For representational purposes (Photo | EPS)
For representational purposes (Photo | EPS)

No room for any divisive elements

Starting with the hijab row in February, opposition to consumption of halal meat was next, followed by Muslim vendors being targeted for selling their wares at temple premises.

The disturbing communal incidents occurring in Karnataka threaten to rip the social fabric of not just the state, but of the entire country. Issues are being propelled to the fore back-to-back, each on communal lines targeting Muslims, while building up inter-religious tensions at a faster-rate with every new issue taken up by fringe groups.

Starting with the hijab row in February, opposition to consumption of halal meat was next, followed by Muslim vendors being targeted for selling their wares at temple premises. These disturbing developments threaten to snowball into a major communal challenge for civil society. It threatens to reach such a flashpoint that it may be difficult to be reversed, permanently damaging the social fabric of the country. The manner in which these issues are being taken up by ultra right-wing Hindu groups indicates a planned and systematic move to create a deep Hindu-Muslim divide on the pretext of putting the former’s identity on the pedestal. But the main players in this fail to wake up to what is staring at them in their face, and choose to ignore it in the blind pursuit of marginalising other communities, mainly the Muslims.

The Hindu-Muslim divide is precisely what anti-India elements within the country and its neighbourhood hope to see happen. And while at it, the ultra right-wingers remain oblivious to the fact that they are actually playing into the hands of these elements who are achieving their objective with no efforts on their part. Now, with Karnataka Assembly polls next year and the general elections two years away, these groups in the background of a relatively silent BJP are building a threatening narrative.

However, the citizens need to remember that we live in a world that has shrunk to a global village, thanks to communication and technological advances. The need of the hour is not division but unification aimed at progress on the economic, technological, education and health fronts. Countries prefer trade, commerce and research collaboration with thriving economies. There is no place for divisive elements if these aims are to be achieved. It’s time to make a choice: to be progressive, or retrogressive?

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The New Indian Express
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