• Writers Protest the Unmaking of India

    "We condemn this sanctioned brutalisation…"

     

    MSC Satya Sai, From the SAHMAT exhibition on The Making of India, 2004, Image courtesy SAHMAT.

     

    Nayantara Sahgal

    "This is Hindutva's version of the Nazi 'final solution' for the Jews, but a cleverer version."

    The Muslim League and the Hindu Mahasabha were twin souls. Both wanted a divided India. Jinnah achieved his desire in 1947. The followers of Golwalkar and Savarkar are now busy fulfilling theirs. The massacre of Muslims in Gujarat in 2002 gave the green light for Muslim-killing across the nation. The message was: it is all right to kill Muslims, better still to lynch them. Lynch mobs armed with knives now rule highways, stop trucks, board trains, break into houses. This is Hindutva's version of the Nazi "final solution" for the Jews, but a cleverer version. Liquidating a community en masse is not a good idea. It attracts worldwide condemnation. So do it in stages, here and there, individual murders that will soon be forgotten. Hindutva has converted this country into a hell where Indians are no longer safe from other Indians. An ideology that has not seen fit to check the blood thirst of its followers has lost the right to call itself Hindu.
    This horror is compounded by blatant hypocrisy. Loud proclamations about wiping out Islamic terror are made at home and abroad, but Hindutva terror flourishes. Terror is inhuman in any circumstance, no matter who commits it, and this applies to the brutal lynching of Ayub Pandit, a policeman on duty, by fellow Kashmiris. Kashmir, so long a civilised example to the rest of India, should mourn this tragedy and reject violence as a solution to problems.

     

    Adil Jussawalla

    "Whether the killers are two or three individuals or part of a mob, their rage can't erupt without being fed by a manufactured fear of 'the other'."

    ‘Who are those "kuch log" who have chosen to spread fear and hatred among communities?' asks Rajdeep Sardesai in an article. Who indeed are they who brutally killed defenceless Junaid? Whether the killers are two or three individuals or part of a mob, their rage can't erupt without being fed by a manufactured fear of 'the other'. It's a cowardly fear that's spreading across the nation, and our hope, perhaps our only hope, is to fight it, not succumb to it.

     

    Keki Daruwalla

    “…the names of Akhlaque Ahmed and Junaid will go down in history as black marks against the current establishment.”

    As a former Law officer, I can say confidently say that lynching signals a complete breakdown of both law and order. One of the state's main functions is to uphold law and maintain order. Regrettably right wing politicos, both within the government and without, have let us down. The lynch gangs think they have the government behind them, and the implicit sanction of the lumpen elements of the majority community at large. The right wing does not realise that the names of Akhlaque Ahmed and Junaid will go down in history as black marks against the current establishment.

     

    Jerry Pinto

    “Vigilantism can only result in the brutalisation of our public sphere…”

    We all have the right to walk the streets and expect the law to protect us. We all have the right to expect that we will reach home safe and sound and if we are suspected of wrongdoing, we have the right to be taken to the police station. Vigilantism can only result in the brutalisation of our public sphere; and of us all, those who wield its terrible weapon included.

     

    Chaman Lal

    “It is a continuation of the violent Hindutva project…”

    The latest incident of lynching of a 16-year-old old student, Junaid, by a Hindutva-charged mob is deeply disturbing. It is a continuation of the violent Hindutva project despite the resistance of civil society. Our writers / cultural activists’ protest by award wapsi has been ridiculed rather than appreciated as the best possible protest in a democracy. We need to appeal to the  community of writers around the world as was done during the Franco regime in Spain in 1937. People, including writers, must come forward and join mass protests everywhere in the world to pressurise the fascist regime of India to take action against such mobs, and desist from patronising and defending them in the name of the Cow!

     

    Danish Husain

    “This is a battle… for appropriating everything this country stands for…” 

    This is a battle for resources, for appropriating everything this country stands for; and the RSS-BJP is doing it in the ugliest way — by dividing this country, and excluding any and everyone who do not believe in their regressive, bigotry-laden ideas.

     

    Ganesh Devy

    “…shocking, brutal, most unfortunate for a civilized nation.”
     


    Read our writers’ statements in 2015 after the lynching of Mohammed Akhlaq and similar acts of murder and violence:

    Keeping Count of Dissenting Voices
    Open Letter from Writers
    A Letter by Writers In Response to the Sahitya Akademi’s Resolution
    October 2015: World Writers Stand in Solidarity with Indian Writers and Artist
    Reject Hindutva, Embrace Insaniyat: Nayantara Sahgal
    Musician and writer T.M. Krishna writes to the Prime Minister
    From a Hundred and Sixty Three Bengali Intellectuals

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