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Communal Hatred: the Mahapanchayat Way A Report From Bawana, Delhi

3 November 2014 563 views 9 Comments

development or communalismLong standing communal tension in Bawana (at the outskirts of Delhi) took a vicious inflammatory turn, when a Mahapanchayat was called on 2nd November to provoke hatred against the Taziya (Moharram procession) in Bawana. Since Bakrid, the blatant lie of ‘cow slaughter’ in the JJ Colony (nearby Bawana) was used as a pretext to mobilize the whole Hindu community against Muslims. (http://www.aisa.in/reject-consorted-efforts-communal-hate-riot-mongering-delhi-report-aisas-visit-today-bawana-narela/)

India’s ruling party BJP, as well as entire battery of RSS backed Hindutva outfits were involved in the campaign to divide Hindus and Muslims of the poorest classes. An AISA team visited Bawana on Sunday, met local people, witnessed the Mahapanchayat and the developments around it.

Our observations about the Mahapanchayat are as follows :

People were mobilized from Bawana and many places close to Bawana, from both Haryana and Delhi.

 The agenda of Mahapanchayat was to prevent the Taziya procession in Bawana. But residents of the JJ Colony told us that the Muslims of the colony had already agreed, in a meeting on 28th October where leaders from both communities and the ACP were present, to limit their procession to the JJ Colony itself. If the issue of the route of the Taziya procession had already been settled, why did the police even allow the mahapanchayat to be held?

During the Mahapanchayat again and again leaders and speakers addressed to ACP and DCP (present at the occasion) and warned them of dire consequences if the Taziya procession took place. Why did the police remain meek and mute spectators to these threats?

At the Mahapanchayat, many leaders made provocative speeches full of communal hatred against Muslims. Many speeches declared that the Muslims’ homeland is Pakistan, that Hindus are the ‘Mulnivasi’ (original inhabitants) of this land therefore Hindus would dictate terms to those who want to live here. Speeches were made openly threatening violence:

mahap2

Photo: Courtesy Indian Express

ham taziya nahi nikalane denge, khuli chunauti dete hain. Hamne 3000 signature karake acp ko diye hain aur ab abhi agar Taziya niklta hai to jo bhi maar kaat hogi uske jimeedaar ham nahi honge. Ham kamjor nahi hain, hamare sath jo bhi chal raha hai wo galat hai. Ham is soch ko mita denge. Ham dekh lenge (We won’t allow the Taziya procession to be held, we openly challenge anyone to hold it. We have collected 3000 signatures and submitted to the ACP, that if the Taziya is held, there will be bloodshed, and we won’t be responsible for this. We are not weak, what is being done to us is wrong. We will wipe out this thought. We’ll see…)

 Many media persons as well as senior police officers were present and they all witnessed these speeches. We too have video and audio recordings of these speeches. Why has the police not yet filed cases against all those who made these openly provocative speeches?

A large number of young men from Bawana and nearby places were present there. Not surprisingly, many leaders of ABVP were present at this Mahapanchayat.

 The Mahapanchayat was glaringly free of the presence of women. Among the thousands present, there was not a single woman!

 Gugan Singh Ranga, MLA of the Bawana constituency from BJP, who also made speeches instigating and threatening violence, repeatedly declared, ‘ab modi sarkaar aa gayi hai’ (Now the Modi government is in power). Clearly, the fact of the Modi government was seen as a victory for the Hindu majoritarian fundamentalists, not only over the minority community but over all citizens wishing for peace and mutual respect among communities.

Some of the leaders present there were Ganesh ji, and Dharmendra from Kathawala, leader of the Rohini Dharmik aur Sanskritik Sabha, Kuldeep Dalkaar, Jitender Rana and Kishen ji.

The Mahapanchayat leaders felt no hesitation to openly issue threats of violence – from the dais as well as in face-to-face interaction – to the media. There were repeated appeals to the youth and the people present there to be ready for violent actions through whatever means. A diary was circulated among attendees, taking their contact numbers, and it was stated from the dais that the leaders would “secretly inform everyone about the action that needs to be taken on 4th November.” When plans for ‘secret’ mobilizations of communal violence are openly announced on a public dais in presence of senior police officers, why is no action being taken to punish the organizers and prevent the violence?

The deployment of police at the Mahapanchayat was very weak. Knowing that Mahapanchayats were followed by communal violence in Muzaffarnagar, why was the police presence so weak?

We visited the JJ Colony (the site of tension during Bakrid). There was palpable fear there. People of the JJ Colony are mostly workers who work in the industrial belt of Narela. Police patrolling was visible there. People were busy in their routine work.

The JJ Colony residents told us that they had agreed to curtail the Taziya route in the interests of ‘aman chain’ (peace and harmony). But the question came to our mind: why is it that the police used the Muslims’ fear of violence to ‘advice’ them to curtail the route of their procession that they have held peacefully for years? Why, in a democracy, can the police in India’s national capital not ensure that the minority can safely hold their Taziya procession? Why were those threatening violence against the Taziya procession not arrested?

 JJ Colony residents asked, “We agreed to curtail the route of the Taziya. But we don’t know why the administration has allowed the Mahapanchayat where seeds of hatred have been sowed. At the time of Bakrid, and now again near Moharram, we are living in fear of violence.” Many local youths told us stories of fraternity between both the communities in the JJ Colony, lamenting that political forces were sowing seeds of hatred to destroy this fraternity.

9 Comments »

  • Sunil said:

    I wonder, why those who are openly spreading communal hatred and are calling for violence are not being arrested by the police. what are they waiting for? its a shame that the security mechinary is acting as a inactive witness to preparationsof riot. shame!

  • vishakha said:

    The most disturbing of things in both the cases of Bawana and Trilokpuri is the presence of BJP leaders. It was Sunil Vaidya, the ex MLA from Trilokpuri, who held secret meetingin his office after which things started escalating. Similarly in the case of Bawana the existing MLA from BJP gugan Singh Ranga imself was present in the dais, when hate speeches were being delivered.

  • Chetan said:

    how can anybody deliver such speeches in the presence of police and other officials? How can the police reain silent spectator unless there are political orders from ‘above’?

  • Abhishek said:

    इस बार दंगा बहुत बड़ा था
    खूब हुई थी
    ख़ून की बारिश
    अगले साल अच्छी होगी
    फसल
    मतदान की

  • Niraj said:

    दुनिया के सबसे बड़े लोकतंत्र की राजधानी दिल्ली जहां संसद ,सुप्रीम कोर्ट, दर्जनों आयोग हैं, लोकतंत्र के इन तमाम संस्थाओं के नाक के नीचे त्रीलोकपुरी में देश की सबसे तेज़ तर्रार पुलिस के सामने दंगा किया गया। इस दंगे में हुए हताहतों के अभी जख्म भी नहीं भरें और दिल्ली के भवाना में आज हिन्दू धर्म के स्वयंभू ठेकेदारों द्वारा महापंचायत किया गया जिसमें भरकाउ भाषणों के साथ यह भी ऐलान किया गया कि ४ नवंबर को क्या करना यह गुप्त रूप से सूचित किया जाएगा। मजे की बात तो यह है कि इस सभा में दिल्ली पुलिस और दर्जनों चैनल के लोग मौजूद थे।

    दिल्ली को सांप्रदायिक आग में झोंक देने की भगबा कोशिश का विरोध करें।

  • Shivani said:

    Can’t think of many festivals in India which are not marked by processions, jams, crowds and yet after weeks of crowding streets with pandals and thousands of jams during “visarjans” of numerous gods and goddesses, some fanatics have woken up to the possible disturbance that could be caused by a Tazia!! And no this is not hypocrisy… It is a well intended move to cause polarisation and riot mongering… Is it shocking anymore that despite several pleas by activists such a mahapanchayat that had been called to launch a vitriolic attack against a community was allowed??? Does it bother anyone that in a so called secular and free country a minority religious community was bullied into agreeing to not have a long procession!! does it bother no one that the government that is bound to ensure them equality as guaranteed by the Constitution just sat back and allowed this daylight issuance of threats….. A community lives in fear and we watch… We watch as those who share a kiss of love are beaten and forcefully arrested while the riot mongers enjoy protection and patronage!! Those who let this mahapanchayat happen must be made to answer!!!!

  • Sukrita said:

    “Ab modi sarkar aa gayi hai” While he can very conveniently orate from the stage about Muslims living in peace under his leadership, ground realities are starkly different. We need to spread the word on this and expose the inefficiency and utter selective blindness of the Delhi Police and other state machinery.

  • Vebhuti said:

    It is shameful that again and again we are being forced to highlight the complicity of state agents such as the police in extra-legal bodies such as the Mahapanchayat. It is even more shameful that no cases are being lodged against such blatant hate speeches.

    This kind of communal riot-mongering has been used repeatedly by the BJP solely for electoral gain. And those who lose are the poor and particularly, minority communities. With scant regard for the real problems of the poor and the workers of this country, the BJP-RSS-ABVP-Sangh Parivar uses just this one strategy to ensure that it remains in power. It constructs fictitious ‘Others’ to hate, so that we don’t blame the government for rising prices and no jobs but instead get moved to hate the scapegoat the Sangh Parivar sets up for us. This is pathetic and more than high time that we all recognised the pattern: Babri Masjid/Ayodhya, Mumbai, Godhra, Muzaffarnagar and now Trilokpuri. For the last twenty years, the Sangh Parivar has followed the same game-plan come election season.

    For those of us who claim to have some connection with people (in any way, even if we say we are human), it is high time that we raised our voices against events like these Mahapanchayats and attitudes like the cowardly, submissive silence of the Delhi Police. If those voices fall silent, it is on us that we speak up.

    Kudos to AISA for writing this report and making us all aware of such happenings.

  • The Samrat said:

    Why don’t you people write anything about those terror hot-bed Madarsas operating in West Bengal?Is National Security insignificant and appeasement of Islamists more important?When will you Sharia-Bolsheviks establish your loyalty to our mother culture-Santa Dharma for which thousands of our ancestors had been raped and beheaded?It’s a shame that your parents failed to instill self-respect and pride for your own culture.We will not allow you people to hand over the future of our kids in the hands of Islamists.There will not be an ISIS in India as long as RSS is standing to defend our asses(including yours) whether you like it or not.Jai Hind.

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