A horrific Eid ‘gift’ by fellow train travellers


Protest -02

No, I cannot erase the absolutely horrifying details of how a small group of Muslim boys was targeted and attacked in a train, taking them from the capital city, New Delhi, towards Haryana’s Ballabgarh. Whilst 16-year-old Hafiz Junaid was killed by communally charged men in the train compartment, his brothers sustained serious injuries.

This murder took place during the month of Ramzan, just few days before Eid-ul-Fitr. The boys were observing roza and had gone for Eid shopping to Delhi’s Sadar Bazar, and after purchasing a set of new clothes and a packet of ‘sewaiyyan’ were returning to their village in the Ballabgarh district, but before that they were attacked with knives. The ‘why’ is rather simplistic: the boys looked Musalmaans. Their skull caps and beards were enough provocation for the Right- Wing goons to call them ‘beef-eaters’, taunt them with, ‘traitors go to Pakistan …you anti-nationals!’

What a horrific Eid ‘gift’ the Khattar and Modi sarkars have given to the Muslims of the country! Blatant killings of hapless Muslims of this country! More than relaying that just about any Muslim can be killed and lynched in broad daylight and there wouldn’t be even an ‘Uff’ from the top brass.

In fact, till the date of my filing this column not a single minister from the ruling Right-Wing political parties has visited Hafiz Junaid’s family. This has carried the trickledown effect, as none from the big- bodied national commissions have bothered to utter even those formality- ridden condolences to the affected family. Nah, none from the Ministry of Women and Child Development even bothering to demand an immediate probe to the lynching and murder of a 16 year old boy! Why this utter callousness? As though they couldn’t give a damn if Muslims are murdered out there, in front of the so many pairs of eyes!

It will be plain stupid of me if I even mention the absolute calm in the corridors of the National Commission for Minorities. Its not just a toothless commission but manned by the members of the BJP. A former national general secretary of BJP Minority Morcha, Gairul Hasan Rizvi, is the present chairman of the NCM. Yes, he is the same man who was also seen working overtime for Narendra Modi’s election campaign in Varanasi. Also, two of the four panel members of the NCM are affiliated to the BJP: Sunil Sanghi was convener of Anya Bhasha Bhashi Cell of Gujarat BJP, while George Kurian is vice-president of Kerala BJP. And the two others members of the panel are Maharashtra social activist Sulekha Kumbhare (nominated as Buddhist member), and Vada Dasturji Khurshed Kaikobad Dastoor (Parsi member). In fact, Kumbhare is a former MLA from Bahujan Republican Ekta Morcha and had supported BJP in 2014 Maharashtra Assembly elections.

In fact, I have been asking myself: what good is this commission for the Muslims and also for the other minority communities of this country? After all, it’s stuffed with members seemingly handpicked by the BJP- RSS. I would call these gimmicks, of setting up of these commissions, as nothing short of hoodwinking the hapless, who are at the mercy of communally charged politicians hell bent on implementing the RSS agenda.

In all these years I haven’t felt so disillusioned and upset as in the last several months. There is a growing sense of hopelessness, with fair play and justice just about a hazy dream. Tell me, if I’m taunted and attacked because of my Muslim identity where do I go seeking justice? Will the police wallahs even understand the agony I’m going through, after getting hit and attacked here and there. Is there a helpline? Will it help and rescue me? Who will be manning it?

In fact, I do want to point out that I have myself heard the worst possible communal comments whilst travelling by train but each time I sat all quiet and subdued, because of fear of getting flung out of the running train. And whilst taking calls on my mobile as I utter ‘As -salaam –alai- kum’ or ‘Walai-kum –salaam’( may peace be on you), all eyes in the compartment are on me. Perhaps, I am not knifed because I’m a sari clad Muslim. What if I was wearing a burqa or a skull cap? I would have experienced some sort of a nightmare, if not knifed to death like Hafiz Junaid was.

It wouldn’t be amiss to say that Muslims are feeling not just side-lined and bypassed but also living in fear of getting attacked by unemployed goons finding ample employment in the Sanghi brigades, which seem to have got directions to attack and hound any Muslim coming their way. There seems another accompanying direction in terms of an assurance of sorts: the Hindutva attackers shouldn’t bother about arrests or police interrogations; loopholes will be found, after all, the police is under the direct control of the political rulers. Tell me, how many of Pehlu Khan’s killers have been arrested and on what charges?

In this latest case of Hafiz Junaid’s murder till date ( that is, till the date of my filing this column) the police has managed to arrest only one of the murderers from the 15 men who were part of that murderous gang! Why this delay? Have they been asked to go slow on the case to give enough time for the murderers to escape towards various political dens? Also, why shouldn’t these murderers be labelled terrorists? After all, the broad definition of a terrorist is one who terrorizes. And these Right –Wing brigades are terrorizing the minority community to such an extent that one has to think a hundred times before boarding a train or to even walk down the road or lane.

Communal poisoning has been getting unleashed rather too systematically right from the early 90s. It took off in that formal way during LK Advani’s rath yatra which he had undertaken not just to destroy the Babri Masjid but also to bring along terrifying divisions between the Hindus and Muslims of the country.

Today, communal onslaughts are peaking to such an extent that Muslims do not feel secure in their own country. Mind you, the country they or their parents and grandparents opted for, to live in and to lie buried in…Now, of course, Yogi Adityanath has even begun eyeing the various graveyards of the pradesh he rules. Unsparing! Not even letting the dead rest in peace.
The build –up is such that the Musalmaan of this country can be killed or attacked or hounded out! Who is there to hear their pleas! RSS men and women have been stuffed here and there to complete the agenda, of converting our country into a Hindu Rashtra, where only the utterly intolerant and communal be allowed to survive. For then, it wouldn’t be question of Hindu or Muslim, but sane versus the insane!

Today it’s an undeclared Emergency. Let the murderers of Hafiz Junaid be booked under terror charges. Let those blood stains speak out …blood spread out in that train compartment and also out there on the railway station platform. This time the train was headed towards no enemy terrain but just about 20 kilometres from the national capital, towards Ballabgarh, yet it carried the dead and the dying! Wake up and see the havoc spreading out.

Murderers going about in various garbs, killing and getting away, if not sitting placed up there! Mark my works — if these men are allowed to go scot free, they will knife you and me. Yes, one by one!

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