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  • Asifa’s Case Discussed @ The RAJ NEWS Kannada Channel*

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    *Asifa’s Case Discussed @ The RAJ NEWS Kannada Channel*

    On 13th April, 2018, I participated in a panel discussion at the RAJ NEWS Kannada News Channel on the topic of an 8 year old Muslim girl Asifa being raped and killed in Jammu by 7 men and a juvenile, who were later protected by the Hindu Ekta Manch that protested against the arrest of the culprits.

    Let me share the gist of the discussions with you here:

    Anchor: Umar Shariff, what do you have to say about the organisation Hindu Ekta Manch that is protecting the culprits. Do you think there is a Hindu Muslim divide?

    My Answer: I don’t see this case as a Hindu Muslim issue. In fact I’ve found Hindus more concerned about this case than the Muslims actually (the Inspector who is fighting for justice is a Hindu – Ramesh Kumar Jalla, and the lawyer who is fighting in favour of the rape victim is also a hindu – Deepika Rajawat). It’s quite natural; everybody has children and daughters in their homes. When they see this case, and look at their children, they can truly understand the pain of a little girl that was gang raped and murdered in a clandestine manner. I would not say this to be a Hindu Muslim issue. I see the Hindus holding more protests against the Hindu Ekta Manch. But I see this as the RSS and the Muslim issue. I separate the RSS from the mainstream Hindu community. I see the RSS as a separate entity with a separate ideology and beliefs.

    Hinduism is a different thing, and RSS is a different thing altogether. Hinduism has theology, belief systems and other ethiquettes that are good. In fact the Hindu community in India is predominantly good to us Muslims. We’ve had great number of friends and acquaintances from the Hindu community. In fact my closest friends are from the Brahmin community. I literally spend lots of time with them, and I can’t speak against them, because I know that they are good with me and other Muslims. The issue is about the ones who associate with the RSS. Let me quote Veer Savarkar here. His book has a problem. He in his book “The Six Epochs of Glorious Indian History” says that rape must be used as a way to show political strength against other communities. He cited references from mythology by mentioning Ravana and gave his whimsical interpretation to suit his conclusion. Now that’s a problem. The people who get influenced by such literature are bound to get grotesque in their dealings with the members of other communities.

    We can see that in this case. 2 ministers from the BJP party even paraded and protested against the police department from taking up this case and arresting the culprits. What kind of service do they want to do to the people of India by becoming Ministers? I don’t see these communal minds to be representing the Hindus of India. Hence I don’t bring religion as a reason for conflict, but surely the ideology of RSS is creating a communal hatred in the society.

    Anchor: What do you have to say about the silence of the PM Narendra Modi in this case?

    My answer: It’s strange that our PM of India is immediately tweeting and passing the condolences to any untoward incident across other parts of the world, but has not spoken a word so far about this case. For example if any people die in Amsterdam, he’s tweeting immediately passing his condolences to them, but he has not reacted here even after 3 months since the girl was killed. What kind of a behaviour is this, that he is not moved for the people of his country, but worried of people across the world! I don’t say that he must not be bothered about the people of other countries; but why is he so indifferent to his own country men? And we have seen in the past that after a long pause he talks about a burning topic in a very indirect manner, that doesn’t hold any value to us. The majority of the people of India have lost all hopes on this man. His slogan “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikaas” seems like “Sabka Saath Sabka Vinaash”. There’s Vinaash – destruction across the nation. Who is happy under these circumstances?

    Anchor: Your final words.

    My Response: The majority Hindus of this country are not sympathisers of the RSS ideology. I see even here in this panel discussion the majority of Hindus who are against the RSS and their interpretation of Hindutva. I think we have a collective responsibility of not letting them hijack the Hindutva concept. I feel the well-meaning people like most of you and me have to hold Hindutva by our hands, and give the right direction to the masses about the true essence of Hindutva – Indianness. We must not let these fringe elements to show up as our leaders.

    The panel discussion went on in a positive direction, while all the four Hindus in the discussion outrageously criticised the Hindu speaker who was an RSS sympathiser. I think the achche dins are soon coming In’shaa’Allah.

    – Umar Shariff
    (President, DIET)

    Full

    Umar Shariff’s Statements

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