You would have seen in the movies or documentaries, soldiers or saboteurs or a group of guerrillas using coloured stripes on their faces, to conceal their identities. It also helps them to mingle in their surroundings, making them hard to see. This is called camouflage. In nature, animals use this technique before they pounce on their prey.
A well-planned communal hysteria is being instigated and a facade has been created. "Muslims and Dalits are brothers. We will fight together... We have a common enemy. We will fight for the Dalit cause... We are the sons of the soil." This kind of speeches are being given. Most of the time speakers belong to Jamat e Islami, Popular front of India or similar type of Islamic organisations. Some so-called Dalit thinkers and leftists are also a distinct part of this gang. They distort history in their speeches. With no accountability, they lie shamelessly like "Dalits of India invited Mughals to invade India because they wanted freedom from Hindutva". Another speaker at another place, who finds it challenging to justify Mughal invasion, sets a different course of history "Brahmins and Brahmanical forces invited Mughals to invade India. They (Mughals and Hindus) worked alongside each other, and persecuted Dalits." These orators feel free to fantasise to any extent. They say whatever suits their agenda.
CAA protesters are beating the same track. "CAA is anti-Muslim and anti-Dalit. We will teach them a lesson," they said. In reality, CAA is pro-Dalit and not against anybody. Eighty per cent of the population of Pakistani Hindus belong to SC and ST class as per the Indian Constitution. There are 42 different Dalit castes in Pakistan such as Bhils, Meghwals, Odhs and Kohlis. Seventy per cent of them are still illiterate. Of the total 14 million Bangladeshi Hindus, more than 6-7 million are Dalits. They have been facing all kinds of ordeals for 70 long years. They work as bonded labour. They are forced to clean the toilets and gutters. They are victims of manual scavenging. This is well documented. Pak army reserves sanitations jobs for non-Muslims only. In the advertisement published on August 26, 2018, the recruitment program of Pakistan rangers released vacancies for several positions. In the non-combatant category, the jobs for sanitation workers were reserved only for non-Muslims. This is the status of Hindus in Pakistan. Abducted minor Hindu girls like Momal Meghwar belong to the deprived class of Hindus. CAA gives these victims a chance to live with dignity, but radicals are painting this exemplary act as anti-Dalit.
Groups with vested interests are following this lead, and they have a quite precise modus operandi. That is, they lie through their teeth. In the tribal areas like Bastar of Chhattisgarh, Mandla dist of MP and other places as well, malicious propaganda is on full swing. Pamphlets have been distributed, full of lies, claiming 'CAA is an anti Scheduled Tribes Law.' Contents of these pamphlets are nothing but a bundle of lies, for instance, it says "The government will force you to leave your land, and these people coming from Pakistan will be settled on your properties."
This conspiracy is deeply rooted. The mouthpiece of Pakistan's vicious ISI like Zaid Hamid(a self-styled defence expert) says on a Pakistani TV channel "when we invade India, we will kill all Hindus, but we will spare the Dalits and the Sikhs." This game of deceit has its the root in history. Mohammad Ali Jinnah tried to persuade Dalit leaders in order to get their support for the cause of Pakistan. He promised to make special provisions for them in the future Pakistan. This act of sly blandishment didn't go unnoticed, and Babasaheb Ambedkar issued a warning. He said "I would like to tell the Scheduled Castes who happen to be impounded inside Pakistan to come over to India by such means as may be available to them. The second thing I want to say is that it would be fatal for the Scheduled Castes, whether in Pakistan or in Hyderabad, to put their faith in Muslims or Muslim League. It has become a habit with the Scheduled Castes to look upon the Muslims as their friends simply because they dislike Hindus. This is a mistaken view," Dr Ambedkar said. (The Free Press Journal, November 28, 1947. Cited in Dr Ambedkar: Life and Mission, Dhananjay Keer, p. 399).
He had warned his followers about the "Brotherhood in Islam. In his famous book, Pakistan or Partition of India. Babasaheb Ambedkar wrote "Islam is a close corporation, and the distinction that it makes between Muslims and non-Muslims is a very real, very positive and very alienating distinction. The brotherhood of Islam is not the universal brotherhood of man. It is the brotherhood of Muslims for Muslims only. There is a fraternity, but its benefit is confined to those within that corporation. For those who are outside the corporation, there is nothing but contempt and hostility," But some Dalit leaders like Jogendranath Mandal fell prey to Jinnah's enticement and joined hands with Muslim League. He became the first law minister of Pakistan but within 3 years, the spell was broken and he was forced to leave Pakistan, heartbroken and disenchanted. He was devastated by the horrors he had seen in Pakistan. In his resignation letter to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, he wrote "The Calcutta carnage was followed by the 'Noakhali Riot' in October 1946. There, Hindus including Scheduled Castes were killed and hundreds were converted to Islam. Hindu women were raped and abducted. Members of my community also suffered the loss of life and property. Immediately after these happenings, I visited Tipperah and Feni and saw some riot-affected areas. The terrible sufferings of Hindus overwhelmed me with grief... I found dogs and vultures eating corpses on the river-side. I got the information there that after the whole-scale killing of all adult males, all the young girls were distributed among ringleaders of the miscreants." Mandal took his last breath as a refugee in 1968 in West Bengal.
All the radical Islamists taking oath in the name of Dalits admire Mughals and other Muslim invaders. They keep repeating a lie "We ruled this country for 800 years.." The irony is, it was Mughals who created the custom of manual scavenging. Scholars have suggested that the Mughal women with purdah required enclosed toilets that needed to be scavenged. (Hindu hadn't had purdah custom. The bathroom inside the house was forbidden.) They recruited people of warrior Hindu clans who refused to convert to Islam. That is why the bhangis (Chuhra) share some of the clan names with Rajputs. The name 'Bhangi' has derived from the Sanskrit word 'bhanga', which means 'broken'. Because of forced manual scavenging, their customs were broken, and they became 'Bhangi'.
Some of them converted to Islam, but it didn't get them the status of equality in the Islamic society. They remained as outcast or untouchables in Muslim culture. That's why there are several Dalit Muslim communities in various part of India. Halalkhor is one of them, traditionally associated with sweeping and scavenging. They prepare baskets and use them for scavenging. In fact, these outcast Muslims constitute the overwhelming majority, about 75% of the present Indian Muslim population. Untouchability is thriving in Islamic society, and norms are very harsh. This is the worst kept secret. Muslim radicals, who didn't do justice to Muslim Dalits, are now chanting "Jai Bheem- Jai Meem." This conspiracy needs to be revealed.
The more significant part is, the conspirators are dancing to the tunes of Pakistan and other anti-India forces. Some politicians and so-called Dalit thinkers, who call themselves Babasaheb's followers, are misquoting him, trying to push Dalits towards the fate like Jogendranath Mandal and his followers. Islamic fundamentalists are having a tough time. The world has risen against radical Islamism, and its torch-bearers. They need a cover. They need this camouflage.
(The writer is Madhya Pradesh based journalist)