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MP’s Aatank-Door

Imposition of the rituals of the Hindu Rashtra in Madhya Pradesh is increasingly making the practice of non-democratic values common in the state

Tuesday February 28, 2012 08:27:41 AM, A Hameed Yousuf

In a major breakthrough in the Samjhauta Express blast the National Investigation Agency recently arrested Kamal Chauhan, a former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh worker. Chauhan is from Indore, Madhya Pradesh. The agency claims that he had planted bombs on board the Samjhauta Express in 2007. The blast left 68 people, mostly Pakistanis, dead. When Chauhan was being taken out after in-camera proceedings in the Panchkula court he told the journalists, “Yes, I have done it on my will.”

Days before that the NIA which is probing many blasts that took place from February 2007 to September 2008 announced a reward of Rs.10 lakh each for information on Sandeep Dange alias Vasudev alias Baljit alias Parmanand, and on Ramchandra Kalsangra alias Ramji alias Vishnu Patel. Both of them are residents of Indore, Madhya Pradesh. The duo is suspected to have played a key role in the Modasa Town blast, Makkah Masjid Blast, Ajmer Sharif Blast, the 2008 Malegaon blast and Samjhauta Express blast. The agency also issued a proclamation declaring them, along with two others, as absconders.

The two other absconders are Mehul alias Mafat Bhau alias Mahesh Bhai and Ashok alias Prince alias Sunny alias Ashwini alias Ashwini Chauhan. Mehul is from Vadodra, Gujarat and is allegedly involved in Ajmer Sharif blast. While the details about Amit have not been made public except that he is wanted in the Samjhauta Express and the Ajmer Sharif blasts. Anyone giving information about them will deserve a reward worth Rs. 2 lakh, the NIA has announced.

Samjhauta blast has well established the connection of the terrorists from Madhya Pradesh. Notably, when the blast took place the BJP, the party that openly supports Hindutva terror accused, was ruling the state. For now too, it is again BJP in MP.

Gujarat has already been called a Hindutva laboratory where state sponsored terrorism was in its worst form during 2002 riots. Now, some have started to call Madhya Pradesh as “Path Way to Hindu Rashtra”. In fact, the state is becoming the second laboratory for Hindu Rashtra, others say.

Here it should be recalled that the Hindutva fanatics arrested by late Maharashtra chief Hemant Karkare were planning to establish a Hindu Rashtra by abolishing the recent democratic system of India. And the bomb blasts that they carried out were a part of that strategy. The Gujarat’s infamous Muslims’ genocide is considered a successful attempt in this regard.

Another attempt is now made in Madhya Pradesh. With the bonafides of many terrorists being established from MP’s city Indore the whole state is actually slowly turning into Aatank-door. MP is being experienced as the second Hindu Rashtra— not Ram Rashtra as Rama believed in peaceful co-existence— laboratory after Gujarat.

Apart from turning out to be a source of terrorism Madhya Pradesh is also promoting cultural terrorism. In the name of preserving Hindu culture and beliefs the state government is actually imposing them on non-Hindu citizens of the state.

In December 2011, M.P. Government got the Presidential clearance for its Gau-Vansh Vadh Pratishedh (Sanshodhan) Act (Bill for Protection of Cow Progeny). The act prescribes a fine of R 5,000 and prison term up to seven years for slaughtering the cow or its progeny, transporting them to slaughter house, eating and storing beef. The famous writer Ram Puniyani while calling the law ‘draconian’ brought in the name of faith of Hindus says it is “direct manipulation of the food habits of large section of poor Indian population, Adivasis, Dalits and Minorities (Muslims and Christians) for whom this is an affordable source of proteins. It is also an attempt to intimidate the Muslim minorities.” The sacredness of cow is a belief associated with Hinduism.

Besides, the students attending government schools, regardless of which religion they believe in, are asked to perform Surya Namaskar; worship of the sun. Though the government maintains that it is not compulsory, the government patronage to the practice speaks it all. Muslims are not allowed to do Surya Namaskar according to their religion. However, if as claimed the Namaskar is nothing but about yoga, then it is expected that soon the government will be asking the students to perform Namaz as it would be the best way for physical and mental exercise.

The state government has also made Gita classes compulsory. It is under the guise of inculcating moral values in them. Gita is considered the religious scriptures of Hindus. One may suggest the government to include moral lessons also from the holy Qur’an, the Bible and religious scriptures of other religions.

What else other than an attempt to Hinduanise the state would be called that the government has introduced Bhojan Mantra (Hindu meal prayer) in schools and many of welfare schemes initiated by the state have been christened after Hindu gods- goddesses.

The scheme for girl child welfare is Ladli Laxmi (Laxmi is a Hindu goddess). Likewise, rainwater conservation scheme is Balram Tal Yojna (Balram is said to be the brother of Krishna Chandraji). And Anna Prashan is the scheme for Children’s nutrition (both Anna and Prashan are Sanskrit words). Besides, the government plans to change the name of Bhopal, founded by a Mughal Nawab Dost Mohammand Khan, as Bhojpal after the Hindu King Raja Bhoj.

These are the examples of cultural terrorism. Constitutionally, while the citizens are free to chose their religion the government as an institution should adhere to secular values. The governments, either in the centre of the state, cannot impose the rituals and beliefs of a certain religion over those who do not believe in it.

As Ram Puniyani would have it in Madhya Pradesh: Path Way to Hindu Rashtra, “As such MP Government has been communalizing the state by the religio-cultural mechanisms...In MP from last couple of years with the current BJP Government, the slow and subtle Hinduisation of state is in progress. Even the predecessor of Shivraj Chauhan, Uma Bharati had converted her official residence in to a Gaushala for all practical purposes...This silent communalization of state has escaped the notice of national media to some extent. Most of these steps of the Government are not in tune with the spirit of Indian Constitution, which respects the personal choices about faith and food and keeps the state policies away from the religious veneer and content.”

What is worse that the BJP ruled Karnataka is following MP. The minorities have been complaining about discriminatory behaviour of the state government. The efforts to bring about a harsher law about cow/animal protection and introducing Gita lessons in academic curriculum have been opposed sternly by the secular leaders of Karnataka. One can but watch how India is communalized state by state expecting only that state governments uphold the democratic ethos as prescribed in the Constitution of India.



The writer is editor of Bangalore based monthly magazine Mediascan.






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