Hate speech seems to have become an alternative hobby for members of the ruling party. After Suresh Tiwari, BJP MLA from Uttar Pradesh’s Deoria district asked the residents from his constituency to boycott members from the Muslim community, another BJP MLA, Brij Bhushan Rajput from the Uttar Pradesh’s Charkhari constituency has threatened a Muslim vegetable vendor asking him not to make any sales in the area.
In the video which has now gone viral, Rajput can be seen asking the vendor for his name. All the while the vendor kept saying his name was ‘Rajkumar’, Rajput and a neighbour who allegedly shot the video, continuously kept asking the man to reveal his real name. Sensing a threat to the vendor’s life after Rajput said, “Naam kya hai bete, tu bol, sahi bol. Tu bolega, tera baap bach jaayega” (You tell me his name, son. Tell me his correct name. Only if you do, will your father will be safe), a minor who was accompanying the him revealed the man’s name to be Azizur Rahman and told Rajput, “Chhod do, uncle. Ab nai karenge. Jaane do (Let us go, uncle. We won’t do it again. Let us go.)”
Hearing this, Rajput exclaimed, “Saala jhooth bol raha thaa Musalmaan hokay (You were lying about being a Muslim).”
As the vendor and the minor turned to leave, Rajput was heard shouting, ““Dikh mat jaana yahan mohallay main nahin toh maar maar ke theek kar denge (Do not be seen in this locality again else we will thrash you).”
He was also heard screaming, “Musalmaan hoke apna Hindu naam bata raha hai. Jhoot bolke ye log sabzi bech rahe hain (He’s giving a Hindu name despite being a Muslim. They’re lying and selling vegetables).”
After the video came out, Rajput confirmed that it was indeed him who had reprimanded the vendor because he was lying. He also said that everyone knew that coronavirus was spreading through the “jamaatis”, referring to those Muslims who attended the Tablighi Markaz congregation. He said also said that post the Tablighi Jamaat news, everyone was trying to be cautious of them.
He also said that he scolded at the man because he was lying about his name. In the video, he also gave the wrong name of the vendor citing it to be Rahimuddin, when it was Azizur Rahman. He also said that minor accompanying the vendor wasn’t wearing masks and gloves even when there were government directives issued for the same. However, in the video Rajput himself hasn’t been seen wearing masks and gloves.
According to a report by News18 Hindi, the MLA said that the government should issue identity cards to those who are involved in the supply of essential commodities to make sure that they are not associated with Pakistan or their Inter-Services Intelligence.
Hate speech against the Muslims has seen a sharp rise post the media vilification of the Tablighi Jamaat members. The news of Muslims being ostracized has been coming in from all quarters of the country. It is not just the politicians who are indulging in hate speech and spreading communal violence, but also the members of civil society who are targeting Muslims for spreading the coronavirus. The seeds of apathy have been sown and are now sprouting to reap hate at a time when we need equality the most.
This story first appeared on sabrangindia.in