Ashok. K. RThousands gathered to watch, see and mourn his death. Times of India reported that almost 15,000 people gathered in his funeral. Almost all of them were Muslims. If you think that someone who worked restlessly for the wellbeing of Muslim was expired then you are wrong! Court had ruled him guilty in 1993 Mumbai serial bomb explosion case. Yakub memon was hanged to death after 23 years of judiciary proceedings. Accusations against him were not severe when compared to his bother Tiger Memon and Dawood Ibrahim – both absconding. But it’s difficult to deny the role of Yakub Memon. Many involved in the serial bomb case have witnessed against Yakub.
Judiciary works on the basis of evidence and witness. According to the witness and police reports judiciary granted him the extreme punishment which is allowed by Indian law, hang till death. Yakub approached all levels of judiciary and even the President through his lawyers. He lost the case at all levels. Judiciary is not free from mistakes, but it’s not right to blame them completely when the judgement is not in our favour. Keeping aside all those judicial matters what’s frightening in this case is the turnout at Yakub’s funeral. Moral support for an extremist activity is a threat to the society.
Coincidentally I had finished reading Kannada version of ‘Freedom at Midnight’ last week. The book which runs around 1947 bursts the myth of ‘Peace loving’ India. It describes the ‘peace’fulness of Hindu – Muslim – Sikh people. Can we relate rise of fanaticism to the violence involved in the birth of two nations? Is there any evidence either in India or Pakistan of punishing the culprits involved in rape, murder, extortion, abduction during partition? Birth of two nations sent a strong and wrong message – ‘it’s difficult to punish criminals of mass riots’.
The violence of partition can be brushed aside by blaming the British. We will look at the mass riots post independence. Unfortunately the first mass riot of Independent India is associated with Mahatma Gandhi. A person who preached and lived non violence was killed violently by Hindu terrorist Nathuram Godhse. Godhse was hanged till death. Even Gandhi would have opposed his hanging as it is state sponsored violence. Many who were involved in Gandhi’s murder belonged to Chitpavana Brahmin community. Chitpavana Brahmins were attacked in various parts of the country. Is it right to attack and torture an entire community for an individual’s mistake? Were the rioters punished?
The next mass riot was after Indira Gandhi’s assassination. Indira was killed by Sikh bodyguards who sympathized with terrorists. Followers of Indira and Congress found this as an opportunity to show their affection towards Indira. Innocent Sikh were the victims. ‘When a big tree falls, these type of incidents are common’ was Rajiv Gandhi’s irreresponsible statement. Even after many investigations the real perpetrators of Sikh massacre were not punished; courtesy: lack of evidence.
BJP was directly responsible for next major riot. In the name of Hinduism, BJP under the leadership of L.K. Advani started rathayathra. They needed a climax which can be memorized for many more decades. The climax was destruction of Babri Masjid and oath of constructing the Ram temple at the same place. With the demolition of the Masjid attacks over Muslims spread all over the country. BJP leaders who instigated this mass violence are still roaming free.
And the recent mass riot occurred in 2002 in Gujarat. In response to Godhra train incident where Hindu sanyasis were burnt thousands of Muslims were killed. Were the criminals punished? Some investigations are still under trial, cases deliberately weakened by the state. Some have got life imprisonment for heinous crimes. At present they are out on bail.
What do these incidents suggest? If you hate a community it’s better to turn that hatred into a mass riot instead of attacking individually. It’s easy to escape the clutches of law in mass violence. It’s still easier to escape if you belong to a majority community and your foe is minority. If we observe mass riots of India, in many people who suffered belonged to Sikh, Muslim community whereas the attackers were Hindus, the majority. It saddens when we see what happened to those instigators. Rajiv Gandhi who carelessly supported attack on Sikhs enjoyed the Prime Minister post. His name shines in innumerable roads, airport, and government projects even today. BJP’s Atal Bihari Vajpayee becomes Prime Minister. All mistakes of BJP are selectively forgotten. Today we consider Atal as one of the farsighted leader of Independent India! Advani who was the master mind of 1992 Rathayathra becomes Deputy PM. Don’t be surprised if Advani is considered as far sighted leader and awarded ‘Bharat Ratna’ in future. Both Rajiv and Atal are ‘Bharat Ratna’ awardees! Muruli Manohar Joshi, Umabharathi have enjoyed various posts in their political career. Narendra Modi who was Gujarat’s chief minister during 2002 massacre is now Prime Minister of India! At present he is considered as strongest PM. Many more superlatives will be added in future!
Thousands who participated in the Yakub’s funeral reminded Nathuram Godhse. Many ‘liked’ Godhse as he killed Gandhi. Reason? He killed Gandhi who ‘cheated’ Hindus. People used to praise Godhse secretly. Now the secret element is missing. Godhse temple, Godhse road are discussed openly. Don’t be surprised if you see them in reality in near future. BJP which believes in many ideologies of Godhse is in power today. One can’t deny the fact that the praise of Godhse is related to BJP’s electoral victory. Followers of Godhse have an advantage. Society doesn’t label them as antinational, terrorists. Because they are Hindus. By default, Hindu is patriotic just because of his birth religion! Only Muslims, Sikhs, Christians have to repeatedly prove their patriotism. LTTE who killed Rajiv Gandhi receives wide support in Tamilnadu. There were many worthy reasons for LTTE’s fight but those reasons shouldn’t make us to justify Rajiv Gandhi’s murder. Religious fanaticism has made people to support Godhse, Yakub; regional fanaticism has made people to support criminal activities of LTTE. Tamilnadu legislative assembly takes a decision in favour of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassins. Are you still surprised about the huge crowd at Yakub’s funeral?
|Bal Thackeray's funeral|
1993 Mumbai serial blast was in response to 1992 riots which killed thousands of Muslims. Does Yakub appear to those attended the funeral as their savior? Protector of Muslim community? The answers to these dangerous questions are yes and it reflects the bad state of our society. Those people who attended the funeral are projected as terrorists, antinational because they are Muslims. Thousands attended Bal Thackeray’s funeral. Bal Thackeray was accused in 1992 riots by Shree Krishna committee. But these people are portrayed as patriotic not terrorists!
Questioning the judicial trial of Yakub at this juncture is futile. Judiciary works on evidence and witness. One can’t deny the fact that Police and to a certain extent Judiciary is influenced by the religious dramas and political pressure. The zeal shown by Police in cases involving Muslim terrorists is seriously missing when it confronts Hindu terrorists. Accused in Gujarat riots Maya Kodnani and Babu Bajrangi were granted bail when Yakub was hanged. Babu Bajrangi has ‘proudly’ narrated his killings in front of Tehelka’s spy cameras. But still he is awarded with life imprisonment not execution. The delay in Malegaon and Ajmer blast investigations shows the vested interests of government and investigating agencies. ‘When Hindu terrorist is not punished why Yakub should be punished?’ is the most idiotic question. Yakub is a criminal, he should be punished. At the same time other criminals should also be punished. Though it is not happening supporting a criminal just because the other one is roaming free is not the right path.
Netizens are equally dangerous! They selectively support few and oppose few. And they give publicity according to their own liking in extreme way. Those who opposed Yakub, those who shared photos of Yakub’s funeral with “shame on them” tag appear patriotic. But you observe their older posts; they showed their full support to Godhse, Sadhvi! Those who strongly talked against Sadhvi in older posts now post updated supportive of Yakub. These kind of bi – tongued people play a major role in creating Yakub, Godhse and the likes.
The discussion of rights and wrongs of judicial execution takes place when an execution is nearing. The discussion fades away after execution. Demand for ban of judicial execution should be done when there is no execution.