Udaipur Horror: Punishing the killers is easy, not quite the enablers
Kanhaiya Lal had been pleading with the authorities and also repeatedly flagged the threat to his life for over 15 days before he was killed in the most horrific manner
The two monsters in human form who brutally beheaded an innocent Hindu citizen, Kanhaiya Lal, in Udaipur are under arrest and will face the law now. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is also on the job trying to investigate whether this was part of a larger conspiracy. That one of the killers had spent a month and a half in Pakistan recently has been stated by the Rajasthan home minister himself. There are also reports of the killers being motivated by a Barelvi extremist group Dawat-e-Islami. No doubt these facts will come out as the investigation progresses.
Far more disturbing are the countless media reports showing, in a chronological manner, the unpardonable lapses of the local police. It is now public knowledge that Kanhaiya Lal's murder was no surprise. He had been pleading with the authorities and repeatedly flagging the threat to his life for well over a fortnight. Hence, the police needs to share the blame too and no amount of cover fire by spokespersons of the Congress can change this fact.
But it would be a travesty if the inhuman Udaipur incident is seen in isolation. To start with Rajasthan, the state has witnessed back to back communal strife for several months. Anything happening anywhere in the country becomes a trigger for communal violence and rioting in the state. It is almost as if there is no fear of the law anymore. In February, PFI activists carried out a protests march in few towns of Rajasthan and one of the rallies was attended by a serving police officer of the state! Even in the prolonged riot in Karauli the main conspirator remains out of reach of the police after all these months.
While Karauli hit the national headlines, there were attacks on temples and violence in chilling succession in Nohar, Chhabra, Jodhpur. Like Karauli, one community faced the wrath of the police in all these places. The riots were followed by a clampdown on Hindu festivals in Sawai Madhopur, Bikaner and Salasar. Prohibitory orders were laid down at the time of every Hindu Shobha Yatra or community festival citing law and order.
Social media posts denigrating the Hindu faith are circulated with impunity while there have been incidents of publishing books with incendiary texts against Hindu religion such as one written by a teacher in Bhilwara. When confronted by the media chief minister Ashok Gehlot has often passed the buck on the centre and the politics of Modi-Shah.
But it would be naive to think what happened in Udaipur could not have happened in some other corner of the country. The reason is clear. There is a section of the intelligentsia that is hyper active in peddling the campaign that Muslims are terrorised, victimised and/or neglected in India. The commentariat amplifying this theory never comes out with empirical data. Because from distribution of social benefit schemes to access to education, healthcare, infrastructure or employment, there is no data which can corroborate the charge.
As for violence, they focus on incidents related to Muslims while conveniently glossing over similar incidents of killing/ torture/injuring of Hindus, Sikhs or Jains. Thus creating a smokescreen that Muslims alone are the victims. Even though the number of Hindus, particularly women, killed is an eye opener.
Due to its sizeable Muslim population and its slow but steady march to progress, India has been on the radar of the radical Islamic groups worldwide. There are also home gown tanzeems or outfits which are working in tandem with these globally threatening powers.
Only a sustained and tough resistance to these salesmen of terror can prevent the radicalisation. Instead, we have a large segment which provides all the fodder and ammunition to these terrorists. In this age of social media when posts are shared in lakhs and a minute is a long time, their job becomes that much easier. These people, who ironically call themselves liberal and secular, very smartly profile incidents and comments selectively to build the 'Muslims in Danger' theory which then becomes useful stuff for terror outfits to amplify worldwide and call for Jehad against India.
It is easier to nab a terrorist today than keep a vigil on millions of accounts posting stuff which can be incendiary and extremely beneficial to the traders of destruction. When the peddlers are well known journalists, columnists, authors and celebrities, action immediately gets projected as clampdown. The global media serves its role by playing up on these incidents while conveniently ignoring the full picture.
It is easy to punish the killers of Kanhaiya Lal. Not so easy to bring the enabling ecosystem within the ambit of the law. But even a small step from common citizens can help us fight this gigantic battle.
(Smita Mishra writes on politics and current affairs)
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of OneIndia and OneIndia does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.