Killing of Pune techie Mohsin Sadiq Shaikh, force-feeding of canteen supervisor Zubair Rashid leading to invalidation of the Ramazan fast and tirade against India’s tennis star Sania Mirza are a series of events that highlight entrenched element of hate and intolerance that a civilized society has no place. They are disgraceful to say the least and are not expected of politicians in India which inspires the neighbouring nations with its vibrant democracy and pluralism.
Shaikh was totally innocent and had nothing to do with morphed picture of Maratha hero Shivaji which had gone viral thereby hurting sentiments of people. Even as a general principle, it is difficult to pin the blame on anyone for launching sacrilegious statements from some remote corner in the world on social media. Agents provocateurs can operate with impunity in the e-world that we have inherited in the highly technologically advanced 21stcentury. Culpability therefore cannot be fixed. People should neither be provoked nor should take the law into their hands for mischief planted by a faceless criminal. Any attempt to frame a certain section of people and target them for attacks for the act without knowing the original source of it with certitude, is all likely to victimize innocents.
Seen in the Indian context, it could be a politically motivated and vile attempt to spread canards, launch violent campaign and polarize voters prior to elections. Fortunately, this became clear from the investigation into hoisting of Pakistani flag on Sindgi Tahsildar’s office by Rama Sene activists and throwing of objectionable piece of meat in temples in Hyderabad in recent years.
It is rather comforting to find that the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party has condemned and dissociated from intolerant act in Maharashtra Sadan canteen and the inept remark against Sania Mirza by BJP’s Telengana State president. The leader making awful remark needs to be reminded that even a minister in some previous BJP government in Rajasthan had his daughter married in Pakistan. It is common for Soudha Rajput community in Rajasthan to exchange brides and grooms with their counterparts across the borders. The Telengana politician is more likely to undermine his own image by doubting patriotic credentials of celebrities like Sania Mirza who have brought in so much of credit to the sports and women.
Political decency calls for avoiding hateful talks, intolerant remarks and targeting individuals.