— Consider reading the article “We will not worship if Muslims don’t want, but please save us”: From India to Bangladesh, how veto of violence works on OpIndia website —
The vibrant festival of Durga Puja, when Maa Durga descends on earth on Mahalaya, is celebrated with much fervour especially by Bengali Hindus. Across Bengal, there are gorgeous Murtis of Maa, adorned with gorgeous jewellery, colourful sarees and sindoor are installed with devotees flocking to the pandals to pray for the triumph of good over evil. The Puja reaches a crescendo on the Dashami day, or Bijoya, when Ma Durga slayed Mahishasura, earning her the moniker Mahishasuramardini.
While Maa Durga slew the demon, in Kalayug, the demon seems to live on. In Bangladesh, which is at least 91% Muslim dominated, Hindus are being persecuted simply because they dared to be Hindu and pray to Maa Durga. As Bengali Hindus from Bangladesh started celebrating Durga Puja, Muslim mobs vandalised at least 20 pandals and desecrated the idols. After a false rumour of the Quran being desecrated, several more Durga Puja pandals were vandalised and over 150 Hindu families were attacked.
Sharing a video of an attack on Hindus, Advocate Dr Gobinda Chandra Pramanik, Secretary-General of Bangladesh Jatio Hindu Mohajote Tweeted, “The situation is terrible!! Attacks on 150 families in Shilpara, Cox’s Bazar, widespread vandalism, looting, vandalism of Hatiya in Noakhali, vandalism of idols in municipal Kalimandir, attack Vandalism, molestation of women, 2 people have been found dead in Chandpur.” In yet another update, advocate Chandra shared the news of the publicity secretary of Chandpur district branch of Bangladesh National Hindu Youth Grand Alliance being hacked to death.
The land of Naokhali has long been permeated with Hindu blood. During the Noakhali riots, countless Hindus were raped and murdered. The converted Hindus were made to write declarations that they had accepted Islam out of their free will and Hindus in the 2000 square mile area were made to pay the Jaziya.
Today, when Hindus are being targeted yet again, The Bangladesh Hindu Unity Council tweeted a desperate plea for help.
Dear Prime Minister @albd1971 . Hindus will not worship if the Muslims of Bangladesh don’t want it. But at least save the Hindus. The attack is still going on. Plz send Army. We want Bangladesh Army in Puja Mandapas .
— Bangladesh Hindu Unity Council (@UnityCouncilBD) October 14, 2021
“Hindus will not worship if the Muslims of Bangladesh don’t want it. But at least save the Hindus”, the Council tweeted.
While the Hindus were being persecuted, killed, attacked and their faith being desecrated by Muslim mobs in Bangladesh, back in India, a ‘Muslim journalist’ was wondering how Muslims are so “remarkably patient”.
Every single day in the last 7 years I think about the remarkable patience shown by the 200 million strong Muslim community in India in the face of everyday attack on their identity and the humiliation of the members of their community enabled by the government. EVERY SINGLE DAY
— Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) October 12, 2021
Rana Ayyub, who identifies herself as a Muslim journalist, took to Twitter to marvel at the remarkable patience that Muslims seem to show in India. She said that not a single day in the past 7 years has she not thought about the remarkable patience shown by 200 million Muslims in India given the attack and humiliation they face every day. This mythical attack, Rana believes, is ‘enabled by the government’. Emphatically, almost screaming into the abyss, Rana reiterates.. ‘EVERY SINGLE DAY’.
Rana paints an abysmal picture. We can almost imagine bodies of Muslims strewn on the blood-soaked roads of India. We can imagine men dressed in saffron with Modi-looking masks running around with guns and swords waiting to extract their pound of flesh from the innocent Muslims who were just living their work-a-day lives, taking care of their 8 children and 4 wives, praying in silence while loudspeakers blare their call to Allah. She makes us believe that Hindus are a barbaric cult running around raping Muslim women, murdering Muslim men and torturing Muslim babies.
We know that is not the truth. We know Hindus can barely defend themselves, leave alone go on a rampage. Throughout history, Hindus have been murdered, raped and humiliated by Muslim hoards while their leaders have asked them to bow their heads and die with a smile on their faces. When MK Gandhi had visited Naokhali, he was rebuked by the Muslim League and after that, he had travelled to Bihar to stop the retaliatory violence by the Hindus. There, he is famed to have said that Hindus must leave Noakhali or die – this, because the Muslim League had asked him to quell the violence, the same Muslim League that was raping Hindu women, beheading Hindu women and waging a war against Kaffirs.
In recent years, we have seen how the Delhi anti-Hindu riots were planned and executed by Muslim mobs. Right from the protest of Shaheen Bagh to the murder of Hindus amidst chants of Allahu Akbar and Nara-e-Taqbeer, it was made amply clear to Hindus that these protests and the ensuing violence were specifically targeted against Hindus. We heard chants of Hinduon-se-Azadi and Jinnah-wali-azadi and throughout, the narrative was that it was the Muslims who were being persecuted while Hindus were the aggressors.
The examples are aplenty and at this point, repeating those examples almost makes it seem like Hindus like myself suffer from echolalia. What we need to understand is how (and why) Muslim journalists like Rana Ayyub continue to drum up the ‘Hindus murdering Muslims’ trope while Hindus are regularly massacred by the Muslim mob.
There are two crucial aspects to this narrative. Firstly, the veto of violence that the Muslim community exercises is paramount and all-pervasive. Secondly, much like what ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi asked Hindus to do, the state today and the ecosystem that shields the Muslim community commands the Hindu to wither and die without a fight because the Hindu should be grateful that the Muslims did not burn more than they did, shed more blood than they did, raped more than they had and destroyed less than they could – the bigotry of low expectations.
Let us take an example. During the Delhi riots, it was the Muslims who planned and executed a pogrom against Hindus. They stabbed Ankit Sharma so many times that his intestines were visible when his body was pulled out of the gutter. They cut the hands and legs of Dilbar Negi and burnt him alive, simply because he was Hindu. Tahir Hussain confessed that amidst slogans of Nara-e-Taqbeer, they conspired to murder Hindus. The narrative, however, was that Hindus were the ones who murdered Muslims. How? Because after the first day and a half, Hindus decided that they needed to defend themselves. In a single spate of violence, one can possibly understand why the Muslim mob and their own narrative prevails over all else.
First and foremost, the Muslims have the street-veto. While we Hindus trend hashtags and write articles (like I am writing this one) to boycott brands when an ad insulting their faith is published, Muslims take to the streets demanding the ‘blasphemes’ head on a platter. When Kamlesh Tiwari insulted the ‘Prophet’, Muslims took out marches on the roads screaming at the top of their lungs – ‘Gustakh-e-rasool ki sazaa, sar tan se juda’. Now, one could say that both Hindus and Muslims are only screaming into the empty, gaping hole without any tangible effect on the ground or on the brotherhood between Hindus and Muslims. However, while Hindus failed to even cancel the individuals insulting their faith, the Muslim radicals beheaded Tiwari and sent a chilling message to the Hindus.
It is a function of this street veto that no law seems to control the menace of Islamism. The worldview of significant sections of the Muslim community make it quite difficult, and in certain cases impossible, to implement law and order in ghettos where they are the overwhelming majority. There is significant resistance towards the implementation of law and order in these areas and a lot of these places are ‘no-go zones’ even for the Police. In such a scenario, the police also focus on arresting the ‘blaspheme’ rather than those threatening to behead a man for saying something mildly uncomfortable. Which government would want to deal with the pressure of acting against an innately violent community after they have beheaded a man? Would it not be simply to arrest the one who offends the barbarian than to tame to barbarian himself? It is a cowardly cop-out, but one that States take to deal with an unnamable Asura that no law, no civilisation has been able to contain.
While the Muslim hoards exercise their street veto and make the State bend to their violent whims, journalists like Rana Ayyub give them spectacular covering fire. After the rampant violence that the Muslim extremists indulge in and have indulged in, Rana Ayyub chooses to follow the path of Mahatma Gandhi. She tells the Hindus that she simply can’t stop thinking about the restraint displayed by the radicals. When they could murder 500, they murdered only 50. When they could balkanise the nation, they only burnt a state or two. When they could make harems with women won as war-booty, they raped only a few thousand Hindu women. The bigotry of low expectations shines through so bright, that the Hindus almost gets blinded into believing that they owe a debt of gratitude to the Muslim mobs for not annihilating them completely.
In Bangladesh today, the Hindus are being attacked for simply being Hindu and exercising their right to worship. Their basic right to worship Maa Durga when she descends on earth to bless her children. As the Muslim mobs exercise their street veto, the Hindus beg for mercy. They say if the Muslims don’t want, they will stop worshipping Maa, but the State must save them. The State, in turn, watches on as impotent bystanders because they rather let the barbarian run amuck than deal with the harsh reality that the beast of Islamism would need a Maa Durga to be tamed.
As Hindus get massacred, soon, the narrative would begin the emerge. Hindus in Bangladesh are being murdered not because Islamists hate Kafirs, but because some miscreant who wants to tarnish the brotherhood between Hindus and Muslims floated a rumour that the Quran was desecrated. Not all Muslims are bad. They did not go on a rampage because they hate Hindus. They did so because they were misled. Because their fragile feelings were hurt. They would never hurt Hindus if their faith had not been hurt. Do you say it has happened before? That they desecrate Hindu festivals every year? Do you want to remind people of the Bhola massacre? They must have had their reasons, for sure. They love peace. Don’t blame them. Be thankful that they stopped eventually. Be thankful that they did not kill them all. Be thankful that they are.. peaceful.