Let me restress that it gets difficult to visualize the insecurity the minority community faces when they can see and sense that the state machinery stands biased. It is a double whammy, when private brigades/senas are unleashed by the Hindutva politicians. Triple whammy when cops turn killers!
While viewing the film ‘Hotel Rwanda’, in an auditorium in New Delhi, I couldn’t control the flow of tears. Yes, I cried all through. Shots of civil strife hit. Apprehensions overtook. Insecurity hit. That same sense of insecurity had hit when the Babri Masjid was destroyed, followed by rioting and killings. After all, it was not just the planned destruction of a historic- religious structure but it also relayed signs of eerie build-ups. Backed by the stark fact that the state machinery did not protect the minority community.
And though Gujarat was hundreds of miles away from where I was residing, yet a deep insecurity hit when the Gujarat pogrom took off in 2002. And as the pogrom peaked, so did apprehensions. News reports and images and shots of the killings and carnage got impossible to erase. Though the subconscious kept relaying names of my Sikh and Christian and Hindu friends, in whose home one could have found refuge. But in a democratic republic one expects that sort of security from the political rulers and from the State machinery they control!
As a child I had over-heard details of violent attacks on the minority community by the police force. As an adult I have witnessed violence peaking after the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992, furthering after the Gujarat pogrom of 2002 and also during the North East Delhi pogrom of 2020. Offshoots continue to haunt. No, there has been no closure as the master-minds have managed to remain untouched even when ample evidence exists, pointers to their direct or indirect involvement in the targeted killings and carnage. Don’t know whether to cry aloud or simply shriek when the situation stands more than compounded; what, with the hapless victims often paraded as culprits!
I wonder why we, as a people, are not standing up, not speaking out collectively. Why should only Sikhs speak out if tortures are inflicted on the Sikh community! Why should only Muslims speak out if they are lynched! Why should only Christians speak out if the chapels and churches are targeted and torched! Why should only Dalits speak out if there’s that blatant hounding of the community! Why should the bureaucrats and civil servants bare the dark truths only after they sit retired in that safe positioning!
In these dark times, leaving you to ponder on these lines of Akbar Hussain Akbar Allahabadi:
“My rivals have lodged complaints against me in police stations for
That Akbar continues to take the name of God in the present age
Views are personal