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'We'll Get You Bail' – Message to Those Who Commit Hate Crimes Against Muslims

Yeh Jo India Hai Na… here, why are we allowing haters to occupy centre stage? Unfortunately, evidence is piling up.

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Edited By :Padmashree Pande

Video Producer: Shohini Bose
Video Editors: Mohd Irshad Alam, Pawan Kumar
Camera: Shivkumar Maurya

Yeh Jo India Hai Na… here, why are we allowing haters to gradually occupy centre stage? Why are we allowing people to think that hate is beginning to define us as a nation? Unfortunately, the evidence is piling up –

11 men convicted for the gang rape of Bilkis Bano, and for killing 7 of her family members, including her 3-year-old daughter, who were freed after serving 14 years of their life sentences.
  • Why were they garlanded and felicitated after their release, almost treated as heroes?

  • Why did BJP's MLA from Godhra call these convicts good sanskari brahmins?

  • In a country where those who gang-raped Nirbhaya were sentenced to death, what is the message we get from the remission of those who gang-raped Bilkis Bano?

  • Why was the Review Committee that okayed the remission packed with BJP party members?

  • Justice Salvi who passed the original judgement on these 11 convicts in 2008, why has he called their remission wrong, and a very bad precedent?

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'Hum Sambhal Lenge'

This is the message – if the targets are Muslims, then even for crimes as serious as rape, murder, lynching – the consequences may be milder. 'Hum sambhaal lenge. Zamaanat hum dilwa denge' (We will manage. We will get you bail) – such lines are now being heard in public more frequently.

Gyandev Ahuja – BJP leader from Rajasthan, recently boasted that 'his people' have killed 5 people – referring to the lynchings of Rakbar in 2018 and Pehlu Khan in 2017. He says he has given a free hand to his party workers, and if caught, he will get them bail, he will get them acquitted. The same message – 'Hum Sambhaal Lenge.'

Here’s another recent example – On 31 July, Sachin Pandit and Shubham Gujjar, two men who allegedly shot at AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi's vehicle during the UP elections in February, were welcomed by multiple right-wing Hindutva groups when they returned home after getting bail.

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Are we allowed to ask why these two men weren’t arrested under UAPA? Not charging them under UAPA, obviously made it far simpler for them to get bail. It is again, the same message – 'Zamaanat bhi karwayenge. Hum sambhaal lenge.' And what was being celebrated? The alleged crime of shooting at a Muslim politician. Celebrating violence, celebrating hate.

Celebrating Hate on I-Day

No wonder the fan following for Nathuram Godse is growing. Some years ago, Godse’s birthday or Gandhiji’s assassination would see 4-5 cranks standing somewhere with a small banner, and the media would ignore them.

But on 15 August, in Muzaffarnagar, with Nathuram Godse getting pride of place, the Tiranga Yatra of the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha. Not 4-5 cranks, but hundreds.

Why are some of us cheering for another new icon of violence – the bulldozer? Bulldozers decorated with banners of Yogi Adityanath saying 'Baba Ka Bulldozer' marched on Independence Day in New Jersey, USA. A Madhya Pradesh BJP MLA brought out a dozen bulldozers to celebrate CM Shivraj Chauhan as 'Bulldozer Mama'.
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While the bulldozer demolitions claim to be targeting illegal constructions, most homes and shops that have been bulldozed in BJP ruled states, have belonged to Muslims. The message again is clear – the law of the land may now be used unequally to target Muslims. 'Apni jagah samjho, aur sambhal ke raho' (Understand your place, and fall in line).

It is also no surprise that two days before 15th August, a group of extreme right-wing sadhus shared their version of a Constitution for a so-called Hindu Rashtra. Nobody gave them the right to represent crores of secular Hindus, but still there it was. And the key feature of this Constitution was – no voting rights for Muslims or Christians.

While these sadhus do not speak for the BJP government, the fact is that they had the impunity to defy India’s Constitution, and were not shut down.
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When Govt Snubbed Its Own Union Minister

This government was quick to snub its own Central Minister when he claimed that Rohingya Muslim refugees would be given housing. Immediately we heard – no housing planned, these are not refugees, they are illegals and a national threat.

But a Hindu Rashtra Constitution announced by prominent right-wing sadhus, got no response, no snub. The message is clear for India’s minorities – 'Be prepared to live here as second class citizens'.

Do remember, that in India’s parliamentary history – for the first time ever, the ruling party, today does not have a single Muslim MP. Of the BJP’s almost 400 members of Parliament, not one is Muslim. Yes, in the past too it has been a tiny, token representation. But now, it seems even that is not required. The question we must all ask is this – why is India swimming against the tide of history?
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Why is India Embracing Sectarianism, While the World Turns More Inclusive?

Even as we take out Bulldozer Baba rallies in USA, we fail to see how inclusive the US is today, starting with a Kamala Harris, an Indian Jamaican as its Vice President. We fail to learn from how inclusive the British Raj itself has become, with a Rishi Sunak seeing such huge acceptance as a possible Prime Minister. We fail to learn from an inclusive Canada that just recently had a Sikh Defence Minister.

Yeh Jo India Hai Na.. it must abandon this petty, vindictive, politically motivated, outdated divisiveness, and return to its inclusive, secular, diverse roots – if it wants to stay a great country and retain its place in history.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Hate Crimes   Muslim   Lynching 

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