The attempted pogrom against Muslims by immigrant Hindu rabbles in Leicester over the weekend should be taken quite seriously. It is true that the raucous event, which was fraught with a lot of incitement against Muslims, ended generally peacefully and without bloodshed.
However, the fact that this act of incivility, incitement and agitation took place in Leicester should alert us to make every possible effort to take preemptive steps, in accordance with the rule of law, before it exacerbates into violence and bloodshed.
I am not blaming all Hindus in the UK or even in Leicester for what happened. However, I think all honest people would agree me that it doesn’t take an entire community to agitate and galvanize easily-irritable young people to go Awry. Only a small group of fanatics and rabble-rousers could do the job.
Indeed, in this age of social media, the job of trouble-makers and fire-stokers is more easier than ever.
I do wish to give wise people within the Hindu community in UK the benefit of the doubt.
However, cumulative experience taught us that the voices of racists and hate-mongers are always louder than the voices of wise people who strive to foster peace between religiously diverse communities.
In the final analysis, fanatics don’t have ideas of their own, they are rather a hostage to their erratic, morbid and monomaniacal thoughts. And in case such people are allowed to act on their often poisoned vagaries and eccentricities, they will burn themselves and those around them.
The ghoul of Hindu fascism
I realize that many people, probably driven by good-will and a sincere desire not to blow things out of proportion, would rather keep the issue confined to its textual boundaries. I’d salute these people for their good-will and dedication to do the right thing.
However, as a keen observer of the Indian theatre for many years, I honestly believe that it is extremely difficult to maintain total calm and peace in Leicester while the fire of racism and Islamophobia is raging wildly all over India.
Today, Islamophobia in all its ugly manifestations constitutes the very bloodline of the ruling BJP regime in India.
Hence, the recurrent abuse of the prophet of Islam, the demolition of Muslim homes and structures for the pettiest pretexts, the rampant vandalism of Muslim businesses and property, in addition, of course, to passing a plethora of Nazi-like laws aimed at asserting the Hindu identity of the large country.
There is no doubt in this writer’s mind that there is a hard-core group of Hindutva militants and supremacists who are trying hard to import the hate discourse of the BJP regime from India to the streets and alleyways of British towns.
Needless to say, kind preaching and appeal to civility won’t work with such people who are generally inculcated in hatred for those who disagree with them on religious matters.
That is why, British authorities and law-enforcement agencies throughout the UK must be extraordinarily vigilant and adopt an iron-clad approach toward those hatching plots to disturb the peace, not only in Leicester, but all over the UK.
Finally, a word to the Muslim community in Britain and Leicester in particular: Don’t be provoked. Keep calm and cooperate with the law-enforcement authorities. The matter is much bigger than a cricket game. The hoodlums’ aim is to provoke you, besmirch your public image and make you lose composure and mental equanimity. Don’t fulfill their goals.