Supreme Court keeps alive moral and legal consciousness against hate and bigotry

On 15 September, the Apex Court stayed the broadcast of a program Bindas Bol which was telecasted by Sudarshan news channel till further orders. The Court observed that content of the programme was aimed at vilifying the Muslim community and accuse it of secretly trying to infiltrate the civil services. The Court said it was, “insidious” to use the freedom of the press to make “rabid” allegation and attack a religious minority community.

The court said it was “insidious” to use the freedom of press to make “rabid” allegations and mount an attack on a religious minority community. The point is, is this a new phenomenon or a new low that the creamy layers of Muslims like IAS, IPS have been subjected to hate mentality after the middle and marginalized class on routine basis? Or, is it simply because of the culmination of hate, bigotry and prejudices over the years against the community which has spilled over from the marginalisd Muslims to now Muslims in Bureaucracy.

It appears that the age old bitterness of the partition seems to have been dominating the minds since Independence. It is pity that decades down the line, India has not been able to get rid of caste and communal slur. On routine basis, it has been hammered on to fuel enmity by the people with certain frame of mind. They want to promote aggressive hate campaign to keep the Muslim community in isolation with fear psychosis.

However, the Muslims either in Bureaucracy or elsewhere should ignore such hate statements hurled at them. They should continue to do what they are doing with honesty and integrity and play their role in nation building irrespective of what statements are made against them and for what reasons. Wajahat Habibullah, former Chairperson of the National Commission for Minorities who was the first Chief Information Commissioner of India said, “Whether, it is a new phenomenon or not, but this all keeps happening. There are people who have been doing this. I think such hate statements should be ignored because it is ridiculous. It is stupid thing whether it has come from the fringe or from the front.”

“By criticising or reacting we will only give importance to what they have said. Group of civil servants have criticised jointly but I did not participate in that and told them it is ridiculous and below my contempt and why should I defend by going down to their level. We should keep on doing what we are doing and will continue to do so. I used to go to Hamdard Study Circle to train young people for the civil services which include Muslims and non-Muslims as well. I am very happy doing that and will continue to do so,” said the former Information Commissioner.

The widening gap between Muslims and the majority community has hampered the inclusivity which should have been the hallmark of a democratic country like ours. The founding father had fought for the Independence not to carry forward the policy of the British rule but to build a country on the pillars of democracy, diversity and development in order to cherish diversity.

“India is not alone where the majority community, or the government propped up by the majority community, feels threatened by a much smaller religious or ethnic community enjoying the same nationality and citizenship. This is in the nature of politics based on rousing sectarian passions, creating an “other”, and mobilizing the masses, said John Dayal, noted social and human rights activist.

Naturally, after Pakistan’s creation, the rise of the Muslims intellectuals has been an anathema to RSS. They target Aligarh Muslim University, which they see not as sources of fundamentalism or communalism, as some think, but as a mother giving birth to scholars, PhDs, doctors, researchers, writers, historians and artistes. This is the group which creates aspirations, shapes generations. Today, there are, as a percentage of their population, more Muslims in jail than in the Indian administrative and other Class 1 services or in the universities as vice chancellors, professors and researchers.

Professor Yogendra Yadav while delivering the Second Capt. Abbas Ali Memorial Lecture had said, “India was the first country to democratize the idea of democracy. Earlier, it was belief that democracy cannot flourish in a country where people are illiterate and poor and primarily democracy was meant for a flourished sate. When India was democratized and after couples of general elections were held then the world realized that there can be democracy elsewhere and in the entire world.

“European project was to match cultural boundaries with political boundaries. The meaning of Europeans Nation’s state was one nation, one language, one culture and preferably one religion. It was a model of unity in uniformity. The achievement of India is that it was the first county to say that it does not consider its diversity its weakness. The founding fathers who had laid the foundation of India considered diversity its strength,” said the president of Swaraj Abhiyan.

Are we today celebrating our diversity or working against the model of unity in diversity through age old prejudices, hate and bigotry. According to Hanif Quraishi, senior IPS officer,” In a democracy, law creates institutions which function by rules as laid down by an elected government. In India, we are fortunate to be living in the world’s largest democracy. We are proud of our institutions which the Constitution has created, such as the UPSC. This institution has stood the test of time and has acted in the high traditions which it has set for itself.
On hate against Muslims in Bureaucracy, the IPS officer said, “A section of the Muslim youth believes that they have become victims of a system which is prejudiced. Now victim mentality is a real concept and according to psychologist Kim Shirin includes traits of self-pity, pessimism and anger. At the same time, the majority may also develop feelings of being at a disadvantage due to minorities coming forward. That is the reason sometimes one hears statements reflecting these fears in the media.”

On what should be the way forward to reform the hate mentality, Quraishi said, “Charles R. Snyder’s 2005 study came out with some solutions. The results suggested that if the victim mentality sufferer forgives himself or the situation leading to that mental state, and focuses on other aspects of the larger society then symptoms of fear and hostility can be reduced.”

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