Bangladesh Durga Puja Incident and Singhu Border Case discussion.
I like to read books while eating. But my hands are often dirty because I’m eating with them. So sometimes food gets on the pages and ruins them. Or sometimes I read my favorite book while lying on the sofa, these are common things for me. And I think you would also consider them quite normal.
But in either of these situations, if a replace the normal book by reading a Holy Book it would’ve wreaked havoc. Because many people consider doing these things to the Holy Books is very disrespectful. It would’ve become a case of Sacrilege. Sacrilege means to disrespect a sacred or Holy thing. In the last few days, friends, there have been 2 major incidents where allegedly, some people committed sacrilege. And horrifying violence broke loose. Come, let’s find out more about both these incidents.
Singhu Border Case
And let’s try to understand the issue of Sacrilege in a broader sense. The first incident took place on 15th October’s morning, when 35-year-old Lakhbir Singh gets brutally murdered near a farmer’s protest site on the Singhu border. He is murdered in such a brutal way one hand and one leg are chopped off and it is all recorded on video. Multiple videos of this incident went viral on social media. And post mortem report shows that there were 37 injury marks on his body. And his death was due to excessive bleeding. It is being alleged that Lakhbir Singh had allegedly disrespected one of the Holy Books of the Sikhs.
Some people claim that this book was the Sarbloh Granth while others claim that it was the Guru Granth Sahib. You’d ask, “How was the Holy Book disrespected?” Regarding this, The Print media talked to many people on the ground. A leader of the Nihang Sikhs, Jathedar Raja Raj Singh says that this Holy Book was actually found in the dustbin.
Another Nihang, Ranjot Singh, the guard of the area, said that Lakhbir Singh was running away with the Book and he ran for about 500 meters before he was caught. Another Nihang, Balwinder Singh says that matchsticks were found in his pocket. And he would’ve set the Book on fire had he not been stopped in time. So there was no clear-cut, single answer here from the people present on the ground.
But who was Lakhbir Singh? Lakhbir Singh was a 35-year-old Dalit laborer. Living in a village in Punjab. When he was only 6 months old, his parents passed away. His sister and he were then adopted by their aunt Mahinder Kaur and uncle Harnam Singh. He was married to Jaspreet Kaur. She says that though he never fought with her, he was in the habit of abusing drugs and alcohol. He had promised Jaspreet Kaur that he would get rid of his habit. But he did not. So Jaspreet left him. And was living with her family. They have three daughters. And Lakhbir had no criminal records. The family members of Lakhbir Singh deny any Sacrilege. They claim that Lakhbir Singh was a practising Sikh. And visited the Gurudwara twice every day. So he could never disrespect the Holy Book in such a manner. So his family members have demanded a high-level investigation into this case so that the truth behind what had actually happened could be unearthed. The people from Lakhbir’s village suspect that he was a drug addict. Whereas Jathedar Raja Raj Singh of the Nihangs alleges that there is a conspiracy of the BJP-RSS involved.
He claims that Lakhbir Singh was allegedly given ₹30,000 to get him to disrespect their Holy Book. The Tribune newspaper has published a sensational news report about it. That the members of the Nihang group that have allegedly murdered Lakhbir Singh, the head of that Nihang group, Aman Singh, had a secret meeting with the BJP politicians. Some of the photos of this meeting went viral on social media. And Aman Singh later admitted that some BJP politicians promised to give him ₹1 million and some horses if he could vacate the farmers from their protest site. Ending the farmers’ protest. But he claims to have rejected this offer. In the beginning, some people had also claimed a Dalit angle to this incident.
That Lakhbir Singh was attacked since he was a Dalit. But this angle wasn’t true. Because the accused, who have apparently attacked him, that have murdered him, are also Dalits. Farmers’ group Samyukta Kisan Morcha have said that they have no connection to this case. Neither with the victim nor with any accused. They’ve stated that it was wrong to disrespect the Holy Book, but to take the law into one’s hand is equally wrong. And they have demanded a lawful investigation into it.
But perhaps the most shocking thing in this incident is that the accused, Sarabjit Singh and Narayan Singh, show no form of remorse regarding this incident. “I accept what I did, I have no regrets.” He does not feel sorry for killing someone. Because he claims it was justified as the Holy Book was disrespected. His family and relative think similarly. In fact, a similar sentiment was seen in many people on social media.
Justifying murder, he says that it was their duty to protect the Holy Book. Here, the 2015 Sacrilege case is brought up again and again. The group claims that since the government and the police took no action in the 2015 case, they took the law into their own hand and did what they wanted to. Lakhbir Singh’s family members point out a very important thing here. That even though Lakhbir Singh had committed no sacrilegious act, had not disrespected the Book, but for argument’s sake, even if you believe that he did it, did it mean that Lakhbir should’ve been killed? In which Holy Book is it written that one is allowed to kill someone disrespecting the Holy Book?
Journalist Abhisar Sharma had an apt thing to say regarding this. “Whether the victim is Kamlesh Tiwari or Lakhbir, fanaticism can lead us only on the path of destruction. And people justifying violence are killers of the future, nothing else. “Let’s come back to this point later.
Bangladesh Durga Puja Incidents
Let’s talk about the second incident that took place in Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, some videos went viral on social media where it was shown that someone had put the Muslim Holy Book, Qur’an in the lap of a Hindu God, Hanuman. The statue of Hanuman was present in the shrine for the Durga Puja festival.
When this video went viral on Facebook, a crowd of more than 500 people gathered in Comilla and neighboring districts. And it was a furious crowd. Because they believed that the Qur’an was disrespected. An incident of Sacrilege. This mob attacked Hindu temples. And vandalized them. Stones were thrown and the idols of Hindu Gods were broken. This violence continued through Friday and Saturday and more than 150 people were injured. And 3 were killed. They were Hindus.
After this, the government deployed paramilitary troops to 22 districts. And some policemen were also injured when the mob attacked them. So in retaliation, the police started firing into the mob.
Because of this, four people were killed, they were Muslims. Md. Faridul Khan, the State Minister for Religious Affairs, said that the incident with the Qur’an will be investigated. But at the same time, communal harmony needs to be protected as well. And people should not take the law into their hands. Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has promised that action would be taken against the people that have committed the violence, and the religion they belong to would not matter.
Here I’m reminded of a dialogue from the film PK. Isn’t it crazy how all these people believe that God created humans but still, some of these people believe that it is their duty to protect God.
To protect the Holy things of God. Is your God so weak? that any person can come and harm Him? Or disrespect Him? And if He is this weak, how will He protect humans? And if He isn’t so weak, He doesn’t need protection from humans. Some people may say that others do not understand their religious sentiments. That if their religion is attacked, it is obvious that they would feel hurt. And equally obvious that they would want to retaliate to teach them a lesson. “Suppose someone disrespects your parents, wouldn’t you feel hurt? Would you not like to teach that person a lesson?” It is true.
But I wouldn’t murder someone for it. If someone disrespects my parents. Both these alleged incidents of Sacrilege, are teaching us something. First, I’d like to ask you. Why do you think that incidents of Sacrilege are so problematic? Now, let me tell you my opinion. But you should write first and then hear me out.
The Problem of Sacrilege
In my opinion, the first 2 reasons are very obvious. The common sense, that it is morally wrong. To kill someone merely because he showed disrespect, irrespective of how sacred or Holy the thing is, to kill someone because of the disrespect shown, it is common sense that it is stupidity. And the second reason is also very obvious. It is legally wrong to do so.
To take the law into one’s hands. But the reasons other than these, are quite interesting. Just think about it, friends, if everyone in the country becomes so agitated in cases of Sacrilege, how easy it would be for a politician to start riots in the country? They could simply pay off any random person to go and keep something in a temple or in a masjid, people would become agitated on their own and would start rioting on their own.
For any terrorist, to cause rebellions in the country to destroy the entire situation of the country, would be so easy if people started becoming agitated so easily. Someone could use this to trick the people into fighting. By making such videos viral. Showing the Qur’an being disrespected, or the idols of Gods being disrespected.
“Wake up and take arms!”
And reacting like this will be detrimental to you as well. If you join a rioting mob, the police will use force on you too. What happened in Bangladesh’s incident? After the riots broke out, the police tried to control the mobs and some of the rioters were also killed. What happened in the incident with the Sikhs? Some people ruined their own lives. And now they’ll waste their lives in jail and for what?
They believe, for their God. But is it said in the Guru Granth Sahib that one should take part in such violence? Absolutely not.
In fact, quite the opposite has been said. There’s a story that Guru Nanak went to Kurukshetra during an eclipse. During an eclipse, according to religious norms, cooking food or eating is prohibited. But not only was Guru Nanak cooking food, but he was cooking deer meat. When people got to know about it, they gathered there and started beating him up. Saying that he was trying to end their faith. And do you know how Guru Nanak answers them? Saying that if they want to kill him, they may do that, but first, they should think if it is a sin to kill a deer during an eclipse, how big would be the sin to kill a human?
People need to think about this. Those people that think that a person eating beef for example is such a sinner that they would be justified in killing him? Or if someone disrespects a Holy Book, they would go kill a person because of that. Similarly, Prophet Muhammed had said while reciting the Qur’an, that if you kill one innocent, then it is as if you have killed the entire mankind. Often these religious people forget to read their own religious texts and follow them.
All these Holy Books, the meaning of these Books is in the message they try to give. The values you get by reading these books. Not the physical pages of these Books neither the words printed on them. Those words have no value of their own if you read them but do not follow their message. At the same time, if the Book is physically burnt or torn it does not kill the message in it. As long as you’ve absorbed the message and you spread the message to others. This physical Book is merely a tool to teach you the message. Even in the absence of this tool, there are many ways to spread the message.
Finally, the last reason in my opinion. About why the Sacrilege cases are so problematic. Because for every individual Sacrilege has a different meaning. Keeping the Qur’an on the lap of the idol of Hanuman, is sacrilege for some people. Some people get offended seeing this. While on the other hand, for others it is the message of communal harmony. An example of how two religions live together harmoniously. It can be interpreted in this way too, can’t it? It depends on the mentality of the observer how he interprets it. And exactly for this reason, some people consider the violence in their religion as protection.
They find many reasons for justification. But when they see the same violence in other religions, they see it as terrorism. You know what I’m talking about, right? When I was reading the comments on this Bangladesh Durga Puja incident, most of the people, almost every person requesting a video on it, was a Hindu.
Because Hindus are being attacked here. Hardly had a Muslim person requested a video on it. But when Muslims are attacked in Palestine, then Muslims request a video on it. But the Hindus remain silent. When the Sikhs are attacked by the Taliban, most of the Sikhs ask you to raise your voice against it. But when cases like Lakhbir Singh’s come up, then most of the Sikhs lose their voice.
And indirectly, some people support it too. When Tabrez Ansari and other lynchings occur in the country since the mob lynching was done by Hindus, most Hindus remain silent about it. Muslims ask you to raise your voice against it. Stop looking at murderers and victims from an angle of religion. And look at the humans. The good news is that fortunately, not everyone is like this. Many Muslims have raised their voice against the Bangladesh case. Against the violence. And some Muslims have come forward to protect the shrines.
Similarly, when Tabrez Ansari was lynched, many Hindus had raised their voices against it. Additionally, the government of Bangladesh has taken strict actions against the rioters. As a human, look at the humanity in other humans.
Thank you very much!