s no less worrisome for the majorities either and even more alarming for a civil society. To kill an innocent is allowed neither in Islam nor in the tenets of Sanatan, those who do it in the name of religion, do nothing but fall prey to petty politics and defy its own holy scriptures.
The politics of polarization is so prominent that every domain of social life seems to be defined by its plethora. In this scenario, would the new India that is baptized with strong binary in the social fabric, ever see the mass protest of common people that it saw in 2006 for Jessica Lal and Nirbhaya in 2012? Rising above religion and class, people gathered together against heinous crimes against the vulnerable. The victory was not for any religious group but for the weakest person in this country. In the making of new India, weaker seems to be weakest and stronger seems to grow strongest. The digital boom enables the government to develop a mechanism to notice every single individual, from its wealth, income, savings, bank balance to the personal communication and purchasing.
The law can enforce every single citizen to be transparent and accountable but it is far from developing the same to ensure safety and justice to the weakest person in the society. With the current political situation, the solidarity of common people is at stake lest it should ask a question and stand together to demand justice and freedom for all. Unity is strength and strength is a perpetual threat to autocracy, therefore with every possible effort, public strength is breaking into pieces with the splinters of communalism. Is it almost on the verge of a breakdown to the doctored anti-national slogans designed to mar any voice of dissent? There is now little hope for any Jessica or Nirbhaya if they will not be seen through the prism of religion and cast.
From Akhlaq to Afrajul, the cold-blooded murders are a mere piece of News. A new narrative of patriotism is on the play that tries to belittle the contribution of the Muslims and depict them in an unflattering manner on media. The venom infused in the young minds is so strategic that even the good deeds of a saviour like a driver Sheikh Saleem Ghafoor of Amarnath tragedy and Samaritans like Dr Kafeel turn bad to ugly with a litany of criticism and negative reporting to dilute the applause?
Hatred is sinking its teeth so deep that the departure of rationalism is growing into fanaticism. Being soft to violence is a bad sign. Hatred nurtured to satiate anger is autophagous, to fan it against a community is even worse as the frenzy is always on the lookout for its target, it may consume its own when it goes haywire. If it persists, the end looser will be none other than the youths of today. This will only pave the way for the vested interests to remain in power. Law and order are essential for every walk of life in civil society. We follow a traffic rule where even pedestrian are ensured a safe journey.
Without taking care of the weakest, one cannot imagine a progressive society. With world’s largest youth population, India can be a hope for world leadership only if the young minds are engaged in constructive thoughts and action. But with things as they are, it seems only a chimaera.
The author is a Media professional.