South Asia Research and Analysis Studies

Don't call me secular
Ali Sukhanver

Mohammad Akhlaqs brutal murder at the hands of Hindu extremists has once again proved that India is not a secular state. The Washington Post narrated the details of this shameful incident on 30th September; Mohammad Akhlaq was in bed when the mob arrived. The commotion began in the distance, but crept closer and closer like encroaching thunder. Suddenly, there was a pounding at the door. Then the door broke inwards and men dragged the 50-year-old farmer from his sheets and into the street. They beat him with bricks found underneath his own bed; beat him until the bricks broke in their hands; beat him until Mohammad was dead.

The paper further says, The attack on Monday night in the northern Indian city of Dadri has shocked the country, but it wasn’t exactly a surprise. For the past six months, meat has been a matter of major debate in India. Slaughtering a human being for butchering a cow; it all is nothing but brutality and cruelty and this is wicked act has no doubt proved a blob of shame on the face of Secular India.
According to authentic sources, Indias total population is somewhere around 1.3 Billion. Eighty percent of this population consists of Hindus. Roughly 250 million Indians belong to other religions including 25 million Christians and up to 140 million Muslims approximately. Most of the Hindus avoid beef for religious reasons particularly when they are in India. To them cow is a sacred animal and their religion does not allow them eat the meat of this sacred animal. But for the remaining twenty percent population cow is simply an animal whose milk and meat both are nourishing and delicious.
The Hindu extremists are so narrow-minded and prejudiced that they compel and force the non-Hindus to respect and honour an animal which is popular throughout the world for its milk and beef. In other words the Hindu extremists expect others to follow and obey the Hindu philosophy whereas they themselves neither respect nor honour other religions. We have a very horrible example of the Babari Masjid which was demolished by the Hindu extremists in 1992 and further a large part of the land of this mosque was handed over to the Hindus for construction of temple. More than 2000 people lost their lives as a result of several months of inter-communal riots between Hindu and Muslim communities after this demolition.
In short whatever happened to Mohammad Akhlaq is neither strange nor unexpected. It is the tradition of the Hindu extremists to crush anyone whom they feel weak and helpless. Today the most frequently asked question all over the world is; what was the crime of Mohammad Akhlaq for which the Hindu extremists punished him but no one in India has any answer to this question.
Another important thing that must be kept in mind is that all Hindus in India are neither extremists nor narrow-minded; there are so many Hindus who are kind-hearted, loving and caring for the people belonging to other communities but unfortunately such Hindus themselves are helplessly frightened at the hands of the extremists. The New Indian Express published a report on 3rdOctober 2015 which says, While the whole Indian nation was shocked at the lynching of Mohammed Akhlaq at Bisada village in Dadri, a contrary detail is that over seventy members of a Muslim joint family owe their lives to their Hindu neighbours.
The Hindu men - Vineet Kumar, Umesh Kumar and Ashok organised a dramatic plan to save Abdul Mohammed and his family which included women and children living in the neighbourhood. As soon as Umesh learned about the mobs attack at around 11 PM while heading back home, all three of them helped the Muslims flee secretively. It was the time when a large lynch mob was heading towards the village mosque, which is just a stone�s throw away from their house.
Michael E. Miller of the Washington Post says in an article, The issue of beef ban has raged in India for years. Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power, however, incidents have increased, as they tend to do whenever a conservative government has been in power. Modi is a Hindu nationalist who, as chief minister of Gujarat state, presided during religious riots in 2002 in which more than 1,000 people most of them Muslims were killed. For years afterwards, Modi was blocked from visiting the United States because of his role in the riots.
The maltreatment with the minorities at the hands of the Hindu extremists in India has put a big question mark on India�s claim of being a secular state. India is in no way a secular state; it is a purely Hindu state where Muslims, Christians or any one following a different religious philosophy is not allowed to live peacefully.