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The India Today Group via Getty Images
Over the years I have heard variations of that phrase -- "I don't get it" -- and I have wondered why. Is it because most people don't understand contemporary art, or is it because they don't appreciate being the first ones to say "the emperor is naked" (read: this is bullshit)? Bottom line is the majority tends to steer clear of everything that has anything to do with art.
I have read many news articles and opinion pieces reporting on the murder of 50-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq, all condemning in their tone -- who wouldn't be, hate crimes are, after all, offensive to the Indian Liberal's sensibilities -- but not one has tried to deeply question and/or understand the ideological problems with religious totalitarianism. Communal violence goes beyond criminal acts by individual or groups. And, even though this incident looks like a spontaneous act on the face of it, we have to ask, are there greater forces at play here?