“There is no doubt in my mind that in the majority of quarrels the Hindus come out second best. My own experience but confirms the opinion that the Musalman as a rule is a bully, and the Hindu as rule is a coward. I have notices this in railways trains, on public roads, and in the quarrels which I have had the privilege of setting. Need the Hindu blame the Musalman for his cowardice? Quarrels must break out so long as the Hindus continue to be seized with fear. Bullies are always to be found where there are cowards. The Hindus must understand no one can afford them protection if they go on hugging fear”. – Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi and Communal Problems, pg. 38
The rioting and stone-pelting started at the time of Hindu New Year in the Muslim dominated areas have refused to stop. The Jahangirpuri area of Nation Capital saw another attack on the Hanuman Jayanti procession with stones pelting. Some vehicles were torched after the devotees crossed a mosque in the region. Police personnel who went to arrest the key conspirator of the violence were also received with stone-pelting. Why do Hindu festivals always witness stone-pelting incidents in the Muslim dominated areas? Who is responsible for this rioting? What are the options to deal with this aggression and bullying by the so-called minorities?
Hindu festivals experiencing Islamic aggression have been an age-old phenomenon. Whoever does not believe in the Islamist version of God and the Prophet are Kafirs – the non-believers. Hindus worshipping idols are the worst kinds of Kafirs. Hindu festivals intrinsically involving idol worship are the natural target of Islamists. The misperception of being the natural rulers of Bharat after the departure of the British fuels the political ambitions. From Khilafat to Partition, Hindus have experienced similar intimidation through violence. As Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar warned in his treatise on the Partition, fundamentalist psychology did not change even with a separate state for Muslims.
Before creating Pakistan, Congress believed that only by taking Muslims along in the fight against colonisers we could attain freedom. The same Islamic appeasement continued even after Independence. The recently evolved ecosystem immediately swings into action and plays a victim card for Islamists. As happened in the Jahangirpuri case, the fake narratives of provocation from the Hindu side were used to justify the criminal acts. Illegal migration, encroachments, stone-pelters and rioters always get such a cover from a set of intellectuals and media. The victim card played for the aggressive minority that believes in imposed uniformity is always used to force a guilt consciousness on the Hindu community that has celebrated diversity at the civilisational level. The pseudo-secularists, hypocritical communists and their legal luminaries are the natural allies of Islamists.
Dealing with organised and aggressive Islamists has been a critical question at the international level. In Bharat, bulldozer is fast emerging as a State response against all criminals. The action in the Jahangirpuri area was about encroachments. The perception has been created through the court intervention about the anti-Muslim demolition. As per the rule of law in a democracy, a bulldozer cannot be and should not be the ideal response to deal with criminals. With the successful experiment in Uttar Pradesh, the bulldozer has emerged as a symbol of strict action against the rioters. Mahatma Gandhi, who had spent his entire life for the cause of Hindu-Muslim unity, also called bullying a rule for Islamists. To be brave was his prescription for the cowardice Hindu. Unfortunately, the non-violent bravery suggested by Gandhiji did not work beyond a point under colonial rule where the rulers were dividing to rule. It is the natural expectation of nationalists that the state needs to take strict and decisive action against the ‘bullying’ mindset. While being true to their civilisational ethos, Hindus should continue celebrating diversity without tolerating intolerance and hatred towards the same. Abulldozer can be just a temporary symbol of addressing fundamentalist aggression, but integration through shared ideals and organised strength is the long term solution.