The lynching of a Muslim man by a Hindu mob hardly a week ago in a Dadri village of Uttar Pradesh over rumours of eating cow meat has been in the headlines every day drawing widespread outrage from all sides with communal tensions surging up in the country and the pressure mounting on the Modi government to break his silence and act on the issue.
The tragic incident in Dadri is a plain instance of extreme intolerance towards the Muslim minorities, akin to Fascism and is anti-democratic. The fact that the unfortunate incident occurred in India which is the world’s largest democracy shames the country before the rest of the world. Stringent laws are being formed by the states aimed at suppressing the minorities and implementing the Hindutwa agenda. That the BJP government and its allies back such fascist moves and different political parties try to achieve political gains from the Dadri incident, further deteriorates the communal atmosphere of the country. The Modi government with its bias towards the Hindu majority along with its hardcore extremist allies, are posing a threat to the secular fabric of India. Prime Minister Modi has been maintaining a silence over the provocative remarks, hate speeches and actions of the senior leaders and other ruling party members as well as such communal incidents ever since he came into power. The issue has been repeatedly discussed by the newspaper for the past few days compelled by the indifference of the concerned authorities. Modi who is known to be highly active on social media has not uttered a word on the Dadri lynching. When frequent reports of such attacks and killings are unleashed on the minorities across the nation, the PM maintaining a meaningful silence is of grave concern. Those believing in values like democracy and secularism should be highly cautious when such events occur. President Pranab Mukherjee’s statements on Wednesday came in the wake of the Dadri incident. Speaking at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, he stated that the ‘core values of diversity, tolerance and plurality’ which have kept India united for centuries shouldn’t be allowed to be wasted and appealed for tolerance.
The Dadri lynching has hit Kerala much more than any other state. When fascism tightens its clutches on the society, negative reactions and protests are sure to surface in the state which can be attributed to our political and cultural awakenings. The voices of protest from Kerala in the wake of the tragic incident are part of this awakening. Beef festivals are being conducted in several college campuses in the state by the students for protesting the Dadri lynching. Those who have never tasted cow meat are expressing their dissent on the issue. The political stance of opposing the rhetoric against consuming and banning cow meat by conducting such festivals is accurate. But the different colleges had denied permission to conduct such festivals. Students of Sree Kerala Varma College, Thrissur, who took part in beef festival, were suspended by the college management. The college managed by the Cochin Devaswom Board had also sought explanation from a woman lecturer of the college who took to social media to express her support for the beef festival conducted by the students. Clashes during similar festivals conducted in colleges at Kottayam and Vadakara were also reported. There were also reports of the Registrar of Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit at Kaladi denying permission to the Research Scholars Association to conduct an anti-fascism seminar in the campus. Fascism and intolerance are gradually creeping into our college campuses and the society. Therefore it’s the duty of every citizen upholding democracy and progressive values to remain vigilant and safeguard the ‘core values of our civilization’ from withering away.