Open defiance of an absurd bail order condition by a teenage Hindu girl speaking to a television channel captured the imagination of Hindus all over the country this week. The girl was just out of jail confined for 3 days for merely sharing harmless posts on Facebook . Most teens of her age would be browbeaten by parents for “bringing disrepute to family”. Even the prospect of being sent back to jail didn’t deter her from fearlessly articulating and defending her views on live TV.
Here is full force of the State, powerful police and the judiciary, going all out against a frail looking girl from a simple middle class family – arrested and jailed within an hour of complaint, kept in jail over the weekend. Her father couldn’t even get a lawyer, not knowing what to do. But all this didn’t break the spirit of this courageous girl. It was obvious for all to see on the video that she was deriving strength from her strong conviction of truth in her beliefs and opinions, even in the backdrop of massive internationally coordinated propaganda against Hindus on victimization of Muslims in India.
Richa Bharti’s defiance inspired Hindus across the country. There was huge expression of support. Petition requesting aid for legal help collected more than Rs. 7 lakhs in just a few hours, even though arrest itself was hardly protested on the net.
Despite the huge uproar and hundreds of articles in mainstream media, some of them calling her posts bigoted, shockingly not a single report carried details or screenshots of what she actually posted on Facebook that led to the arrest. What was the need for this cover up? That it would show to all what Richa Bharti says is reasonable and is not bigotry?
Absurdity of the bail order conditions
The absurdity of bail order condition that required her to distribute Qurans led to unprecedented outrage among Hindus. Some prominent Muslims set aside their liberal facade and justified this most bizzare order as an “attempt to teach her respect for other religions.” Arfa Khanum Sherwani, a senior editor at the radical left website The Wire, supported calling it “community service”. A prominent Gujarati Muslim Zafar Sareswala tweeted – “A very good out of the box thought process of the Honourable judge! It would be advisable also for each of us to read the holy books of each of us across the religious divide to understand us better and the religions.”
Hindus saw this as a dhimmi judge encouraging predatory expansionism of a religion like Islam, and acting in an unconstitutional manner in passing an order which curtails religious freedom of Richa Bharti. Many found it counter intuitive that the judge would want a Quran to be distributed and quoted ayats from the Quran which call for violence against non-Muslims. Some Hindus supported the bail order condition making references to Sita Ram Goel’s famous statement “we believe and advocate that more and more non-Muslims should read it so that they know first hand the quality of its teachings” from his well known book “The Calcutta Quran Petition.” The Ranchi district bar association protested and announced boycott of the judge. Kanchan Gupta, a prominent writer questioned the legality of such conditions.
Why the haste in arrest and why issue such an order?
Several prominent writers wrote trying to make sense the situation. A well known IPS officer and Sanskrit scholar, Arun Upadhyay, claimed that the arrest itself was illegal and the complaint forged by a junior Muslim police officer at the station. He claimed that a case should be registered against the judge as distribution of Quran by a non-Muslim constitutes an insult to Islam. For ignorance of this he demanded sacking of the judge.
R Jagannathan, the Editorial Director at Swarajya Magazine, said that no judge in right state of mind would do this. In a video he explained it as coming from a “woolly notion of secularism we have developed in India,” unconstitutional and convoluted. He wrote an article that pierces through this woolly notion of secularism exposing the dhimmitude of the Indian State. He says in his article “Dhimmitude will strengthen those very conservative Islamists who want the world to one day fully embrace Islam, and are willing to use force of threats of violence to achieve it.”
There is no doubt that it is the Dhimmitude that Indian State is afflicted with which leads to the State going all out to appease Muslims and locking up Hindus at the drop of a hat. But in this case, it is also important to note the situation that exists in Jharkhand today.
Communally charged situation in Jharkhand
The BJP government of Jharkhand, and the Union government, have been under siege for more than a month now with violent protests against “Hindu mob lynching” and an internationally coordinated Muslim victimhood propaganda targeting BJP government.
Videos surfaced in June showing a Muslim thief getting beaten in the village of Dhakidih in Jharkhand, who eventually died in a hospital after 5 days of police custody in Seraikela PS. The videos show those beating him asking him to repeat slogans praising Ram and Hanuman. This incident received wide coverage in international media, led to nationwide protests, and extraordinary political pressure on BJP. The massive propaganda on Hindu mobs lynching Muslims in India that has been around for more than an year now reached a crescendo – Hindus encouraged by recent BJP victory and based on RSS ideology of hatred are lynching Muslims not only in Jharkhand but all around India, the propaganda claimed.
Just a few days before the Richa Bharti incident, a large crowd of Muslims in Ranchi attempted burning down a group of Hindu bus travelers in the name of protests. There were violent protests by large number of Muslims in Agra and Meerut, and over one lakh Muslims in Malegaon on this issue. AIMIM goons traveled all the way from Hyderabad barging into homes of Dhahkidih village threatening to rape Hindu women. There were incidents reported of desecration of temples by these goons in Jharkhand.
Mainstream media and social media created a communally charged atmosphere in the state by adding to the massive Muslim victimhood propaganda by spreading these unverified videos, in a way goading Muslims to take up violence and put Hindus on the defensive. Muslim victimhood propaganda is always followed by violence. And when such violence happens, it is justified as legitimate on the account of the victimhood.
Was the BJP government just trying to set an example by overreacting to a minor incident? There was even speculation that pressure from Union Home Secretary, who is a Jharkhand cadre officer, was what led to the Richa Bharti arrest.
Hindu victimhood versus Muslim victimhood
According to a report in Dainik Jagran, just a few days after the Seraikela incident, a Muslim mob lynched a Hindu thief and even attacked a police station pelting stones at the police. This news was quickly put to death. In fact, there were protests by Muslims against Dainik Jagran to withdraw the news item. “Dainik Jagran attempted to vilify Muslims” the protestors claimed as reported in a website that presents Muslim perspectives. A comment by one S Ahmed on the report demands “A hefty fine of more than a crore should be levied on Dainik Jagran and its editor should be jailed for attempts to break communal harmony.”
There were at least three incidents of Muslims lynching Hindus in UP reported in Swarajya within a few days before or after the Jun 17th motorcycle thief lynching incident. No mainstream media house covered these incidents. There were no statements from the government on these.
The coverage in mainstream media of incidents involving Muslims as perpetrators of violence is always without mention of names or religion. Beating of a Muslim thief attracts international attention, but violence by protesting Muslim mob of hundreds attempting to set a bus on fire to kill Hindus who have nothing to do with the earlier incident is not report worthy. One wonders if Muslim victimhood is legitimate and Hindu victimhood not?
The incidents are not reported because they would interfere and undermine the story of Hindu mobs lynching Muslims in India.
Internationally coordinated propaganda of Hindu mob lynching
Compare this with how a few incidents of Hindu mobs beating Muslims are used to build narrative about an “epidemic of Hindu mob violence against Muslims.” Worldwide narrative about Hindu violence against Muslims using the phrase “Hindu mob lynching” started around 2017-18 graduating from the more specific “cow vigilantism” narrative earlier. After May 23rd 2019 the propaganda doesn’t miss to belittle the phrases “New India” or “Sabka Vishwas” used by PM Modi directly linking the so-called “epidemic of lynching” to BJP victory and “RSS ideology of hatred.”
The Jharkhand incident from Jun 17th presented a perfect opportunity for another high pitched Muslim victimhood campaign – clear video footage of beating, footage of forced chants, young bride from wedding just 2 months ago, BJP government in the state. What more could one ask for? That the cause of death was not yet known at that time – no internal injuries, no head injuries according to this report – did not come in the way of propaganda. Story of police custodial death would have made sense in a different circumstance, but here it would have taken away from the story of Hindu mobs.
The mind-boggling anti-Hindu propaganda machine that was put together for the J&K Asifa incident was out for use again creating national and international visibility for the incident. International coverage for Jun 26th synchronized protests across the country was well coordinated – BBC, Al Jazeera, France, Time, NY Times, Gulf Today, Pakistan, Reuters, Guardian, South China Morning Post, etc., as well as protests at Harvard Square in US and other places around the world. Usual Hindu hating writers Rana Ayyub, Harsh Mander kept themselves busy writing for International media.
A article in BBC even attempts to rebrand Jai Shri Ram into a “murder cry”, without making any references the murder cry, the takbir “Allahu Akbar” that the world has gotten used to in the last several centuries. US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a dubious organization that influences American policy making helping rabid fundamentalist Christian proselytization across the world in the name of religious rights, jumped into the fray with their statement. The issue is also raised in the 7th Meeting of the 41st Regular Session held before the UN Human Rights Council.
Look at the headlines used – “India: no country for Muslims”, “India’s epidemic of mob lynching”, “Jai Shri Ram: The Hindu chant that became a murder cry”, “Mobs are killing Muslims in India. Why is no one stopping them?”.
BJP Government’s Response to Propaganda
The BJP government is powerless against this massive show of power by anti-Hindu and anti-India forces. There is no indication of any efforts to counter this – either visible or otherwise. Modi and BJP government are forced to respond to propaganda by either being apologetic and “expressing pain” or by “condemning violence”, or issuing warnings to Hindu groups more or less agreeing with the propaganda (like PM Modi did with Gau Rakshaks during his first term), or by display of dhimmitude (as explained by R Jagannathan in his article).
There is no data to indicate there is any increase in mob lynchings in India. Yet, the Supreme Court, part of the Dhimmi State, is forced to respond as well.
Highly influential international media outlets which shape public opinion across the world like NY Times, BBC, Guardian, Al Jazeera, or Foreign Policy shutout any alternative opinion against their narrative and thus their control over the anti-Hindu anti-India narrative is complete.
The focus and phrasing of propaganda changes from time to time – from rapes and women’s condition in India, to violence against Christians and churches, to award-wapsi protest against killing of journalists, to cow vigilante mob lynching, to lynching of Dalits, to mob lynching of Muslims with forcible chanting of Jai Shri Ram. Data and research based counters are of no consequence.
The Dhimmi State
The propaganda of Muslim victimhood is not new. It has been around for more than a century. The consequences of MK Gandhi’s masterly use of this in his politics are well known – dismemberment of Bharat into Pakistan and later Bangladesh, and subsequent creation of a powerful deep-state which has installed Dhimmitude at the root of the national consciousness. Increase in the pitch of Muslim victimhood narrative almost always forebodes an event of disastrous consequences to India as a nation.
Judiciary, academia, media, policy bodies, powerful NGOs, bureaucracy, and police, are led by dhimmified Hindus at all levels whose see only through this lens of Muslim victimhood. Expansionist and predatory religious bodies of Christianity and Islam, and pliable for-sale radical left, have taken great advantage of this situation in India and align with anti-Hindu or anti-India forces who are invested heavily in getting themselves over-represented in key posts in the deep state. With access to limitless funds running into thousands of crores every year, the access and reach of religious bodies and associated NGOs is mind boggling.
The propaganda machines that are installed at all levels of public discourse supported by the deep-state continue to throttle any kind of dissent or open expression of insight into the condition at least as an alternative opinion.
The biggest weapons for the deep state are sections 153A and 295A of IPC.
Sections 153A and 295A and Constitutional Dhimmitude
Consider this. Christianity and Islam were once small cults arising out of societies where majority of people were aligned with traditions prevalent in those societies for millennia. Through various strategies of expansionism and retention, they have grown into major world religions that we see today. Violence was a major component of such strategies of expansionism. Crushing or obliterating the traditions with force was, and is, at the core of their strategy whenever they gained sufficient strength.
But, most important was the sense of strong identity in opposition to prevalent traditions, that is inculcated through strong criticism of those traditions. While these cults may have faced some amount of persecution, they grew from strength to strength only through such criticism of prevalent traditions.
Now take a look at some cults of today, say that of Asaram Bapu or Ram Rahim Singh. These cult leaders may call themselves prophets and their cults may very well become world’s major religions of tomorrow. When the state denies these cults the right to criticize Islam or Christianity, they are basically closing the door on them for any possibility of them becoming world religions of the future.
If the State allows religious figures and followers or Islam and Christianity to continue with their constant tirade against these new cults while at the same time denying reciprocity, isn’t it creating a situation where it ensures continued expansionism of Islam and Christianity but death of these modern cults? This is precisely what is achieved by 153A and 295A.
Take a look at this short article by Soli Sorabjee on these sections of IPC. Explaining what “insult to religion” means, he says this – “The trend of judicial decisions is that one may legitimately criticise the tenets of a particular religion as irrational or historically inaccurate but it is not permissible to revile the founder of a religion or the prophets it venerates as frauds and charlatans or to expose them to scorn. Courts would in such cases infer ”deliberate and malicious intention’‘ to insult the religion.”
Does the state provide the same protection to Asaram Bapu or Ram Rahim Singh as it provides to a Jesus or a Mohammad? Are followers of Asaram Bapu and Ram Rahim Singh not “insulted” and their “sentiments hurt” by criticism of their founders?
Sita Ram Goel and the Calcutta Quran Petition
Sita Ram Goel, the greatest Hindu political thinker of the 20th century, is the first one to see through the fact that the greatest weapon used by enemies of the Hindu civilization against de-dhimmification of Hindus is the Indian constitution itself and sections 153A and 295A of the IPC.
In 1985, Chandmal Chopra petitioned the Calcutta High Court to ban the Quran under the sections 153A and 295A on the grounds that it “promotes disharmony, feeling of enmity, hatred and ill-will between different religious communities and incite people to commit violence and disturb public tranquility…” presenting several verses from Quran that “promote disharmony”. The judge Padma Khastgir accepted the petition for arguments. This led to a huge uproar across the country. The Attorney General of the Government of India rushed to Calcutta to get the petition dismissed without arguments. Meanwhile, angry Muslims rioted across India and Bangladesh killing several Hindus wounding hundreds.
Sita Ram Goel saw a great opportunity to demonstrate his ideas and brought out a book “The Calcutta Quran Petition” documenting all the events surrounding this petition, the content of the petition itself and the judgment dismissing it. Sita Ram Goel was a true liberal when it came to freedom of expression. He believed that no books should be banned. In the book he says “[we] do not stand for a ban on the publication of the Quran. We take this opportunity to state unambiguously that we regard banning of books, religious or otherwise, as counterproductive. In the case of the Quran, we believe and advocate that more and more non-Muslims should read it so that they know first hand the quality of its teachings.“
Inspired by the fist edition of the book, Indra Sain Sharma and Rajkumar Arya from Delhi brought out a poster that cites 24 ayats from Quran “Why riots take place in the country”. With a comment that “these Ayats command the believers (Musalmans) to fight against followers of other faiths and that so long as these Ayats are not removed [from the Quran], riots in the country cannot be prevented “. The poster was banned and authors arrested under sections 153A and 295A. However a judge from a Delhi court dismissed the case against them stating “[the poster] can at the most be branded as a fair criticism” and that “.. a close perusal of the ‘Aytes’ shows that the same are harmful and teach hatred, and are likely to create differences between Mohammedans on one hand and the remaining communities on the other“. The 2nd edition of the book “The Calcutta Quran Petition” documents this case in detail.
Surreal, but a foundational moment
One can never get over the surrealness of the whole situation. A petition uses the sections 153A and 295A against the very Book that these sections protect, the same sections are then used to ban the book which merely documents the case, and arrest the authors. Sita Ram Goel has forced the state to expose its dhimmitude like no one ever has.
Sita Ram Goel had to flee to escape arrest and was eventually arrested under the same sections 153A and 295A for publishing a different book by Ram Swarup “Understanding Islam through Hadis”. Sita Ram Goel was a great scholar with knowledge of Sanskrit, Persian, Arabic and Urdu and with “unparalleled intellectual rigor in Hindu circles”.
Sita Ram Goel was the first Hindu intellectual who rose in defiance against the Dhimmi State and wrote with great clarity about dhimmitude. His intellectual valiance continues to inspire millions of Hindus. His own books and books published by him through Voice of India publication house have inspired several writers in modern India who present a vision of India seen without the lens of dhimmitude dislodged using the scalpels provided by Sita Ram Goel.
In the words of the Father of Hindu Dhimmitude, MK Gandhi, “… [after] years of slavery, we would need at least half that much time to cleanse our body-politic of the virus that has infiltrated every cell and pore of our being during our subjugation….”. Similarly, more than 100 years of Gandhian dhimmitude is not easy to overcome and it is not surprising that we still suffer from this wide spread disease.
However, recognition, defiance and de-dhimmification in ordinary Hindus has started. It is clearly rising in strength more than ever. “Internet Hindus” inhabiting the world of social media speaking in defiance of dhimmitude today wouldn’t be possible without Sita Ram Goel. The blatant hypocrisy that lies at the root of use of Sections 153A and 295A by the State is easy to grasp even for those who may not read books running into hundreds of pages. The brilliance of Sita Ram Goel’s writings may not come through the dim sense of injustice with which these ordinary Hindus write on social media. Yet, the cognitive dissonance that these posts cause is undeniable and they only lead to further strengthening of the movement.
The fact that constitution itself enables active discrimination against Hindus based on articles 26-30 is now well known among some Hindus. But what is still not well appreciated is the fact that the very conceptual domain that it operates in makes it loaded against Hindus by default as demonstrated by SN Balagangadhara, Jakob DeRoover and others from the Ghent School who dwell deeply on meaning of the words “Religion” and “Secularism” in the context of Indic traditions of India.
Were the questions raised by Richa Bharti wrong? Why is this propensity to violence, from WTC bombing to stone pelting in Kashmir, justified by millions Muslims citing victimhood? From thousands of supporters of Owaisis cheering his insults of Hindu gods in public meetings, to terror supporter Zakir Naik’s more sophisticated “criticism” of Hindu gods and traditions in front of a cheering audience, the public criticism of religion the “kafirs” goes on, while kafirs are denied such criticism of Islam by the Dhimmi State itself through the instruments of 153A and 295A.
What qualifies for censure based on 153A and 295A? – a Tiktok video by a group with 40 million followers justifying and subtly inciting terrorism, or a small town girl’s facebook post questioning hypocrisy of statements by prominent Muslims with visibility to at most a few hundred people? Or news portals and media houses showing the unverified video of a Muslim man getting beaten to millions of viewers potentially inciting violence or riots? And yet, these sections are used to arrest peaceful Hindus at random in reaction to feigned victimhood of the aggressors.
In this backdrop, the judge’s bail order condition requiring Richa Bharti to distribute Qurans is as surreal as it can get. Richa Bharti’s in-your-face defiance on national television against an all powerful State, and clear fearless articulation of her convictions both on TV and in a subsequent interview on Swarajya, is just a peek into the minds of millions of new Hindus who are not afraid to rise up against the Dhimmi State. The victory of Hindu unity in getting the bail order condition of distributing Qurans withdrawn is just a beginning. The real victory is when we get 153A and 295A withdrawn from IPC.
Featured Image: One India