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Blaming the Muslim

The police and the media's deep prejudice against Muslims lives on.

The bomb blasts in Hyderabad on 21 February were meant to cause maximum terror among the people of the city as they apparently had no target other than the ordinary citizens going about their daily lives. In their randomness these bomb blasts have successfully sowed insecurity and misgivings in the minds of the city’s residents.

The bomb blasts and their aftermath have only helped deepen communal divides in a city which has seen aggressive communal mobilisations and conspiracies over the past few years. As this journal had noted in earlier editorials (“Witches’ Brew in Hyderabad”, EPW, 1 December 2012; “Fifteen Minutes of Infamy”, EPW, 19 January 2013), there has been a concerted effort to reignite communal violence in Hyderabad, which has largely been free from it since L K Advani’s infamous Rath Yatra of 1990. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) affiliates like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have been in the forefront of stoking communal fires. Hindutva forces have been caught throwing beef into temples, attacking Muslims before Eid-ul Azha and trying to expand the illegal temple at Charminar’s base. The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, which had kept a relatively low profile over the past decade and more, has also adopted a shrill communal tone, as the recent speech by its leader Akbaruddin Owaisi illustrates. All these attempts to create communal divisions and spark violence have taken place in anticipation of a separate Telangana state which has kept the city and its surrounding regions in the throes of political uncertainty.

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