By Anurag Chaudhary:
The Dhaka terror attack was one like many others. Arguably, humanity in the 21st-century alone has endured enough vicious and brutal assaults. The recent massacres in Paris and Brussels are still fresh in memory. Given the standing that Bangladesh commands globally, unfortunately, it is safe to presume that the world would soon forget and forgive the incident and move ahead with more ‘important matters’ like the US presidential elections. The fact that Bangladesh is a Muslim-majority nation, much like Pakistan, any pain withstood by its people would rather be seen as redemption for those who died in the West at the hands of terrorism. The fact that the debate has now shifted to whether it was ISIS or locals, indicates that by the time India and Pakistan celebrate their 70th Independence Day, the Dhaka attacks would be a bygone event in our memories.
What pains me more, though, is something I read on the internet recently. An article in The Independent informed me about how those who could recite verses from the Quran were let go while others were killed. It reminded me about various documented incidents from the time of Partition when the people were stripped and checked for circumcision by both Hindu and Muslim communities. Of course, one checked for the foreskin while other had the opposite criteria.
My question is, what if a person who follows Islam doesn’t remember verses from the Quran? I am a proud Hindu but I don’t remember a single quatrain from Ramcharitmanas or any verse from Bhagavad Gita. So, if such incident is ever orchestrated by a Hindu outfit, will I be butchered? Or will I be marked as an ‘anti-religion’ agnostic despite being a firm believer in a higher power? Even if I were an atheist, should I be killed?
Of course, there isn’t and can’t be a justification for any terrorist attack. But the fact that few religious or political leaders of importance have said anything against this is a matter of great worry and sorrow. I feel a similar kind of grief when our ever-vocal PM stays silent after an incident like Dadri. Millions of innocent Muslims are suffering judgement from around the world and it is high time that something was said and done in the right direction by the people who matter.
The arguments might be that Muslims are a lot more stringent with their religious practices and ideally every ‘good’ Muslim is required to memorise his/her holy scripture, word by word. But, that is, in an ideal world. In an ideal world, though, terrorism should not exist, Donald Trump should still be contesting Wrestlemania matches (and not US Presidential elections), religious bigotry should be non-existent and well, Salman Khan should not be the superstar that he is.
Let me remind you that this is not 1947 anymore. In 2016, if some 20-year-old educated gentlemen are beheading and shooting people because they are not in agreement with their religious sentiments, then ISIS is the only reality that looms in future.
Recently, in his interview with George R.R. Martin, Stephen King said about the Orlando mass killing and I quote,
“As long as anybody who’s got only two wheels on the road can walk into a store and buy a fucking killing machine like an AR-15 or something, this is just going to go on. It’s really up to us.”
The words of King hold true for the Dhaka attacks as well. It is really up to us. Are we going to stay silent and pass on this lunacy to the generations to come? Apocalypse, in that case, will happen in the name of God, and the day might not be far enough.
Featured image credit: Mahmud Hossain Opu/Getty Images.