India is once again suffering from election fever. The fascist elements are out to defame India. The first sparks were lit in Tripura, a small state with 40 lakh population with about 8 per cent Muslims. The excuse was the condemnable anti-Hindu riots, killings and destruction in Bangladesh, which was severely condemned by all right-thinking citizens, including an overwhelming majority of Muslims. This magazine also appreciated the strict action taken against the Muslim culprits of Bangladesh. We also reminded Bangladesh Muslims that protecting and respecting the Hindu minority in their country is their basic Islamic and humanist responsibility.

Unfortunately, under the excuse of atrocities in Bangladesh, the communal and fascist elements reportedly belonging to VHP and other organisations raised provocative slogans and even abused the Holy Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. Reports confirm that there have been at least 27 confirmed incidents of Hindutva mobs attacking mosques, houses and individuals. Sixteen mosques were vandalised and VHP flags were forcibly hoisted thereon. Three mosques, Palbazar Masjid in Unnakoti district, Dogra Masjid in Gomati district and a masjid in Narola Tila in Vishalgarh were set on fire. Muslim houses were pelted with stones and houses of prominent Muslims were targeted and vandalised. All these shameful attacks were reportedly carried out by VHP and other communal outfits. Police did not prevent the violence and acted as mute spectators.

Political parties, including the Opposition have avoided condemning these shameful atrocities on a weakened and marginalised community. The role of greater part of media also is objectionable. The mainstream TV channels, most of whom are nicknamed godi media, are silent on these anti-Muslim riots.

The poisoned and anti-Muslim atmosphere raises a disturbing question about the future of democracy and pluralism in the country. Does the ruling party want to sacrifice the future of the country and the peace and amity just for securing votes and sticking to power? The game of Hindu-Muslim divide is fraught with grave dangers for the nation. It has already defamed and damaged us in the world.

US Vice President Kamala Harris had advised our PM about the importance of democracy and inclusiveness. Our PM has invited Pope to visit India. Already the Vatican has flagged threats of hyper-nationalism and restrictions on preaching non-Hindu religions and dubbing conversion outside Hinduism as forced conversion.

One basic question is who provides the sparks for communal violence. Those who pursue the policy of Divide and Rule and promote hate to secure votes. One recent example is Mr. Amit Shah’s claim that Congress was indulging in appeasement (read of Muslims) politics. He said that Congress, during its tenure, permitted blocking of a national highway for namaz. It would have been kind of him if he had specified which national highway was blocked for namaz. This reminds us of another party leader who said a few years back that not only qabristan but shamshans (burial grounds) also should be protected, and electricity should be supplied on Diwali also as was being supplied on Eid. Such low talks from such heights severely poison and contaminate the minds and souls of perpetrators of crimes who are not only defaming but also destroying the country.

It is heartening that Tripura High Court has taken suo moto cognisance of the atrocities. Let us hope that the wrong doers would be given exemplary punishment and it would stop further atrocities.

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