Hindutva’s Second Coming by Subhash Gatade; published by Media House, Delhi; 2019; pages: 272; Rs 395 (US $ 18).
The return of Modi to power with a huge margin in this 2019 election is a clear verdict for the Hindutva plank. Why and how it happened leave us, the secular billions, to ponder about the reality and its aftermath. And at that juncture Subhas Gatade’s 272-page analysis titled ‘Hindutva’s Second Coming’ gives us something concrete to think over once again. This in-depth study with rich academic perception is a commendable work, bereft of jargons and convoluted expressions, often found in books written from a high pedestal which goes beyond the mental reach of lay readers. Precisely for this reason the author needs to be specially acclaimed for bringing out facts at one place based on notes and references which are so far scattered in divergent historical materials. It serves as a Reader for millions who are combating communalism and distortion of history at the grassroot level.
Violence is sweeping Myanmar and in a short span of two weeks lakhs of ethnic Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh and thousands have lost their lives. Satellite data shows, large parts of the Rakhine state, home to most of the Burmese Rohingya population have been set on fire, and murders, rape, arson, loot and forced displacement of the Rohingya population is taking place on a scale, that should be alarming for all humanity. Even the UN secretary general has called out to Mayanmar to end violence against the Rohingya and Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu has urged Mayanmar state Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi to speak out against the persecution of the Rohingya. The tragedy facing the Rohingya is of an unprecedented scale and needs to be addressed with a sense of utmost urgency.
As Indian citizens, we need to break the silence on ethnic violence against the Rohingya and the unconstitutional proposed deportation of a wide and long-residing Rohingya community from India, to certain death that awaits them in Myanmar. The Rohingyas have been living as a peaceful refugee community in various parts of India since the 1970s, with no criminal records or history of crime. Let us not be a part of this genocide. Let us stand up for justice and humanity, and raise our voice against the killings, displacement and deportation of the Rohingya!
A tree with deep roots, if uprooted and planted in alien soil, might live but often sans its vigour. The same can be said for refugees. A couple of weeks ago, along with a bunch of my classmates, I visited the refugee camp of Burmese Rohingya Muslims at Kalindi Kunj in the vicinity of our university campus. The visit was part of an initiative to help them with old winter clothing after hearing about the unliveable conditions of the camp.
The Rohingyas, an ethnic group hailing from Myanmar (Burma), chiefly from its Rakhine (Arakan) State, happen to be one of the most oppressed people in the Asian sub-continent.
Yousuf Saeed wrote in Kafila on 13 August how fake images of violence against Muslim Rohingyas in Burma – images that were in fact, of, say, earthquake victims. In his post he mentioned how even some Urdu papers in India were fooled by the images,which provoked violent protests in Mumbai,and recently, Lucknow.
Now, CM Naim describes in detail how Sahafat, an Urdu newspaper published from Delhi, fell for these fake images. Naim translates large parts of two charged-up articles in Sahafat, one of which calls for the boycott of Buddhists in Delhi. One article was published on 10 August and one on 16 August. As Naim says, it’s time for the Press Council of India to take note. One excerpt: Continue reading How Delhi paper ‘Sahafat’ fell for fake images of violence in Burma→
I am utterly shocked and pained to read about the violent rally that many Muslims took out at Azad Maidan in Mumbai on 11 August 2012 in protest against the recent communal carnage in Assam and Burma. More than the accidental death of two men and 50 injured in yesterday’s protest, what alarmed me was the public anger targeted on the media for “not reporting about the violence against Muslims in Assam and Myanmar”. Several vans of TV channels and their equipment were smashed or burnt besides a number of police vehicles destroyed. Of course, the authorities are still probing as to who really began the violence in an otherwise peaceful rally (and we are open to the results of such a probe). But my worst fear came true with this assertion of one of the protesters in a newspaper report: “Why is the media not covering Burma and Assam? We learnt about the incidents from videos posted on the Internet.” This seems to be a very disturbing statement on various accounts. Of course, the media can sometimes be biased, and the Muslims do feel victimised by it all the time. But are the random videos and images posted on the Internet any less biased or misleading? Continue reading How to start a riot out of Facebook: Yousuf Saeed→
These days, the social media is abuzz with discussion on Myanmar. Interestingly, it is not even a constructive discussion but one which is meant for point scoring. The nature of the discourse has complicated the issue even more and thus calls for at least a couple of articles: one on the issue and another one meant to be an analysis of the situation of Burmese Muslims. It is important at this stage to disentangle the two dimensions to make sense of what is actually happening. Continue reading National contestation, not religion, responsible for the plight of Myanmar’s Rohingyas: Ayesha Siddiqa→