Exposing the hypocrisy of the ‘Award Wapsi Gang’ : An open letter to Shabnam Hashmi

Dear Ms Shabnam Hashmi

I came to know about your decision to return the National Minority Rights Award given to you by National Commission of Minorities in 2008. We have been missing this award wapsi charade for quite some time. Good that you have started it again.

As per the statement given by you, the reason for your returning of the award is the following, ‘I return the National Minority Rights Award, which has lost all its credibility, in protest against the consistent attacks and killings of the members of the minority communities and total inaction, apathy and tacit support to the violent gangs by the government.’ (read here)

You also wrote in the letter, ‘I am returning it in the memory of the innumerable innocent victims lynched by marauding mobs. Mob lynching and Islamophobia have taken over India. Even before the community can mourn its dead, the next incident takes place. There is an atmosphere of fear and terror. Under the present government, the marginalisation of minority groups has become the norm,” (read here)

While reading your letter, I had a few questions in mind and thus thought to ask you. The questions and issues I wanted to ask you are as following:

What about Lynching of Md Ayub Pandith by a Muslim Mob? Was it Islamophobia or Islamists lynching a Patriot Officer? No Award Wapsi for that?

A few days back, a DSP of J&K Police, Md Ayub Pandith was lynched by a rabid mob right outside the Jamia Mosque in Srinagar. I am sure you are aware that the mob consisted only of Muslims who killed a fellow Muslim. Does your Award Wapsi include condemnation for this as well? Or is it that this incident is politically incorrect to condemn? (read here)

What about the killing of brave officers like Ummar Fayyaz and Feroze Ahmad Dar by Islamist Terrorists? No Award Wapsi against it?

In the same league, Sub Inspector  Altaf Ahmad Dar (read here) , Sub Inspector Feroze Ahmad Dar of J&K Police (read here) , Lt Ummar Fayyaz of Indian Army (read here)  and innumerable number of police and army personnel have died fighting Islamic terrorists in Kashmir over the last many years. The list is endless.  Does your Award Wapsi also include that or is it politically incorrect to condemn killing of Army and Police officers by Jihadi terrorists or frenzied Muslim mobs?  Did you find any islamophobia in it or is it more of a case of Jihadi terrorists willing to shed as much blood as possible for the sake of a Sharia compliant Caliphate and willing to kill anyone raising voice against it? Where was your voice then? Please remember, Lt Ummar Fayyaz was unarmed when he was dragged out of a function and brutally killed. All I head was stunning silence from India’s Award Wapsi gang when it happened.

The burning alive of a pregnant Muslim woman by her parents for marrying a Hindu Dalit:  Did you speak up against this or returned any award Ms Hashmi?

In the month of June, 2017 itself, a pregnant Muslim woman was burnt alive (read here) by her parents for marrying a Dalit in Karnataka’s Bijapur district. I did not hear much from you on this issue and neither could I find Islamophobia in it. At best I could find blatant communal hatred in it where the Muslim parents could not even spare their pregnant daughter and burnt her alive for marrying a Dalit Hindu.  I am sure this was a case of massive Dharam Sankat for your ilk. The reason being there is no Hindu angle to this incident and thus to take side of the Dalit who lost his wife and unborn would mean to criticise the Muslim couple who killed their daughter, may be out of fear of community backlash.  Does your award wapsi include this incident as well? I am sure the answer is a BIG NO.

The Lynching of Cattle Thieves in Bengal: Would you blame Mamata Banerjee Government too, Ms Hasmi? Or is it politically incorrect?

In this month itself, three cattle thieves were lynched in Dinajpur district of West Bengal. They were lynched not by some so called gaurakshak team but by poor villagers for whom their cattle is monetarily a precious asset for their livelihood and thus they, like any other human being, would instinctively counter any effort by anyone to steal them because losing those cattle would mean loss of livelihood and earning for family. But unfortunately for opportunistic activists with a vested agenda, thieves suddenly get identified by religion and victims of cattle theft, which is rampant in India, are suddenly given the tag of gaurakshaks. The name of the alleged thieves were Nasirul Haque (30), a resident of Kutipara, Mohammad Samiruddin (32), resident of Kandarpara and Md Nasir (33), as reported by The Indian Express on June 24, 2017. (read here) .

Given the trend of giving a communal angle to every incident that a section of media has mastered, it was expected that this too would be made news as big as that of the lynching of Md Akhlaq or Junaid Khan. But it did not happen.

And then I realised that how can this incident be made communal by Lutyens media since it did not happen in a BJP ruled state but in Mamata Banerjee’s Bengal?  So when you mentioned that there is tacit support to the violent gangs by Government, did you include this incident as well? And did you mean support to the killers of these three by Mamata Banerjee’s Government. Or is that that your reaction is, ‘By Jove!! How can I do that? How could you even think so?’

Did you condemn when Dalit VHP leader Arun Mahaur was hacked to death by a Muslim gang in Agra? Did you speak for Dalit rights then or preferred silence?

Referring to your nonsensical Islamophobia charge on India let me remind you about another incident. In February, 2016, a Dalit leader of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Arun Mahaur was shot dead in broad daylight in the Mantola area of Agra district (read here ).  The name of the main accused was Shahrukh, a notorious hooligan who used to regularly harass women. Dalit leader of VHP Arun Mahaur was shot dead by him for protesting against his misbehaviour with women. Do you want to know the name of the rest of the accused? Those are Raja, Imtiaz, Dilshad and Abid (read here ).

Did I miss anything you had perhaps said or commented on this? Was it, as usual, selective amnesia on your part in this case too? Or is it that it is not even worth condemning since the victim is from VHP, so what if he is a Dalit? And, by the way, just wanted to know from you, as per you, was it an incident of communalism or a plain law & order issue? If Junaid killing was communal as per you, then how would you define this incident? And if this was a local law & order issue, how come Junaid’s killing or that of Md Akhlaq is communal?

If the killing of Junaid Khan is Communal then why not the lynching of Dr Pankaj Narang? Did your team speak then or preferred silence?

Just to remind you, in case the memory of the lynching of Dr Narang’s lynching has got rusted in your mind, Dr Pankaj Narang was brutally beaten to death in Delhi’s Vikaspuri region over a minor scuffle. Do you know the name of the culprits? Do the names like Nasir Khan and Aamir ring a bell? (read here) Was it a communal incident or a mere local scuffle leading to killing of Dr Narang by a group?  Did you speak up on this issue or condemn it? Or, is it that your ilk had another bout of selective amnesia that you all so very frequently suffer from?

I can give you hundreds of such examples of killings Ms Hashmi, which can be given a communal angle on the pretext of the victims being Hindus and alleged killers being Muslims. And I am not even mentioning the murder of hundreds of BJP/RSS workers in Kerala over the last so many years neither I am mentioning the killing of BJP leaders/workers like Mohammad Hussain, Kittaganahalli Vasu, and Dalit BJP leader Bandi Ramesh in Karnataka. You may be surprised by news of these incidents because your fellow pseudo-journalists never hold prime time television debates on the killings of Hindus, or for that matter, members of BJP/RSS even if they are Dalits and Muslims.

Have you heard of the murder of Rinku Saha, Twinkle Kumari Shaw or Kamduni rape victim? Perhaps not because their lives don’t matter to your ilk.

I am also not even mentioning about numerous incidents of atrocities on Hindus that happen in West Bengal most of which don’t even get reported. Some of those which get reported don’t even ring a bell as they remain tucked in some small side column of the 8th or 9th page of the newspaper. And thus I am sure you have not even heard of Rinku Saha who was allegedly abducted by A. Qasim, and as per Rinku’s family, she was forcefully converted to Islam and then later her dead body was found from a hotel room in Delhi (read here) .

The accused A Qasim was missing and since then we have not heard much of this issue on again. Had she been a Muslim and her killer been a Hindu, she would have got all the prime time debate slots. But sadly, she was a Hindu. That was her fault and thus her murder went unnoticed. The same was the fate of Twinle Kumari Shaw (read here).  And also please do some research on the Kamduni rape and murder incident in Bengal. If everything is to be given a communal angle then let us also give a communal angle to this incident as well where the victim was a 20 year old Hindu girl and most of the prime convicts were Muslims. The six convicts are Ansar Ali, Saiful Ali and Amin Ali, Emanul Islam, Bhola Naskar and Aminur Islam (read here)  Will it help your cause Ms Hashmi? Or would you take solace in the fact that at least one of the six convicts was a Hindu and feel relieved that it cannot be thus called communal?

Where were you when Dhulagarh and Kaliachak rampage happened, Ms Hashmi? Which award did you return?

Should I ask you about the Dhulagarh rampage ( read here )   and the Kaliachak (read here ) mayhem? Are you even aware of what happened in those places? Are these incidents reflection of Islamophobia or rampage by Islamists? I don’t want to waste time narrating them to you as enough material is there for you to appraise yourself if you wish to.  When scores of homes of Dalit Hindus were rampaged by a violent Muslim mob, did you speak up? Did you return any award? Once again, I repeat, my objective is not to communalise incidents but to point finger at the hypocrisy of your ilk.  Like you all, Bengal media too ignored these incidents to keep the Bengal government happy. (read here)

Stop this Canard of communalising every incident of Crime and portraying one community as Victim always. It can be easily countered.

Fact is millions like me don’t like to attempt to give  a national level furore on local issues and never try to amplify local incidents by tagging them communal and giving national angle because it is not good for the nation. Not every incident of crime can be given a communal tag. That’s the difference between conscientious nationalist citizens like us and opportunistic pseudo activists of your ilk. Ask your beloved comrades in the television media, as to why the incidents mentioned above never get prime time slots for debates? Is it because these incidents don’t fit into the narrative you people have been spreading for long? Would it then be too wrong to state that the activities of you and your ilk sting of a vested agenda?

Was Prashanth Poojary’s death not communal when he was hacked to death by PFI members? Why did activists remain silent then?

And Oh! By the way, did I forget to mention of the murder of Prashanth Poojary? How would you define the murder of Prashanth Poojary who was hacked to death because he protested against open slaughtering of cows? Would you like to know the names of the accused? Well, the names of the accused, Mohammed Hanif (36), Mohammed Ilyas (27), Ibrahim Liyaqat (26), and Abdul Rashid (39), Mohammed Sharif (42), Mustafa Kavoor (28), Mohammed Mustafa (25), and Kabeer (28) (read here) . So going by the narrative of communalism that you all so very love to propagate, should we not term it communalism against Hindus? Did any of the prime time news channels dare to have debates on this murder and give a communal angle to it just as they gave in case of Md Akhlaq?  Or is it that his murder could be ignored because he was a Saffron activist, so what if he was poor and the only earning member of his family?

When Dalits were attacked by Muslim mob in Azamgarh, what did you do Ms Hashmi? Which award did you return?

Before ending, I wanted to remind you about two more incidents. Do you remember or even have vaguely heard about the incident of October 2015 ‘when a group of Muslim men attacked a Dalit settlement in a village in Azamgarh district’s Jiyanpur area’ as reported by Indian Express on October 7, 2015 (read here)? Did you raise your voice or returned any award then? Or as usual it was a Dharam Sankat moment if the conflict is between Muslims and Dalit?

Do you know the names of the accused of the molestation of Dalit girls in  Rampur whose video was uploaded by the accused in social media? Unlike your ilk, we did not do communal politics on it.

I would also like to remind you of the shocking incident of molestation of two Dalit Girls, by a gang of young men in broad daylight in Rampur, UP? Would you like me to give a communal angle to it the manner in which your ilk give to many incidents? Well in that case, some of the prime accused in this case have named likes Shahnawaz Qadri, Saddam Khan, Naved and Farhan (read here). I am sure, you would blame me for communalising issues but I am merely reciprocating to what your ilk have been doing for long, i.e. giving communal angle to even instance of crime.

And this was yesterday’s headline of a news in news18.com.

 ‘Kin Tied to Tree, Beaten up After Dalit Youth Elopes With Muslim Girl’ Would you return some award for this?

Just before I was about to wind up this article, another incident came to my notice. In Bijapur district’s Singadi taluk, a Dalit youth and his father was tied to a tree and beaten mercilessly after reports came of a Dalit youth named Ningappa had eloped with a Muslim girl. The family members of the girl then tied up Ningappa’s younger brother and father to a tree and beat them mercilessly. I am sure, you would ignore this whole incident as would the whole Lutyens gang of journalists with coloured glasses on their eyes. No debates on primetime. No award wapsi drama.  The video is here for everyone to see.  (read here)

When will Selective Amnesia of your ilk end Ms Hashmi?

I can keep on adding examples as there is no end to it. But I explicitly would like to state my objective, unlike that of your ilk, is not to spread communalism. The canard that you all have started with selective activism on certain incidents and shrewd omission of some other kind of incident needed to be exposed.

Demand brutal punishment for the killers of Junaid Khan but don’t communalise every incident. This is a request Ms Hashmi

The killers of Pehlu Khan, Junaid Khan or Md Akhlaq deserve the harshest of punishment and no mercy should be shown to them. But what is disgusting is the manner in which your ilk has been selectively communalising certain incidents with some ulterior motives. If you have guts then also please speak up for the Prashanth Poojary, Ummar Fayyaz, Feroze Amhad Dar, Pankaj Narang, Rinku Saha, and the Dalit girls molested in Rampur. However, your selective omissions stinks of an agenda and trust you me, we would not let you all succeed in it. Over the last two years your lot have been consistently exposed. This nation has survived your ilk for long and it would survive. Hindus and Muslims of India would live together and work together and they would not fall in your trap. We still have faith in this country’s institutions.

Most Respectfully

Pathikrit Payne

An ordinary Indian who keeps nation above self and community