Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Partitioning Hearts - Part II

How could the armed mobs, out on the roads to retaliate the killings of VHP activists, track down Muslim business establishments throughout the state in a matter of hours?

The VHP leader Pravin Togadia's disclosure in an interview he had given me for the Calcutta daily, The Telegraph, on January 10, 1992, flashed through my mind. Togadia had boasted that the VHP had undertaken a census and land record survey to take stock of the real estate ownership pattern among Hindus and Muslims in over 18,000 villages, towns and cities of the state.

The survey, he said, would provide the VHP leadership with the necessary data that would help formulate short-term and long-term strategies for 'protecting' the interests of the Hindu community in 'sensitive' areas.

The survey, he said, would help the VHP draw up a 'boundary' line in all the major towns and cities beyond which the Muslims would not be allowed to expand. "We will establish border check posts manned by Bajrang Dal volunteers to instill a sense of security among the Hindus," he had disclosed in the interview.

The large-scale rioting that occurred in the run up to the demolition of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992 and thereafter witnessed how property owned by the Muslims were mde target by arsonists and plundering mobs.

By drawing up a boundary line, the VHP is trying to create a 'Hindustan' and a 'Pakistan' in almost all the villages and towns of Gujarat, the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi who lived and died for love, peace and non-violence.

The VHP has put up signboards at the entry points of all major towns in the state welcoming visitors to 'Hindurashtra's such and such town.' The unstated message in these signboards is louder: The country belongs only to the Hindus; all others have place in it.

(Part I)

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