A poor tailor Kanhaiya Lal in Udaipur, Rajasthan was brutally butchered by extremists in broad day light. Two of them entered the tailor shop, concealing their identity as customers. The one who posed as giving measurements to the tailor, was the one who stabbed Kanhaiya Lal brutally with a sword. As this was transpiring, the other terrorist filmed the entire barbaric attack. The jihadists escaped, leaving Kanhaiya Lal in a pool of blood. The police who came in search of the culprits were welcomed by stone pelting. Several policemen were seriously injured by the Jihadi supporters. The jihadis further shared their gruesome crime on social media. They not only claimed responsibility for the killing but also defended it as ‘sar tan se juda’. In their video that also targeted PM Modi saying “he has started the fire and they were going to douse it”.
The hapless victim Kanhaiya Lal had received death threats even earlier. He had in fact lodged a complaint at the Udaipur police station on June 15 saying “Nazim and 5 others are stalking me. There is a fatwa to kill me at sight…Please save me!”, says the letter written by Kanhaiya Lal to the SHO, Dhan Mandi of Udaipur. But as a matter of fact, it was his own neighbour, Nazim, who set him up. Nazim shared his picture and address in his WhatsApp group and wrote that wherever this man is seen, kill him! After this, Kanhaiya Lal started receiving multiple threats. Udaipur Police was well aware of the gravity of the situation yet did not act in time.
The harmony in the society has been disrupted yet again by this mindset of hatred. It seems like the Islamists have determined to spread their religion through jihad and hence they have resorted to such barbaric killings. Whether it is the matter of Hijab in Karnataka or the statement of Nupur Sharma, each of these issues have not been handled democratically and non-violently by the Islamic society. The thought of not tolerating, not considering others views, threatening, lynching, coming on the streets, vandalizing public property, killing everyone who does not agree in the name of jihad cannot be accepted by a democratic country like India.
Their undemocratic behaviour, pseudo-secularism and pseudo-bonhomie, have only ensured that romanticized ideas. Question now arises if it is possible to expect anything harmonious from the followers of Islam? While this reminds me of Babasaheb Ambedkar who exposed some bitter truths of Islam in his book “Pakistan or the Partition of India”. He wrote – “For Islam divides as inexorably as it binds. Islam is a close corporation and the distinction that it makes between Muslims and non-Muslims is a very real, very positive and very alienating distinction.”
This has been proven in this case. Despite being a neighbour, Nazim helped extremists rather than protecting the poor Kanhaiya Lal. He did not even re-consider his act on humanitarian grounds. He himself circulated Kanhaiya Lal’s information in WhatsApp groups. It is this sense of separation of muslims and non-Muslims in the society that Babasaheb warned us about.
Babasaheb did not stop there. He further writes – “The brotherhood of Islam is not the universal brotherhood of man. It is a brotherhood of Muslims for Muslims only. There is a fraternity, but its benefit is confined to those within that corporation. For those who are outside the corporation, there is nothing but contempt and enmity”.
There was no personal enmity or axe to grind in this case except that Lal supported the statement of Nupur Sharma. Where did the famed brotherhood of the Muslims evaporate when this poor tailor was butchered? Were they silent as the victim was a Kafir? That means the Muslim brotherhood is not inclusive, but an exclusive entity within the Islamic society.
The policemen who were supposed to reach the venue has to face stone pelting by the people who supported the extremists. This shows that the institution that is built on the constitution and works on the ground to maintain law and order as per the same constitution was not allowed to execute its solemn duty. This says that as a society, Islam has failed to uphold the constitution. Here, it is important to quote what Babasaheb Ambedkar wrote – “Islam is a system of social self-government and is incompatible with local self-government because the allegiance of a Muslim does not rest on his domicile in the country which is his but on the faith to which he belongs.”
This incident supports this insight of Babasaheb Ambedkar and warns us about the consequences. Islam also adheres to his observation by making a distinction between ‘Dar-ul-harb’ and ‘Dar-ul-Islam’.
The idea of Jihad is a threat in itself to the democratic values of the Indian society. Given the various factors intrinsic to the Islamic society like their binary worldview, extremism of the Jihadis powered by their scriptures, politics of appeasement, unhindered population explosion, the other religious constituents i.e the Hindus, the Christians, the Jains, the Sikhs and others have been forced to surrender their right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by the constitution to every citizen of this country.
In conclusion, there should be no compromise on the issues of law and order and in punishing the culprits. Justice has to be delivered to every Indian citizen despite their financial, societal, religious status. Let humanity prevail and innocents like Kanhaiya Lal be protected by the constitution that Babasaheb Ambedkar drafted.