The part of India I am from- Bengal- is known to be relatively peaceful in terms of communal relations. The lack of tension came for a price. Forfeit of the claim of social equality. It’s getting worse now.
I know that in some of the districts VHP is very active. I have attended their meetings and they seem to have good population listening to the hateful message.
Recently, two incidents caught my attention.
Once again, we had the uneasy feeling in our gut. Why do these guys riot? Please line up those seventy excuses. Moreover, for those who don’t understand what’s the fuss over one article- here’s the deal. Especially is West Bengal, Muslims are seen as a race, rather than a religious minority. That comes with all the baggage that racism comes with. “Uneducated”, “uncultured”, “fightsome”, “unreliable”…. you know them. Religiosity is tolerated in the undereducated section. If your rickshow-puller is wearing a beard, that’s okay. That’s compatible with your racism. But if your college prof starts arguing in favor or Islam, he’s turned an extremist (the real issue is, as with all racism- they can’t stand the claim of intellectual soundness from the followers of the lowly thing called Islam.) God forbid he starts wearing a beard.
To be accepted in your peer group- if you were to go into an elite college in West Bengal- you have to sing their song. You have to drink, not care about halal, and babble about getting over “1400 year old” nonsense. That makes you a good Muslim.
As you can see, I’m pissed. I’m not pelting stones, and that’s what they don’t like. How come somebody defending Islam not throw stones. In that case they could post my picture, face distorted with anger with a stone in hand, in the front page of their 95% brahmin-run newspaers.
Two- UN warns of repeat of Gujarat. I know how real the possibility is.
The liberals are pitched against the VHP guys (even though they are often guilty of the racism I just talked about), and I can’t help noticing the conceit in the liberals’ mind. He is always the most intelligent, rational and knowledgeable fellow ever. That is where his focus is, more than in conviction and selfless desire to work towards the ideals in his belief. And that is why I think even though they may delay the Hindu extremists, they will not be able to stop them. That’s very unfortunate.