New Delhi: Prompted by the recent spurt in cases of communal violence across the country that highlights the growing impact of the “hate-mongering by right-wing forces” on the nation’s social fabric, members of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) staged a protest here on Wednesday.
Held at Jantar Mantar, the demonstration saw the participation of nearly a hundred protesters that included the party’s polit bureau’s leaders, members, teachers, students, lawyers, along with the general public.
The protesters demanded that the “constitutional rights” of those belonging to the minority groups in the country must be protected, for which a sustained effort to retort the “hate politics” of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha (RSS) is needed.
The number of cases involving communal violence, which impinges upon the “constitutional rights” of the minority groups, have been on the rise in the country, Brinda Karat, polit bureau member, CPI-M said on Wednesday. “There is a concerted effort to even culturally demonise the minority groups in the country… We have been talking about saving the [Indian] Constitution. Today’s demonstration message is precisely that, if the Constitution is to be saved then people must come forward to protect the rights of the minorities first,” she told NewsClick.
Among other prominent CPI-M polit bureau members present included Prakash Karat who addressed the protesters, saying that such demonstrations must and will be held by the Left party across the country.
Recent incidents do explain the growing need to focus on the state of minorities, especially Muslims and Christians, in the country. In August this year, a Muslim bangle seller was ruthlessly beaten and allegedly robbed by a mob that purportedly engaged in hurling religious slurs. Similarly, for over a month now, tensions remain escalated in Haryana’s Gurugram over Muslims offering prayer in public, with the latter being stopped by right-wing Hindu groups.
Likewise, the northeast state Tripura recently has become the latest Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) – ruled state that has been at the centre of a seething controversy that involved religious tensions, following reports of a slew of attacks on mosques and Muslim-owned shops by Hindutva groups including RSS, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal across the state.
Violence targetting the Christian community is on the rise too, with a fact-finding report, released last month by civil society groups, claiming that over 300 such incidents have been reported this year till now, adding that Uttar Pradesh tops the said infamous list. The latest in this being recorded in the national capital itself, where a warehouse-turned-church in Dwarka locality was allegedly vandalised by members of Bajrang Dal this week on Sunday.
On Wednesday, flaying these incidents, the CPI-M members blamed condemned the BJP for allowing such religious tensions to be stoked, “purely for electoral gains.” Sahiba Farooqui, Delhi state secretariat member, CPI-M said: “Look at Uttar Pradesh, where elections are due [next year]. The language of BJP leaders and state CM Yogi [Adityanath] speaks for itself, in which they increasingly are now using words to attack the Muslims in the state.”
Farooqui reiterated that such attempts of fanning religious tensions must be fought against. “It is a fight not just of Muslims, or Christians, but of all of us who put their faith in the Constitution of India.”
Hannan Mollah, polit bureau member of CPI-M and also a prominent farmer leader of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) told NewClick that the ongoing farmers’ agitation in the country has played a significant role in “providing a language” to fight against the “communal tendencies,” that reflect within the “politics espoused by BJP-RSS.”
“We know it for sure that the communal politics will be intensified in the coming days to roll back the gains made by farmers’ protest in terms of achieving social peace within communities. This will be the case especially so in states like Uttar Pradesh where elections are due,” he told NewsClick, however, adding that “such agendas” will be fought by the protesting farmers back in their districts, or villages.
Individuals from the north-east districts of the national capital, whose lives were ravaged last year after the riots, also marked their presence. Among them was one Namra, who was among those whose property was attacked in Shiv Vihar locality.
“Even till now, there are many people in my locality who haven’t recovered from what they lost during the 2020 riots,” the 23-year-old said, adding that in such a situation it “only adds to the fear,” when news of communal violence in other parts of the country is heard.
“For how long such hate politics will continue. These all must stop immediately,” she said.