The Smallest Coffins Are The Heaviest !


For some time, the madarsa where Azeem studied was under some kind of attack or the other. Liquor bottles thrown in, crackers being burst at the time of namaaz, a pig thrown in. Nothing new. These are the tactics historically employed by hate mongers to start a riot. The intention is to provoke a community, to be specific Muslims, to retaliate, which then can be used to start a full scale attack on them. But in Begumpura, there was never any retaliation. In the face of these insults and constant humiliation, the students and teachers chose restraint. But this post is not about the restraint or patience of the Muslims. Restraint here can be seen as a sign of helplessness in the face of a state complicity. And this restraint cannot be seen as a substitute for justice.

The point I am making is why is this steadily increasing aggression against Muslims, their madarsas and mosques not seen as hate crimes? Why was there no action (despite the police being informed) on those who threw a pig, burst crackers, and threw liquor bottles inside the madarsa? Were each of these not hate crimes? This is not state apathy, this is state complicity in perpetuating and normalizing communal hatred. And if attacking a madarsa is normalized, attacking its residents is only one step ahead. And that is what happened yesterday.

Four minors have been arrested regarding the death of Azeem. The daily dose of communal hatred that is being spread through TV, WhatsApp, from the speeches of ruling party leaders is engulfing everybody – young and old, minors and seniors. But are these arrests justice? No. Justice can be ensured only when each of those, all adults, who were responsible for each of the above actions are brought to book. Justice also means action against all those police officers who refused to act against hate mongers all these months. Or else, the hatred will strike at some other madarsa, some other mosque, snatch the life of another Azeem. Isn’t the script clear? Celebrities suddenly finding problems with Azaan, Haryana government suddenly having problems with roadside Friday prayers. It is not so sudden, it is a script.
_ Umar Khalid
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