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BJP will stop at nothing when it comes to its Islamophobia, not even on Eid

Charu Kartikeya | Updated on: 13 September 2016, 15:52 IST

There are some things that the BJP says officially and some others that it says through unofficial channels. Thankfully, at some point a synergy emerges between the two on occasions, thereby clearly establishing the BJP hand behind communication that the party would have otherwise washed its hands off from.

When BJP spokesperson Shrikant Sharma suggested on 12 September that Bakr-Eid should be celebrated in an eco-friendly way, he refused to elaborate what he or his party actually meant by that. Upon being asked for details, Sharma said, "The intelligentsia should discuss it."

What he actually meant became clear on 13 September by the huge army of right-wing trolls that operates on social media under the guidance of the BJP and the larger Sangh Parivar. Trending on twitter was a hashtag called #मिट्टी_का_बकरा (goat of clay). The first tweet with the hashtag was from a handle called @Ibawandar, who sports a large sketch of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's face on his/her cover picture.

On cue, thousands of tweets followed, all essentially calling for observance of an "Eco-friendly Eid" by desisting from slaughtering a real goat and cutting a goat of clay instead.

Some tweets even dragged PETA into the debate, asking the organisation why it was silent on the slaughter of goats on Eid?

Some also dragged Union Minister Maneka Gandhi into the tweet-fest, appealing to her to intervene given her earlier record as an animal rights activist.

Some tweets were purely confrontational, declaring the 'clay-goat' campaign as a monumental battle.

And then there were those who came down to the naked truth - what their real problem was - that while everybody questions how Hindu festivals like Holi, Diwali, Durga Puja, Ganesh Visarjan etc cause pollution, waste water etc, nobody points a finger at the 'slaughter' of animals on a Muslim festival.

Bollywood stars weren't spared either...

...neither was the Supreme Court.

Links with Sangh Parivar

Most of the accounts behind these rabid Islamophobic tweets are run by people with evident links to BJP and several other organisations that are run by the RSS, like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.

Some of them are even followed by union ministers like Ravi Shankar Prasad, Nirmala Sitharaman, Radha Mohan Singh and even BJP chief Amit Shah.

Most of them claimed to be either proud Hindu nationalists or fans of either Modi or BJP or the RSS.

The right wingers must think they are so clever that they have succeeded in widely proliferating their Islamophobic message without involving any official face of their establishment.

However, the links are clear, which makes this a shameless ploy of the BJP and the RSS to launch yet another attack on Muslims, by targeting a festival.

That they are doing it in the name of vegetarianism is plain silly and even duplicitous, because there is no way that the Sangh Parivar can claim that all its members are vegetarians.

Let us for a moment assume that they are, even then they have no business dictating what others should eat.

This sinister campaign has come on the anniversary of Mohammad Akhlaq's murder in Uttar Pradesh's Dadri. Akhlaq was lynched because he was suspected to have eaten beef.

Of course, the right wing was never remorseful of the fact the frenzy generated by its cow-protection campaign took a human life.

What this new campaign shows is that the day is not far when a similar frenzy will lead to another murder just for eating mutton. Or for doing anything that doesn't conform to the worldview of these radicals, who operate in the name of Hindutva.

When will this madness stop?


Edited by Jhinuk Sen

First published: 13 September 2016, 15:52 IST
 
Charu Kartikeya @CharuKeya

Assistant Editor at Catch, Charu enjoys covering politics and uncovering politicians. Of nine years in journalism, he spent six happily covering Parliament and parliamentarians at Lok Sabha TV and the other three as news anchor at Doordarshan News. A Royal Enfield enthusiast, he dreams of having enough time to roar away towards Ladakh, but for the moment the only miles he's covering are the 20-km stretch between home and work.

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