Are acts of intolerance on the rise in India? Perhaps it is hard to prove conclusively based on long-term data, given the gaps in reporting and lag in the availability of data. But if you keep an eye on the news ticker, or surf through newspaper headlines, it is hard to miss the steady drumbeat of intolerance from all over the country--curbs on artists, attacks based on suspicion and stereotyping and a general sharpening of discourse that follows.
Starting today, we will track acts of intolerance of a communal nature, including intolerant speech, reported from every part of the country, regardless of the source of commission and nature of provocation.
When you think we have missed an act of intolerance, please point them out in the comments.
We will stop when we don't have more than two significant instances to report in a day. We look forward to a swift end to this feature.
Here is what went down in the last 48 hours.
#October 19, 2015.
BCCI Meet With Pakistan Interrupted By Shiv Sena
On Monday, a scheduled meeting between BCCI president Shashank Manohar and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shahryar Khan to discuss potential bilateral cricket ties between the two countries was stormed, by the Shiv Sena, the partner of the BJP in Maharashtra's ruling coalition.
Will not allow any cricket ties with Pakistan say Shiv Sena activists, Vande Mataram & Pakistan hai hai slogans pic.twitter.com/lhQcIHz7fN— ANI (@ANI_news) October 19, 2015
50 Sena activists stormed through the gates of Wankhede Stadium and barged into the BCCI cricket centre, shouting slogans and waving black and saffron flags. The workers, brandishing placards that read, “Go back Shahryar Khan” and “Pakistan Murdabad," insisted that Manohar cancel the talks.
Aleem Dar Won't Umpire Any More Matches Over Concerns For His Safety
In the wake of the Sena misbehaviour, he ICC on Monday withdrew Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar from officiating the remaining two matches of the ongoing one-day series between India and South Africa.
"Under the present circumstances, it will be unreasonable to expect from Aleem that he will be able to perform his duties to the best of his abilities. As such, he has been withdrawn and his replacement will be announced in due course," an ICC spokesman said.
Following that, Pakistani cricketers Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar have also pulled out of commentating for the fifth and final ODI scheduled to be played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai in the ongoing India and South Africa series citing security threat.
Ghulam Ali Won't Perform In Delhi
After the concerts of Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali were cancelled in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had invited him to perform in Delhi. However, that too won't happen now.
Ghulam Ali's show in Delhi on November 8 has been cancelled.
“It’s now confirmed that Ghulam Ali sahab will not be performing at the Delhi concert. He has categorically told me today in a conversation from Lahore that he is not willing to perform. The last few days have been tough on him in a country where he has sung for the last 50 years. He has also conveyed it to me that the Delhi government has been intimated about the same,” Randheer Ranjan Roy, business head and founder of Panache Media, which was at the helm of Khan’s Mumbai concert, told The Indian Express.
Independent MLA In Kashmir Attacked With Ink
Ten days after he was beaten up by Bharatiya Janata Party lawmakers in the Jammu and Kashmir State Assembly for hosting a "beef party," MLA Engineer Rashid was attacked with ink in Delhi by men shouting "Gau Mata ki jai."
Vishnu Gupta-led Hindu Sena claimed responsibility for the ink attack on Rashid, ANI reported on Monday. Two people have been detained in connection with attack and taken to the Tughlak Road Police Station.
Australian Harassed In Bangalore Over A Tattoo
A twenty one-year-old Australian was harassed by a crowd that included a local BJP leader, in Bengaluru, when he was spotted with a tattoo of an Indian goddess on his shin.
Melbourne-based Matthew Gordon and his friend Emily Kassianou (20) were eating at a local restaurant when a few bystanders spotted them and confronted Gordon about the tattoo. He was sporting a tattoo of the Hindu goddess Yellamma on his shin. The crowd gheraoed them and allegedly threatened to "skin his leg".
What India is: a nation state whose official machinery makes victims of majoritarian bigotry apologize. pic.twitter.com/qwgLjgdlud— Puram (@puram_politics) October 19, 2015
Gordon, Kassianou and their Indian friend were taken to the police station and made to apologise for "hurting the group's religious sentiments".
Two Muslim Youths Beaten By Mob For Carrying Ox Hide
Two Muslim youths were tied to a tree after they were allegedly found carrying the hide of an ox, by a mob led by Shiv Sena activists, reported Indian Express. According to the report, the incident took place Sunday afternoon in Ramgaon area of Bahraich.
The two youths were arrested and booked under the Uttar Pradesh Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act. Afsar Ali and Pairu, both in their early 20s, were produced in a local court which remanded them to judicial custody.