This report deals with the Muzzafarnagar episode of communal hate mongering, the underlying concerns that it raises for our society in general and the reaction of Student bodies like AISA and SFI that followed suit.

On  24th August ,  a media clip took the political climate of the country by storm as it brought  into picture the visceral steeping of hate mongering in an educational setup in Muzzafarnagar, Uttar Pradesh. 

The video that stirred the controversy featured two adults — one who still remains to be identified and the other being Tripti Tyagi along with a 7 year old Muslim boy who has been at the receiving end of physical and verbal abuse amongst his classmates, his identity remains undisclosed due to privacy  concerns. The video showed her instigating physical harm to a Muslim student by ordaining fellow students to slap him. To further accentuate the issue the teacher has also been recorded openly inciting a derogatory religious commentary .  

The incident was reported from Neha Public School , in Khubbapur District under Mansurpur Police Station jurisdiction , it was uploaded on social media by the cousin of the 7 year old Muslim boy who has been at the receiving end of the violation .

The video spurred immediate reaction pouring in from the spectrum of political enthusiasts . Calls were made for immediate action to be taken against Tripti Tyagi for inciting violence and discrimination against Muslims in the context of increasing religious intolerance in the country . The Students’ Federation of India (SFI) issued its statement and called out the ‘sangh priwar’ for this national disgrace, urging the Supreme Court to take immediate action against this and called for a week long nationwide campaign from 28th August to 5th September against the hate politics . All India Students’ Association (AISA) urged people to raise their voices for justice and humanity through the protest they organized on 26th August at 6 pm from Gupta Chowk to Arts Faculty for the immediate arrest of Tripti Tyagi . AISA DU Vice President Aditya addressed the gathering by saying  “Tripta Tyagi is a symptom of the hatred that BJP has spread across the country. They have created a community of criminals and they take pride in it . We the students of the country will fight this battle against communalism head on and bear the torch for secularism.”

Various political parties have laid out their strong worded statements for the same with heated arguments pouring on the social media site X .  While the essence of the incident might have felt a little muddled in the political blame game of the ruling and the opposition class , open solicitations were made regarding the discrimination the 7 year old student had faced and the need for suo moto action . In his statement , Circle Officer Ravishankar has assured that the police was actively following up on the incident and actions regarding the same would be issued soon on 25th August , 2023.

Basic Shiksha Adhikari, Shubham Shukla also assured that the person and the institution would both be brought under question following the incident . The Bal Kalyan Samiti initiated counseling for the associated children and parents. While a number of political representatives assembled in Muzzafarpur to give their statements and support poured out from pan India, Tripti Tyagi took to social media via a video message where she is seen asking for forgiveness with folded hands.  She asserts that the boy refused to do his homework and her being physically unfit she asked a fellow student to slap him as his parents had themselves requested to be strict with the child. The child’s father upon being interviewed has ascertained that there has been no religious angle but just harassment of his child by physically violating him . 

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights Chairperson, Priyank Kangnoo said instructions have been issued to take action on this matter. While there is an ongoing investigatio , a second investigation has also been launched after the victim’s family agreed to file complaint following initial hesitation .

The way the issue blew up connotates the various underlying notions of how religious paranoia seeps into a society that boasts of its diversity.  The very fact that learning institutions  meant to foster harmony could instead promote hate mongering in young vulnerable minds is both disturbing and concerning, but to have a populace that suffers from it simply based on their religious identity is nothing but pitiful for any nation. 

Another evident problem that this issue brought into picture is the spread of misinformation and the way it is milked by interested parties in their favour. The viral social media clip had people giving out death threats and hate comments in X threads even before all the facets of the issue were made public . While political parties jostled over the blame game , the voice of the actual victim seemed somewhat subdued .


Read also: https://dubeat.com/2020/02/25/du-gathers-to-protest-against-communal-violence-in-north-east-delhi/


Image credits :  AISA 


Priya Shandilya

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How many times has the sight of men clad in skull caps instilled a sense of fear in you? What makes the recitation of Quran and the offering of Namaz in public places an astounding spectacle? To answer these questions well, retrospectively, it is important to understand what Islamophobia is.

Islamophobia, as the name suggests, is the irrational and unfounded fear of Muslims and/or Islam, often times used as a political rhetoric. The term surfaced in the late twentieth century, only to reach an unprecedented peak, post the 9/ 11 terrorist attacks. The perpetrators of the same were 19 men affiliated to Al-Qaeda, a militant Islamist organisation. Having mentioned the involvement of an Islamist group in this dreadful act, it became all too inevitable for the Muslim community as a whole to not be viewed under the same radar as terrorists. Treated just as such since, their community has been under tremendous pressure from agencies all across the globe.

Their blatant ostracism from the mainstream affairs of the world is not a pleasant sight to behold. US President, Donald Trump, openly campaigning for an absolute ban on Muslims entering The States is a sickening ploy, more so because it was a political propaganda camouflaged as a mitigation measure against rebellion. He garnered an unbelievably huge response to his unlikely candidacy at the presidential elections by fanning the already seething flames of hostility towards Islam in the US.

Prominent American Muslim, Edward Mitchell IV of the Council on American-Islamic Relations told Al Jazeera that it is one thing to read anti-Muslim rhetoric on the internet or to see it on Fox News and it is an other thing to hear it from the president of the United States. The same can be said about Theresa May, only she does not out rightly admit to racism. Theresa May, Prime Minister of The United Kingdom turned a deaf ear to the incessant wailing of Muslim worshippers, celebrating Ramdaan at London’s Finsbury Park Mosque, when a white van swerved sharply off the road and slammed into the crowd, killing one and injuring at least eight others. However, earlier in the same year when jihadists orchestrated an attack on London, in which eight people were killed, May was infuriated and issued a statement saying that there was far too much tolerance of Islamist extremism in the UK and announced civil liberties restriction. What May did in the latter, was indeed the right thing to do to in order to safe guard the interests of her citizens, however, the lack of reciprocal prosecution in the former suggests bigoted sentiments of the Prime Minister towards Islam.

The present day plight of Rohingya Muslims, the most vexed ethnic Muslim community in the world, is nothing short of horrific. Having to flee away from Myanmar, their home land, they find themselves negotiating the terms of refuge in neighboring nations, having to live without an identity, for what seems like an indefinite period of time. Mob lynching cases in India have been on the rise since the BJP government attained power in 2014, not to mention, the categorical slaughter of Muslim men under the pretext of beef consumption and cow annihilation. Pehlu Khan, Mohammad Aklaq, and Junaid Khan, are a few names out of a couple hundred that resonate with indignation and lost pride.

World domination as against a particular community, based on the suspicion of radical ties of a few with certain established militant organisation, is an extremely poor choice, especially when we are living in a polar world, where the dissemination of information is the freehold of media houses, a privilege which ought to be exploited, like all others. “If I was not a Muslim and all I knew about Islam is what I saw in the evening news, I might be afraid of Muslims too,” says Mitchell to Al Jazeera, highlighting the deplorable state of moral policing in media and print stations.

It is important to separate religious affiliations from counter terrorism. Terrorism is not the sole propriety of a particular community. The sinful acts of a few radical extremists should not lead the remaining 1.6 billion into apologetic surrender. It is the job, not just of the government but also of the masses to scrutinise the current scenario and come up with a mechanism to weed out the rotten lot and save Islamism of religious defamation.


Feature Image Credits: The Express Tribune Blog

Lakshita Arora
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