By Yash Shukla
A right-wing based fringe group, Hindustan Shiv Sena, has been accused of flaming religious sentiments and provoking Hindus to demolish the revered Dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer. The group also has been alleged to have made derogatory and insulting remarks against Khwaja Chishti. The General Secretary of the group Lakhan Singh could be seen in the video exhorting Hindus to demolish the Dargah and establish a temple in its place which according to the group, existed before the Dargah came up. The group was also seen rallying support for Shambu Lal who has been accused of brutally killing a Muslim migrant labour, Afrazul from Bengal. The Dargah authorities have filed a case against the group and its General Secretary and have sought a ban on the organisation.
It would be pertinent to mention that the group has not been found to have any sort of association with the right-wing political party, Shiv Sena based in Maharashtra. The Dargah authorities have also discouraged Muslim youths from getting inflamed and playing in the hands of the fringe groups who are trying to polarise the communities and destroy the unity among Hindus and Muslims. The Sufi shrine gets thronged by Muslim as well as Hindu devotees. It has also been one of the tourist destinations in Rajasthan for foreigners.
Rajasthan: Mushrooming place for fringe groups
From the very beginning of the last year, Rajasthan had been in headlines for many wrong reasons. The Karni Sena, another right-wing based fringe group was responsible for hooliganism and manhandling at Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati set earlier and it was the same organisation whose leaders had threatened to kill the cast and director of the film. No action was taken against the group under hate-speech laws and on the contrary, many BJP ruled states’ chief ministers came in support of the organisation and arbitrarily announced that the film would not be released in their states.
Pehlu Khan, a Muslim man was also beaten to death by cow vigilante groups in Rajasthan’s Mewar earlier last year. The consistent and relentless targeting of the minority community has not been checked by the government authorities. The State Assembly elections which are scheduled to happen in 2018 and the bypoll for the Ajmer Loksabha seat could also be some of the threads which could be connected to the present incident where there could be an attempt to polarise the voters.
Development narrative diminished
It seems a foregone conclusion that in the wake of failing economy and agrarian distress, the BJP government in the state has dropped the veneer of development and started unveiling the real face of the party by invoking communally charged statements and giving free hand to such fringe organisations. Taking into consideration the fact that the voters of Rajasthan always vote out the incumbent regime and alternatively vote for the Congress and the BJP every five years, the BJP government seems to be standing on a loose wicket.
Revival of the Congress
It would be preposterous to call the present phase as a revival of the Congress party but it would not be wrong to say that with the emergence of Rahul Gandhi as the Congress President, the BJP does not seem an invincible party. The fact that the tally of the BJP in Gujarat got reduced to 99 seats, is itself a testimony to the fact that the BJP led by Modi is no longer invincible. Young leaders like Sachin Pilot who is the Pradesh Congress Committee head, carry a potential in them which could tide the turn in favour of the grand old party.
Ghost of Babri Masjid dispute
The incident is a reminder of the Babri Masjid dispute which also had more or less the same narrative. The attempts of these fringe groups to obliterate the identity and history of the minority community are in line with the actions and motives of the ruling regime for a very long time. The Ram Janmbhoomi movement which has paid spectacular dividends to the BJP in successive elections also attempted to obliterate and sideline the history and identity of the minority community. Be it leaders like Vinay Katiyar of the BJP who said that Jamuna Devi temple existed in the place of Jama Masjid or leaders of the Uttar Pradesh government who are desperate to delegitimise the history of the Taj Mahal, the grand narrative remains the same. The practice of giving a memento of Taj Mahal to foreign dignitaries was dropped in favour of giving the Geeta by the Central Government as according to them, the Taj Mahal does not at all stand for the culture and idea of India. All these actions should be clubbed together and seen in totality with the blind support of the ruling regime to these fringe groups who appear ever ready to undermine the hard-earned Hindu-Muslim unity of India.
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