Who is communalising the hanging? Owaisi vs Sakshi Maharaj

There are many people who speak out against capital punishment; there are a good number of Indians who believe that Yakub Memon should not be given the death sentence. He has already spent 20 years in jail and is medically certified as a schizophrenic. The court has rejected his curative petition. He is scheduled to be hanged to death on July 30.

I have already written about the case here, but it is disturbing to watch how the public is being swayed in the name of nationalism. Even those who do not want him to be hanged seem to have a problem with any Muslim "communalising" the issue.

Let us stop fooling others and ourselves. Muslims have not communalised other crimes. This was and is a communal issue. Why is it that only the blasts are seen as communal? Because the culprits were Muslim, and it was said that this was their vengeance for the 1992 riots? Muslims suffered in the blasts too, their businesses were destroyed. Hindus too suffered during the riots, but the main targets were Muslims.

It is a communal issue because the rath yatra of L.K.Advani and the kar sevaks was to reclaim a place of worship. It is communal because a mosque was destroyed (yes, if you like history so much, then we will say that Babar was communal, hope it helps) with hammers and trishuls, a Hindu symbol. It is communal because soon after Muslims were threatened and there was a blood bath in cities far from Ayodhya. It is communal because leaders could use filthy language against a community, could provoke crowds; these leaders got elected. It is communal because there was pressure on the Srikrishna Committee probing into the riots; no one was convicted.

Therefore, when Asaduddin Owaisi, chief of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) asks questions about the hanging of Yakub Memon how does he become communal whereas others can say the same thing and be 'Indians'?

He did raise questions of discrimination. He also said:

"The killers of Rajiv Gandhi and Beant Singh have the backing of political parties in Tamil Nadu and Punjab. Which political party is backing Yakub Memon? Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab has gone to the extent of pardoning Balwant Singh Rajoana."

Owaisi is speaking as an Indian; he is referring to law and the Constitution. It is not a law of the high born or the Hindu. It is a law for everybody.

He has every right to speak about Muslims, not because he is a Muslim but this is a human rights issue. In any civilised society capital punishment leads to introspection. It is not about dancing on the rooftop claiming to be more patriotic that the next person.

I watched a TV discussion last night where the above-mentioned incidents were dismissed as individual efforts that were not as much a threat as Pakistan and ISI. When Owaisi pointed out that the LTTE and Khalistani elements could be a threat too, the anchor, good Mr. Arnab Goswami, started screaming about how he was SHOCKED that Owaisi was taking up for the ISI.

So this is not about India. It is about Pakistan. The Indian government is frustrated that it cannot bring back Dawood Ibrahim, and will use any means to get back at that country. Prime time divas thrive on warmongering.

BJP's Sakshi Maharaj responding to Owaisi said:

"People who can't respect Indian system and judiciary can go to Pakistan, door is open."

Sakshi Maharaj is a career sadhu; he has got into Parliament for this reason and not because of any other qualification. Such people have the gumption to abuse others for communalism when their very existence and calling card is communal; he speaks about how Hindu women should produce more children so that Muslims do not overtake them. His commitment to the Indian judiciary is selective, and if the party leadership were strong he would have been shown the door using the same judiciary.

I usually don't like to grant any legitimacy to such utterances, except that this one once again uses the fake nationalism card to discriminate.

While upholding his death sentence, the Supreme Court described Yakub Memon as the "driving spirit" of the blasts. This is clearly a way to wash hands off finding others. And it also makes me wonder about all those "driving spirits" that have inspired riots in different parts of the country as well as the "driving spirits" who continue to occupy positions of power to divide the nation with their bigotry by feeding them with false notions of nationalism.

Waiting for a man to go to the gallows does not prove your patriotism one bit.

End note

"Much is being made of former Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) chief late B. Raman's 2007 piece that has been published now. As an insider, he had explained why Yakub Memon should not be hanged."

He had come to Kathmandu secretly from Karachi to consult a relative and a lawyer on the advisability of some members of the Memon family, including himself, who felt uncomfortable with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, returning to India and surrendering to the Mumbai police. The relative and the lawyer advised him against surrender due to a fear that justice might not be done to them. They advised Yakub to go back to Karachi.

None of this is new and its publication now adds nothing. In fact, it only leads to conspiracy theories about how it is timed to influence the mercy plea.

What will influence the mercy plea is more direct and unethical — the Maharashtra state home department has asked the governor to reject the mercy plea. What is the basis for such intervention?


Received an email from somebody who knows the law better than I do. Regarding my last bit about ethics of state intervention, it is legal:

"The state/centre's Home Ministry is duty bound to give its opinion on a mercy plea. However, it is still being debated- whether the governor is bound by such opinion."


  1. 1. It is a matter of shame that Indian govt (Please note that I haven't said Hindus) has failed to drag Dawood and Pig Menon back to India and hang them from Char Minar. Just as they have failed to convict many rioters. How does that justify the sympathy for Yakub? By the same logic, let us simply release the Sadhvi and the Colonel since they too, presumably had a root cause to claim.

    2. Personally, I feel there is nothing to celebrate in an execution. It is an unpleasant necessity and hence responses to it ought to be sober, if not sombre. However, my problem is not with those who criticise the right wing fiteworks but those who criticise the judicial process. If the system was actually as biased against Muslims as the claims go, then it wouldn''t have taken two decades for the death sentence to come about.

    3. Riots are no doubt a communal issue. It can't be more obvious. But temple destruction, forced conversions to Islam, abduction of Hindu women and partition were also communal issues which continue to bleed the Hindu mind. No Owaisi, Versey or Khan has ever expressed an iota of willingness to address the grief in last three centuries. Kashmiri Jihad is also a communal issue. Article 370 is also a communal issue. Failure of sekulaar cabal to address these with equal vigour (address them at all, actually) has a direct impact on the society.

    4. If permitted, I can post a list of historically proven instances of temple destruction acrosd India by Jihadi invaders. It will be far longer than some people think. Mosques and Islamic tombs still stand in their places. Only if Hindus were as communal as the Jihadi-Sekulaar mafia breastbeats they are..

    5. If Verseys, Khans and Owaisis are so aggrived about Yakub's fate, they must direct their ire to his Jihadi brother Pig Menon and cohort Dawood, not to India the nation. There will be a day when India will get these enemies of humanity, Inshallah. (Take that. Do you now agree that I am less communal than you think?).

  2. Continued:

    6. You dismissed Sakshi Maharaj as a career Sadhu. Fair enough. But I noticed that you omitted stating that Owaisi is also a career politician who drools over a votebank like all other politicians. I was not surprised at the kid-glove treatment though.

  3. 7. Trishul is indeed a Hindu symbol. Quite disturbingly, you seem to be hinting that anything that is Hindu is automatically anti-Muslim. By this logic, Owaisi's beard, Geelani's prayer cap, every mosque and everyiftaar in the country is anti-Hindu. Tell me if I don't make sense.

  4. F&F:

    Shall avoid the back-and-forth stuff. So replying to a few points only:

    3. {No Owaisi, Versey or Khan has ever expressed an iota of willingness to address the grief in last three centuries.}

    Don't know about the others, but I am simply not interested in what happened centuries ago, and find it unacceptable that a community is made to feel guilty because of foreign colonialists who shared the faith. And why was the "Hindu mind" not bleeding because of this history prior to the 1992 kar seva, which was politically motivated?

    {Kashmiri Jihad is also a communal issue. Article 370 is also a communal issue. Failure of sekulaar cabal to address these with equal vigour (address them at all, actually) has a direct impact on the society.}

    How has the Kashmiri call for azaadi been transformed into a jihad? Article 370 is communal? As one who does not like any criticism of the judiciary, I am surprised you are casting aspirations on a legal provision.

    If the secular silence on these impacts society, then so does the vociferous shouting of the saffron believers regarding love jihad and moral policing.

    Merely spewing anger makes little sense, whether it is against a Dawood or a Memon. We can't get to them, as the Indian intelligence has so well established by now.

    I have every right to question the Indian government, and I have always done so, much before the present dispensation, because I pay my taxes to them and not to the underworld, unlike the protection money that even some political leaders are supposed to have done.

    {Inshallah. (Take that. Do you now agree that I am less communal than you think?).}

    I try and avoid making personal comments, and saying Inshallah is merely a word for me. I like to rely on myself than a god. I believe that's what secular people should do.

    6. Owaisi could be a vote-bank politician, or a ballot-rigging politician, but he is a politician, a person with some experience in the field. Had it been Imam Bukhari or some mullah initiated into Parliament, my views would have been the same, as they often are quite clearly and even recently (http://farzana-versey.blogspot.in/2015/07/no-prayers-for-terrorists.html).

    7. {Trishul is indeed a Hindu symbol. Quite disturbingly, you seem to be hinting that anything that is Hindu is automatically anti-Muslim. By this logic, Owaisi's beard, Geelani's prayer cap, every mosque and every iftaar in the country is anti-Hindu. Tell me if I don't make sense.}

    Wonder why you feel the need to generalise when I have specifically mentioned it in a context. I don't believe all Hindu symbols are anti-Muslim or I'd be denied the pleasure of the Saraswati veena or the sight of lotuses (the latter, alas, taken over by a political party).

    Your "logic" isn't very logical. Sadhus have beards too, so how can Owaisi's beard be anti-Hindu? You've really gone way ahead of the argument, and lost it, I am afraid. Did I even question anybody's prayers or places of worship? As regards iftaar parties, I think they are anti-Islam anyway, with their ostentatious display. It would be a good thing if Hindus declared them anti-Hindu and stopped hosting/attending them.

    Pity they don't do fatwas...

  5. 1. You are disinterested in what happened in Babar's time. Or in Jinnah's time. Others may have a different cut-off line. Like PV Narsimha Rao's time. Fair enough?

    2. Article 370 is a constitutional provision and is open to ammendment. I dream of the day when this malevolent gangrene will be amputated from our constitution, enabling me to own a house in Pehelgam. Or Sopore. Since I am a Hindu, the biased, communal govt of Narendra Modi is bound to gift it to me for free, isn't it?

    3. Sakshi Maharaj is a three-time MP. Your defence of Owaisi applies equally to him. Only if you accepted it.

    4. If you agree with my opinion of what affects the society, say so straight. Counters about Love Jihad etc are not required. Love Jihad affects social health as much as Hindu resistance to it does.

  6. My question remains: why is Babar news only in recent years?

    I'll keep this short. Sakshi Maharaj is a sadhu; Owaisi a barrister. I can counter with whatever I like, and I know it to be relevant. Love jihad is a despicable term uses to bludgeon people. Records reveal how the cases are falsified.

    Hope you find a house in Kashmir. Perhaps I might look for one in Himachal Pradesh, when both states permit such intrusion from us.

  7. 1. Babar has been in news ever since he invaded India with the usual Jihadi hate filled in his mind. However, if you demand to know more recent instances, Babri dispute has been alive at least since 1859.

    2. Some people find 'saffronisation' to be a derogatory term. Like you find Love Jihad to be.

    Hope it was sufficiently short.

  8. QUOTE 1: Why was the "Hindu mind" not bleeding because of this history prior to the 1992 kar seva..?

    QUOTE 2: Merely spewing anger makes little sense (if) you can't get to them..

    You answered your own question just a couple of lines later in the same comment. One always can. If one tries hard enough.

    The bleeding Hindu mind was only waiting for the right opportunity to practice the bloodylessons Islam taught India. I wonder if Shah Bano ought to be given Bharat Ratna for this reason alone..! :-)

  9. Found your article about A Kalam on CounterCurrents.org and followed it to CrossConnections. This article is bold and thoughtful & nicely put. I will keep coming back.


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