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Quit India: Hindutva Goons

By Subhash Gatade

24 July, 2006

(Mumbai, July 21: INTO THE uneasy quiet after the serial blasts on July 11, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Friday launched what it says is a public awareness campaign: ‘‘Chhodo Hindustan,’’ say a series of banners bearing the name of its city unit, urging Muslims who are ‘‘supporters of terrorism’’ to leave the country.
.- Indian Express-Saturday , July 22, 2006, Mumbai )

B'bay, the city that never sleeps, can be said to be a new barometer of the mood of the broad masses of the Indian people.

Gone are the days of the 90s when the city had witnessed communal riots after the demolition of the Babri Mosque.Gone are the days of the Maha-aratis and the 'Behrampadas' - the many tragic spots in the sprawling city which are a living reminder of the times when the spirit of B'bay was torn asunder by organised forces owning allegiance to fanatic/sectarian ideologies.

It is true that all that is passe. Perhaps it is marker of the changed mood of the city that a man who calls himself commander of his loyal followers, a man who had been indicted by the SriKrishna Commission for his role in the riots in early nineties, is watching before his own eyes the crumbling of his 'empire'.

The way people have turned a new leaf was evident once again when the city recently witnessed bomb blasts in local trains. Definitely the people who had planned the inhuman act of putting bombs in trains and who had expected that they would witness the days of the early nineties were in for a great shock.

It was for everyone to see that, the people in the city, who otherwise are bracketed as the 'rude' ones, saw to it that the spirit of the city lives. One could see long queues of people outside hospitals ready to donate blood , one could see every other guy becoming a good samaritan, helping the wounded, joining the endless search of people for their near and dear ones. The whole city stood still for a while led by the President of the Republic to remember the dead and show to the outside world that it is united in this hour of grief and would not feel provoked by anyone.

It is a different matter that the chief minister of a neighbouring state, who has carved out a different niche for himself in the genocide in his state, and who is a persona non grata in Europe and USA , came calling and delivered another of his trademark speech abusing 'Miyan' Musharraf. But the mood of the city rather resonated with the front page editorial in the eveninger there 'Go back Modi'.

And now when life is becoming normal and people want to move ahead has come the news that Hindutva people won't let the people do so. Interestingly the way people have demonstrated new bonds of bonhomie and solidarity, has not gone down well with the forces of Hindutva. Perhaps,like the perpetrators of the heinous crime, they were expecting that the city would witness new cleavages, old wounds may get reopened. It is just possible that like neighbouring Gujarat they had made preparations to that effect, to duplicate their 'successful experiment' but found to their dismay their plans going awry.

The news of their 'public awareness' campaign targetting a particular community, which has appeared in a section of the press is a proof of their mischievous designs. It is worth noting that they have planned it under the direction of one of their top leaders who recently visited the city and who is one of the accused in the Babri Mosque demolition case. Under this 'public awareness campaign: ‘‘Chhodo Hindustan,’’ a series of banners urging Muslims who are ‘‘supporters of terrorism’’ to leave the country. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad which has put these banners all over the city has also decided to 'urge our people to stop buying anything from Muslims.'

It is clear for everyone that it is a provocative act and it should not be considered lightly. The city administration should be pressurised to take action against the miscreants. A public intellectual/ activist or some formation should definitely approach the courts to help prosecute them under one of those laws which prohibit acts of 'spreading ill-will between two communities' .

To conclude, for secular activists while rejoicing over the new mood of the people, exhibited in the aftermath of the bomb blasts, the key thing to remember is that they cannot slacken their vigil in any manner. It is true that the politics of exclusion and programme of hate, practised by these people is doomed strategically. But that does not mean it cannot play havoc in the immediate term One need not recount the many bloody yatras taken out by their Iron Men in our recent past.









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