Continued efforts to tarnish the image of Indian Muslims, baseless allegations by irresponsible sections of media, arbitrary arrests and torture of innocent Muslim youths as a means to intimidate the whole community, naming some Muslim concentration areas as centres of terrorism and now, to top it all, arrest of Mohd. Ahmad Kazmi, perhaps to please western powers and home-grown Israeli lobby; nobody knows how long this dark night of repression continues.
It is a story which is being repeated from state to state, by government after government. It is being done not only by openly anti-Muslim BJP but by Congress also which claims to be the protector of Muslim community.
In this respect the Muslims rightly expect justice from Indian judiciary which, by now, seems to have understood what lies behind the repeated branding of the whole community. But the question remains why Kazmi, a senior journalist credited with covering the Iraq war and representing international news agencies, was thoughtlessly remanded to the police custody for 20 days on the mere plea that the matter is related to national security. Adding insult to injury, Kazmi has been arrested under the draconian and anti-democratic Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The mental torture is being routinely used to make him sign confession papers. Our agencies are past masters at extracting desirable confessions which may be used as proof against the hapless victims.
Add to this the trial by media, the picture assumes dangerous proportions. Many channels described him as an Iranian while the fact is he is out and out an Indian citizen who hails from Meerut. A Hindi newspaper reported that Kazmi was riding with the bomber on pillion during the attack; however his son Turab has a photograph of Kazmi which shows that he was outside the Congress headquarters covering a protest when the attack on Israeli diplomat’s car took place.
The senior editor of Outlook Hindi has rightly observed that the entire Muslim community is fed up with routine rounding up and torturing of innocent Muslim youths and it cost the Congress party the Muslim votes in UP elections.
How long this painful game of branding the whole community as fifth column? How long the agencies would tarnish the name of one-sixth of Indian population? Is this not creating fear of and hatred for the Muslim community in the hearts and minds of the majority community? Those who are stereo-typing and profiling an entire community are definitely not doing any service to country and inter-community relations and certainly weakening the democratic foundations of India.