India’s minorities living in fear
But to this author, even the most hate-inducing word or expression cannot aptly capture the grief that accompanied this tragedy. After all, how can one come to terms with the intense physical and mental agony that such a pious person is going through even today, just because Bengal must attract negative publicity for political reasons? It is her greatness though that she had forgiven those oppressors, with deranged mentality, unconditionally, hoping at the same time that such incidents would never recur. But does that bring closure to the victim who is reportedly at peace after reconciling herself to the fate?
For Mamata — having taken up the cudgels on behalf of oppressed women all throughout her political career — this is a well-laid trap to drag her into the abyss of “political death.” That too, at a time when the number of Indian politicians, genuinely capable of taking the communal fanatics head-on, is fast dwindling. Notwithstanding the Indian government’s denial of any “political plot or conspiracy” behind this savagery that has tarnished Bengal’s image, strategic intelligence sources have confirmed the presence of Indian intelligence’s Bangladesh-based “human assets” in the raiding party, who broke into the convent school.
“Such mercenaries, responsible for the political violence that one witnesses across India’s eastern frontier frequently, were hired specifically for this meticulously planned mission,” claimed a source convincingly. “The idea was to make this operation look like a normal robbery to obfuscate the investigators, though sexual assault was the real intent for attracting global attention because the concerned educational institution is linked to an international network of Roman Catholic schools,” asserted the same source. No wonder, a dedicated “cover-up mission” is on to establish a “revenge angle” in this case. After all, “informers” or “human assets” of security agencies seated within criminal organizations generally enjoy immunity from prosecution for committed crimes because of their indispensability, in accessing crucial information required for strategic purposes.
If this is true, Bengal, undoubtedly, is caught up in a vortex of a nasty plot to destabilize the ruling administration and deal a body blow to the province’s economic prospect. Unfortunately, Bengal’s vibrant media too is, wittingly or unwittingly, denting the chances of uncovering the mystery as they continue confusing the masses with planted stories. The big question is: Will that inconvenient secret or mastermind’s identity ever come out in public domain when incidents of masked men attacking Christian institutions have become routine in today’s India?
With Modi at helm, the minorities are indeed feeling extremely vulnerable, despite his commitment to ensure that “there is complete freedom of faith and that everyone has the undeniable right to retain or adopt the religion of his or her choice without coercion or undue influence.” And most worryingly, an apprehension is gradually gaining ground that the systematic attack on India’s Christian community is actually a warning shot for Muslims, who constitute 10 percent of the population and has been a relatively better organized political constituency.
A sense of insecurity has engulfed minority psyche as they are gripped by the fear that the Indian state will not provide protection in the face of a sustained onslaught from radical Hindutva organizations. Indeed, Modi is playing a double game of trying to appease the minorities on one hand and simultaneously giving a free hand to Hindu hard-liners to stoke communal hatred tactfully. Can Modi deny that his injudicious decision, of making Christmas a working day for his government and asking educational institutions, across India, to remain open for observing “good governance day” on Dec. 25, was that little spark which not only ignited inflammatory passion but also emboldened the Hindu right-wing groups to embark upon a methodical anti-Christian agenda?
Signs of serious trouble first appeared in December last when the Hindutva brigade, with tacit support from Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, conducted a series of ceremonies to convert Christians and Muslims to Hinduism. The events popularly referred to as “homecoming” were organized with the objective of reconverting people whose ancestors were supposedly Hindus. Surely, it is not a mere coincidence that a concerted anti-minority campaign is spreading like wildfire after Modi was sworn-in last May. Is Modi not a product of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the hard-line Hindu organization, which seeks to make every citizen residing in India a patriotic Hindu irrespective of their faith?
Can Modi, drawing his ideological inspiration from RSS, therefore be any different psychologically despite his pre-poll pledge of promoting inclusive economic agenda over emotive issues? A pathological hatred toward other religions, manifested in desecration of places of worship to vicious attacks on Christians, has reinforced a sense of siege among minorities. Brutally eliminating an Australian missionary — who served leprosy patients — along with his kids or heaping insult on an internationally acclaimed social worker like Mother Teresa, neither enhances India’s prestige nor that of Hinduism.
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