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At the receiving end

editorial 2

Reuters, an international news agency headquartered in London, has come up with a disturbing report on how Hindu extremists deny Muslims their livelihood in BJP-ruled states in India. According to the report, the Hindu extremists, who pose as cow vigilantes, not only beat (in some cases kill) Muslim farmers and seize their cattle but also redistribute the stolen cattle to Hindu farmers. The aim, on one hand, is to further economic marginalization of Muslims and, on the other, to strengthen their Hindu brethren economically. The report, widely covered by international press, recently, said that Pehlu Khan, a Muslim cattle trader was not only lynched by a Hindu mob to death but the cows seized from him were hauled off to a nearby Hindu-run shelter that takes in cattle snatched from Muslims and sells them. These bands of right-wing Hindus are operating as private militias. They are undeterred by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public calls on them to end the violence. States under BJP rule have seen a marked increase in cow theft from Muslims as well as funding for cow shelters that in many cases take in the stolen cattle. Though there is no proper record of how many cows have been stolen from Muslims by these Hindu brigades but, in north India alone, around 19000 cows are reported to have been seized from Muslims since Narendra Modi became Prime Minister in 2014. IN many cases BJP politicians are reportedly providing funds to Hindu extremists to carry on their nefarious actions. As the things stand now, there seems social and political approval to the actions of Hindu extremists. In many cases, there are life threats to Muslims. The savage killing of a senior Muslim citizen by Hindu extremists in Utter Pradesh, last month, has brought forth the fact once again that Muslims are living on the edge. The Hindu extremists bludgeoned a 63-year old Ghulam Mohammad to death in UP’s Bulandshahr allegedly for helping a Muslim boy elope with a Hindu girl. The dastardly killing has been carried out by the lampoons associated with an outfit the Hindu Yuva Vahini founded and led by Adityanath Yogi, an extremist anti Muslim Hindu preacher, now chief minister of the state. Some months back, a Muslim boy Shakeel was lynched to death in Jharkhand for having an “affair” with a Hindu girl. 51-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq was kicked and beaten to death while his 22-year-old son was seriously injured by Hindu goons in Dadri, two years back, merely on the suspicion of keeping a piece of beef in his refrigerator . There are other numerous instances where these lampoon groups have indulged in various murderous acts. They are operating as private army of Hindu the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP). The BJP is the political face of Hindu extremist groups, more particularly RSS, which wants to establish India as a Hindu state. Narendra Modi, the prime minister, has not been prompt in denouncing killings, and his language has been far from forceful. It goes without saying that “love Jihad” and ‘cow protection (gau raksha)’ is a cover for the pursuit of the kind of exercise in communal consolidation. Tolerating the violence and intimidation in the name of Love jihad and cow (or beef) is a go-ahead message to the communal forces —from the men in power. With the appointment of Yogi Adityanath as chief minister, the war against Muslims has intensified. This is, in fact, an attempt to paralysing the Muslims economically. They attackers and their sponsors know that by targeting the resources, it will affect the soul of Muslims and they plan such attacks with due diligence. By allowing it to happen, the BJP is doing no good to the country. They might be drawing a sadistic pleasure by targeting the Muslims but in the long run it would be quite dangerous of the very existence of the country.