On August 5, six people were killed by a gunman in Wisconsin in a Gurdwara and a police officer was seriously wounded. On August 6, a Mosque was burned down in Joplin, Missouri. People all across the country have condemned these acts and have come together in solidarity and unity. In last few years attacks on Muslims, Sikhs and others have escalated.
A climate of anxiety, fear and suspicion has been created in which sections of society have been declared threat to the security and well being of the nation and humanity and passions are being incited.
The Right to Be of Individuals and collectives has become target of attack and it is taking various forms, the attack on the Gurdwara and burning of the mosque are one form of these attacks.
It is taking place in the form of racial profiling, stopping people from voting in many states, foreclosure of homes, denial of access to health care, cutting down of unemployment benefits, attack on immigrants, entrapment by FBI, incarceration, forcing “austerity” etc. We see a broad attack on the Right to Be of the 99% in many forms. It is this condition, in which everybody is a “fairgame”, that creates fertile ground for attacks on Gurdwara, mosques and other places of worship. The recent killings in Colorado are also a reflection of this condition that is causing all-sided crisis for individuals, collectives and society as a whole.
Internationally, the Right to Be of nations and countries is also being threatened. They have to submit to the dictate of financial oligarchies, otherwise anarchy and violence is unleashed. Any country or nation that dares to chart its own path is being declared a pariah by the only superpower – the United States - and thus can be invaded and occupied. Anarchy and violence have become the official policy and have been raised to the level of authority.
The 99% are fighting back these attacks on their Right to Be by the 1% in cities, towns and neighbourhoods and this fight is taking myriad forms at the base. Any individual or collective that wants to fight back against this attack on their Right to Be has to make common cause in unity with the 99% and take a bold step in defense of rights of all South Asians as an integral part of the 99% and have to join hands with the 99% in their fight for the affirmation of Right to Be of all.
Jaspal Singh is a Sanskrit scholar and a regular contributor to South Asian Review and other journals on social and cultural issues.