June 5, 2020
Religious and Communal Harmony in India

Hate Speeches and Communal Harmony

It’s been so long since I opened a newspaper and didn’t see political news occupying 90% of it. Provocative statements targeted to a particular religion are one among many kind of speeches we get to hear/read a lot during the election season. With one of the major political parties playing a Hindutva card, these hate speeches don’t need any kind of promotions to make them famous. Added to it, we have many channels which telecast those time and again for their TRP ratings. Every political party is trying to leverage the sensitivity of the religious beliefs for their own benefit. One party says that they’ll make a chief minister eat beef, which is completely against his religious sentiments and another party says illegal immigrants belonging to one particular community are like termites. Are these speeches going to work with majority of Indians? Do Indians have such a hatred towards other religions? Many examples prove that Indians are not so bigot to support such tricks.

Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the important festivals in most parts of the country. 9 days after the festival, all the Communal Harmony - Hindus and MuslimsGanesh idols are immersed in water bodies along with a huge procession. In Hyderabad, this procession has to move through old city which is dominated by Muslim community. One would expect a lot of disturbances to happen during the event because of the fact that the two religions which are involved have always been the targets for the hate speeches. From the time I am aware of these processions, I have never seen any such incidents happen. In fact, many Muslims distribute water and butter milk to the people who take part in the procession.

There is no dearth of such examples where Indians have exhibited communal harmony.

  • During one of the Ramzan seasons all the inmates of Ludhiana jail have observed fasting along with the Muslims.
  • People from Hindu and Sikh community have helped to renovate a mosque in Punjab.
  • There is an incident where Hindus have helped a Muslim lady deliver a baby in a temple.
  • One year many Muslims have joined Hindus to pull the chariot during Rath Yatra, an event which happens in a Hindu temple in Orissa.

Nothing good can come out of such hates speeches when most people in this country are ready to accept fellow Indians irrespective of their religion and caste. The speakers need to introspect on what they are achieving by doing so and have to be sensible enough not to disturb such beautiful harmony by relying on noxious ways to attract people. Citizens should not allow the leaders to obscure their blatant debility to develop the country by promoting such senseless hatred among communities.

Let me tell you one small example of how much acceptance does the people of India has for other communities. There is a Bollywood movie in which the lead actor, who is an ardent worshipper of Hanuman, a Hindu god, goes through lot of hardships in order to unite a Muslim girl from the neighbouring country with his family. The movie is not just well received but it is considered as one of the finest movies and it went on to become the third highest grosser in Indian cinema. The name of the movie is “Bajrangi Bhaijaan”.

The actor, Salman Khan, who played the role of Hanuman worshipper is a Muslim and the girl, Harshaali Malhotra, who played the role of a Muslim, is a Hindu. The reception of this movie has to be a tight slap on the faces of the politicians who try to use the religion card to grab the power.

3 thoughts on “Hate Speeches and Communal Harmony

  1. Hi Neel, I agree that hate speeches must be discouraged and avoided at any cost. Neither must the average Indian get influenced by them. That said, it is indisputable that Islam is not tolerant and the traditionally tolerant and inclusive Hindu community is a little tired of the expectation that they must grin and bear everything. Tarek Fatah, a Muslim, is vocal in acknowledging that Muslims bully Hindus when their numbers are big. Up to what point must Hindus continue to be pacifist? And why when the Muslim shows no mercy to kafirs? This is not to say I support polarization on religious lines but it goes without saying that the Hindus need to wake up and assert themselves.

    1. There might be incidents of Muslims attacking Hindus, but I feel the allegations have to be confined to the people attacked not to the religion they belong to. In the last few months, I have read many times about the incidents of Hindus attacking Muslims and forcing them to chant “Jai Sriram”. Many Indians are taking one side and showing instances to bolster that, which is not right. A lot of violence has taken place during Telangana agitation, many people from Andhra Pradesh and even politicians were beaten up by the Telangana fanatics. We cannot say every citizen of Telangana is violent, I am not violent. We can find crores of people who are not so. Gali Janardhan Reddy, Kanimozhi and Lalu Prasad Yadav are charged with corruption cases. We cannot say all the politicians in India are corrupt considering those people. We have names like Manohar Parikar and Manik Sarkar who prove otherwise. And, as you mentioned Average Indian should not get influenced by these speeches. In the end, we are all Human Beings.

  2. I do agree that some Hindu right wing organizations are allegedly indulging in violence in the name of cow, Jai Shriram, Vande Mataram etc. And I deplore this trend and hope the police takes strong action against the culprits.

    My point was different: our country has many religions and is richer for it. The Hindu has traditionally welcomed and embraced every community of people (when Israel was formed, it passed a resolution recognizing that only in India did the Jews not face persecution). There are any number of examples of Hindus embracing other communities allowing them to grow and prosper here – for eg. the Parsis.

    But when Muslims are in majority, they bully Hindus – and this is happening across the country. In Kerala, there are government schools in Muslim majority areas where midday meals are not served during Ramzaan. Similarly, till recently, Aligarh Muslim University closed it’s canteens during Ramzaan. From this year, this rule changed. This never happens in a Hindu owned organization. Selective secularism has made the Hindus angry and that’s the reason for this unfortunate backlash. And like I said the average Hindu is no longer prepared to grin and bear everything – they are more than a little tired of being ‘tolerant’ and ‘secular’ to a community that has only taken advantage. The lone, average Muslim, in all probability, is peace loving and not radical. But the peaceful, silent majority of Muslims become irrelevant before the rabid, radical, vocal minority – the Pandit exodus proves this. Pandits are Indian citizens who have become refugees in their own country. And this kind of ugly fundamentalism is rearing it’s ugly head in many parts of the country where Muslims are in majority.

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