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Sunday, September 27, 2020

View From The Right: Reporting Kathua

Kathua rape-murder case: The report in Organiser claims that the police harassed locals in an attempt to boost the morale of nomadic tribes, who live in the area.

Updated: April 18, 2018 12:26:22 am
kathua, jammu and kashmir, kathua rape case, kathua rape case hearing, j-k police, kathua gangrape protests, Unnao rape, india news, indian express news Sanji Ram, one of the accused, in Kathua on Monday. (Photo: Reuters)

Organiser has a report on the Kathua rape-murder case, which says the police investigation has become controversial and has upset communal feelings. According to the report, the case has led to massive communal polarisation as the victim was from a poor Muslim family and all her tormentors were from the Hindu community. The report claims that the police harassed locals in an attempt to boost the morale of nomadic tribes, who live in the area. “Sanji Ram has been accused of resenting the fact that Muslim nomadic tribes were settling near his village, and the story was getting repeated elsewhere too. Fortunately, some Gujjar and Dogra leaders of the Jammu region spoke against the attempts to drive a wedge between the Dogra Hindus and local Gujjars and Bakkerwals,” according to the report. A journalist quoted in the report claims that there are attempts by “outsiders’’ to mislead patriotic Gujjars, who have never supported the Kashmiri separatists. Incidentally, the bandh was declared “successful” as its supporters demanded that the probe in the case be handed over to the CBI. Another important demand put forth by the agitators is the repatriation of illegal Bangladeshi and Myanmarese Rohingyas from Jammu and nearby areas. Incidentally, the case of repatriation of Rohingyas is pending in the Supreme Court. Those opposed to the continued presence of the Rohingya in Jammu allege that an attempt is being made to Islamise the Hindu-majority areas, according to the report. They further allege that this is part of a wider conspiracy to force Hindus out of Jammu, just as it was done in the Kashmir region to Kashmiri Pandits (KPs) three decades ago.

Re-reading Ambedkar
An article in Organiser claims Bhimrao Ambedkar never contemplated and wished for a “Muslim-Dalit” alliance. The article claims there have been recent attempts by Muslim leadership and apologists of the “Muslim-Dalit” syndicate to win over Ambedkar. It points to the strong pitch for Dalit-Muslim unity made by Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen President Asaduddin Owaisi, who believes that both communities could come together. “The political and intellectual forces which persistently work to break Bharat have worked out a new mantra. They suggest that ‘the Dalit is the new Muslim’. The fundamental question remains whether imaginary economic exploitation can supersede the key question of equality, identity and dignity. Islam cannot provide dignity to Dalits, because of the inherent caste discrimination in it,” according to the article. It claims that Muslim League was an upper caste party and Dr Ambedkar spoke about it at length. Didn’t Dr Ambedkar suggest that “Islam can never allow a true Muslim to adopt India as his motherland and regard a Hindu as his kith and kin”? The article further claims that Muslims always have discriminated against Dalits and considered them the other and never considered them as equals. “Babasaheb never contemplated and wished for a ‘Muslim-Dalit’ alliance in his lifetime. The political forces which are trying to bring together Muslims and Dalits on the same platform, are actually compromising the rights and opportunities of the latter. Moreover, by willingly placing the Dalits below the Muslims, the opposition parties are working towards tearing apart the fabric of the Bharatiya society,” according to the article, which claims Babasaheb articulated and accentuated a basic fact that by aligning with the Muslims, Dalits could end up compromising their opportunities for the worst.

Depoliticising BHU
Panchjanya is worried if Banaras Hindu University (BHU) would turn into a political battleground ahead of the 2019 general election. The concern is understandable as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to seek re-election from Varanasi constituency, which includes the BHU campus, home to a large youth population. The magazine has asked the new BHU vice-chancellor, Rakesh Bhatnagar, what measures he intends to take so that the campus is not misused during the 2019 election. In his reply, Bhatnagar has said he will speak to the students and intellectuals to avoid misuse of the campus during the polls. He also said that elections are a festival of democracy and everyone has to take part in them though there is no need to get carried away by emotions. He said BHU students should focus on their studies. The university was in the news last year when girl students staged protests over an incident of alleged molestation on campus. Bhatnagar has replaced the then VC, G C Tripathi.

(Compiled by Lalmani Verma)

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