Some Difficult Questions

I do not hold a brief for Muslims or anyone for that matter, unless (s)he is the ‘right thinking member’ of the society. A friend wrote this mail to me which I am reproducing verbatim. His mail disturbed me because I am still searching for answers and because I share his feelings. How about you?

He says:

I have been watching with great sadness the events unleashed by the MNS in Mumbai. The wanton looting, destruction of life and property, mostly of poor people and the attempt to divide this nation that Raj Thackeray and his gang have been doing. I was amazed at the restraint of the police in handling the rioters and looters. No police firing, no tear gas, nobody shot by plain clothes policemen who then call their bosses and give a count of the number that went down. All of this happened and is available on film and was presented as evidence before the Judicial Commission that was constituted after the Makkah Masjid blast in Hyderabad.
What was amazing is also the complete absence of the T-word. None of the breathless news readers or reporters of any newspaper used the word ‘terror’ to describe the feelings of the people who were the object of attention of Raj Thackeray’s companions. Perhaps all those people were very happy being looted and beaten and not terrorized at all!
Nobody said for example, ‘Terror network unleashes reign of horror’; or ‘Terrorists bring Mumbai to a halt and paralyze all normal life’. I can think of many more such headlines which would have surely been screamed from the rooftops if Mr. Thackeray had been a Muslim. Does this seem as strange to you as it does to me? Or is this normal?
In case you still don’t understand my point, let me illustrate: Imagine the Shahi Imaam in the place of Raj Thackeray and SIMI or any other group of Muslims in the place of his compatriots, doing what these people did so visibly and blatantly in Mumbai and Pune and ask yourself, what the reaction of the media, press and government would have been. Then ask yourself why?
I have a few questions for you and your readers:
1. How many of Raj Thackeray’s followers were or are likely to be ‘encountered’ by the police, do you think?
2. Who will pay to compensate the poor taxi drivers and others who lost their lives and property because the MNS people decided to destroy them?
3. If the government announces compensation, then remember that the money is really coming out of your and my pocket. Why should you and I pay for Mr. Raj Thackeray’s doings?
4. Why is nobody talking of banning the MNS?
5. Why is nobody talking of invoking the Prevention of Terrorism Act of Mr. Modi or something of its kind to deal with this situation?
I suggest you ask these questions to your readers and ask them to reflect and respond.
Fairness may not be fashionable any more, but it is still a fact of life and something that is essential to the maintenance of law and order. I would like to remind you that peace is a derivative and result of justice. Until justice is established any peace is only a recess between wars.
Jai Hind.