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The assault on Swami Agnivesh shows that here is no end to fanaticism
I thought one of Merinews' valuable writers would take up the subject of Swami Agnivesh and I refrained from saying anything till this moment. However, failing to find any indication, I decided to take up the issue of his beating by the fanatics.

The great Urdu poet Josh Malihabadi had said more than half a century ago:

"Jouleeda Kakuloun ki ghataon ke samne,

Bachchon ko bhoon dala hai maon ke samne"

(Translation: As the waves of beautifully female hair spread across, we've roasted the kids before their mothers.)

What is happening in today's democratic India would put a normal person aghast.

"In 40+ yrs of knowing him since he was Haryana Edu Min & Sushma Swaraj his deputy, I have never seen the elegant arya samaji without his turban. This is heart-breaking. To do this to a man because you disagree with him. Never mind that he's also saffron-clad," Tweeted Shekhar Gupta, the ex-Editor of 'Indian Express' today.

The well-known social reformer and activist Swami Agnivesh was allegedly attacked by members of Hindu fringe group in Jharkhand's Pakur on Tuesday. Swami Agnivesh claimed that he was assaulted, beaten and abused in what he called a "sponsored" and "murderous" attack.

Meanwhile, social media is flooded with reports of the unfortunate incident. Most of the TV channels with their known loyalties to the saffron brigade mentioned it but more like a usual expression of aversion against Swami Agnivesh's approach to religion, religious leaders and religiosity.

People on Facebook and Twitter have expressed their anguish with the BJP government in the state and at the Centre for "perpetrating violence".

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, "I strongly condemn the brutal attack on Swami Agnivesh in Jharkhand. The ruling BJP should expel its cadres behind the assault and punish the guilty as soon as possible."

CPM leader Sitaram Yechury wrote, "We strongly condemn this terrible attack on Swami Agnivesh. This incident has again happened in a BJP-ruled state and these goons are from the same Parivar as the ruling party. The culprits must be punished."

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav called BJP party workers "gundas" (goons) and said that he strongly condemned "the murderous attack on Swami Agnivesh in BJP ruled Jharkhand state by BJP goons". "These state sponsored BJP gundas don't have any fear of law. Culprits must be punished. BJP should apologise for this shameful & gruesome act," Yadav wrote on Twitter.

Religious violence is not new to India. However, history bears witness that there have been few incidents of public-violence with the involvement of rulers in the last 1000 years of Muslim rule. Communal harmony prevailed during the Muslim rule. During the reign of Emperor Aurangzeb, Indian economy constituted 25 per cent of world GNP. It was the British empire that tried and followed the policy of divide and rule.

I'd already written about the loyalties of RSS and its juggernaut to British masters and I feel no need to reiterate it here. However, Congress party had also failed to arrest the new trends of religious hatred among Indians. Instead, it did often exploit it to its advantage. It was finally Lal Krishna Advani, once a junior Loh Purush of the BJP and now a prominent member of the 'Marg Darshak Mandal' or whatever it is, who turned this hatred into an applied fine art. The fag end of the 20th century witnessed an unprecedented surge of caste and religion in Indian politics. It was the smoke of the running rath of Advani that poisoned the country's harmony with the belching fumes of communal hate. Finally, the RSS, riding upon the provoked Hindu sentiments, by clever manipulation of the name of Lord Rama and Ram Mandir that began from Nagpur via Ayodhya to Delhi made it possible for the Golwalker's strategists to capture the coveted throne of Delhi.

Paris-based researcher and noted international scholar, Christopher Jaffrelot, says, "The sentiment that Muslims pose a threat to the majority community was the root cause for the crystallisation of a form of Hindu nationalism about one hundred years ago, its reactivation in the 1920s and 1930s, and most recently in the 1980s and 1990s." In Jaffrelot's view, "Gujarati patriotism and anti-Muslim feelings" contributed significantly to Narendra Modi's triumph in the 2007 elections, with development and economic achievements serving as a "very convenient fig leaf for the middle class, which wanted to find more legitimate arguments for justifying their vote for the BJP." Now Sri Narendra Modi sits at the Centre.

With the exception of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and the other nationalist leaders like him, I feel Muslim political leadership in the past century had been myopic, self-aggrandising and had no grip over the Muslim masses. I'm not absolving them and I'll take up that subject in my future articles. The religious leadership of Muslims was also confused and failed to unite the community. We were pushed to an unknown abyss of self-destruction by our own people. There was never a spark of reason in our religious or political outlook. A higher level of morality and spiritual nobility could have easily helped to community to bring it back on the right track. Instead of raising the educational and economic standards of community, most of the leadership concentrated to make the geographical monstrosity of Pakistan. The idea of separate Muslim nation was fated flop. This generation of Indian Muslims is paying for the blunders of previous generations.

Coming back to the beating of Arya Samaji priest Swami Agnivesh, who dares speak the rational language, the fanaticism inculcated by saffron brigade is unwilling to give space to breather. Whatever happened to him will be repeated in future if religious fanaticism from any quarter whether Hindu or Muslim is allowed to flourish in the quest of power.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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Shaista Qezalbash
Naim, I don’t agree with many of your observations. You must study more to understand the social, cultural, historical and religious background of the country in its entirety before blaming the previous generations. Past is past now and should think of future. Having said that let me make it clear - the topic that you have taken is distressing disturbing and eye-opening. The premeditated attack on Swamiji in Pakur in Jharkhand by an organised mob came on the same day as the Supreme Court judgment calling mob lynching unacceptable and holding the local administration, and the state and central governments responsible for preventing it. To gloss over the brutal crime an alleged BJP leader from Jharkhand Chandreshwar Prasad Singh said,. "The attack was staged by him. He is irrelevant and he knows it, so he planned and staged the attack so that he can gain popularity. This man who survives on foreign money is destroying Indian culture. There should definitely be a probe into the matter to find out how much money Swami Agnivesh and his people spent to stage this attack," Singh told the media. The saffron dress that he wears is to deceive the simple Indians. He is a fraud and not a Swami," Even by the standards of ‘Make in India’ and the ‘New India’ we are now accustomed to, what unfolded was horrendous. A 78 year old man, an Arya Samaji saint was shoved, pushed and beaten by nearly a hundred musclemen. His clothes were torn and his turban pulled off his head. To look at the picture of a shaken and disheveled Agnivesh was itself torture. God save the motherland!
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