Reflection of Islamic hegemony and failure of the state to protect interests of true minorities in Chennai

TS Venkatesan

The recent selective and suo moto action by the TN police with the official blessings against Jain bakery is yet another blatant misuse of law and a case of Islamic hegemony which has supreme influence over our police and administration.

Both the Dravidian parties viz DMK and AIADMK have a common agenda of minority appeasement, stifling majority voices, denying their fundamental rights enshrined in Constitution, sharing corrupt booties. When not in power, it would oppose action of the ruling party for namesake and would remain silent. They never express concern and condemn if the victim is from the majority Hindu community. If it is a Muslim or Christian, they would release reams of statements demanding stern and immediate action even without verifying the facts. The satellite channels, owned by the political parties, would conduct debates with all sundries who masquerade as veteran journalists, social activists or from some letterhead organizations. The questions and participants are pre-set to suit their agenda.

The latest victim of “false phobia” is Jain bakeries and Confectioneries. It deals with online selling following the lockdown crisis. New Delhi based lawyer Rizwan Nizami had tweeted (on 8th May) with an image expressing anger that the bakery had claimed that it does not have any Muslims on their rolls.

BJP spokesperson and advocate A. Aswathaman said the T Nagar baker did not use eggs and prepare it as per Jain tradition. On seeing the advertisement, a Delhi based Muslim lawyer phone to Jain bakeries and asked whether they employ Muslim? To that, the owner replied that they employ only Jains. Rizwan had twisted this with a morphed image”.

The laywer Rizwan Nizami (@rizwanizami) tweeted that “Jain bakeries, No Muslim Staff. Welcome to a new normal”. There were slew of tweets condemning the Jain advertisement. One Hashim Khan said it openly ostracized Muslims in a whatsapp poster. The police then sealed the shop and arrested its owner 32 -year old Prashanth for outraging religious feelings. The traumatized prashanth refused to talk to anyone now.

Mumbai based advocate Chandni Shah filed a complaint with the cyber cell of Delhi police against Delhi based lawyer Rizwan Nizami for allegedly sharing a photo-shopped image of Jain Bakeries in T. Nagar.

Political analyst Jaya Krishna says “Parallels can be drawn from the Jain bakery incident with kangaroo courts. Rizwan had circulated a fake image, claiming Islamophobia. TN police sprang into action taking suo motu cognizance, the owner was arrested and let off with a warning. The owner after coming out on bail vacated his house after threats from anti -social elements.” Even the Mumbai based advocate could not reach him.

A BJP supporter pointed out on social media, “They knew after the Corona era, Hindus won’t shop with them. To nip it in the bud and to show their might, they have indulged in such things. Is sharia law in force in India? If Muslims were not employed’ was wrong, then why should an Imam issue a fatwa against Pathanjali and advising Muslims not to buy from it. The law that was silent at that time. Why is a case now being foisted against a Prashanth who is from the true minority community?”, he asked.

Aswathaman “The speed with which he was arrested showed it was pre planned. The TN police which did not take action against people who made threats and un-parliamentary words against PM Modi, BJP leaders and Hindu Gods, arrested the bakery owner for no fault of his.” He said In the name of enquiry, two members of Prasanth family were detained in a police station for two- days. “Why did they seal the bakery? What was the legal reason to do so? If a shop does not employ Muslims, can it be sealed? Are the Hindus second class citizens in their own soil? It is a clear case of suppression of basis rights. Even during the lockdown period, Muslims did open their shops. They never followed any quarantine rules and they publicly clashed with police and public.”, he said.

He further questioned, “Who will compensate Jain, a victim of false phobia? But one thing that came to light is the undue influence of halal. Hindus run eateries are being too threatened to display the Halal certificate and charge thousands of rupees for that. If forcing halal certification is not a crime then ‘no Muslim staff in Jain shop’ is lawful. Aswathaman urges that Instead of halal certification”. As per Tamilian tradition’” certification should be implemented. It gives people a choice to select their hotels “.

N Muthuramalingam, convener of the August 15 movement said, “Jain, Buddhists are part of Hindus. Don’t they have the right to do business as per their community? Why should they force Halal on Hindus? Muslims refused to come for check and opposed quarantine, lockdown rules? After the incidents of Muslims spreading Corona by spitting, throwing bottles with their urine and in all possible ways, people are cautious now.

BJP functionary Sekar asked whether the state run Aavin can sell its products with Muslim’s Halal mark? Is it secular? A Muslim body after ensuring Muslims involved in processing in Aavin gives certificate. In effect it deprives jobs for Hindus. It is a clear discriminatory labour practice. Hindus should oppose halal certification. It is not like ISO or BSI. In a secular country, Muslim can have a political party with a name Muslim league. They do business with ‘100 percent halal’ certification.”

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