On the left is a photograph of Muslims in Delhi protesting the J&K government's decision to take back the transferred land from the Shrine Board.
The placards have messages like 'Gilani hosh mein aao' and messages urging the government to return the land to the Board.
The news didn't appear anywhere else. At least, I couldn't find it. In other cities of North India also many Muslims came out on their own and expressed their solidarity with Hindus of Jammu and Kashmir.
Even in Jammu, the Muslim Federation criticized the government for reversing the decision. The point is that the issue arose out of the Kashmiri distrust of New Delhi because of the past 'betrayals' and may be Governor's excessive zeal, turned it into an issue.
It was a Kashmiri leadership Vs Governor dispute that acquired a Kashmir Vs Jammu Colour and later turned into a Hindu Vs Muslim battle. (Read my earlier post.) How easy it is to divide us!
Not just protesting Muslims on the streets of Srinagar, but every Muslim of this country was seen as an 'enemy'. The BJP, RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal again raised the pitch, and the same old statements about 'appeasement' were heard everywhere.
In the cacophony, the sane voices are lost. The news about Muslims in the valley taking care of stranded Hindu pilgrims or that of Hindus in riot-hit areas of Indore taking care of Muslims, are simply forgotten.
Unfortunately the photographs and images we see on TV and newspapers are only that of aggressive Hindu protestors of Jammu and the hordes of Muslims in Srinagar. How can VHP dare say that they will stop Muslims from going to Ajmer Sharif.
It was such a pathetic statement, which I don't believe any practising Hindu can make. And this organisation claims to speak on behalf of Hindus. As an outsider I don't understand the politics of Kashmir.
But personally I feel that if Hindus feel hurt, then the land should be given to them. There may be Muslims and Hindus, who have every right to feel for and against this. It is a democratic nation.
The aim of the post (and especially the photo) is that things can't be generalised. Elections are nearer. BJP leaders openly say that they have got an issue for the election and still we don't understand. How long will this keep happening?
It is disgusting to see Hindus and Muslims shown are shown as pitted against each other, which is absolutely false. Just like Hurriyat or any Kashmiri group alone is not representative of entire Muslim population and the opinion of Indian Muslims, how can Bajrang Dal, VHP or any other organisation hijack the voice entire Hindu community?
[The photo by Mr Biplab Mukherjee appeared in the Asian Age.]