The Urdu Press: Atrocities Act ruling

The Urdu Press: Atrocities Act ruling

Maulana Asrar-ul-Haque Qasimi, in his column in Rashtriya Sahara on April 10, writes: “In the past, Dalits have been subjected to physical violence, they have been whipped and forced to commit suicide."

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Dalit activists protest on the railway tracks in Ludhiana. (Express file photo/Gurmeet Singh)

In the backdrop of the protests by Dalits against the Supreme Court’s decision to dilute the law against atrocities on them, MP and political commentator, Maulana Asrar-ul-Haque Qasimi, in his column in Rashtriya Sahara on April 10, writes: “In the past, Dalits have been subjected to physical violence, they have been whipped and forced to commit suicide. These were not minor cases of oppression. In addition, now there are efforts to weaken the law that was meant to protect them. And, when sections of Dalits came to the street to protest, they were fired upon. At least a dozen Dalit youth were killed. The price of the Dalit anger can be the loss of power for the government… Many leaders of the ruling BJP are putting their own government in the dock on the question of Dalits.”

Sahafat, in an editorial on April 4, notes: “The court decided that immediate action on a complaint by a Dalit is wrong. In fact, natural justice demands that an investigation should be made in case of any complaint. The system of unearthing the facts moves around this system of action. What is the guarantee that every allegation by a Dalit complainant is correct? There are certain principles of law that have to be followed. Everybody knows that the violation of these principles had created ‘terror’, because under the law, not only could there be immediate arrest; there could also be hurdles in getting bail.”

Blackbuck case

The conviction of Bollywood superstar Salman Khan in the blackbuck shooting case has generated much discussion. Roznama Khabrein’s editorial on April 7 notes: “Alongside the conviction of Salman Khan, many other filmstars who had been accused in the case have been acquitted. It has been proved that the arms of the law are very long. Howsoever big one may be, she has to be brought under the purview of justice. And, justice is alive… It is true that for lack of concrete evidence or because of technical reasons, alleged perpetrators of crimes in cases like Pehlu Khan’s killing or the Hashimpura massacre were acquitted. But another aspect of justice is that innumerable young men who had to be in jail for very long periods of time, under allegations of terrorism, got justice from courts. Many who had been given death sentences were released honourably by the Supreme Court… Judgments may take long in coming due to the burden on the courts, but justice does come knocking, even when it is delayed. Salman Khan’s case should be looked at from this perspective.”

Akhbar-e-Mashriq’s editorial on the same day, points out: “Whatever may be the final judgment in the higher courts, they should release Salman on parole from time to time keeping in view the interests of the film producers.”


Hamara Samaj, in its editorial on April 8, writes: “One should take a lesson from the Salman Khan case. The concern of the Bishnoi Samaj for the blackbuck should be respected. Not just wild animals, one should love every living being and any murder should not be tolerated. But it is very surprising that when horrible murders took place in Rajasthan and Afrazul was killed, the Bishnois were tongue-tied.”

A father’s message

Amid the fires of communalism in West Bengal, Bihar and elsewhere, the message of an Imam of an Asansol mosque for peace and harmony, following the killing of his 16-year old son, has touched many hearts. Rashtriya Sahara, in its editorial on April 9, writes: “Standing beside the corpse of his 16-year old son, Maulana Imadullah Rashidi, could have, if he wanted, taken the path of violence — something that is common practice among politicians. But addressing the gathering of Muslims at the funeral, he said that ‘God has fixed everyone’s span of life. This child has completed that fixed time and this was God’s will. If you have any love for us, keep Asansol peaceful’. He said that if his words were not heeded, he would leave Asansol”.

The paper adds: “Along with Asansol, the entire country is obliged to Maulana Rashidi. His actions stopped the intensification of the communal conflict. He set an example of tolerance and conciliation. He demonstrated that in the jihad for life, love is also a sword for conquering the world.”

Giving a positive outlook to this incident, Inquilab, in a commentary on April 3, notes: “At times, an Imam Rashidi stands up to urge people to not put his son’s martyrdom to shame. At other times, a Yashpal Saxena comes up pleading that people not play politics on his son’s death. And at some other times, in Banaras Hindu University, there is a seminar to protect the shared heritage of Urdu and Hindi. All these give rise to a feeling that India is alive.”