NEW DELHI: In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi today, Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad highlighted the “growing attacks” on the minority community, including the killing of two cattle traders in Jharkhand’s Latehar district.
“With great dismay, I am impelled to observe that such episodes of brutality and mob violence seem to give a spectacle of some parts of the world where democracy does not exist not of India which is widely respected as a vibrant and secular democracy governed by rule of law,” Mr Azad, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said in his two-page letter.
Mr Azad termed as unfortunate the “spurt” in incidents of threats, intimidation, mob violence and vigilantism after the BJP government took office at the Centre.
“Majoritarian view of democracy is being propagated and promoted consciously and deliberately. This has serious implications for the survival of democracy, pluralism, social harmony and peace besides growth and development of the country,” he said.
He said Congress Party and civil society have been continuously drawing the attention of the government towards “growing phenomenon of communal hatred and polarisation”.
“Ministers, MPs and MLAs, leaders of the ruling party and affiliates of Sangh Parivar have been persistently making provocative and offensive statements to divide and polarise the communities.
“What is suprising is that no perceptible effort on the part of the government and BJP leadership is being made to rein in such elements, giving rise to the suspicion that it is part of the deliberate strategy to polarise and divide,” he said.
“I would like to underline that entire nation is worried about the unchecked growth of communal hatred and mistrust being brewed for the sake of electoral politics. There is an urgent need to stem this rising tide, lest it is too late,” he said.
Complimenting the Prime Minister for his recent statements at World Culture Festival and Sufi Conference, Mr Azad, however, said the message was audible to the entire world, “but what about our own house which is simmering with communal distrust and hatred.
“Why your message has failed to reach such elements within our own country?” he asked and said “inaction” on part of the government was “emboldening and encouraging” such elements.
In his two-page letter, Mr Azad, who is the former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and served as Union Minister in UPA rule, highlighted various incidents ranging from Dadri to arrest of Kashmiri students over the charge of cooking beef in Rajasthan.
“I would like to emphasize that cow slaughter is banned in most of the states of the country and there is no confusion about that. And it is nobody’s case that cow slaughter should not be banned.
“However, the normal transport and trading of animals from one place to another should not be targeted. It must not be with a preconceived notion that such transport and trade is meant for cow slaughter and the mobs and vigilantes sponsored by the affiliates of Sangh Parivar to recklessly target the members of minority community,” he said.
He said the Latehar killings were not a one off incident that would propel him to pass an observation or “encroach upon your (Modi’s) time” and incidents of Dadri, raids at Kerala House in Delhi, Aligarh Muslim University mess, searching and beating Kashmiri students….
“Such incidents of victimisation, harassment and persecution of those involved in cattle trade have risen very sharply across the length and breadth of the country, with extra-judicial mobs and vigilante groups taking law in their own hands,” he said.
2015 Kashmir Despatch