Monday, September 28, 2009

An Open letter to Mr. Bandukwala

Mr. Bandukwala has writted an article titled "To Defuse A Train Of Gunpowder"
In the article, he writes:
It would surely have been better if the Gujarati Hindu leadership, whether political, business, intellectual or religious, had taken a moral position, introspected and expressed remorse. But that is akin to asking for the moon ...

Repeated appeals were made by Muslims to eminent Hindu godmen to recognise the fact that Muslim women were raped and killed to the cries of Jai Shri Ram, using trishuls which were blessed by Swaminarayan sants. Many women who survived speak of Durga Vahini women egging their men on ...

Mr. Bandukwala, while I agree with the points you have made, I would like to make a larger point. Let us move away from the specific context of Gujarat 2002. Let us talk about riots in general. How easy is it to provoke a "muslim mob" into a riot? My feeling is that it is not very difficult and if some hindutva extremist group wants to create a communal divide, they can spark a provocation into a riot almost at will. All they need to do is to offend some sentiment etc. My question to the Muslim leadership is, what are they doing about it?

I wish that people like you who have a public platform to express your views can look at issues beyond Gujarat 2002 and appeal to all Muslims that killing innocent families in a riot is unislamic and inhuman. Even if there is a communal riot that is going on, Muslims should protect the innocents of both Muslim families and Hindu families from the communal mobs (from both sides). Can you please use your public platform for propagating this? And also urge the Muslim religious leadership to make this a persistent theme in their speeches etc? Is that akin to asking for the moon? If you can do this, that will have a much larger impact than what you are doing to bring the perpetrators of Gujarat 2002 to book. Even the RSS may then be forced to make a statement that their cadre also will help/protect innocent Muslim families as well as innocent Hindu families in a riot. That would be path-breaking.

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