Judge Kode is now a household name. He rose to stardom after his verdict implicatingÃ‚Â andÃ‚Â prosecutingÃ‚Â the perpetrators of Bombay 1992 bomb blasts. I, asÃ‚Â a Muslim, don’t have a soft corner forÃ‚Â the Muslims who have been awarded sentences by the Kode. I wonder if I should have any, simply because the verdict has been incomplete without the prosecution of Hindus, the majority,Ã‚Â andÃ‚Â MuslimsÃ‚Â involved in the riots that followed Babri Masjid demolition.
Even though my family lost no one during the Mumabi riots, the feeling of hatred towards Thackeray and his party members was apparent. Thackeray became a symbol of evil for Muslims. Curses were thrown at random at him during conversations. The feeling of alienation was growing in my locality, predominantly Muslim, and people were looking to migrate to Gulf or the West. And then came the bomb blasts that ripped the city apart. Many saw this as revenge for the riots that killed so many Muslims.
My aunt even remarked, “Waise to Dawud Jannah me jaiga nahi lekin shayad iske iss kaarnaame ke baad use thodi reyayat mil jaye qayamat ke din” (It’s difficult for Dawud to get heavenÃ‚Â on the day of judgement but I hope he gains some good deeds after this bomb blast). Such harsh words from my aunt did capture the mentality of Muslims at that time.
We have always struggled to establish our loyalties with this country on account of being relatives of Pakistanis and anti-Muslim riots keeps reminding us that we did commit a *mistake* by not migrating to Pakistan! The connivance of police, politicians and our neighbourhood in unleashing the savage attack on our mothers/sisters/children keeps the fire of animosity bright. Its not that HindusÃ‚Â don’t suffer in the riotsÃ‚Â but its just that Hindus don’t have to prove their allegiance to India because Hindus are in majority here. The situation is the same for a Hindu in Pakistan or Bangladesh. Muslims are labelled traitors because there is concept of Ummah and there are 56 or so Muslim countries where we can be accommodated.
The Gujarat riots also contributed the existing divide among the 2 communities. Once again Modi became a symbol of hatred. His supporters in public and police made sure Muslims are taught a good lesson after the Godhra incident, punishing the whole community for crime by few. When Gujarat was burning in 2002, so were the heats of millions of Muslim across this country. The trust in the government was fast fading away. The frustration at being targets again and again was forcing people to migrate to safer lands. Ghettos were expanding at exponential rates. There was at atmosphere of animosity existing among all localities in the country. Muslims are often accused of hampering India’s economic growth on account of illiteracy and religion but what about security? If Muslim businesses are destroyed in every one of these riots then what do you expect from the business men? To start each time again? And this problem assumes greater significance as majority of Muslims are self employed. Many businesses even change name to make it look secular or Hindu so as to prevent the loss during riots.
So what’s the similarity between these riots or perhaps many more of them? The perpetrators, who are majority Hindus, are never punished. Its not about people like Modi or Thackeray or Advani or Togadia, but its about people like Babu Bajrangi. I understand that men/women of influence in India can never be prosecuted just because there is always the Supreme court which can drag cases till the end of their lives and I am not even asking for their trials. These men of account of their power can always shield the chintu/pintu of crowd who torched Muslim families to death. I have always believed that riots give a free hand to sexually frustrated men to vent out their frustration, I wonder how they manage to settle back into their own families.
Another similarity between these is the Babri Masjid. I wonder how many Mosques and graves have been brought down to save just this Masjid. I really don’t know if its a better idea to give this to the RSS brigade as this would incite lot of passions and most importantly it would make the demands of RSSÃ‚Â on other lands more audacious. But its definitely a good idea to forgive the Hindus whoÃ‚Â took parts in the riots. Just because its the need of the hour. India has already suffered a lot because of this feeling of vengeance. Any further quenching of this thirst would create a precarious situation which is definitely not conducive for peace to exist. I see no immediate action on the Srikrishna report and rest be assured that even if the judicial process is to start, it would last so long that the perpetrators would have died naturally by then.
There is a great rewards in forgiveness. Remember how Abu Jahal was forgiven by our beloved prophet. When Umar (May Allah be pleased with him), the second caliph of Islam, forgave his killer. He was killed by a Persian slave but there were no mass murders of Persians after that. In the QurÃ¢â‚¬â„¢an Allah has described the Believers as “those who avoid major sins and acts of indecencies and when they are angry they forgive.” (ash-Shura 42: 37) Later in the same Surah Allah says, “The reward of the evil is the evil thereof, but whosoever forgives and makes amends, his reward is upon Allah.” (al-Shura 42: 40) In another place the QurÃ¢â‚¬â„¢an says, “If you punish, then punish with the like of that wherewith you were afflicted. But if you endure patiently, indeed it is better for the patient. Endure you patiently. Your patience is not except through the help of Allah.” (an-Nahl:126-127).
This is an excellent article on forgiveness.
If it help our nation get out the of vicious circle of hatred then why not? I understand it takes a lot to forgive particularly by the family of those affected but is the fire of vengeance helping things? Remember there is day of judgement even.