The shooting incident on the night of 19 February in two hookah bars of Hanau, Germany that killed nine people, would shock any one's conscience. It is just another instance of the racial hatred strengthenng in western societies. "There is the poison of racism in our society and what we saw in Hanau is an expression of that" said German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The heading of an analysis of the incident in BBC online read " It's a shock, but not a surprise".
Groups and parties which spew venomous outbursts against immigrants, minorities and Muslims and use xenophobia as their foundation are gaining foothold in Europe and America. The man behind the shooting is a 42-year old man who gave in to their propaganda. Majority of those killed are of Turkish-Kurdish race. The version of the police is that the act was perpetrated solo by the assailant. At the same time, an investigation is on also about any possible plot behind it. The attacker who went home after the shooting shot dead his 72-year old mother and committed suicide. He who upheld Nazi ideas chose the path of the Nazi leader in death too.
Like the attacker who in New Zealand killed 51 persons between two mosques on 15 March 2019, the culprit in Hanau also set out for his deed after posting his messages in his website. And like the New Zealand assailant, the Hanau attacker was also spurred by white racism. In his 24-page manifesto, the shooter holding German citizenship put forward bizarre arguments. He has noted, among other things, that all the people in West Asia and Africa should be wiped out. There were also the usual arguments raised by the far-right against immigrants, Muslims, liberals and human rights activists. The manifesto is full of Nazi symbols and slogans. The far-right party in Germany, AFD has, as expected outwardly denounced the attack. The AFD line is that the attacker is not an exponent of any ideology but merely an insane. What we see in the AFD explanation is the same phenomenon as seen in the sangh parivar followers indulging in racial attacks who, all of a sudden turn psychics.
As reflected in the BBC analytical article online, although such attacks are shocking they do not surprise us much in the current scenario. For, the kind of propaganda that injects racial poison into the public are many times what we see at first glance. People who become victim to such campaign and get enamoured of them, make such insane attacks for manifesting the hate and vengeance that fills their bosom. This can find some major parallels in the situation in India and in Kerala. On 9 July 2015, a nine-year old boy named Fahd was on his way to the madrasa when he was hacked to death. In the enquiry about what drove the victim's immediate neighbour to the murder, what came out were shocking revelations. The culprit was one who was used to regularly listening – and making others listen - to the speeches of sangh parivar leaders on his mobile phone. It was the racist hatred that burned inside him that at one point led to its bursting in explosive form of the murder. Those who regularly follow the social media posts of many, including several retired top level government officers, can easily decipher this mind-set. They mostly emit and radiate livid communalism. The majority may dismiss them as silly or insignificant. But at the same time, there many be anoher large section who believe them to be true and embrace the rancour transmitted through them. And many of those who do that may derive gratification by spreading them through WhatsApp and Facebook. They share the same mind-set as of those in the west who empty their guns and hurl human beings to death. And nobody need be under the illusion that this is an issue that affects only the targeted community. This racial madness is capable of dividing the entire society vertically down the middle. And if madness worsens, then it will not be easily reversed.