BJP Wants to Demolish Idea of Muslims Owning Assets

In The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt, the famous political philosopher, author and Holocaust survivor, wrote: “Only the mob and the elite can be attracted by the momentum of totalitarianism. The masses have to be won by propaganda,” referring to how the Nazi gangs unleashed fascism with ferocity in Germany in the early decades of the 20th century.

A parallel example in India is the ‘Mob, Elite and the Big Media Houses’, who don’t only ensure attacks on minorities but also justify them with perverted logic. The dangerous trend was witnessed at the recent Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti processions that symbolised the high-pitch propaganda of the Hindutva gangs.

The modus operandi was similar: gangs playing high-decibel music entered Muslim neighbourhoods, used provocative slogans, abused the residents, tried to hoist saffron flags on mosques, and vandalised their properties.

When the residents protested, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled state governments used the police and bulldozers to raze buildings or shops belonging mostly to Muslims mainly on the pretext of demolishing illegal structures.

After Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shiv Raj Chouhan said in a press briefing that “rioters won’t be spared” following the Ram Navami clashes, several structures and houses belonging to the minority community in Khargone were demolished and 121 people, mostly Muslims, were arrested. According to media reports, some of the houses were constructed under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana scheme in Khargone. Another media report revealed that one of the ‘arsonists’ whose name figures in the list of the accused is in jail for the last many months and had nothing to do with the riot.

Accusing Wasim Shaikh of pelting the Ram Navami procession with stones and subsequently razing his house, the Khargone administration didn’t realise that his hands were amputated after electrocution in 2005. The father of two has a family of five to feed.