When the Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena start protecting Muslims, it is time for our antennae to go up. They are parochial parties, and the former’s role in the Bombay riots and its communal stance is well-known.
The case of Majid Khan that I had written about - Dogs allowed, but not Muslims - has taken a turn because these two parties have done the turncoat act from their positions. They went to the building from where he was barred, held a meeting with the society members and asked them if they had a problem with a Muslim staying there.
“Until the Sainiks went there on Monday, some elements prohibited me from even going anywhere near the society. But the Sainiks insisted that I go with them there and sit in the very house that I had rented,” said Majid.
One can well imagine his relief. There will be a general feeling that the SS is doing something concrete and it does not believe in discrimination. Right now Majid Khan is only a Muslim; they probably have not asked whether he is from Bihar or UP or Tamil Nadu. They cannot afford to expose their hypocrisy and will play their cards well. As one of their members said:
“We have made it clear that we will give him 24-hour protection during his family’s stay in the building. Irrespective of who opposes him, we will stand by Majid. The idea is to send out a clear message that a person should not be ostracised because of caste, creed or religion.”
This is frightening. They have held a Muslim man captive and he is supposed to owe the roof over his head to them. If anyone has to give him 24-hour protection then it ought to be the cops, not a political party. This is not the Sena’s private durbar. This is not Chembur’s Panchayati Raj with some mukhya sitting and deciding.
If the Shiv Sena is honest, it should have helped Majid Khan file a police case, as I mentioned.
I am also struck by the photograph of the family. Had the man been a ‘typical’ Muslim, then would the Sena have come forward? This looks like any urban family, and personally it is how they are and many of us are. But a clean-shaven pant-shirt Majid with a Hindu wife has definitely played a role. I can imagine some SS blokes slapping their thighs and saying that this is how Muslims should be to belong to the mainstream, never mind that they go around looking like half-baked godmen themselves.
There is no message here and instead of the society members being made an example of narrow-minded discriminatory tactics, it is Majid Khan who has been made an example of the Muslim who will be forced to cop-out and become a ‘protected’ species.
Would he have dared oppose the Shiv Sena’s interference? No. And in that No lies the story of what threat really means.
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The business of protection against threat has become very important.
IPS officer Rajkumar Pandiyan, accused of killing Sohrabudin in a fake encounter in Ahmedabad in collusion with cops D G Vanzara and Dinesh MN, on Monday said he should have been honoured by the country for eliminating the most dreaded criminal instead of being put behind bars.
Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife were kidnapped and locked up in a farmhouse in November 2005. He was then dragged to a spot and shot dead, with one of the big cops asking his men to take the body to the civil hospital. Two days later his wife Kausar bi was burnt to death. The initial CBI reports did recreate the scene.
It will be recalled that top officials were transferred by Narendra Modi’s government to protect them. Now Ram Jethmalani will be able to appeal the case of Pandiyan even though his client says he killed Sohrabudin in a fake encounter.
Pandiyan wants to be feted because he believes he saved the nation from this threat. He obviously has little idea about what constitutes a nation and its laws. If the cops are really convinced and upto the task then they capture criminals and see to it that they are tried legally, and if at all they have to shoot, it is when they have evidence and a warrant. They do not lock them in farmhouses and then fake an encounter.
It is cowardly. And we still do not have a medal for cowardice.
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Picture of Majid Khan's family - Mumbai Mirror