By Kainat Sarfaraz:
“We welcome ghar wapasi only if it means that Muslims are sent to Pakistan, because Jinnah has already created a home for them. It is time both nations exchange Hindus and Muslims, it is the only solution to this problem.”
“If Muslims convert or reconvert to Hinduism and then marry Hindus, it will lead to genetic abnormalities in the Hindu community”.
Ajit Singh, Chief – Uttar Pradesh unit of the Shiv Sena.
The Shiv Sena has done it again. Adding to the list of controversial and vile remarks that the party keeps making, thestate-unit said that ‘it will not tolerate’ the conversion organized by RSS-affiliate Dharam Jagran Samiti which was slated to take place in Aligarh on December 25 because of the difference between the two religions. According to Singh, while Hindus are ‘calm’, Muslims are ‘fanatics’ by nature. So he believes that the conversion followed by a marriage with a Hindu will lead to ‘genetic abnormalities.’ Yes, you read it right. Genetic abnormalities. This innovative thought process deserves a moment of silence.
And this is not a lone incident. Whether it wasGiriraj Singh’s suggestion for anti-Modi citizens to move to Pakistan, or Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti’s declarative option for the public to choose between ‘Raamzaade and Haraamzaade’, these leaders have constantly abused their freedom of speech and expression to exploit the sentiments of a particular community. Statements like ‘ancestors of Indian Muslims and Christians were Hindus’ made by Praveen Togadia tend to question the religious identity of the minorities in India.
Maybe our so-called democratic leaders have forgotten that according to Article 25 of the Constitution, ‘all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion’. The unfortunate thing here is that most of these statements fall under the ambit of Article 19(2) which says that the right to freedom of speech and expression can be curbed if the integrity of nation is under threat. These comments could also be construed as criminal offences under Sec 153A. Yet, these netas are never arrested and are let off after mild admonishments.
Singh talks about how Jinnah build a home for Muslims. He believes that the same Jinnah, who was a strong advocator of minority rights, made Pakistan for Muslims. In one of his famous speeches Jinnah said that the people of Pakistan were free to go to their temples or mosques or any other places of worship in the State of Pakistan.
“You may belong to any religion, caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the State.” Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Having said that, it is clear that the idea promoted by these leaders is completely baseless. Just when I was beginning to think that we’re long past the mindless issue of religion and citizenship, that we’ve developed and progressed, that we’re ready to position ourselves as global leaders – the conversation has regressed back to the dark ages. Once again one has to make the ignorant in this country realise, that being a Muslim does not have to be synonymous with being a Pakistani!
Muslims do not want to be left at the behest of politicians who get to decide where ‘Indians’ of different faith and ideologies can reside. They forget about the Muslims who have won accolades for the country and represented the tricolour on international platforms. Do they need to shift to Pakistan as well?And what is next? Where do Christians, Jains, Parsis and people from all other religions go? Has someone created a ‘home’ for them as well?
These provocative statements are most likely to grab eyeballs along with drawing criticism as well as support from various sections. They are a part of the divisive politics that plagues this country. However, they cannot be solely blamed. The onus is on our shoulders as well. People with such contorted ideas of secularism and democracy get to be our leaders is because we let them be! We elect them and give them the power to fill some empty heads with such vitriolic thoughts.Despite knowing that these statements cater to a particular section, time and again we provide these leaders with a platform to speak on. That, is our mistake. A mistake which can damage the unity of India and threaten the secular democracy that makes us who we are.
Also Read: Just among one of the many strange suggestions that the Shiv Sena has to make for this country, read why Asees Bhasin thinks Shiv Sena Offering Money To Hindu Families With 10 Or More Children Is Outrageous.