There is something egregiously wrong in the manner self-proclaimed guardians of secularism in India (and, perhaps, the world) are behaving. While they demand, often violently, the right to freedom of speech and expression for themselves, even at times indirectly supporting radical Islamism, they reject the rights of those who have a view which runs contrary to theirs.
If writer, political commentator and secularist Tarek Fatah was at an Islamic conference, the possibility of him being heckled would have been very high.
But Fatah was at Rekhta, the Urdu festival held in celebration of the beautiful Indian language. Yet Fatah was not just heckled, he was abused by some of those present at the event.
— Tarek Fatah (@TarekFatah) February 20, 2017
The incident happened on a Sunday at New Delhi. There were hundreds of people at the event flipping through some of the finest books written in Urdu.
Fatah told the media that he, too, was enjoying the event and there were attendees seeking his autograph.
“There were some maulanas who were upset with my presence and very soon a group of around a 100 people gathered around me shouting slogans,” he said.
Videos from the incident show young men raising slogans against Tarek Fatah and waving their shoes in a threatening manner. Here is a post that appears to condone the mob violence against Fatah.
— Shamim Zakaria (@shamimzakaria) February 19, 2017
In other videos, Fatah is seen surrounded by the young men. He is heard saying, “I am not afraid of you people.” He says that the organisers of the event did nothing to prevent him from getting heckled and abused.
— SAM (@coolsa2007) February 20, 2017
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) February 20, 2017
Fatah has been appearing on Zee News’ show ‘Fatah Ka Fatwa’ in which he has been criticising the activities of the maulanas and radical Islamism.
Social media users criticised Fatah’s manhandling by the group as well as the organisers of Rekhta.
— Dinesh Joshi (@dineshjoshi70) February 20, 2017
— VR (@KesariDhwaj) February 20, 2017
— anil bhat (@anilbhat67) February 20, 2017
— Sibashis Mahapatra (@SibsyM) February 20, 2017
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) February 20, 2017
@Rekhta I expect you to call a spade a spade. If no, you are not what you try to be seen. Bye.
— rbs (@sharmarb) February 20, 2017
This is not the first time that Fatah has faced the ire of the myopic Leftists of India. He was similarly manhandled at Punjab University and could not speak at an event in Kolkata condemning Pakistan’s atrocities in Balochistan because Mamata government got it cancelled.