18 December 2017 01:15 AM

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THE CITIZEN EDITORIAL | 7 DECEMBER, 2017

Is This Sickening Crime Worth Not Even a Word of Condemnation from the BJP Top Brass?

Is This Sickening Crime Worth Not Even a Word of Condemnation from the BJP Top Brass?


What is the politics that encourages a man to brutally hack a poor labourer to death, just because he is a Muslim? The horrific video, that has gone viral as intended,was filmed obviously by another person who was party to the crime (there can be no other explanation for it) while the 45 year old labourer Mohammad Efrazul was set upon by one Shambhu Lal chanting “love jihadis you will meet the same fate” in Rajasthan’s Rajsamand district.

Two video clips were posted on the social media, circulated, and still available with just internet services being suspended in the concerned district to prevent the spread of further tension. But for others the video clips are being circulated, as this Lal sets the body on fire, and speaks of every communal issue that has been raised in recent days by the right wing forces to divide and polarise communities, including Ayodhya and the Padmavati film. For the last Karni Sena members in Rajasthan have already threatened to wound and behead the director and the actors in the movie.

There has been not a word of condemnation from either Prime Minister Narendra Modi, or Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia who has been presiding over perhaps the most brutal atrocities against the minorities in her state. The poison is being spread through the districts of Rajasthan, with an eye on the Assembly elections due next year. The venom and viciousness visible in this latest video of brutal murder has not elicited a comment,with Lal now arrested. There is not a word from the state Home Minister about the camera that recorded the brutal act, with Lal first chasing the labourer who cries out for help, hacking him to death, coming back to the camera to warn viewers that they would meet with the same fate, and then going back to the body to burn it. There is clear movement of the camera (probably a mobile telephone) that makes it very clear that another person was involved.

This has been the practise all through. All Rajasthan crimes are being videographed by a person with the assailant(s) and then posted on the social media for all to take lessons from. This seems to be part of a directive, that do not just attack and kill, but film so that the incident reaches a wider audience across the social media.PM Modi has said nothing, nor has BJP President Amit Shah who takes care not to condemn such incidents, and nor has CM Scindia who too has decided not to say a word about these communal and targeted killings in her state. In a polity where silence means support, this is being read as such by the assailants encouraged not just to kill, but to be filmed with clearly impunity written in not so invisible ink for them by the ruling dispensation in the state.

The Congress response too, so far, remains limited to Sachin Pilot who said, “there is no fear of law here, no fear of police... there is no government. We must set an example where people must fear that there is a government that will set certain rules." Word is still awaited from Congress president-to-be Rahul Gandhi who is busy with the Gujarat campaign. The Opposition, instead of looking at the vote, needs to get its act together and speak out against not just the impunity for the attackers, but also the targeting of the minorities across Rajasthan where each incident is becoming more chilling and violent. India, collectively, must hang her head in shame for her silence on this assault on democracy.
 

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