Sunday, August 1, 2010

The dangers of appeasement

3 events recently took place in 3 different zones of India. Though not very widely reported by the media, the events are some indicators of dangers of vote bank politics and time to come. In first event, a lecturer's hands were chopped of in Kerala by radical Muslim group for 'defaming' Mohammad, in another event Kashmir valley started following Friday as the weekly holiday for schools and banks rather than Sunday as in rest of India. Third event took place in West Bengal where radicals students of a government funded university forced teachers to wear a burqa and those who did not comply had to resign. Do I hear a 'Thank God for Modi in West Zone'?

The Kerala event is a natural culmination of the process of appeasement followed by both Left and Congress. Muslim votes are in sizeable numbers in North and Central Kerala. They ensure the victory and defeat of the parties. This prompted both the so-called secular parties from turning a blind eye to activities of the Muslim radicals. The radical leader Madani was convicted in the Coimbatore blast case but after a few years, in an unprecendented move, the Kerala and TN legislatures in a rare show of unity asked for his release. Since his release he claims to have shunned violence but his name figures in list of cases including the riot cases in a fishing village outside Calicut (Kozhikode), Bangalore blast case and the recently seen Love Jihad. Both Congress and Left clamoured to ensure that Madani was on their dias during last elections. Things have now reached such a level that Kerala is slowly becoming a hotbed of Wahabi terror. Kerala HC and later the CM had to comment on Love Jihad which is a sick attempt at conversions using heart as a weapon. Number of Hindu and Christian girls have either been converted or shunned after Nikah by Muslim youth in North Kerala. This menace has been admitted by all sections in Kerala. If the rising radicalism is not countered by peace or force today, it will result in insurgency in Gods own country.

The other incident of Kashmir is again symptomatic of politics of appeasement. The radicals in Kashmir valley have been courted , helped and encouraged by Congress at every stage of history. The death of Kashmiriyat and rise of Wahabi influence can now be seen from the fact that banks and schools in Kashmir valley have started following Friday as a holiday, which is different from rest of India. The hesitation of the ruling establishment from scrapping Article 370 for minority votes is now bearing dangerous fruits. After ethnic cleansing of Hindus from the valley, attempt is being made to convert the valley to another theocratic Islamic region.

The West Bengal issue of students forcing teachers to follow a dress code is a sign of times to come. Aliah University is a Madarasa which is converted to a university and runs on tax payers money. Here students have taken a radical stand and are not even apologetic about it. If we take this as a one off case and ignore it, we will face the same situation in all of India. Indoctrination since childhood and the reluctance to oppose radical thinking in Madarasa will slowly result in an army of educated but radicalised Muslim youth, which is a danger this country cannot afford.

This brings us to the larger question. Who will bell the cat? Recently Bangladesh SC took a bold decision and banned fatwas against women. If an Islamic state can do it why can't a secular state like India take on the radicals.

If we look at indications right now, Congress is very interested in playing the minority card since it sees this as a sure path to ruling India on its own. Also Congress is playing footsie with other radical institutions like KHAP Panchayats, Sambhaji Brigade, MNS. Other parties like Left, NCP, JD, TC, DMK, RJD, SP etc are all dependent on the minority votes. So that leaves only the BJP. It can do this by engaging with the moderates in the Muslim community and simultanesly ensuring that Hindu radical groups do not vitiate a process of harmony for a few minutes of fame. Modi is the best example of how radical influence in a state can be controlled by both tough action and empowerment. In his state, if needed for infra development, both temples and mosques were removed without any groups creating tensions. He has ensured safe and peaceful celebrations of both Moharram and Rath Yatra which was never the case in 'secular' Congress govts earlier. Today Muslims in Gujarat have the best per capita income compared to the Muslims in other states and they are better off in all other development index than Muslims from so-called secular states. In last 5 years, the fruits of development have reached all sections of the society in Gujarat and this has benefitted Muslims too. Slowly, the locals are moving on from 2002 (though the central govt, media and limousine liberals do not wish that the community moves ahead). The faster this process and faster it is accepted by those outside the state, easier it will be for BJP and Modi to build the bridge with the moderate section of Muslim community. Only this can ensure that genuine secularism prevails in the society and the Damocles sword of radical threat over our heads removed forever.