Category Archives: Social Issues
Posted by Agnivo Niyogi
Islam, I often laugh to myself, has become the proverbial ‘Nanda Ghosh’ who is to blame for all ills. Not that the ‘religion of Peace’ is devoid of problems, but to play the same old tune of radical Islam being the root of all evils reached a crescendo after the Orlando shooting.
Like any other religion, Islam needs reforms. There is no doubt about that; those who wish to live in denial are fools themselves. A set of rules, developed in the Middle-East in the middle ages cannot and should not be applied in to-to in the 21st century.
But when it comes to homophobia, are other religions far behind? Isn’t hate for us who love differently ingrained in every faith? The false notion of morality comes into play the day a boy is stopped by his mother from playing with dolls. Effeminate men are ridiculed, manly women are mocked – none of this because Islam said so.
Most Islamophobes cite the example of Middle East. Well, those nations choose to live in the dark ages, that’s their problem. Homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesia, world’s largest Muslim country. India, which houses second largest population of Muslims and is ruled by a Hindu right wing party, has criminalised “unnatural sex” since the British era. But Muslims here do not go about killing gays, because guns are not as easily available in India as they are in America.
Gun laws – the elephant in the room that many people refuse to acknowledge – were the primary reason for the Orlando massacre, as much as homophobia. Only three out of 133 shootings in US of A this year were by Muslims. So, how can Islam be blamed? Even if Omar had not carried out his devious plans, another Christian extremist was planning to attack a pride march the very next day (but was apprehended). A pastor took to Twitter to celebrate the death of gays.
Orlando massacre is as much a failure of the American administration. Despite being under FBI radar, Omar had access to those deadly arms. Many Republican politicians who are attacking Islam after the incident have vocally defended anti-gay laws in the past.
So, my earnest request to all my Islamophobe friends is please do not fight your battles by putting guns on our shoulders. Our fight is as much against the Omar Mateems as much is it against Hindu Ramdevs and the Christian Pastors.
The reality in my country is that MPs of ruling Hindu party blocked and jeered a Bill to decriminalise homosexuality. Reality of my country is that an upper caste Hindu judge of SC recriminalised homosexuality. Reality is that the main petitioner against Naz foundation is a Hindu group.
We are fighting against homophobia. We are fighting against Tamil Brahmin fathers who tie their effeminate sons to trees naked and release red ants on him. Our fight is against middle class families that force their sons to get electric shock to cure them. Our fight is against those where lesbian daughters are raped, our fight is against the society where transgenders cannot get jobs. And NONE of this is due to Islam alone.
So if you cannot help our cause, at least do not derail it by scoring goals against Islam at our cost. Because even as u do so, we face discrimination in workplaces, campuses… we live like criminals in our own country.
DISCLAIMER: All Images Used In This Post Have Their Respective Copyright
Posted by Agnivo Niyogi
In solidarity with Mother Superior from Ranaghat
On Saturday morning – 14 March, 2015 – I was horrified when I received a WhatsApp message from a friend. My faith in humanity was shaken. A 74 year old nun was allegedly gangraped in Nadia district of my state… How beastly can someone’s mentality be to assault a mother! I was moved to tears when next day I read the nun said she forgave the criminals who did it to her. “Forgive them Father, they do not know what they did” said Lord Jesus on the Cross; only someone belonging to the Church could say this for her assaulters.
The incident obviously invited political repercussions across India. BJP, on the backfoot over rising cases of attacks on minorities – specially Christians, was desperate to counter West Bengal government. Without even an iota of evidence, the State President of the party blamed TMC men for the heinous crime. Mamata Di rose to the gravity of the situation, and like a true statesman ordered a CID probe within hours of the incident. She was in constant touch with the Convent while Derek O’Brien was in touch with nuns in Delhi for any assistance.
But the question here is not scoring political brownie points. I would not even be writing this post had the shameless Opposition of Bengal used students as shield to embarrass the CM during her return from Ranaghat on Monday night (this after the Church prevented BJP delegation from meeting the survivor in hospital). BJP’s Sangh affiliate VHP justified the rape and attack on Christians, used abusive analogy with homosexuality to glorify the criminals.
If you open newspapers these days, they all scream about incidents of assault and attack on women. Has the situation in Bengal worsened in the last three years? Or is the media lying? Neither. It is a case of selective reportage. The same media houses which wore a veil when women were violated before 2011 has suddenly found its voice of outrage. The earlier government hardly allowed any dissent to surface; they were quashed locally in party offices. This is the digital age; we live in a free society now – The present government has nothing to hide.
1) No justice has been delivered on the Marijhanpi case in 1977, when thousands of refugee women were brutally raped, murdered and thrown away on the sea by harmads.
2) Remember Bantala, 1990? When Anita Dewan was raped, torch inserted in her private parts by CPM goons, and the Chief Minister Jyoti Basu said, ‘these things happen’.
3) In 1989, Cooch Behar at Fulbari on one single day, 10 Adivasis were raped by CPM harmads and yet no justice to them.
4) The CPM harmads entered Basanti Sonakhali and raped housewives. (1992)
5) Felani Basak, raped and murdered by CPM goons at Nadia in 1992, and no justice to her.
6) At Uday Narayanpur, Howrah, six housewives were raped by CPM goons in 1996. No justice has been delivered.
7) On the infamous Dhantala incident, males in the bus were tired up and CPM goons raped the females in front of them in 2003. And yes, no justice on this too.
8) Has justice being delivered to the brave martyr of Singur, Tapasi Malik, who was raped and murdered in 2006 at the TATA Nano complex, just because she fought for the right for her land?
9) Women who were inhumanly raped by the CPM harmads at Nandigram in 2007 still await justice.
10) Very recently, a 5 year old baby was raped by BJP workers inside the BJP office at Behala. Did Rahul Sinha, Suryakanta Mishra, Adhir Chowdhury ever speak on this issue?
11) One of the Ministers of BJP’s cabinet, Mr Nihal Chand is a rape accused and according to official police record he is absconding. Yet, he continues to attend Parliament and his Ministerial post.
12) BJP is a party, whose MP sat on stage silently while his follower asked the crow to rape the corpses of Muslim women.
13) BJP is the party whose Shakha Sangathans in Sangh Parivar dictate how many kids women should produce.
14) Have we forgotten Bilkis Bano? Have the horror stories of 2002 escaped our minds? The Prime Minister (the CM of Gujarat)’s ministers Babu Bajrangi & Maya Kodnani are out on bail. Have we forgiven them for their heinous crimes?
With such long history of inaction of CPM and the sick mentality of BJP, does it suit them to shed crocodile tears?