India’s Taliban on a rampage
Two incidents which happened in the last couple of days disturbed me very much. Both incidents concerned violent politically motivated tactics of small-time Hindu Taliban-like parties. Both incidents created a law and order problem which was not handled by the police with alacrity. In the first incident the delay on the part of the police to act was only too clear.
The first incident concerns a threatening letter that MNS (Maharashtra Navnirman Sena) members sent to the owner of a shop called Karachi Sweets in Mulund, with a demand to change the name of the shop of “face the consequences.” MNS has indulged in this kind of behavior often, it’s almost routine for them. The fact that they do this regularly clearly means that they have no fear of the police. The writer of this letter, Rajendra Deshmukh, dared to write this threatening letter on an MNS letterhead. This could only be possible if he knew he would not be prosecuted, if he knew that the police were on this side. And indeed, the police brazenly supported him this time. They had the cheek to suggest a new name for the shop – Mumbai Sweet House! They should be punished for supporting this unlawful behavior. If the police cannot uphold the rights of citizens they do not deserve to be wear that uniform!
Recently the MNS had threatened a book shop which stocked books by Pakistani writers. Even here they were supported by the police as the police had advised the owner of the bookshop to cooperate with the goons! What’s wrong with our police? Are they depressed? Are they afraid? Are they lazy? Are they secret members of MNS? Or are they being bribed?
True, after the violent tactics of the MNS and the cowardly behavior of the police was reported by the media, the state home minister and senior police officers did intervene and promise security to shop-owners who have shops with names of Pakistani cities. They have also apparently arrested some people. But many shop-owners don’t want to take chances. The owner of Karachi sweets could finally change the name of his shop. Sad, as most of these people are from Sindh and Punjab (now in Pakistan) and have fond pre-partition memories of the places.
These claims of MNS to represent the Marathi people is rubbish. Here is what a “marathi manoos” has to say:
…asking ‘Karachi Sweets’ to change their name is stupid! So will Karachi Society at Juhu be the next victim? Should we stop using ‘Multani Mitti’ in our ayurvedic facepacks? How about banning Afghan Snow? Drop the word ‘Sindh’ from our National Anthem? Stop eating Chicken Peshawari @ Khyber? Shiv Sena has already vandalized ‘Baluchi’ restaurant in Intercontinental The Lalit 2 days ago… so it need not be on your list!
Not just stupidity, these actions on the part of the MNS show their total lack of education and culture. We cannot deny our history and try to forget it! That’s what the Taliban did – by destroying Buddha statues in Afghanistan. They wanted to wipe out any sign that there were once Buddha’s devotees in Afghanistan. There are also Pakistani textbooks which distort history and deny the richness of the Hindu roots of many Pakistanis. And as we well know hundreds and hundreds of Hindu temples have been razed in Pakistan. History is being systematically wiped out. The MNS has started this too. The MNS is simply the little brother of the Taliban and we should always remember that brats grow up. If this party is allowed to flourish they will become the Hindu Taliban. The police need to wake up and the ruling Congress government thrown out for allowing MNS to take root.
And MNS could soon have the support of other Hindu radical parties from all over India. These parties could form a coalition and perhaps call it the United Front of the Hindu Taliban.
Another instance is one where 40 members of a group called Sri Rama Sene attacked a few defenceless girls yesterday in Mangalore, a coastal city in the state of Karnataka. They beat them up for “violating traditional Indian norms.” Can you imagine what sort of mentality these men have? What “Indian” norms they themselves have? People like these should not be called the “moral” police, that term is too good for them! And as is the case in almost all such incidents, extortion is suspected. I won’t be surprised if a few of these potential rapist goons were desperate to touch these girls. There are allegations of molestation too.
The ugly incident has a murky dimension also with leaders of Sri Rama Sene and Bajrang Dal, another pro-Hindu organisation fighting to take credit for the attack in the name of punishing those going against “traditional Indian norms”. Mangalore police said the girls had suffered minor injuries.
The fact that some time after the incident, the leader of this Hindu Taliban gang came on a respectable news channel to take “credit” for the attack and justified it, shows that these people were not immediately arrested. Also the fact that this was filmed shows that the media had been told to be there. So if the media knew, could the police not have known? Sure, these men have now been arrested, but why was this allowed to happen in the first place? It is believed that the “attackers have good political links and are a part of an extortionist gang” and “the attack is an attempt to spread terror amongst restaurant owners in the city”.
(Added later: Immediately after the attack the Chief Minister of the state, B S Yeddyurappa, said that no one should allow goons to take the law into their own hands. Has he lost his mind? What law is he talking about? I have not heard of any law which bars women from entering pubs or sitting with the opposite sex. So does this mean that the CM believes that the women should not go to pubs and sit with men? No wonder people are taking the law into their own hands!!)
If the police drag their feet, not just in arresting these people but also making out proper charge-sheets and prosecuting them, we will soon have a United Front of the Hindu Taliban on our doorsteps.
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