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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Top Ten Responses of Hindus and Muslims to ‘Communal’ Questions

Both Hindus and Muslims are humans, but both think and react differently.  One over-reacts and other deflects. Although, we all know some of the reasons why the two communities react differently, it is psychologists who can offer comprehensive analysis for the same. There are historical reasons for the contrast in behaviour of the two communities.  

1.) Tell Hindus that a temple has been desecrated. Hindus will say that it is all because of politics. Politicians hatch such conspiracies to garner votes. Common Muslims don’t break temples. Protests, if any, would be organized by local units of the much-maligned Hindutva organizations and soon fizzle out after perfunctory assurances by police & administration 

Tell Muslims that a mosque or Koran has been desecrated. Even before the veracity of the allegation can be established, a violent mob would gather, attack bystanders and police, destroy public property until the administration bends to Muslim diktats.

2.) Tell Hindus that a Hindu girl has been trapped, forcefully converted & married by a Muslim in a case of Love Jihad. Hindus will first deny Love Jihad. They will say that the girl is adult and has full freedom to choose her life partner. When proved that it indeed is a case of Love Jihad or that the girl is minor, Hindus will start finding faults with the girl’s family and say things like the girl may have eloped because of dysfunctional background. For example, her father may be alcoholic. 

Tell Muslims that a Muslim girl has married a Hindu. Maulanas would immediately issue fatwa against the girl. Threats would be issued to the boy’s parents. Either the girl would be forced to return to her parent’s home or the boy would be forced to convert. 

3.) Tell Hindus that many verses of the Koran are directed against non-Muslims. They will not believe you. They will ask for proof. When you show them proof in form of the actual verses, they still are in denial. Some may say that it is not real Koran, others that it is a wrong interpretation of those verses. 

We will have to skip this one as Hindus don’t have a sacred book that teaches hatred for people of other faiths. Even then, many Muslims have no compunction about mocking sacred Hindu symbols like Shivling, denigrating our devi-devatas, or using ancient texts like Manu Smriti to show how ‘oppressive’ Hinduism is. Many Hindus wouldn’t even know how to counter these bigots, for eg. by calmly explaining that (a) the Manusmriti is a 2000-year-old scripture of historical importance and not a relevant contemporary document that any practising Hindu follows today (b) Manusmriti is far more progressive than other social/religious/legal codes established around that time. The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche deemed it “an incomparably spiritual and superior work” to the Bible.

4.) Show Hindus a movie that makes fun of Hindus or Hindu Gods. They play it down stating that it is fiction, movie is not a reality. Some will support such movies in the name of freedom of expression. 

Dare to make a movie that is critical of Islam or makes fun of Muslims. The whole Muslim world would be up in arms. Large scale violence would be reported from different cities of the world. 

5.) Show obscene paintings of Hindu deities to Hindu. They would either turn their heads away in discomfort, or say it is artistic freedom. 

Dare to make a cartoon on Islam and fundamentalist Muslims will take away your life. 

6.) Tell Hindus that the government employs Muslims and Christians in Hindu temples but hires no Hindu in Muslim institutions like the Waqf board (Christian institutions are anyway a law unto themselves and completely out of Government control). They will say that two wrongs do not make a thing right. Muslims have a right to livelihood. Instead of seeking their removal from temples, it would be good if Hindus are hired in Waqf boards. 

Unfortunately, as no Hindus are employed in Waqf boards or any other religious institution, we skip this one too. Moreover, it is not beyond anyone’s imagination that Muslims would never allow Hindus to manage their religious affairs. 

7.) Tell Hindus that a Hindu has been lynched by Muslims. They will say Aum Shanti. And then they will lament the loss of life and bemoan how times have changed. 

Tell Muslims that a Muslim has been lynched. They will decide a day, usually Friday, and after attending the Friday prayers take out massive protests and indulge in stone pelting. 

8.) Tell Hindus that a cow has been raped by a Muslim. Hindus will say that the person who has raped a cow may be suffering from some mental disorder. They too have Muslim friends and they have not found them raping a cow. 

Since Muslims don’t have any sacred animal, we will skip comparison for this one. 

9.) Tell Hindus that beef meat has been mixed with mutton meat by Muslim butchers and the usual response would be butchers in their locality have not done it so far. Ask them, if they would boycott such shopkeepers if concrete evidence were provided. They would respond stating that such anti-social elements should be punished by the state. Ask Hindus why they consume halal meat and not jhatka (a far-less painful way of slaughtering an animal), and they would just shrug their shoulders.  

Not a single incident has been reported so far where Hindus have mixed pig meat and sold it to Muslims. Moreover, Muslims don’t purchase from Hindu butchers as they only eat halal meat (meat from animals butchered as per Islamic law, to the accompaniment of Islamic prayers). However, whenever news of pig meat found near the premises of a mosque has been reported, Muslims have indulged in violence. 

10.) Now this one is classic. Tell Hindus that a Hindu community has fled fearing harassment or attacks from their Muslim neighbours. Hindus would immediately blame those other Hindus for being cowards and not come to their rescue.

Tell Muslims that Muslims of a specific locality have fled fearing harassment or attack from Hindus (a very rare phenomenon). Muslims across the country would rise in protest, and fundamentalists will avow revenge and execute serial blasts to level the score.


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