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Continuing Lynching

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The latest event of the brutal lynching of a milk-trader by the so-called cow vigilantes at an Alwar village reveals one fact; the victim, Rakbar Khan, was killed because he was a Muslim. Despite repeated protestations that he was a milk trader by profession, he was beaten to death. Over time, so many persons have been killed by these cow vigilantes who clearly enjoy the covert and overt support of the Modi Government. The preposterous statement by some Sangh and BJP leaders that such killings must continue unless beef eating is effectively banished from the country is understandable, because they hardly care for the Indian constitution or for the Supreme Court order and just want a communal polarisation. What is more agonising and condemnable is Rajnath Singh's statement that such things happened in the past also. Facts, however, suggest that since 2010, 98% of such killings have taken place after Narendra Modi's ascent to power. Rajnath Singh has clearly indicated that he is committed to see that perpetrators of such heinous crimes get away with impunity. He has become a minister by taking the oath of the constitution; and he now tries to find ways to escape from it.

They are playing with fire. They know that in quite a number of Muslim-majority countries, there are considerable numbers of Hindus. Many from India have migrated to the oil-rich countries of the Middle East in search of better incomes and more comfortable standards of living. If the Muslim extremists use the phenomenon of continuous lynching of Muslims in India to raise the cry 'Islam in danger' and initiate attacks on the lives and properties of Hindus there, will Rajnath Singh and these outrageous Sangh leaders take the responsibility of protecting them? Certainly not, because making irresponsible and outrageous statements is their stock-in-trade. What these cowards can only do is to organise attacks on innocent Muslims in India. And beef? A few months ago, Narendra Modi 'discovered' that ancient Indians were familiar with the technique of plastic surgery. But he does not know the well-researched and proven fact that ancient Indian kings and noblemen were used to taking beef.

The activities of these communal fascists have created the objective basis of a broad anti-fascist front in this country, and even the allies of the BJP are now beginning to desert it. Failed promises and atrocitiess on dalits have further strengthened the basis of this front. The task of today is to build a broad unity of these oppressed identities.

Modi will go down in history as the most barbaric communal-fascist politician India has ever produced. His India lags behind in every field. Even as per latest hunger index India presents a horrific situation.

The recent report of the International Food Policy Research Institute on the position of this country in respect of hunger is a slap on the face of the Government of India as well as on that of the advocates of liberalisation. It says that in respect of hunger index, India is ahead of China, Nepal, Mynamar, Bangladesah and North Korea. This observation corroborates Professor Amartya Sen's earlier remark, which drew angry but unsubstantiated comment from official spokesmen. If even Bangladesh is ahead of India in respect of reduction of the percentage of the hungry people, this is definitely a matter of shame. Not to the ruling political clique, however.

All of them have been talking ceaselesssly of 'development'. But the real picture is too stark to vindicate their claim. Even North Korea, despite prolonged economic sanctions, coupled with nuclear proprammes and consequent diversion of resources, is better placed than India.

Some people might ask: why blame liberalisation? Hunger and starvation have after all gone down in India over the last two decades. The truth is that it is the struggles of the people against various forms of economic curses that have prevented full-fledged implementation of liberalisation, forcing some degree of attention to the social sectors, called 'policy paralysis' by corporate ideologues. Globally, the decline of hunger is about 50% more than that in India. This only shows an unequal distribution of gains from globalisation. It is intriguing that economists like Jagdish Bhagwati and Asok Sanjay Guha have maintained a silence. This is quite understandable.

The Modis have perfected the art of communal polarisation by continually attacking the main religious minority community, while selling the gospel of 'development' for all. Development is taking place, no doubt. But it is for a tiny minority of population.

28-07-2018

Frontier
Vol. 51, No.6, Aug 12 - 18, 2018