A troubling new documentary has revealed that a Hindu exodus similar to that in Kairana, West UP is currently underway in the Sundar Nagri area of the national capital, Delhi.
The documentary was created by Ravijot Singh, a video blogger, poet and speaker, and posted on his YouTube Channel with the title ‘Truth of Sunder Nagri – Are Hindu’s at risk?’ The 20 minute documentary can be seen below –
Ravijot starts by telling us that he decided to visit the Sundar Nagri locality in East Delhi and make the documentary after a recent incident where the evening aarti (prayer) at Maha Shiv Shakti mandir was forcibly stopped by some local Muslims as ‘Ramzan was going on’.
What happened during the aarti?
He met the mandir pujari (priest) Parvesh Sharma at his home, who told him, “Like any mandir, I was doing the evening aarti around 7.30 PM when some Muslim families who live close by sent their womenfolk, wearing slippers, into our temple and forcibly stopped the aarti. Around 40-50 Muslims had gathered outside the temple. I reported the issue to police but no action was taken. A few days later I was again doing the evening aarti and this time again Muslim women barged into the temple and stopped the aarti. More than 200 Muslims gathered this time and got very aggressive with us, and we were saved only after I dialed 100 and called police. After police forces arrived, the SHO told us that ‘these people will not listen’, so you have to adjust and ensure the aarti ends sooner. The next time, when when we were about to do Hanuman Chalisa with the support of various Hindu organizations, an aggressive mob of 400-500 Muslims chanting ‘Allah o Akbar’ and with barely concealed weapons opposed us – heavy police presence was needed to control the situation and the authorities asked us to wrap up the aarti quickly. Since that day I have been receiving threatening messages.”
The priest then goes on to talk about how the demography has changed in Sundar Nagri, a locality established in the late 1970s – from 90% at the beginning, Hindus have fallen to just 40% today, with the drastic fall occurring in the last decade due to a booming second-hand car salvage trade (including in stolen vehicles) which has seen inflow of Muslims and a deteriorating mahaul (social environment) which has caused many Hindus to flee. “Young Muslim men do goondagardi (hooliganism), sexually harass Hindu women – they even stalk girls studying in schools. Decent families, who have the financial means, are moving out of this area – and this trend will continue,” he says.
Another lady from the locality who lives close to a public park tells Ravijot, “When Muslim children play cricket in the park and hit the ball with full force hitting us, if we complain their parents instead argue with us; in the evenings anti-social elements gamble and drink in the park – if we oppose this, they come to beat us. Police is not to be seen.”
Deteriorating Social Environment
Another lady recounts how a group of Hindu women walking in the park were intimidated – a Muslim boy riding a motorcycle in the park, without honking, drove his motorcycle right through their group, forcing them to scatter aside. Other elderly Muslims standing nearby did not admonish the youth.
Ravijot then had a chat with Rajinder Mawi ji, Chairman of Patit Seva Sansthan, a Hindu NGO in the area. He said that the Seemapuri Vidhan Sabha constituency in the area has seen the Muslim electorate grow from 2% in the first state election in 1993 to 30% today. Insecurity in Hindus due to rising criminality, drugs, abusive language and a deteriorating social climate is one of the main reasons for the Hindu exodus. Till 4 years back, Muslims were 49% in Sundar Nagri, but are close to 60% today – which shows that this process is accelerating. If one looks at all the cases of eloped mixed marriages in the area from recent years – the boy is Muslim and girl Hindu. Muslim men wearing Hindu kalawa (sacred thread) and with assumed names like ‘Sonu’, ‘Monu’ have been found standing outside schools/colleges to lure Hindu girls. Many people have migrated to protect their daughters.
Rajinder ji goes on to say that out of 18-20 temples in the area, only 5 temples can do aarti without any restriction. The rest of the temples have been gradually forced to restrict the aarti or end it altogether. The tactics followed are the same as used with the Maha Shiv Shakti mandir recently – an initial ‘request’ is made to not use loudspeaker during the aarti as it conflicts with azaan (Muslim call to prayer, which occurs over loudspeaker for 3-4 minutes 5 times a day), the next ‘request’ extract more concessions, and so on. In the end, the mandir pujari, being a solitary figure, gives in to all the demands to ‘avoid trouble’. Rajinder Gautam from AAP party is the MLA for Seemapuri, but he has not intervened much in the matter.
The Muslim Side of the Story
Ravijot then goes to meet the Muslim community to get their side of the story. He talks to Dr. Yakub in a local mosque. Dr. Yakub claims that there is ‘perfect communal harmony’ in Sundar Nagri with Hindus and Muslims living in perfect brotherhood – that the trouble is being stoked up by ‘outsiders’. He plays down the incident wherein aarti at Shiv Shakti mandir was stopped by a Muslim mob, saying that ‘1 or 2 boys might have created the ruckus and no one knows for sure who they were.’ When probed by Ravijot on whether the so-called troublemakers belonged to both communities, Dr. Yakub says the troublemakers are mostly from the Hindu community looking to ‘gain political mileage and seed hatred’. He and the other Muslims claim that there is no unnatural demographic change occurring in Sundar Nagri and that it is all driven by ‘financial considerations.’
The documentary ends by asking the viewer to draw their own conclusions, and decide which of the two sides is lying. It calls out one lie of Dr. Yakub who had claimed that the aarti stoppage incident involved only 1-2 Muslim youth – a video of that incident shown right at the end shows many sloganeering Muslim men facing off with a large police posse. Ravijot Singh must be applauded for his efforts in presenting this serious issue with such objectivity & finesse – his documentary is the real journalism which our mainstream media houses have stopped doing. The documentary ends by asking some searching, uncomfortable questions – what would the reaction have been across the nation if Hindus had tried to stop the azaan in a mosque? What is the meaning of religion if 20 people in Dhaka are slaughtered just because they could not recite verses from the Quran?