Politics

Braveheart Richa Bharti Cocks A Snook At India’s Dhimmi State: More Power To Her

Richa Bharti (Richa Bharti/Facebook)
Snapshot
  • Isn’t it time India and the world stopped the attitude of dhimmitude? No one wants to stoke Islamophobia or anti-Muslim feelings in any society, but dhimmitude is not the way to achieve that.

The Richa Bharti case in Jharkhand has – once again – exposed the essential dhimmitude of the Indian state and its key actors, including the courts.

In a bizarre order yesterday (16 July), a Ranchi Judicial Magistrate (First Class), Manish Kumar Singh, ordered 19-year-old Richa Bharti to give five copies of the Quran to Anjuman Islamia and four other libraries while granting bail. She was asked to produce receipts as proof of having done so. And her 'crime' was nothing more than exercising free speech through a Facebook post that was allegedly critical of Muslims. She herself said that the post was about deporting Rohingya Muslims, and has since gone on record to say that she will not comply with the magistrate’s order.

The feisty young woman is quoted in The Times of India as saying this: “While I respect the court’s order, I will file an appeal in the high court as I believe that the right thing has not been done. Without going into specifics, I want to ask that while others may have posted many other things in the past, has anyone been asked to distribute the Bible or the Bhagawad Gita or visit a temple?”

Advertisement

Quite.

One wonders how it is possible to have much respect for a court that writes such an order in an issue of free speech. The order not only violates the constitutional right to free speech, but also the freedom of religion, for it essentially forces Richa to be an unwilling propagandist for the Quran and Islam by distributing copies.

Far from asking her to present copies of the Quran to various libraries, she should be gifting copies of the Constitution of India to the Ranchi judge, and others with similar mindsets.

Advertisement

This is dhimmitude, plain and simple, where agents of the state go out of their way to comply with what Islamists fantasise about when there is no constitutional need to do so.

Dhimmitude, a phrase popularised by Bat Ye’or, (a pen-name for Egyptian-British author Gisele Littman), is a term used for minorities living under Muslim rule, often under the threat of violence or jihad. Dhimmitude, according to Ye’or, is a “specific social condition that resulted from jihad”, where non-Muslim minorities live in a “state of fear and insecurity” or “accept a condition of humiliation”, says a Wikipedia entry. (For more on dhimmitude, read Ye’or’s book, Understanding Dhimmitude)

The second part of the definition neatly sums up what the Ranchi magistrate prescribed for Richa Bharti. Bharti has been asked to distribute copies of the Quran to some of the very same institutions that made police complaints against her (the Sadar Anjuman Committee at Pithoriya), and for which she spent two days in jail.

Advertisement

Dhimmitude is an epidemic which is subtly creeping into our body politics, and also globally. The court is adding insult to injury.

Nor is the Ranchi judge alone in perpetrating attitudes of dhimmitude.

When Mamata Banerjee gets a police station in Kaliachak (Malda district), vandalised by Muslim mobs in January 2016, repainted overnight in order to pretend that nothing happened, it is dhimmitude in action.

Advertisement

Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi can be accused of tipping his hat towards dhimmitude, when he talks of Muslims advancing with “computers in one hand, and Quran in another.” It is perfectly all right if the PM thinks that madrassas ought to be technologically modernised, but how is it the PM's job to advise Muslims to hold a Quran in one hand while doing so? Why reinforce the idea that the Quran matters more to Muslims than anything else?

Dhimmitude is also about undercutting the efforts of modern Muslims who want to help the community emerge from a seventh century mindset.

Courts have now routinely internalised the idea that while dealing with plain and simple human rights issues, they must bung in something from the Quran in order to enforce the Constitution among Muslims. In the Haj subsidy case of 2012, where the Supreme Court asked the government to phase out this communal subsidy exclusive to Muslims, the bench felt obliged to quote the Quran once again. “And Haj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to the House (Ka'bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the expenses (for one's conveyance, provision and residence).”

Advertisement

Worse, after agreeing that it had no right to speak on behalf of Muslims, the bench claimed that Muslims themselves would have given up the subsidy if they only knew the government was funding it. “Nevertheless, we have no doubt that a very large majority of Muslims applying to the Haj Committee for going to Haj would not be aware of the economics of their pilgrimage and if all the facts are made known a good many of the pilgrims would not be very comfortable in the knowledge that their Haj is funded to a substantial extent by the government.”

Now, suddenly, it seemed as if the average Muslim was being hoodwinked by being offered a government subsidy without his knowledge.

In the triple talaq judgement, a five-judge Supreme Court bench headed by the then Chief Justice, J S Khehar (who dissented), felt obliged to bring in Islam to justify its decision. The majority judgement, while holding triple talaq in one sitting (talaq-e-biddat) as unconstitutional, went on to claim that it was anyway not a part of Islam. The judgement claimed triple talaq was “not integral to religious practice” and “what is sinful under religion cannot be valid under law.”

Advertisement

Really? So, if a religion calls out some sin, it automatically assumes overtones of constitutional morality? Since when did the Indian Constitution become Sharia-compliant?

This is kowtowing to religion, dhimmitude masquerading as constitutional morality.

Not just the courts, but other institutions, including the Reserve Bank of India, have sometimes been at pains to be in tune with Islamic sensibilities. When Raghuram Rajan was Reserve Bank governor, a committee headed by Deepak Mohanty filed a report titled “Medium-Term Path for Financial Inclusion”, suggesting that banks should be allowed to open “interest-free windows” with “simple products like demand deposits, agency and participation certificates on the liability side and cost-plus financing and deferred payment, deferred delivery contracts on the asset side.” In short, allow Islamic banking to take root in India, when there is nothing Islamic about such banking beyond the labelling of products and formal blessings from the ulema.

Advertisement

Even central bankers seem open to dhimmitude.

In India, mainstream media dhimmitude demands that crimes against Muslims be given extraordinary coverage, thus enabling them to claims of victimhood. Factcheck websites use dubious methodologies to arrive at predetermined conclusions about Muslim victimhood, but will ignore a formal statement from a fanatic Kashmiri Muslim suicide-bomber who will kill 45 people for being “impious polytheists” and “cow-urine drinkers.”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb (author of Skin in The Game, Antifragile, Black Swan, and Fooled by Randomness) says that an intransigent minority can impose its will on the majority by refusing to compromise in many areas. One area where this is obvious is the Muslim insistence on halal meat, which contravenes basic laws on preventing cruelty to animals meant for slaughter. In normal slaughter-houses, animals are stunned before being slaughtered, but halal meat is about the Islamic way of slaughtering which ensures that the animal is healthy and alive while having its throat slit. It cannot be stunned (and hence freed from feeling too much pain) during slaughter. Since Muslims will eat only halal meat, more and more slaughter-houses find it convenient to follow halal techniques in order to avoid investing in two different technologies for the same end-product. While a Muslim may eat only halal meat, non-Muslims have no objection to eating it.

Advertisement

Dhimmitude prevents European governments, otherwise committed to preventing animal cruelties, from relabelling halal meat as non-compliant with the law.

In many ways, dhimmitude is now the norm in much of the West, where fear of attracting accusations of racism and Islamophobia makes politicians and governments shirk their responsibilities under the law.

In the UK, police officials failed to act in time to prevent hundreds of girls from being raped over decades by mostly Muslim gangs in the city of Rotherham, and several other towns like Rochdale, Peterborough, Newcastle, Oxford, Bristol and Telford. Political correctness prevented the British media from naming these exploitation rings as mostly Muslim men from Pakistan and Bangladesh, and they were broadly grouped under the label South Asian.

Advertisement

A report in Quillette notes: “Also controversial is the gross negligence of the authorities regarding these crimes. The negligence itself is not at issue, but the motive is. It is alleged that social workers, police officers, and politicians ignored these crimes for fear of being accused of racism. Allison Pearson, for example, wrote for the Telegraph: ‘Gang members…exploit the fact that police, newly trained in “cultural sensitivity” are terrified of being accused of racism. So, the pimps operate with impunity…’”. (Read the full report of the official inquiry into Rotherham “grooming scandal” here).

This is official dhimmitude at its worst.

A milder form of dhimmitude came from none other than New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who was widely praised for her handling of the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque attack by a White supremacist gunman last March, which killed 51 people.

Advertisement

Ardern was right to empathise with the families of the victims, but went one step further and wore a hijab to show it. As news anchors in New Zealand followed her example, it emboldened one young Muslim to ask Ardern to convert to Islam.

Dhimmitude involves doing what Muslims would want you to do voluntarily even when this is not warranted or required.

Isn’t it time India and the world stopped the attitude of dhimmitude? No one wants to stoke Islamophobia or anti-Muslim feelings in any society, but dhimmitude is not the way to achieve that. Fairness to minorities does not involve kowtowing to Islamist ideals. Dhimmitude will strengthen those very conservative Islamists who want the world to one day fully embrace Islam, and are willing to use force of threats of violence to achieve it.

Advertisement

Get Swarajya in your inbox everyday. Subscribe here.
Comments
Be a Partner, Reader.
Support a media platform that will bring you ground reports that other platforms will try every bit to avoid.
Partner with us, be a patron. Your backing is important to us.

Become A Patron
Become A Subscriber