Home / News / Violent Clash Over Flag Ceremony Is Latest Flashpoint in Hindu-Muslim Conflicts

Violent Clash Over Flag Ceremony Is Latest Flashpoint in Hindu-Muslim Conflicts

Photo Credit: Flickr, rishabhsharmafullframe

The encampment assault that erupted in a city in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on Republic Day, Jan 26, again highlights the indicate that from the cryptic viewpoint of the country’s Hindu supremacists, Indian Muslims can never be devoted to be, or to do good. Not even when they enthusiastically classify a program in their area to spread the inhabitant dwindle as a symbol of honour for the tricolor, adore for the country. Not even if the venue selected for the arise happens to be a mark named to honour the memory of a Muslim soldier, Abdul Hamid, whose act of unusual bravery and scapegoat gave the Indian army a essential corner during the 1965 Indo-Pak war. For this, Hamid was posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra, India’s top military honor.

According to reports in the media, in the Jan 26 Hindu-Muslim clash, both sides resorted to private firing, heading to the death of a Hindu, Chandan Gupta, and critical damage to a Muslim, “Prince.” A day later, ABP news channel expelled a video showing Muslim vehicles and business establishments being selectively targeted and torched while the police stood tongue-tied witness.

Police have set up a special review organisation (SIT) to examine the riots. That the Indian police are not free from encampment disposition is a fact that has in the past been publicly concurred and reported by many portion and retired police officers, and also by judicial exploration commissions. Given this, and the fact that the Indian police functions as a force debasing to domestic bosses rather than one committed to impartial, eccentric coercion of order of law, what the SIT will furnish is anyone’s guess. Especially so in the state of Uttar Pradesh, where a Hindu clergyman donned in saffron now occupies the Chief Minister’s chair. For now, news reports and videos published by the inhabitant media give us a benefaction picture of who did what. Uttar Pradesh is India’s many populous state, and in Mar 2017, a Hindu supremacist supervision rode to energy after 15 years in the state polls.


It all started when a few dozen activists on motorcycles, belonging to the worried Hindu ‘nationalist’ groups—Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the tyro wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP)—insisted on holding their “Tiranga Yatra” (Tricolor Rally) by a primarily Muslim area where the inner residents were environment up chairs for their own community-level dwindle hoisting ceremony. Both sides have their own chronicle of who pronounced and did what. But two grant are over dispute. One, the convene was unauthorized. In India, processions by members of one encampment flitting by a area of another encampment with a transparent vigilant to incite are customarily not available by the authorities. Two, there is videographic justification (see ABP news channel video) to show that in serve to carrying the inhabitant flag, the Hindu extremists were also carrying saffron flags, symbolizing Hinduism. What was the ground behind flash saffron flags at a Tricolor Rally? What’s more, inner Muslims explain they have videographic justification of the Hindu supremacists using anti-Muslim slogans.

What happened in Kasganj on Republic Day is best accepted by the Facebook posts of Raghvendra Vikram Singh, the District Magistrate of Bareilly, a adjacent district. In his severe post, Singh asked because it has spin a “trend” for some to “enter Muslim localities by force, lift anti-Pakistan slogans and then create ruckus.” While articulate to the Times of India about his post, Singh pronounced he is harm by and angry at what is happening “in the name of nationalism.”

In the first of two Facebook posts on the Kasganj violence, Singh wrote: “A very bizarre trend has started of late. Take out processions by force by Muslim dominated localities and lift anti-Pakistan slogans. Why? Are these people Pakistani? The same thing had happened in Khailam encampment of Bareilly. Then stones were pelted, FIRs lodged.”

The Times of India report forked out that:

“During the kanwar yatra [a Hindu eremite procession] last year in July, 15 ITBP jawans and two dozen kanwariyas [processionists] were harmed after the latter insisted on holding their way by Khailam, an area with estimable Muslim population. Soon there were clashes between the two groups and close to 250 Muslims were booked after the incident.”

The Times continued, “In another post, Singh wondered because identical slogans were never lifted [by Hindu nonconformist groups] against China… [and commented:] ‘Such border groups are coming up in every partial of the state, holding the same nauseous track to induce people of the minority encampment by forcefully entering their locality in the name of nationalism. These people don’t caring about the fabric of a churned enlightenment and brotherhood.’”

Trolled and abused, summoned to the state headquarter, Lucknow, and reprimanded by his domestic bosses, Singh has given apologized and deleted his two posts. Meanwhile, contacted by Times of India for their comments on Singh’s Facebook posts, a few bureaucrats plainly permitted Singh’s views, others gave their still capitulation in perspective of the “sensitive inlet of the controversy,” while some suggested caution. A retired emissary examiner ubiquitous of police from the Uttar Pradesh cadre, S.R. Darapuri, has released a press matter alleging the Kasganj assault was sponsored by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the party in energy both at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh.

In a marvellous exposé, the Times of India reported Wednesday, Jan 31: “UP police are study a video that has surfaced, which purportedly shows a organisation of immature men marching towards a Muslim-dominated area in Kasganj on the morning of Jan 26, with guns. Some of them then fire several rounds. The video, shot from the roof of the inner tehsil office, also shows many in the organisation holding clubs and sticks….In the assault that followed, one man was shot passed and two seriously injured.”

Stating it had accessed the new video, the Times of India quoted a police officer, who said, “There were over 50 youths and one of them had the Indian flag. At slightest two had revolvers and others were carrying clubs and sticks, while the rest were hurling stones towards the Muslim-populated area. Several shots were fired in air by youths who were in the ‘Tiranga yatra.’”

Throughout its over nine-decade history, the RSS has peddled the parable that Hindus are by inlet non-violent, that Muslims alone are obliged for all assault between the two communities, forcing Hindus to conflict in self-defense. In the context of India’s encampment story this is referred to as the, ‘Who expel the first stone?’ speculation of the Hindu nationalists.

The BJP and the rest of the ‘Brotherhood in Saffron’ have used the comfortless death of a immature Hindu who succumbed to a bullet damage on Republic Day as a focus to spin the Kasganj story upside-down. Muslims, it is being claimed in statements to the mass media and by the social media, fired on Hindus who had taken out a inhabitant dwindle convene to applaud Republic Day. Pro-Pakistan slogans were allegedly raised; the attack was pre-planned by pro-Pakistan elements. What serve explanation does one need of the trick of Indian Muslims?

Even the brazenly pro-BJP, pro-government news channel Republic TV telecast an “exclusive” showing the BJP MP Rajveer Singh—son of Kalyan Singh, stream Governor of Rajasthan and former arch apportion of UP under whose watch the Babri Mosque was demolished, inciting Hindus to assault against Muslims during the cremation way of the defunct Chandan Gupta. Muslim skill was targeted and torched immediately after the cremation.

Among those pouring venom against Muslims was the BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh, Vinay Katiyar, who claimed pro-Pakistan agitators incited assault in Kasganj. “Pakistan supporters have come to Kasganj; they only honour the Pakistani dwindle and were lifting slogans of ‘Pakistan zindabad.’ These people have killed one of a workers. These people should be dealt with strictly,” he demanded. The fire-breathing Union apportion Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti combined that the Kasganj occurrence showed that a inhabitant dwindle convene is unacceptable to “anti-national elements” that should be dealt with firmly.

“It has spin a trend these days to raise the Pakistan flag,” Katiyar after told the TV news channel CNN-News18. Asked if he had any justification of Pakistani supporters having unfurled Pakistan flags in Kasganj, he simply stated, “I have all the required information.”

Not for the first time, the new video that captures the armed Hindu host marching toward a Muslim locality in Kasganj and banishment in the air blows a big hole in the oft-promoted who-cast-the-first-stone supposition of the RSS.

“Damned if we do, darned if we don’t,” a Muslim romantic from UP told this author following the Kasganj violence. On the eve of Independence Day—August 15—last year all madrasas in UP perceived a gauge from the UP Madarsa Shiksha Parishad, a state supervision body, directing that not only must all madrasas raise the inhabitant flag, sing the inhabitant anthem and classify a informative program, they must also furnish videographic and detailed “evidence” of the same.

“Madrasas and their teachers have done profitable grant in India’s leisure struggle. In annoy of this, it is hapless and condemnable that we are being treated with suspicion,” Haji Syed Tahwar Hussain, manager of Madrasa Arabia in Gorakhpur, told CNN-News18.

Ironic, isn’t it? Around Independence Day last year in UP under the watch of the BJP supervision led by a Yogi (Adityanath), the devotion of Muslims to the country and its inhabitant dwindle was suspect. Now, this Republic Day, the extemporaneous decision of Muslims from a UP city to classify a community-level dwindle hoisting rite has been incited upside down into a story of how “anti-national Muslims” lifted Pakistani flags and pounded “patriotic Hindus” who designed a ‘Tiranga Yatra.’

The irony does not finish here. As is well-known, the RSS hated the tricolor selected by India’s leisure fighters as the inhabitant flag. “Indian tricolor will never be reputable and owned by the Hindus,” the many worshiped Guru of the Hindu nationalists and the then RSS arch M.S. Golwalkar wrote in the organization’s mouthpiece Organiser in 1947. “The word 3 in itself is an evil, and a dwindle having 3 colors will positively furnish a very bad psychological outcome and is damaging to a country,” he added.

As Shamsul Islam writes, “While addressing a Gurupurnima entertainment in Nagpur in 1946 Golwalkar had asserted that it was the saffron dwindle which in assemblage represented the good enlightenment of Hindus, adding, ‘We resolutely trust that in the finish the whole republic will crawl before this saffron flag.’”

Here is the irony. In gripping with its convictions, the RSS refused to spread and compensate respects to the tricolor for decades after independence. It is only in new years that domestic profitableness has compelled it and its countless children to at last “respect” and “own” the tricolor. But now that it “owns” the inhabitant flag, how can it endure the steer of Muslims affirming “co-ownership” of the same? 

Images of Indian Muslims unfurling the inhabitant tricolor do not fit the picture of the country’s minority that the RSS has been raised before the republic for scarcely a century now. But the issue goes way over the flag. As one commentator has recently observed: 

“Hindus alone are the legitimate inhabitants of India, wrote the many worshiped Guru of the sangh parivar, M.S. Golwalkar in his We, or Our Nationhood Defined in the late 1930s. Some two decades after in his Bunch of Thoughts, he warned Hindus to beware of Indian Muslims, their ‘enemy series one.’ The inner enemy, he forked out, was worse than any outmost enemy.

“For the Hindu supremacists the Indian Muslim stays a ‘Pakistani within’ whose nationalism is perpetually suspect.”

At the perfection of a “Tiranga Rally” also on Republic Day orderly by the Hindu Yuva Vahini—a origination of Yogi Adityanath—in Meerut, its state secretary, Nagendra Tomar, called on Hindu lady to ready for a “counter love-jihad” against Muslims. (The Hindu supremacists lay that all marriages between Muslim men and Hindu women are partial of a swindling to captivate Hindu girls for acclimatisation into Islam.) “If they take divided one (Hindu girl), you must bring in at slightest 10 of them (Muslim girls),” he announced amidst eager applause.

In UP under BJP rule, the latest occurrence at Kasganj is but an instance of the Hindu right-wing’s office of encampment politics by any probable means. This is also a sinister sign of the kind of hate-driven politics that targets India’s eremite minorities—physically, culturally and emotionally—and is some-more likely to spread under the benefaction regime.

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