State-wide rally and Protest I 9 Oct I 4.30pm
These incidents are neither fictional, nor visuals shown on television or movies. Last week in Uttar Pradesh, two incidents of brutal violence – one in the name of religion, the other in the name of caste – has taken place. The crime committed by Mohammed Ikhlaq Saifi – he had meat in his refrigerator. Ikhlaq was a middle-aged man living in Bishad village of Dadri Taluk in Gautama Buddha Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh. He lived with his mother Askari (70), wife Ikraman (52), younger son Danish (21) and a daughter Sahista (17). A poor resident of over 70 years in the village, his family’s economic condition improved when his older son Sartaj joined the air-force.
The incident occurred on September 28th when an announcement was made in the village temple that Ikhlaq possessed beef. Ikhlaq had not even sacrificed an animal on September 25th, for Bakr-id, and instead had cooked the mutton that a close family friend had offered. The remaining mutton was put away in the refrigerator for later consumption. Within a few minutes of the announcement, around 200 people surrounded Ikhlaq’s house and broke down his front door. The mob broke his sewing machine, refrigerator, furniture and utensils. Even as Ikhlaq kept shouting that the meat in his refrigerator was mutton and not beef, the mob did not pay heed to his cries and smashed his head with his sewing machine, killing him on the spot. His son Danish was beaten so badly that he is still in a coma, while his wife sustained eye injuries.
Even though, possessing beef is not illegal in Uttar Pradesh. In spite of which, the local police sent the meat for forensic testing to determine what kind of meat it is, and this goes to show the criminal nexus between the police and the Hindutva goons. “If it is not beef, will they bring back my dead father?” asked the 17-year-old daughter Sahista, for which the UP state government has to give an answer and the BJP, which claims that cows must not be slaughtered even for consumption must answer. Also, the Rajya Sabha member Tarun Vijay said, “It is wrong to kill someone based on rumours.” Does he intend to say that if the meat is beef that the killing is justified?
BJP leaders, Lok Sabha members Yogi Aditya Nath and Sadhvi Prachi have given a warning stating that such incidents will increase if beef is not banned in the country. This incident, in a way, ties up with the national agenda of the BJP to spread communal disharmony and hate. And in fact, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has alleged the opposition parties for appeasing Muslims by terming cow slaughter as ‘Gulaab Kraanti’, to gain them as vote bank. Whether the said meat is beef or mutton is relevant and even if vegetables were kept in the refrigerator, Ikhlaq would have been murdered because he is a Muslim. Such incidents are marginalizing these communities further.
The Member of Parliament of Noida and Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma has said the incident occurred because of false rumours and that it was not a communal killing. He said, “Not a finger was laid on Ikhlaq’s 17-year-old daughter when the mob entered their house.” Bishada has seen no conflict in all these years, and people of all religions have lived in harmony. These statements of the Culture Minister clearly shows the true Hindu culture he claims to follow, wherein, he shamelessly defends the brutal murder and should the Muslims in villages now consider themselves lucky that they have been left unharmed all these years?
Chimma, who dared to enter a Temple
While Ikhlaq was murdered for being a Muslim, villagers of Bilgaon in Hamirpura district of the Uttar Pradesh burnt alive Chimma, who belonged to the Dalit community. On September 31, 2015, the 90-year-old Chimma wanted to visit the Maidani Baba temple in the village, along with his young-wife, son and brother-in-law. At the entrance of the temple, a man named Sanjay Tiwari warned him to not step into the temple. When Chimma, not paying heed to Tiwari, tried to enter the temple, he was hit on the head with a shovel and was set ablaze after dousing him in kerosene. The devotees of the temple watched Chimma burn, while no one stopped Tiwari or came forward to save the burning man.
Sanjay Tiwari is said to be a chronic alcoholic. But this has nothing to do with murdering Chimma. There are Hindus who have committed heinous crimes after consuming cow’s milk or plain water; on the other hand, not all alcoholics murder Dalits. The question here is of caste hierarchy and purity and pollution, which the Sangh Parivar upholds. It is only in the Hindu religion can you find discrimination based on caste. Manu Smriti, which is the text that adept followers of the Hindu religion follow, discriminates even among parts of a human body, where each part is assigned a status of hierarchy – the head is superior to the feet and the eyes superior to the genitals. Such caste-based, gender-based discrimination was what Dr B R Ambedkar condemned and hence, burnt the Manu Smriti.
Similar such incidents have occurred not just in Uttar Pradesh, but all across the country in the recent past. These incidents prove that the Constitutional right to equality, freedom and protection are promises made in the air.
We raise our voice against such heinous crimes to preserve our humanity, democracy and Constitutional rights.
K L Ashok – 9448256216
Robin – 8722797111
Ghousi Mohiddi – 9448220998
Sammad – 9880905943
Suresh Bhat Bakrabail – 0824225652
There will be a protest rally from Udupi Jodukatte (near old Taluk Office) to the Gandhi Statue at Clock Tower, near City Bus Station on October 9, 2015 from 4.45 pm onwards.