Bengaluru has made the headlines for a terrible reason. A 21-year-old female student from Tanzania was allegedly assaulted, stripped and paraded naked by a mob for no fault of hers after a local woman was killed in an accident involving a Sudanese man.
The incident has every potential to snowball into a diplomatic row but the politicians were either busy misleading the people by saying it was not a racial attack or by taking on the opponents' ‘silence', terming it as hypocrisy.
Comparing impact of Dadri & Bengaluru incidents: No match at all
But when one compares the shocking incident in Bengaluru with the lynching of Mohammad Akhlaq in Dadri in Uttar Pradesh last September, the impact of the first case comes nowhere near the second. That is even a bigger worry.
If so many conscience-keepers of the nation woke up from slumber after the Dadri lynching saying it was intolerance in Narendra Modi's India, why not many are alarmed by the racist (no matter what the politicians and police say, it was nothing but a racial attack) tendencies in a cosmopolitan city like Bengaluru-India's Silicon Valley?
Protest over Dadri was a political agenda against PM Modi
If the lynching in Dadri was seen as the lowest point in Modi's India and the prime minister was questioned over his silence while a number of Sahitya Akademi awardees returned their awards in protest, why not the racial attacks on foreigners on the soil of this country which has been known for its democratic ethos are being discussed with equal emphasis?
Or is it that our protests are just morally convenient and politically expedient?
To those who feel India is intolerant: Do you have any plan to protest against what happened in B'luru in a big way?
It is a shame that social problems in India today are reduced to political tug-of-war instead of being addressed.
Those who felt that India has indeed turned intolerant and queued up for returning their awards after the Dadri lynching incident had a clear agenda of defaming Modi for these pseudo-liberals had an inherent fear that the latter's rule would only see communal clashes in India.
But they never had the analytical mind to understand how the socio-economic complexities of the country have changed in the liberalised era and how communal hatred has turned out into a means to express frustration over identity crisis.
The intent was to somehow embarrass the PM, particularly ahead of the crucial Bihar Assembly elections. Even the Samajwadi Party government of UP, which has otherwise come under serious question over its administration since 2012 when it came to power, was spared for Dadri, which in effect became a sequel to Babri of 1992.
But when foreign nationals are subjected to racial humiliation, none of these ‘liberal' minds speak up, may be because they find it politically less rewarding.
The Tanzanian woman was attacked in a Congress-ruled state but yet the ruling party has come under little criticism from the ‘conscience-keepers' who did not forget to make themselves heard after the rationalist M M Kalburgi was murdered in the same state last year. The question then was raised against the same ‘majoritarian tyranny' as well.
Racist attacks politically not saleable?
The racist attacks are politically not saleable and hence they find less space in public for long.
The story of the Ugandan women who were humiliated in Delhi after Arvind Kejriwal had come to power for the first time has been long forgotten. So will be this Tanzanian woman and her friends. And everything will ultimately be reduced to a Modi vs the rest fight in which racist attacks don't fit in and hence discarded.
Is this the ultimate reality of India's long nurtured and universally acclaimed power of accommodation?