There is an expression in Hindi, “Soney pey suhaga”, suhaga being the powder which makes gold shine. In a volatile social situation, where communal polarization is an electoral requirement until key state elections are out of the way, the Zawahiri slogan may have some short term advantages for the ruling party. It is perverse to say so but that is the way it is.
The government of Akhilesh Yadav in UP has asked the battered Muslims of Muzaffarnagar to sign an affidavit: “Myself and members of my family who have left our village and our homes due to violent incidents in our village, will not now return to our original village and home under any circumstance.” In this affidavit, the SP government is demanding the Muslim refugees of Muzaffarnagar to forego their right to return, rather like the Palestinians. Many refugees worldwide do not return for a variety of reasons. But here the state is complicit in perpetuating the exile.
When Patel suggested to Golwalkar that the RSS should join the Congress, the RSS supremo was quick with his response. The two should work separately and “converge”. When, pray, would they “converge”? When Hindu Rashtra has been achieved? The first Home Secretary of UP, Rajeshwar Dayal, has in his autobiography, A Life of Our Times, this story about Golwalkar and Congress stalwart, Govind Ballabh Pant, UP’s longest serving Chief Minister and Union Home Minister from 1955 to 61. When communal tension in UP was high, Dayal carried incontrovertible evidence to Pant about Golwalkar’s plans to create a “communal holocaust in western UP”. Pant was convinced of the plot but he would not permit them to arrest the RSS chief. In fact Golwalkar was allowed to escape, having been duly tipped off.
After motoring through some of the Jat dominated villages around Muzaffarnagar from where Muslims have been driven out (or which they have left in fear), I can say with certainty: something very sinister is happening barely two hour’s drive from New Delhi and just a little more from Lucknow. Has the Muslim-boy, Hindu-girl element been inserted into the narrative of August 27 in which a Muslim and two Hindu boys were killed? Various stories are available: that two motorcycles collided, leading to a scuffle and that the girl angle is an afterthought. The second is that a Muslim and some Hindu boys claimed the same girl’s favours, and thirdly, a girl complained to her family that Muslim boys tease her when she passes their village on her way from school. Can there not be an official, police version?
I met nobody who had actually seen the desecrated pages of Quran. Nor had those I spoke to met anyone who had set eyes on the dreadful piece of evidence.
We all know that US Ambassador Christopher Stevens was attacked and killed in Benghazi along with his three other colleagues. But how did he die? In a car or in the Consulate building?
In the Czech Republic this is a serious debate. In Prague, the capital of the most representative of what Ronald Rumsfeld called “new Europe”, burial is turning out to be expensive.
There is obviously a deep anti-Congress mood in the country for which the party’s first family must share considerable blame.
The Maulana from the Darul Uloom seminary at Deoband who threatened the Jaipur Literary Festival with disruption, in case Salman Rushdie participated, is only the latest in a long list of spoilsports appointed by God.