India faces confusion over communal harmony once again

Communal disturbances in India are nothing new. While we are proud to be in a diverse country with an array of religions, culture and tradition, it has also brewed hatred and disparity among fellow brothers and sisters.

Three people were arrested on the day of Bhoomi Pujan for sharing posts on social media which was not friendly for every community in India.

The laying down of foundation of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya has invited mixed reactions from Indian. Lord Ram is widely worshipped in North India and the Babri Masjid and Ram Mandir struggle is a long on that finally ended in 2019 November. The Supreme Court after the hearing passed the judgment that the land must be used for building the Ram Mandir while an alternate 5 acres land was offered to build a mosque.

On 5th August, the foundation was laid in Ayodhya in the celebration of Bhoomi Pujan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled to Ayodhya on 5th morning. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath too was invited to the ceremony. Due to being tested COVID-19 positive, Home Minister Amit Shah could not attend the Bhoomi Pujan.

Mixed reactions to the celebration included congratulatory elation to criticism for the step to organize the Bhoomi Pujan during coronavirus pandemic.

While questioning the government is the right of a citizen, it must not be misconstrued as an opportunity to spread communal hate or belittle a community or religion’s beliefs. Because these are considered crimes under the constitution. Questioning whether the move to build the temple now during COVID-19 crisis is practical is a good question to ask but undermining the entire project of building the temple is offensive and ignorant.

As an offender to this crime, 3 people, including a doctor was arrested in Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh. Kunwar Gyananjay, Additional Superintended of Police were tipped off about some people in the clinic of Dr Aleem who were forwarding Whatsapp messages and tweeting comments which not in favour of communal peace and harmony and which questioned national integrity.

On reaching the concerned clinic, three people were seen involved in cybercrime. Dr.Aleem, Kamruddin and Sahib Alam were arrested for their actions.

Sahib Alam is closely linked with PFI (Popular Front of India) and is media in charge of Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI).  But Dr Aleem, along with Kamruddin were part of the SDPI Whatsapp group. A deeper probe is underway to find their connection with PFI and SDPI. The three apparently met at the medical clinic to run an anti-secular campaign against the construction of the Ram Mandir and Ayodhya and hence partook in sharing posts and tweets over WhatsApp that were abusive and insensitive towards a particular community and culture.

Another similar incident happened in Lucknow where a 30-year-old madrasa teacher, Abdul Majeed was arrested for sharing similar kind of insensitive messages. The probe is underway to find out any link between Abdul Majeed and PFI.

While it is one’s right to question the Government’s moves, it is a criminal offence to plan and plot against one community. It is offensive and punishable by law. These four individuals could be the very few of a large group of people who are actively hurting the religious sentiment of an entire community.

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