If BJP MP Bidhuri could hurl such crude-communal stuff standing right inside Parliament, one can well imagine what obnoxious stuff he must be mouthing on the streets of South Delhi – his constituency!
What do you say to the communal slurs, obnoxious comments unleashed by BJP MP from South Delhi, Ramesh Bidhuri, in the Lok Sabha during the special session of Parliament? Don’t they relay the utter decay and degeneration spreading out in that most uncontrolled way? Don’t they leave you feeling disgusted, just about too fed up with the communal lot ruining us in every sense of the term?
Ramesh Bidhuri unleash could be termed not just communal but crude and uncouth and nauseating enough to be aptly dealt with, in the severest possible way.
He was heaping communal comments, one after another, on the BSP MP, Danish Ali. Mind you, all this is taking place right inside the Parliament. And instead of asking him to keep shut or control his unleash, the two BJP parliamentarians sitting next to him were seen smiling and semi-laughing! All too well captured in that video.
Lurking in the backdrop is the grim fact that this is not the first time a parliamentarian has unleashed and hurled obnoxious-communal comments on the largest minority community of India, the Muslims.
And also stands out the fact that each time the communal politicians go unpunished and uncontrolled. This has only added to the mess getting messier. Mind you, this trend of hurling hurtful- obnoxious- communal comments and abuses at Muslims and getting away with it, seems part of the governing tactics of the Right-Wing. And with these blatant onslaughts on the rise one can well imagine the fear and apprehensions the minority community goes through.
Let me hasten to add that if this parliamentarian Bidhuri could vomit such crude-uncouth- communal stuff standing right inside the Parliament, then one can well imagine what obnoxious stuff he must be shrieking and shouting on the streets of South Delhi – his constituency! What would be the fate of the minority communities residing in and around South Delhi! Yes, do ponder on this. Don’t overlook the offshoots and graver dimensions to it!
When my friends can’t understand or comprehend the apprehensions and insecurities an Indian Muslim is facing, I tell them to go about in the traditional attire – he in a shervani, she in a burqa or hijab, and greet with a ‘as- salaam – alaikum’– in public places or even in the drawing rooms of the political and bureaucratic supposed who’s who. Then see what response comes their way! Or just about spell out a Muslim name and surname and address of a Muslim-dominated area. In fact, my Kashmiri friends tell me that the Valley address and a Muslim name and face is adequate for the cops to get suspicious! And then question in every possible way! And in certain locales if ‘Mian’ is prefixed to the name or surname of a Musalman man, then that stereotype ‘image’ looms large!
How times have changed – when I was a young girl, the very prefix ‘Mian’ to a Muslim gentleman would be in terms of respect, but in today’s scenario it’s used with an obnoxiously communal slant!
It’s not just shocking but simply dismaying to realize how the various Ministries are doing little to harness the way and manner in which a Muslim is looked at, because of the heap of myths and misconceptions.
Why should a Muslim be dis-respected in her or his own country? What is the government and all the men under its command doing to halt this dangerous trend? Why should a citizen of this democracy be looked at with disrespect or suspicion or go through those humiliating rounds of questions and queries?
Injustices would have been accepted if it was one of those erstwhile times where the kings ruled as they wished to. Not in a democracy. Don’t we realize the basic fabric is being systematically ruptured…I’d never visualized that we would be at this strange juncture; where one is left with only two choices – either sit back conned by all possible distractions or else stand hunched in that corner, as a second or third class citizen. You can’t even argue or dissent or counter. Remember, you are living these strange times, where it takes not long for those in the establishment to heap a couple of charges on your head together with -‘off – with -it’ orders! Today encounters are taking place so very blatantly yet we are not crying ‘halt’ nor questioning the State might!
Why we, as a people, are not standing up, speaking out. Why should only Muslims speak out if they are lynched? Why should only Christian leaders speak out if churches and priests are targeted? Why should only Hindus speak out if there’s hounding of their community? Why should only Sikhs speak out if tortures are inflicted on the Sikh community? Why should bureaucrats and civil servants bare the blatant truths only and only after they sit retired in that safe positioning?
Today, how many amongst us are trying to counter the communal madness surcharging ahead? Are we, as a people, taking on the political mafia? No, as most of us sit like mute spectators, inhaling the poisonous propaganda in circulation.
Gone are personalities like Khushwant Singh. Nostalgia hitting. Images spreading out of the dos hosted by Khushwant Singh at his Sujan Singh Park apartment during that fixed one-hour slot, 7 to 8 pm, when he would talk of the various political characters together with the ‘fundoos’ ( fundamentalists) and their destructive unleash. On countless occasions I’d heard him argue and argue rather too vehemently with the likes of Swaraj Pauls and also with VS Naipaul for their pro-Right slants.
Khushwant was Khushwant. When I had asked him what are the regrets in his life, he’d quipped, “Wish I’d taken on these fundoos years back. They are hell bent on destroying this country. We don’t seem to realize the damage they are doing! I should have written more about their misdeeds, exposed many more of them.”
Woman of grit
Gone also are the women of grit, like the late Mrinalini Sarabhai who was one of the few to raise her voice in Ahmedabad as the pogrom had peaked in 2002.
I recall that soon after the Gujarat pogrom, I’d written a piece for The Indian Express, along the strain: ‘Where is our God ?…Not In Bharat, Apparently!’ It was a cry from my heart. Perhaps, the cry was piercing enough to have touched Mrinalini Sarabhai. Within a week of the publication of that piece, I’d received a handwritten letter from her. Soothing gentle words, relaying that together we are going to fight this battle. No, she didn’t know me; after reading my piece, took pains to write to me on the Indian Express address which was later re-directed to me.
I’m sounding much too realistic or maybe a bit too far-sighted, but if our planners don’t take corrective measures now and right now, a day could soon come when the Indian Muslims would be compelled to equip themselves with an ID card or even visiting cards with a footnote printed along these lines- “I’m a Muslim …very secular and not a terrorist!”
That will be the saddest day for this democratic republic.