Every Hindu festival these days arrives like a first punch that starts a nationwide bar fight. This past week’s pan-India brawl is a “celebration” of Ram Navami in which many pious and proud Hindu men get to unwind by bullying and beating up Muslims. There were reports of such violence in Maharashtra, Bihar, West Bengal, Gujarat, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh. Two people died, and the situation remains tense across several states.
For the second consecutive year, Ram Navami, which overlaps with Ramzan, became an excuse for Hindu mobs—high on potent mood-altering substances like rhetoric, hate and unemployment—to vandalise mosques, cut the beard of an imam for refusing to chant “Jai Shri Ram,” and to accost Muslim citizens. This is India under the Modi administration, at her ugly and malevolent best, with a terribly banal tendency to fixate on myths.
Not a single official from the top brass of Modi administration has come out to condemn the unadulterated hate speech and hate crimes that are committed in the name of gods. The irony that this is done in the name of the “maryada purushottam” Lord Ram—the ideal king, husband, brother, son—seems lost on them.