On 28th June 2022, Kanhaiya Lal lost his life at the hand of Muhammad Riyaz Attari and Muhammad Ghaus, who came to his tailoring shop in Udaipur, and brutally murdered him.  He was stabbed 26 times and then beheaded, and the whole time he kept shouting what have I done? Why are you doing this? The killers also filmed the act and the video was widely circulated of social media.   The harrowing incident opened up a great debate on the edict of religion backed slaughtering of non Muslims on the pretext of blasphemy. There was a clear bifurcation between those who supported this gruesome act, and those who started to throw questions, both twoards the authorities and also perhaps themselves.  The flagbearers of freedom of speech, democracy and equality shed their veils and all of us got to see their real faces.   The sane quarters got an opening to call out the real culprit, and look into the root cause of this brutal act.  Some truth sayers like Pushpendra Ji and others have been shouting from the rooftops over last few years to prune the list of our friends, aquaintances, associates, employees etc. The point was proven in this incident where the chain of events leading to Kanhaiya Lal’s murder included a Muslim neighbour and friend, who had shared his location.

What followed was the beginning of a discourse which was desparately needed in a country overtly impacted by wronged Secularism.  In reality, a strategy was in place to systematically Islamise the world’s largest democracy. In a hope to find answers, the people of Bharath headed to the internet, where they found researches shared by Hindu Scholars and thinkers on social media.  The rage shown by followers of Islam on social media, was actually a cover for the shock they felt at being found out.  The ways in which they lashed out, furthered this quest for finding the truth, and the debate reached the grass root level. Hindus realised they are being taken for a ride for a very long time, that in an attempt to mollycoddle the minority community, Hindus have been falsely made to believe that Ahimsa means turning the other cheek, a Christian concept.  The availability and easy access to verses from the scripture, Hadees from the Prophet, and details about his life and times through Seerat un Nabi compiltations made it possible to learn more about the background of such crimes.  Additionally, the version of Islam which was portrayed through state controlled proxies was set aside, as people came to know the story through to its canonical sources.  They realised that the truth is opposite of what their liberal and moderate Muslim friends always told them.

The case of Mehsa Amini is yet another example of how centuries of suppression finally results in complete chaos among communities.  Iran is said to be relatively liberal during the first 70-odd years of the 20th century, while it was under the rule of the Shah. During this time, he even abolished Hijab altogether in 1936, encouraging women to come out and assimilate. However, not all followers of the faith took to this very kindly, and many women refused to leave their homes without a proper body covering Hijab.  Nevertheless, Iran was shown as modern, liberal society where religion was to remain only inside homes, or at least far from the urban centres.  The practice of Mutah (Shia temporary marriage) was still rampant during the tenure if the Shah, and the enlightened citizens were still working to get the practice outlawed.

“Before the 1979 Iranian revolution, the secular classes regarded Mut’ah as a form of prostitution and sought to ban it, while other religious bodies sanctioned it. This public announcement became widely accepted in Iran and thus a religious stamp of approval was placed on prostitution. In justification of this form of ‘Temporary Marriage’, the religious groups claim that this is a favour of the All-Mighty upon us and is necessary for the personal well-being of every individual. In fact, they state that its performance is imperative for the psychological and emotional security of society”

“Law of Desire”, 
Shahla Haeri

According to a friend who lived and worked in Iran for a long time, around 70% of the popuation can be considered as moderate followers of their religion, whereas many have left the faith altogether.  However, they have to appear practising due to the very strict Sharia law imposition in their country.  Women must wear either a Chador or a fully covering Jilbab.  In both cases women do not have the agency to make choices for themselves.  Most of the ammendments to the staunch Sharia code brought in by the Shah regarding women’s rights, were rescinded under post the revolution. Men once again could divorce their wives and just notify them by mail (Teen Talaq). Men could stop their wives from going out in the street, from working. Women are now not allowed to wear make up or perfume in public, and the list of ‘are not allowed’ just keeps going on.  Iran as a country has a very high literacy rate at above 85%, and literacy among women is also very high. Additionally, Iran has different sets of populations, inculding people like Mehsa Amini from the Kurdish community, who are othered as they do not practice the Shi’aa faith of Islam. In general, women are unhappy at being told how to dress in public, and how to conduct themselves, as they try to go about their lives as normally as possible under the strict observation of The Revolutionary Guard.  This frustration makes the urban centres of Iran like a volcano about to erupt at any time.  From memory, one can recall at least 2 previous ocassions in Iran, when there was general mayhem as people came on the streets to protest for their rights.  However, the murder of Amini seems to have brought a new awakening, as the protests reach their 5th day.  In solidarity with Mehsa, who was attacked by the men and women of the Revolutionary Guards for revealing a lock of her hair, women and men are chopping off their hair, women are taking off their tops and posing semi nude on social media. Groups of women are seen giving the middle finger salute to sacred scripture, an act which would generally get anyone beaten up and jailed at the least.  In India, Nupur Sharma had her life turned upside down just for quoting from the holy scriptures.

In the aftermath of the murder of Kanhaya Lal, we have reached a point where we are more focused and active to unravel the truth about the minority community.  Not only the Hindus, but also the Muslims who were standing on the edge, are now getting the agency to explore more logical options.  Iran, being a Muslim majority country, is surely equipped with equal amounts of factual data. The killing of Mehsa Amini has provided them with an excellent opportunity to assert themselves and march towards freedom.  Just like Kanhaiya Lal, one wonders if Mehsa Amini has also attained sadgati by giving up her life for the right cause.

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