OPINION
Nowadays, In India Having A Muslim Name Is Dangerous
- Markandey Katju


I regret to say so but the truth is that nowadays having a Muslim name in India, like Tahir Hussain, is dangerous, being itself sufficient proof in the eyes of many of being guilty of a major crime like murder, rape, dacoity, arson, etc.

How else can one explain the hysterical condemnation without a trial, of a Delhi MLA Tahir Hussain (in pic), by most of the Indian public and the Indian media, behaving like the Roman mob after Caesar’s assassination, baying for the blood of Cinnna the poet, even if they could not get hold of Cinna the conspirator.

A FIR was filed by the father of the Intelligence Bureau officer Ankit Sharma, whose body was found with multiple injuries in a drain, accusing Tahir Hussain of the murder. It was alleged that Tahir Husain led a mob which killed Sharma. Videos went viral  showing Hussain holding a stick, and allegedly directing stone pelters from his terrace. It was alleged that stones, acid pouches and petrol-bombs were found in his house. 

Tahir Hussain, of course, has denied all these allegations, and has said that in fact he was trying to dissuade Muslim youth from violence. His house was invaded by a Hindu mob, and has now been sealed by the police, and he is now living elsewhere.
 
There is nothing to connect Hussain with the murder of Sharma. So it seems like a victim is being branded as a terrorist, all because he is a Muslim, and in addition is in Aam Aadmi Party. Karela aur neem chadha!

I was a lawyer for 20 years and a judge for another 20. So I am well aware of the functioning of the Indian police, about whom Justice A. N. Mulla of the Allahabad High Court had commented so eloquently. It is well known that the police in India nowadays is not a neutral, independent organisation (as it was meant to be), but has been politicized, and acts as directed by its political masters. It often fabricates false evidence and tutors witnesses, to get a conviction. The stones, acid pouches and petrol bombs may have all been planted and concocted.
 
The video which went viral showing Hussain with a stick is asserted as being conclusive proof of Hussain’s culpability. But a stick can be used both for offensive and defensive purposes.

The Central and State Government In UP are both controlled by the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) and the BJP is well known to be rabidly anti Muslim. So all kinds of false cases will be filed and registered against Muslims in India, and they may have to spend long years in jail, even if ultimately found innocent (e.g. the case of Nisar-ud-din who spent 23 years in jail on a charge of terrorism, before the Supreme Court found him innocent, or Amir who spent 14 years). 

Communalism was present in Indian society even before the BJP came to power in 2014, but thereafter it has increased exponentially, and society has become polarised. So having a Muslim name in India is nowadays dangerous.

 
Justice Markandey Katju is former Judge, Supreme Court of India and former Chairman, Press Council of India. 

 
 
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