Modi’s Muslim Bashing

This has reference to I S Sharma’s letter ( Frontier 2-8 April, 2017). Sharma thinks that if the Muslim population rises, to even 25 % of the total, it is a threat to the non-Muslims, who constitute the overwhelming majority. This is an insane claim considering the fact that there are several countries where the Muslims constitute much more than 25 %,  although not the overwhelming majority. Do the non-Muslim population there live under constant threats to their lives?

 There is of course a phenomenon that may be called ‘Islamic terrorism’ operating under the name ISIS. But the ISIS is now resisted everywhere, and those who are resisting them are not all non-Muslims. Killings of rationalist bloggers in Bangladesh by ISIS men are heinous acts, but so are the killings ofNarendra Davolkar, Govind Pansare, Md Akhlakh and H M Kulbergi by the self-proclaimed champions of Hinduism.

Sharma’s reference to the plight of Kashmiri Pandits requires a little scrutiny. He should know that for at least four decades since independence, there was little communal tension in Kashmir. Sharma makes no mention of the numerous Kashmiris killed and tortured by the police, para-military forces and army in the last three decades, a process that had begun much before the migration of Kashmiri Pandits. On the plight of the Kashmiri Pandits, let me quote from a statement issued recently by Co-ordination of Democratic Rights Organizations; “ Well, the migration of more than three lakh Kashmiri Pandits was a horrible thing to have happened. They have suffered being driven from their home and hearth and remain migrants who have not been able to return. While Kashmiri society bears blame for not making them feel secure and safe the greater blame is that of Governor Jagmohan and VP Singh Government of New Delhi which pushed the Kashmiri Pandits to migrate and by transporting them to Jammu and beyond rather than protecting them where they lived and worked. For 27 years in the name of ‘national security’ J&K has been reeling under the dictatorship of the central government. And despite the enormous force at their command they have failed to enable  the return of the Kashmiri Pandits.”  (Frontier, Vol 49, No21) If Sharma cares to go through Mountbatten’s first letter to Hari Singh, and Nehru’s speeches at that time, he should be able to understand that the central government has over time alienated larger sections of Kashmiris by going back on its promise. Otherwise how could a situation of ‘Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs fighting together’, as Nehru then told the nation, against the invaders under the stewardship of a ‘great leader’, may turn into such a volcano? It is only a kind of self-delusion to attribute everything to islamic terrorism or Pakistan-sponsored terrorism.
Bolpur, Birbhum

Vol. 49, No.44, May 7 - 13, 2017