Bhatkal, Apr 28: Bhatkal has been in the news for all the wrong reasons.
Two reports need a special mention, both published within a span of 3 months of each other in leading newspapers of the country, both of which are perceived as serious and no-nonsense newspapers. These newspapers command the respect from its readers and looked upon even in the journalist fraternity for its seemingly unbiased and secular perspectives, says a report in Sahilonline.
The gist of Sahilonline’s comments is as follows:
These reports are linked to the situation in Bhatkal. One of the papers in its edition dated Jan 12, 2006 has criticized the Karnataka government for not implementing the Jaganath Shetty Commission (JSC) Report and put the emphasis on the earliest implementation of the same.
The second report published in another paper dated April 23, 2006 claims to have got its hands on a copy of the JS report. It goes on to say that the said report has found the Muslims of Bhatkal absolutely guilty for the riots of 1993 and claimed the active involvement of ISI in fomenting trouble. One needs to analyse this.
1 The commission has directly implicated Ajuman Hame-e-Muslimeen Bhatkal, an eminent institution of the Muslims, which under its umbrella runs educational institutes from Kindergarden to Engineering College.
2 A Muslim social welfare organization of Bhatkal ‘Lion Club’ has been also been accused held responsible for the riots.
3 The commission has also exonerated all the saffron organizations, namely BJP, Hindu Jaagran Vedike, VHP and RSS and BJP leaders Ananth Kumar and the late Dr Chittaranjan saying that no complaints have been received against these people and organizations from the Muslims.
Only the reports of the two aforesaid respected publications have been considered. Otherwise the list is endless as the local newspapers have left no stone unturned to defame the Muslims of Bhatkal. After deliberating over these reports the following points come to the fore:
1. Bhatkal is being prepared as a riot zone, the local media are also striving hard to brainwash people and project the Muslims as villains so that whenever situation worsens there would be no one to even sympathize with the Muslims. And any losses to life and property incurred by the Muslims would be seen as justice for all the crimes purported to have been committed in the past by them.
2. The threat is not only to the life and property of the Muslims but even the educational institutions are being targeted so that the Muslims are deprived of the light of education.
3. Muslim youth are not allowed to form their youth organizations. They are either blacklisted or ostracized even as they are being formed, making the Muslims vulnerable.
The results of these reports was seen in the communal clashes few weeks back. However, destiny had other plans and this fire was extinguished very quickly. It seems that the few mischief-mongers were unable to instigate the peace loving people who are in the majority. The responsibilities of the civil society have only increased in such situations.
Hence the following requests are put forward, says the Sahilonline report:
1. JSC report is not an ordinary report, but a government report. If it is approved in the assembly then the innocent Muslims of Bhatkal will be unjustly prosecuted. The community’s responsibilties do not end with merely criticizing this report as communal. Unless this report is dismissed officially, the danger will always loom ahead for the Muslims. This could have been achieved easily in the Congress regime. Not only did the erstwhile regime not dismiss it, despite repeated reminders, but it went ahead and disappointed the Muslims to such an extent that after winning in both the assembly and parliament elections earlier, it lost it the next time around to BJP. BJP had entered parliament and the assembly for the first time post-1993 riots projecting the Hindus as insecure. They are trying to use the magic formula again this time around. The statement of Deputy CM given on April 1 in Manipal should also be seen in this perspective. In this whole incident one fundamental question that comes to mind repeatedly is what stopped people from making representations to the commission when the inquiry was under way. Was the commission given the importance that it deserved? Are we, the society then not responsible for the situation that we find ourselves in today, asks the Sahilonline report.
2. Educational institution have been targeted in this report. The community cannot accept that its kids from any educational institutions were anyway involved in the mischief. The community should stand by our belief and continue to strive in educating the young generation so that they may be able to generate love and affection in the hearts of others.
3. In conclusion the Sahilonlie report says Islam has also bestowed responsibilities with respect to non-Muslim neighbours. Muslims need to analyze if they have fulfilled it. Lessons must be learnt from the past in order to avoid altercation in the future.
SahilOnline, Report by staff reporter Abdul Mateen Muniri