09/23/2015, 00.00
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Offending gods or asking for just wage could cost you your tongue

An employer cut his workers tongue off to avoid having to pay him. Hindu nationalist leader: "We will not tolerate the insult of intellectuals, rather we will forcibly silence them”. The President of the Global Council of Indian Christians: "Threats of Hindutva violence led to 2008 pogroms in Orissa and Karnataka."

Lucknow (AsiaNews) - He had asked to be paid for the work he had done, but his employer first had him beaten and then cut off his tongue. This was what happened to Tufani Musahar, Indian laborer residing in the village of Gariyaon, in the district of Jaunpur (in the central state of Uttar Pradesh).

The man, an educated tribal even if he belongs to Masahar [a community poorest outcast in the country, known as "mouses" - Ed], has tried several times to file a complaint, but the police refused to register the case of violence.

Not only that, but a leading Hindu nationalist has threatened to cut the tongues of two writers, guilty of "insulting" the Hindu deity Rama and Krishna. Speaking about these cases to AsiaNews, Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), harshly condemns these statements which are "threatening social peace, harmony and the coexistence of religions."

The case worker beaten and then mutilated dates back to September 5th, but it was only made public yesterday thanks to the complaint of the activist Shruti Nagvanshi, who has demanded the intervention of the India’s Human Rights Commission.

 Tufani, carrying out some building work in the house of Santosh Shukla worth 900 rupees (about 12 EUR), asked to be paid. The two began to argue, which led to the exchange of blows until the employer took out a knife and cut out his tongue at the laborer, helped by accomplices.

The man then fainted and, after waking up, went at the local police station. "But the police refused several times to register the case - says the activist - and accuse him of lying. Since he has not been subjected to medical tests, they argue that the cut may have been caused by an accident".

Swami Siddalinga also spoke of cutting out tongues yesterday at a conference in Kalburgi (in northern Karnataka) noting that Hindus are very resentful of comments made by professors KS Bhagwan and Chandrashekhar Patil on epic poems from Hindu mythology, the  "Ramayana" and "Mahabharata." Recently, professor Bhagwan told Indian TV that the gods Rama and Krishna are not to be worshiped because they do not support human rights. His remarks sparked the fury of the Hindus, so much so that the guru yesterday threatened: "The epics are considered sacred texts by millions of Hindus. People will not tolerate disparaging remarks about the character of Ramayana, who is the object of worship. Indeed, we should cut out the tongue of writers if they do not stop insulting Hindu gods”.

According to Sajan K George, "these provocative statements encourage sectarian tensions and provoke a sense of insecurity among the minorities. India is a secular democratic republic and these comments endanger social peace in the country. " He finally noted that it was precisely the threats of the Hindu nationalist leaders in 2008 that led to violenze in Orissa, the most vicious slaughter of Christians in India, and attacks on churches in Karnataka.

(Nirmala Carvalho contributed)

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