In the light of recent events that have taken place since the last 4 years, speculation and rumoring have led to lynching of minorities and the marginalized sections of the society has become a norm. But it has assumed a new dimension altogether in Himachal Pradesh on the issue of presumed employment of some Rohingya refugees in Shimla.
The Hindutva groups and organisations across the region have begun their hate speeches which they wish to see culminating in polarization of the society ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
This got the tongues wagging and all sorts of rumours started doing the rounds with one of them saying that someone had seen United Nations identity cards on some people. This brought a much sought opportunity for organisations like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) that were quick to lap it up.
The VHP replied by a statement saying “Rohingya Muslims will not be accepted in the state at any cost. There are already hundreds of Bangladeshis living illegally in Himachal and arrival of Rohingyas will be a big security threat to the state. Their being brought to Shimla as employees points to a big conspiracy.”
The VHP threatened to launch an agitation if the Rohingyas were not sent back and action was not taken against the company that recruited them. The organisation demanded that the recruitment be done at the local level.
The most serious aspect of the issue has been that not even a single person has come forward to say that he or she had met any Rohingyas. Things came to a pass that Shimla Mayor Kusum Sadret had to issue a statement saying that no Rohingyas had been deployed for door to door garbage collection.
Over the last few years a hate campaign has been on in various districts of the state, particularly against the Muslims, by the right wing groups. In towns like Solan it is through sheer dint of hard work that the Muslim migrants have prospered as masons, plumbers along with other professionals required in the construction industry and also as those running the fruit and vegetable business. Most of them are from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
The right-wing organisations have been running a whispered campaign against them often provoking the unemployed locals against them saying that these migrants have usurped what is rightfully theirs. This campaign is backed by the general campaign being carried out by the across the country by the Hindutva organizations on issues like cow vigilantism etc.
Although there is hardly any Muslim population in the state, the agenda appears to keep a fear of minorities alive in the majority to achieve political goals.
Barring the Left that has a presence in small pockets, no other political force has come forward to condemn these attempts at communal polarisation. While this cannot be expected from the BJP, the Congress by trying to peddle soft Hindutva too is failing the people on this count.
This has left the minorities, particularly the Muslims including a large number of Kashmiris who work as labourers in the state, standing extremely vulnerable to the communal diatribe and insecurity that accompanies this campaign.
Such vicious campaigns are only expected to increase as the country heads towards the Lok Sabha polls.
With Inputs from Catchnews.com