The attack on the famous Sankatmochan temple at Varanasi on the eve of Holy festival is the culmination of the Muslim passions aroused by Jehadi elements in recent weeks and months with not so covert support from the ?secularists?, particularly Mulayam Singh´s Samajwadi Party and the Congress. The bomb blasts at the temple and the Varanasi Cantonment railway station that claimed a large number of innocent lives are the latest in a distressing series of violence perpetrated by Islamists in recent weeks and months. The attacks on Hindu property and innocent citizens under the garb of protest against the publication of cartoons lampooning Prophet Mohammad by a Danish daily in Hyderabad and other places are symptoms of the same mindset. No Hindu organisation or leader had provoked the Muslims on the issue. On the contrary, Hindu religious leaders and the political class across the board condemned the cartoons saying no one should hurt the religious sentiments of any section of the society. Why did the Muslim crowd coming out of a mosque after the friday prayers attack Hindu properties and innocent citizens in Lucknow? How come, an anti-Bush rally was converted into an anti-Hindu riot in which four people were done to death.
The mindless pandering to Muslims in search of votes has encouraged Muslim fundamentalists to believe that they can get away with any crime. The response of the ?secularists? to the made-to-order report by U.C. Bannerjee Committee on the burning alive of 69 Hindus in Sabarmati Express at Godhra is a case in point. The Committee lacked credibility from day one. The entire exercise, including the choice of the former judge, the timings of its constitution and its terms of reference, was politically motivated. No one expected the committee to try to unearth the truth, as the very purpose behind its constitution was to exonerate the Jehadis and their supporters. The Committee´s report confirmed our worst apprehensions. The shameless manner in which the former judge went ahead with addressing a press conference about his ?finding? that it was an accident that has shocked and outraged not only relatives of victims but also the entire nation barring the ?secular? brigade. ?Accident? it was that a several thousand strong Muslim mob had assembled about 700 metres from the platform. ?Accident? it was that the conspirators had procured and stored petrol near the place of action. ?Accident? it was that the chain was pulled to stop the train near Signal Falia – a Muslim area and burning missiles and acid bulbs were thrown in the coaches. ?Accident? it was that the mob resorted to stoning the survivors to prevent them from coming out of the burning coach. And an ?accident? it was that vacuum pipe was cut to prevent the driver to move the train out of the trouble spot.
Enquiries conducted by several independent bodies into the Godhra massacre proved beyond a shadow of doubt that it was a pre-planned attack on pilgrims returning from Ayodhya. A five member non-official commission headed by Justice D S Tewatia, former Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court, that conducted a detailed enquiry into the gory incident on behalf of the Council for International Affairs and Human Rights, came to the firm conclusion that burning alive of 59 Hindu pilgrims at Godhra was an act of ?international terrorism?.
The mindless pandering to Muslims in search of votes has encouraged Muslim fundamentalists to believe that they can get away with any crime. The response of the ?secularists? to the made-to-order report by U.C. Bannerjee Committee on the burning alive of 69 Hindus in Sabarmati Express at Godhra is a case in point.
It was disgusting to see members belonging to the Congress, SP, Communist parties and their allies rushing to the well of the Lok Sabha and disrupting its proceedings to demand action on the Bannerjee Committee report. They were competing with one another to prove that they were more aggressive practitioner of minorityism. This despite Gujrat High Court´s stay on publication and any action on the controversial report. It is these and such other acts – like amendment to the Foreigners´ Act to help Bangladeshi infiltrators, making reservations for Muslims in Government jobs in Andhra, declaring Aligarh Muslim University a minority institution – of the Congress-led Government that must take the blame for strengthening Muslim fundamentalists and encouraging them to arouse communal passions and indulge in violence on any pretext. No one resents Muslims´ right to peacefully protest if their religious sentiments are hurt. But they have tarnished the image of their own community by indulging in violence over issues like vote on Iran and US role in Iraq. Muslim support to countries like Iran and Iraq, merely because they are Muslim countries, has strengthened the widely held perception that they have extraterritorial loyalties. They have brought the situation to such an intolerable level that that the world-renowned spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has expressed his anguish in the following words, ?Today, Hindus feel completely unsafe in India. Terrorists are attacking the Hindu community. First it was Diwali, now it is on the eve of Holi?. It is the holy man´s way of cautioning the minorities not to test Hindu tolerance beyond a limit. Will the Muslims listen to this wise advice and more importantly, when will Hindus rise to the occasion?