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Malda, the Minority and the Misplaced Priorities

Newsclick interviewed Muhammad Reyaz, a journalist and research scholar, on the violence that recently broke out in Malda, West Bengal. Reyaz feels that the media totally misinterpreted the incident, and so did political parties with apparently secular leanings, by comparing it with the recent violence in Dadri. He explained that the agitation in Malda was against the provocative remarks made by Hindu Mahasabha activist, Kamalesh Tiwari. Reyaz rues that extremists from both sides, along with the ruling party, Trinamul Congress, exploited the situation keeping in mind the upcoming assembly elections. He pointed out that the state government didn't have enough security forces deployed for the protesting mob. He said that Islamophobic sentiments have grown manifold in the period spanning September 11 and the Paris attacks. Reyaz, interestingly, opined that the lack of education and progressiveness is keeping Muslims relegated to the margins, and that participation of women is essential. Muslim youth have been led astray by extremist forces and deprivation, even as the leadership is failing to keep its promises.



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