MASSACRES - Hazards of Being a Minority in Modern India

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That have been so repeatedly and so shamelessly blacked-out...

Covered up...

Denied...

Minimized...

Euphemized...

Sanitized...

Whitewashed...

And sugar-coated...

By so many people in so many places.

What matters is that the story repeats itself.

Again...

And again...

And again...

Deja vu.

In city after city.

Village after village.

State after state.

Time after time.

Year after year.

Actors change...

Scenes change...

Victims change...

Perpetrators change...

Yet.

The script changes little.

People killing people.

Indians killing Indians.

Sections of India's Hindu majority killing members of India's Muslim minority.

Heirs to one of the world's oldest and richest civilizations ripping the very soul of that civilization to shreds.

Sometimes on their own...

Sometimes with connivance and complicity from the police...

And the bureaucracy.

And the politicians.

And the religious fanatics.

And fascists.

And sundry other criminals and terrorists.

And thugs and goons.

Mercilessly and ruthlessly.

And yet methodically.

And meticulously...

In these so-called communal riots in India.

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Chapter 13
What Matters Most

In truth...

It does not really matter who these people are.

The people that are so brutally and inhumanly massacred...

Maimed...

Raped...

Mutilated...

Even though they are mostly Muslims.

Almost always Muslims.

Suffice it to say, they are people.

Ordinary people.

People just like you and me and everyone else...

Babies, children, grandparents, husbands, wives, fathers and mothers.

Students, teachers, farmers, workers, traders, artisans and craftsmen.

And, of course, the cripple, the sick, the elderly, the weak, the widows, the orphans and the helpless.

And all sorts of others.

Call them Muslims, if you will, or if you must.

For that is who they generally are.

Muslims.

Mostly Muslims.

Almost always Muslims.

The hapless victims of these massacres in India that some of us call communal riots.

But in truth and reality,

What does it matter who the victims are as long as the crime, the atrocity, the brutality, the savagery, the barbarism is what it is?

For, it is the act itself that should evoke in us the deepest shock, outrage, revulsion, abhorrence, condemnation and repudiation.

Regardless of who the victims or the perpetrators are.

For too long has the world judged actions by actors and victims rather than by the nature of the acts themselves.

The acts of savagery and barbarism committed against India's Muslim minority by India's Hindu majority in these so-called communal riots stand condemned in their own right, regardless of the identity of the victims or the perpetrators.

Will these terrible, tragic, horrendous and barbaric crimes be any more or less terrible, heinous, tragic and barbaric if the victims were not Muslims?

If the victims were other than Muslims?

If the victims were Jews, Palestinians, Hindus, Christians - just about anyone else?

Therefore, what does it matter who the victims of these massacres and pogroms are so long as the acts remain what they are - some of the worst forms of barbarism, brutality, savagery and criminality ever perpetrated by humans against fellow-humans?

Nor does it matter really who the perpetrators are.

Call them Hindus, if you will, or if you must.

For that is who they generally are.

Mostly Hindus.

Almost always Hindus.

For, it is the act itself that is in the dock - and that deserves every human being's most unqualified and unreserved condemnation and rejection - not just the identity of those who have been its brutal and barbaric perpetrators.

Will these terrible and most barbaric crimes, therefore, be any more or less terrible, heinous and barbaric if their perpetrators were not Hindus?

If they were Jews, Palestinians, Muslims, Christians - just about anyone else?

What does it matter who the perpetrators are, so long as the victims are who they are.

People...

Real, ordinary, innocent, defenseless and voiceless people.

People just like you and me and everyone else...

Babies, children, grandparents, husbands, wives, fathers and mothers.

Students, teachers, farmers, workers and business people.

And, of course, the cripple, the sick, the elderly, the poor, the helpless, the defenseless, the widows and the orphans.

And all sorts of others.

Even though, in real life, the victims of these massacres are mostly Muslims.

Almost always Muslims.

The battle is already lost when we wait to determine the identity of the killed or the killer before denouncing the killing itself.

Therefore, it does not really matter who the murderer, the rapist or the arsonist is, nor does it matter who the victim is - of these gruesome, barbaric acts.

What matters is that India is too beautiful a place, Indians are too proud, rational, religious, decent and civilized a people, and human life and dignity too sacred a trust, for anyone to kill anyone without due process.

What really matters, then, is that real people are killed.

Real women are subjected to the worst forms of sexual torture and mass rapes.

Real businesses are destroyed.

Real valuables are looted.

Real houses are torched.

Real places of worship are desecrated, disfigured and demolished.

Real babies are butchered and burned.

What also matters is that they are killed and lynched and raped and looted and burned, not because of some specific crime that they may have committed...

But because of who they are...

For no other fault than that of being Muslims.

A defenseless minority.

At the mercy of a blood-thirsty, callous, lawless, rampaging, murderous mob from the Hindu majority.

And at the mercy of a blood-thirsty, callous, sadistic, lawless, rogue police...

And of a corrupt bureaucracy.

And of politicians without conscience, candor, courage or character.

And of religious fanatics, extremists, bigots and fascists.

And of sundry other terrorists, thugs and goons.

And of a bemused, befuddled, apathetic, silent, quiescent, almost complicitous, culpable majority.

And its representative government.

No...

It does not matter who the victims really are...

Muslims, Hindus, Dalits, Brahmins, Sikhs, Christians, Jews, Palestinians, others.

Even though the targets of these massacres in India are mostly Muslims.

Almost always Muslims.

What matters is that these people are killed without due process.

That they are killed in carefully planned and organized orgies of mass lynchings and burnings of the kind the world has seldom known.

Nazi-style.

Following the footsteps of Germany's Nazi hordes.

And that they are killed not only before the very eyes of the police and bureaucracy but at times with their connivance, complicity, help, facilitation, instigation, encouragement and participation.

And subsequent cover-up.

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