Hindus living in Muslim-dominated areas in Malpura wards 12 and 21 of Tonk, Rajasthan placed posters outside their homes that they are being forced to leave due to a climate of fear & insecurity. In this town, 70 km west of Tonk, many Hindu families are now moving out after selling their houses and shops.
The exodus has been going on since 1992 and insecurity and fear amongst the Hindu society living near Muslim settlements has increased over time. Those fleeing were fleeced and their assets were ‘bought’ at throwaway prices by the Muslim community. It is a classic case of land jihad at work, which is often preceded by sexual assaults, petty crime, low-level rioting and targeted attacks on businesses, residential areas and places of worship.
On Sep 7th, almost 100 Hindus took out a poster march and submitted a memorandum to the Malpura SDM office, demanding justice. They then submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, requesting protection.
Hindu fears are not baseless since illegal meat markets have come up near temples and temple murtis are being shifted elsewhere. Jain and Hindu temples in the neighborhood have been forced to close following security concerns from the radicalised Muslim population.
The memorandum alleges assault on Hindus, molestation and physical abuse, sexual remarks, and other indecent treatment towards non-Muslim women living in Muslim-dominated areas. The exodus of 600 to 800 Hindu households who sold their homes and moved out of the region recently has been documented.
For the past many days, these families that remained in Malpura have been pleading with administrative and police personnel for protection but to no avail. They say that they are still there largely due to financial restrictions and not out of choice. Around 200 Hindu families have been begging protection from the administration for a long time.
Rather than help, the Congress government of Ashok Gehlot asked police to repeatedly remove posters from outside Hindu homes. But despairing Hindus put up fresh posters. The police are warning Hindus calling the act of hanging posters outside their houses an “act to disturb the communal harmony of the city”! The Malpura administration is trying to mute Hindu cries for help and warned the Hindus to remove such posters from their homes.
After Independence, 8 communal clashes occurred in Malpura and around 50 people lost their lives. In 1992, 25 people and in 2000, 13 people died. Two years ago, a curfew had to be imposed following communal unrest that was triggered by Muslims who threw stones at a Dussehra procession.
The plight of Hindus in Malpura shows that Kairana-like gradual exoduses are now becoming the norm rather than an exception. The events of Kashmir, 1990 also show how Hindus living in Muslim-majority areas are always at risk from believers of a supremacist religious ideology that especially dehumanizes ‘idol worshippers’ i.e murti-pujaks like Hindus.
If we go back before Indpendence, we find similarities with the 1921 genocide and exodus of Hindus from Moplah region (modern-day Malappuram and surrounding districts) when at least 10000 died in the pogrom unleashed by jihadis who wanted to establish an Islamic state. Then too, deities were hidden outside temples to protect them. Assets belonging to both Hindus and temples were usurped by the Moplahs, leaving even rich Hindus broke. After 100 years, history is repeating itself as Hindus refuse to learn their lessons.
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