New Delhi: The growing attacks on minorities are not just cases of intolerance but the outcome of a sustained campaign against Muslims for which RSS ideology is to be blamed, the CPI-M has said.
All this is also aimed at diverting people's attention from problems including "the astronomical price of dal, agrarian distress and shrinking job opportunities", the CPI-M journal "People's Democracy" said.
Referring to the September 28 lynching of a Muslim man at Dadri in Uttar Pradesh by a mob on the false accusation of eating beef, it said there had been a spate of similar attacks using cow slaughter as the pretext.
The death of 20-year-old Noman after a truck carrying cattle was attacked in Sirmour in Himachal Pradesh was followed by an arson attack in Udhampur on a truck resulting in the death of 23-year-old Zahid Ahmed.
This too, it said, was "based on a malicious rumour about the killing of two cows.
"Apart from these murders, in Mainpuri (in Uttar Pradesh), two Muslims were badly injured after being beaten by a mob accusing them of killing a cow. It transpired they had been given a dead cow for skinning.
"Later, in Bahraich (in Uttar Pradesh), a Muslim boy, Afsar, was injured when he was set upon by a group of people. His crime was he was found in possession of a hide of an ox which he procured for repairing a drum.
"These are not instances of just intolerance, they are a product of a sustained campaign against cow slaughter targeting the Muslim community," the Communist Party of India-Marxist said.
"In each of the incidents, it is Muslims who were killed or injured. This is a result of the RSS-sponsored campaign which has been going on for years," it said, referring to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological parent of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The CPI-M said the anti-cow slaughter campaign was part of a "communal ideology constructed to depict Muslims as the enemy of Hindus and their religious beliefs".
It said Prime Minister Narendra Modi decried the export of meat products during the Lok Sabha election campaign, "deliberately confusing buffalo meat for beef".
The CPI-M said that with the advent of the Modi regime, throughout the country "the RSS and its tentacular organisations are engaged in reshaping and communalising the society.
"That its communal project has been sustained and deep rooted is evident in the manner in which the police, the administration and even the judiciary is responding to the issue...
"Behind these attacks is a calculated effort to disrupt the livelihood of tens of thousands of Muslims who have traditionally engaged in cattle-trading and the leather trade. Dalits who are employed in the skinning of cattle and leather-making will be the next sufferers."