By Rahman Abbas
The gruesome incidents of rape of a woman in Unnao and that of a minor in Kathua have shaken the nation and put our claims to civilization to shame. The nation is boiling in anger and desperation. The surge in anger is not just because of the unimaginable cruelty inflicted on eight-year-old Asifa, but owing to the defense of the rapists by elected leaders of the BJP in UP and Jammu. What adds to the shame is the shameless mobilization of men and women and lawyers in the name of religion by the supporters of the rapists, i.e., the BJP leaders. In Unnao, the complete failure of the state machinery has left people in trauma and pain after the father of the victim is allegedly killed in the custody.
The incidents are so horrible and torturous that the nation is passing through hysterical sadness and parents are extremely worried about the safety of their children. After ascending to power using religion to divide people, the BJP appears to have given free hand to its leaders to spread further venom. What the nation has observed in Jammu and UP is that the BJP leaders are trying to sabotage justice, communalize rape, and threaten democracy itself by misleading people, using religion as a camouflage.
This is the exact pattern the BJP top leadership had chosen for their electoral politics. They had misled the Hindu community and used religion to divide India. The exploitation of the majority community started from the false slogans of masjid-mandir, culminating into lynching in the name of beef, Love Jihad, and Pakistani agents. Hate was fueled in the people; poison was poured into their minds. This hate and poison was spread with criminal intentions into every household by means of fake news, corrupt media channels, and organized social media campaigns. The rapes and the hatred we are witnessing today is the direct outcome of the political tool with which the BJP has chosen to rule India.
If we really want a civilized society, we will have to stop this design to use religion for political gains. We will have to say no to the agenda of the Sangh Parivar, which survives on the divide and rule of both Hindus and Muslims. If we fail to maintain serenity and brotherhood, we will regret as the situation looks to go beyond our control. This loss would be the loss of our democracy and secularism, the foundation on which the nation and our Constitution stands. Hence, it is time to stand firm against the divisive policies, because unity is the key to defend the idea of India as a nation.
Rahman Abbas is twice State Sahitya Academy award winning novelist. He writes in Urdu and English. He is author of seven books including four novels. He was one of the authors who had returned their awards, while protesting against the atmosphere of hate in 2015.
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