When biased social activism over religion exposed...


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Several Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and forums have been accused of selective and biased social activism leading to disturbance to communal harmony in the country. These groups were found responsible for creating unrest in society many times by targeting the majoritarian community. These groups used to accuse the majoritarian community, here Hindus, of promoting discrimination and injustice to minority communities over fabricated facts and incidents. Recently, such groups were once again exposed over a suicide case of Darshan Solanki, a student of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) Mumbai and belonging to a backward community. After his suicide, some anti-social groups targeted the Hindu community by alleging that Darshan Solanki committed suicide over caste discrimination. They precisely conducted a campaign and tried to spread hatred to instigate other communities against one community, here Hindus. However, like in the past, these groups saw missing and turned down their campaign after the revelations of facts.

With the arrest of Arman Iqbal Khatri, a student of Mumbai IIT, by the Mumbai Police in the Darshan Solanki death case, the groups who alleged that Darshan Solanki died because of casteism, has seen vanished from the campaign sites and social media platforms in no time. 

Darshan Solanki, a brilliant 19-year-old student who belonged to a backward community, was studying at IIT Mumbai, in the first year of 'B.Tech'. Unfortunately, he allegedly committed suicide on February 12, 2023. After the incident, the Maharashtra Government immediately appointed a special investigation team ('SIT') on February 28, 2023. During the investigation, the police recovered a suicide note in Darshan Solanki's room in the hostel. In this note, Darshan Solanki accused Armaan Iqbal Khatri of his death. Darshan wrote, "Armaan has killed me". On April 7, 2023, after investigation, the handwriting experts confirmed that Darshan Solanki wrote this recovered suicide note.

According to an article written by Sagar Shinde, published in Marathi Daily Loksatta on April 13, 2023, it has been revealed that an argument took place between Arman and Darshan over religious comments against each other, and over these comments, Arman Iqbal Khatri threatened Darshan to kill him with a knife. This revelation forced those organizations who were protesting and campaigning by alleging caste discrimination and injustice to turn down their movements immediately. As soon as the facts surfaced, these organization stopped their campaign in no time and disappeared from the ground and social media. Some of these organizations have been identified as 'The Ambedkar Phule Periyar Study Circle (APPSC) and the Students Federation of India (SFI). It has been widely alleged these particular organizations tried to instigate social harmony and peace in society by fabricating the facts. 

When Darshan's suicide took place, the members of APPSC and SFI and other like-minded organizations started alleging that Darshan's suicide was an 'institutional murder' due to caste discrimination. These social organizations conducted protests in all universities over the same allegations. They tried to unite and spread hatred and increase the gap between students belonging to the backward communities and non-backward communities. In a meeting held at 'IIT Mumbai' organized by members of these organizations, one young man made the following very hateful, divisive statement in his speech. He said that as long as people say, Jai Siyaram, their mind is completely bound by Brahmin, and people will remain bound in its clutches. He further said that people have to believe that as long as they say, Jai Shri Ram, they have to say Jai Kshatriya, Jai ​​Brahmin, Jai Vaishya, and have to say hate Shudra.

Misguided Darshan's family too

The members of these organizations misguided Darshan's family too. They tried to depict this unfortunate incident in a caste colour without proper investigation. Moreover, they ignored the fact that Darshan Solanki has not filed any caste discriminative complaint to the IIT Mumbai administration, not filed the complaint at SC/ST Cell functioning at the institution. Even Darshan was not talked to any student body about the issue. The members of these organizations created such high pressure that former Rajya Sabha MP and former Vice-Chancellor of Mumbai University, namely Bhalchandra Mungekar, wrote an article in the newspaper, took a press conference, and made some demands on the fabricated information. It is important to be concerned about these anti-social groups. There is a need to investigate who gave false information to Bhalchandra Mungekar. Police should also investigate why these members conducted protests and created unrest in society by fabricating the unfortunate incident and what was their agenda of the campaign without having any evidence, and why these members or self-claimed social activists remained silent after the revelation of Darshan's suicide note. It has been observed that these people did not even wait till primary investigation and tried to grab the opportunity to divide the society. But when they found that the name of a Muslim surfaced as a prime accused in Darshan (a Dalit student) 's suicide case, they shut down the campaign. Even a report of an internal fact-finding committee appointed by IIT Mumbai, claimed that there was no truth in the allegations of caste discrimination and concluded that Darshan's academic progress was poor, and it is possible that he committed suicide due to the same. However, the report was published before the Special Investigation Team found Darshan's suicide note in his room.

Darshan Solanki must get justice. Students commit suicide in higher education institutions for many reasons. All these reasons should be investigated, and necessary measures should be taken to prevent such unfortunate incidents from happening in these institutions in future. Additionally, the campaigns and protests should also be banned, which led to disturbance in society till the revelation of primary investigation. Earlier, these organizations massively created unrest across the country in Rohith Vemula's suicide case in 2016. Later, it was found that Rohith Vemula was not Dalit, and the motive behind his suicide was not caste discrimination. In 2018, after two years, Rohith Vemula's mother accused Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) of merely using them for political gains and failed to fulfil commitments given earlier before media. After looking at the timeline in Darshan’s suicide case, it has been once again revealed that some NGOs and forums have tried to instigate the violence and hatred in the society. It has also been revealed that such groups have biased vision on social issues, as they stopped activism after name of a Muslim person surfaced as a prime accused. The officials must identify such anti-social groups and should take necessary action to prevent them from doing the same in future.

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