The brutal killing of the 55-year-old Muhammad Ikhlaq over rumors that he ate/stored beef in Dadri, a small town on the outskirts of the national capital Delhi has come as the most shocking event in recent times.
This is beyond imagination that people can go to this extent by killing their fellow human beings on the issue of one’s personal beliefs on what to eat and what not to.
I learned some of those involved in the murder were friends of Ikhlaq and would cook and dine together. Members of both the communities would join each other’s festival and celebrate festivals like Eid, Diwali and Rakhsha Bandhan for decades.
Then how come the same man though of a different faith is dragged out of his house by a frenzy mob of 200 Hindus and beaten to death for allegedly consuming beef, which is banned? It is not yet confirmed whether he ate beef or mutton, which in any case is under police investigation.
This heinous crime brings to the fore the simmering communal tension prevailing among communities and should be condemned by all sane people of the country.
However it looks like part of a very sinister but disturbing pattern that is out to tear apart the fabric of communal harmony. This takes us to another logical question: Are we moving from democracy to a state of mobocracy?
If India is to be a respectable and developed country, we have to stop all this nonsense of religions bigotry. Religions must be confined to one’s personal beliefs and should not be imposed on others. If not restrained, such madness will have a very serious impact on social lives as also on the economic sector.
The governments — both the center and provincial — must ensure that such incidents are not repeated and offenders are brought to justice even if that needs fast-track courts.
— Ramesh G. Jethwani, Bangalore, India