Ganesh Chaturthi in ‘secular’ India!!


Senior Member
Jul 28, 2009
Vinayaka Chaturthi Festival for 2009 has just come to an end. Organised attacks on Vinayaka Chaturthi processions in different parts of Tamilnadu have become an expected ugly annual feature.

There were savage attacks on Vinayaka Chathurthi processions at Ooty, Kalpakkam, Tirupur, Palani, Muthupet, Marthal, Thiruvidamcode and many other places. In today’s story I am going to make a reference to the organised attacks on Vinayaka Chaturthi processions at Kalpakkam and Ooty to illustrate my point.
Why do such attacks take place on Hindu religious processions regularly? The reason is very clear. In our pseudo-secular State, the Muslim and Christian minorities enjoy an extra-ordinarily special status under Articles 25 to 30 of the Indian Constitution. The special minority rights enjoyed by these two religious groups are dictatorially denied by the State to the majority Hindus so much so that when Muslims let loose violence against peaceful Hindu processions, the police become passive spectators, giving the benefit of doubt to the Muslim aggressors.

The majority of peace loving Hindus have a strong feeling that the Police have been ‘politically’ (informally) instructed by the Government, in any ground situation where Hindu religious processions get wantonly attacked by the Muslim/Christian ‘minorities’, to treat every Hindu devotee participating in such processions as a criminal—even as a ‘History Sheeter’—-unless proved to the contrary! On the other hand to view every Muslim marauder participating in unprovoked attacks on Hindu processions as totally innocent unless proved to the contrary. I can prove this point by citing the example of recent disturbances in Ooty.

On the evening of August 30 2009 (Monday), violence broke out during the Viyayaka moorthy procession in Ooty town forcing the police to resort to lathi charge in order to bring the situation under control. To begin with, 44 vehicles carrying Ganesha moorthys went around Ooty town quite peacefully. Later when the Vinayaka procession was negotiating a bend at Manikundu, a sensitive area near the southern entrance of the municipal market, in a matter of seconds there was total chaos following unprovoked violence let loose by the Muslims of the area against the Hindus participating in the procession. Stones, tiles, slippers and tomatoes were pelted at the Hindu procession from inside the market. This happened despite the fact that Mr Kapil Kumar Saratkar, SP, Nilgiris was standing near the market entrance along with the police team, to take control of the arrangements.

K Srihari, president, Nilgiris District Shiv Sena and one of the organisers of the Vinayaka procession told me: ‘If only the police had entered the Municipal Market immediately after the Muslims inside started pelting stones and other objects against the Vinayaka procession, the situation could have been controlled immediately without leading to any disruption of Law and Order. It is a tragic fact that the Police watched the unprovoked and wanton Muslim attack for nearly 20 minutes, standing as helpless spectators. Only when the peaceful Hindu devotees, started retaliating in self-defence, the Police started lathi charging the Hindu protestors.’

Instead of taking immediate action to put down and control the violent Muslim elements inside the Ooty Municipal market, the Police stepped in only after the Hindu devotee started reacting in self-defence. Seeing the openly dictatorial, discriminatory and prejudiced anti-Hindu and pro-Muslim attitude of the Police, the Hindu organisers of the procession resorted to peaceful civil disobedience. They unloaded many Vinayaka idols from the trucks, placed them on the roads and refused to take them away. All attempts by the police to pacify them proved to be fruitless. Finally the cops loaded all the idols on the road into trucks and made arrangements to shift them to Kamaraj Sagar Reservoir for immersion.

As in Ooty, on 30 August 2009 there were also disturbances at Kalpakkam. There was a clash between the police and members of the Vinayaka procession over a dispute regarding the route to be taken during the immersion march. One person was injured and 2 policemen suffered injuries in the stone-throwing. The Police have said: “We had to chase away a group which resorted to road block”.

I spoke to Ram Gopalji, president of Hindu Munnani, about the recent disturbances during Vinayaka Chathurti processions in Tamil Nadu. He told me:’The Hindus in many areas felt very let down by the police. It is their fundamental right to demand full protection from the Police. They are justly condemning the Police for their failure to give protection to them.”
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