While Nupur Sharma faces threats from the band of radical Islamists and jihadists, we have witnessed another disturbing incident where a ‘filmmaker-cum-activist’ [please read anti-Hindu activist] named Leena Manimekalai exhibited extreme audacity of hurting religious sentiments of millions of Hindus by publishing poster, where she depicted a woman dressed in a costume portraying the Hindu goddess Kaali in a derogatory manner. To add insult to the injury, a flag of the LGBT community is seen in the background. What is the mission of Leena Manimekalai? Hurting religious sentiments of Hindus? Many critics see the poster as a ploy by this Toronto-based filmmaker to invite the ire of devotees. They believe it is an affront to Hindus as depicting a smoking goddess offends sentiments of innumerable devotees of Kaali. The filmmaker has been using her freedom of expression to make an anti-India stand. Commenting on this incident, research-scholar and analyst Peter Baum termed it as an anti-Indian act stating “There is undoubtedly a rise in anti-Indian behavior in the western media in my opinion driven by two political and one cultural issue”.
While Indian apex court judges had passed extremely objectionable remarks at Nupur Sharma held her ‘single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country [India]’ Islamist bigots as well anti-India and anti-Hindu jihadist thugs are giving instigation to people in waging jihad against Nupur Sharma, India and Hindus. As a result of such instigations, the gruesome case of beheading of Kanhiya Lal took place in Udaipur in India.
But, according to media reports, although Indian authorities are taking stern action against the killers of Kanhiya Lal, there are cases of death threats and extremely disturbing posts on social media targeting Nupur Sharma, and those who are either defending her or condemning barbaric actions of radical Islamic bigots in India.
Commenting on the Nupur Sharma case, Prafulla Ketkar, editor of The Organiser wrote:
“The Nupur Sharma controversy is refusing to die down. Despite her suspension and apology for a reactionary threat of quoting the Hadith about the life incidents of the founder of Islam, blatant death threats continue to flash. Even a forward of posts in her support resulted in two brutal killings”.
“…Hindu society rightly asks whether the country would be run by the Constitution or with the Sharia laws? The question is correct, but the answer has to be found in the democratic system. Awakening through Sanatana is essential in this regard. Respecting all ways to be true is the fundamental principle of Sanatan Hindu society. Unfortunately, since colonial times, the State structures and intellectual space have disregarded this strength and created the legal framework to undermine the Sanatan Dharma. While building a united strength and teaching everyone to be respectful towards all ways of worship, Hindus also need to develop intellectual power to articulate, defend, and modify the academic and legal space wherever necessary”.
There is madness centering Nupur Sharma and radical Islamic jihadist entities such as Al Qaeda and Islamic State have already picked-up this issue with the nefarious agenda of spreading seeds of jihad within Muslim nations and Muslim societies throughout the world, including India. Let us not forget, while according to media reports, India’s population will surpass that of China by 2023, it is well anticipated that it will actually result in alarming rise in the Muslim population, majority of whom are already brainwashed with anti-Hindu and anti-Semite notion. We also need to remember, in India, Tablighi Jamaat and Quranic madrassas are allowed to freely operate although Tablighi Jamaat is known as the antechamber of jihad and madrassas as breeding grounds of jihadists. With such alarming ground realities, we need to feel worried at the case of a man identifying himself as Salman Chisti and making announcement of giving away his house and property as reward to anyone who would behead former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma for her “controversial remarks” on the Prophet of Islam. In the video statement, which went viral, Salman Chisti can be heard saying: “I swear on my God, mother and children…I will give away the house and property to anyone who beheads Nupur Sharma”.
This case of Salman Chisti reminds me of the incident when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution issued fatwa or religious edict that called on Muslims to assassinate Salman Rushdie, after his book titled ‘Satanic Verses’ was condemned as blasphemous, forcing him into hiding. Back in 2016, Reuters report said, Iranian hardliners said Khomeini’s “decree is irrevocable and eternal after his death”. The report further said, a wealthy Iranian religious organization offered US$2.70 million reward to anyone carrying out the fatwa and in 2012 it increased the amount to US$3.30 million. Similarly, few more organizations and wealthy individuals in Iran had also offered bounty for the head of Salman Rushdie.
With the massive growth in the size of Muslim population in India and with presence of thousands of illegal Rohingyas from Myanmar, it is not a wild speculation that many radical Islamic jihadist outfits such as Al Qaeda and Islamic State, as well as terrorist entities run by the Pakistani spy agency Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) may encourage people to hunt-down Nupur Sharma and behead her in exchange for hefty amount of reward. It is also possible that Tablighi Jamaat and those madrassas in India may continue giving instigation to Muslims in targeting Nupur Sharma and those who support or defend her.
As a counterterrorism expert with knowledge of around two and half decades, I think Nupur Sharma’s life is at serious risk. She clearly has become a prime target of jihadists, religious bigots as well as anti-India and anti-Hindu elements. It is our common responsibility to protect her – stand in her defense in the loudest voice.