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,,//4swunk: Worn out//
//This is a collective historical record about exhaustion. A collection of a student's discomforts and troubles that they find themself in and with–//
//Parts of this record are fictionalized, however, the historical and current events are true, real-life events. They serve as an index to a special breed of Islamophobia//
//Here you will find chronicles of many deaths, some known, some obscure, some happening as you read and witness//
//These stories are about us that are here and elsewhere, unbidden by linear time//
<<audio mainsong play>>
<a data-passage="Enter 4swunk" class="link-internal link-image">
<img src="images/4swunkenter.gif" style="max-height: 300px">
On the 25th anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition, video clips depicting the murder of Afrazul Khan by Shambhulal Regar surfaced on Whatsapp, a social messaging platform. Accompanied by a hate-fueled rant directed towards Muslims in the first half of the video, and a mild yet emphatic request directed towards Hindu women in the second half of the video, Regar’s interaction with the “unseen” viewer gives insight into regurgitation of Hindutva rhetoric propagated on online social platforms.
The video begins a stumbling Afrazul entering the camera’s view followed by Shambulal Regar. While attacking Afrazul who is seen pleading and crying, Regar intermittently addresses the camera to justify his actions. Dividing the video in to two acts, the first act specifically addresses the Muslim community, specifically Muslim men. He states facing the camera, “this is what will happen to you if you do ‘love jihad’ in our country”. He cautions them to stay away from Hindu women and denounces Hindu-Muslim relationships portrayed in popular media. Continuing on with his threats, he states that if he discovers interreligious relationships, then he will “come find each one of them and kill”. He also mentions the spread of Islamic fundamentalism in India and alludes to the stereotype of Indian Muslims being Pakistani loyalists. The second act experiences both a shift in scenery and shot. Unlike the first act which records the ‘performance’ from a distance, the second act shows a close-up shot of Shambhulal Regar. In this shot, he appears to be sitting with a child on his lap, and calmly yet earnestly requests his “Hindu sisters” to heed his warnings. This sharply contrasts with the aggressive stance Regar embodies in the first half of the video.
The “actors” in the video are engaged in a relation that is dominated by pain. The wide broadcasting of the graphic torture and eventual burning of Afrazul Khan by Shambhulal Regar, functions as a warning and a disciplinary action to the Muslim community. Regar’s speech/rant directed towards the two audiences during the ‘performance’ breaks the ‘fourth wall’ present within theatrical performances. When Brechtian alienation or ‘breaking the fourth wall’ is applied in movies or plays, it asks its audience to be critical of both the actor, the storyline and lastly the fictionality of it all. It creates a distancing effect which removes the empathy the viewer experiences for the actors in the performance. However, in this case, breaking the fourth wall does the opposite. By addressing the audience, Regar confirms the reality of the entire ‘performance’ and communicates that this may be an oncoming reality for many Muslims if they keep up with their illicit romantic relations. Islam and by extension the Muslim body is portrayed as intolerant and on a quest of proselytization to gain heavenly benefits. As Talal Asad notes in his essay Thinking about the Secular Body, Pain and Liberal Politics, “religious beliefs are by definition irrational and intolerant, they must be forcibly eliminated, even if this involves inflicting great distress and pain on the religious. The religious must be punished… [as they are] impelled to penalize non-believers without just cause”. Afrazul’s death then, signifies the quelling of irrationality and intolerance attached with the Muslim body.
[[introspect further?|to save]]
//"[[this is too much, should I just give up for the evening?|give up]]"//
It's December 6th, 2017.
It's a Wednesday afternoon and <<print $player_name>> has just reached their apartement after a long day of classes.
After dumping their bookbag on the floor, next to their study desk, and quickly freshening up, <<print $player_name>> checks the smart clock and notices its 4pm. It is about this time that <<print $player_name>> usually takes a nap, after setting 4 different alarms, scheduled to blare every 15 minutes starting 5pm.
But today things are a bit different.
Things are always a bit different on [[December 6th]]. And as if anticipating this day, the sky and the winds join <<print $player_name>> in mourning too, providing a steady drizzle throughout the day.
It brings <<print $player_name>> comfort knowing that the winds and the grey skies remember, despite repeated efforts of their //BHARAT MATA// to //forget// the irreversible violence etched onto this day. However, for Muslims like <<print $player_name>>, it was yet another reminder that they were the categorical "other" in the social fabric of India.
They did not want the Babri Masjid Demolition, or the anti-muslim mob lynchings or Afrazul Khan's death to wane into obscurity, like [[the Hashimpura Massacre|Hashimpura Massacre]] had.
//"Ya Allah, rehem kare"// <<print $player_name>> utters mentally.
Expelling a deep sigh, they fish out their laptop from their bookbag and open up a [[new browser]].
Who was he? How do you write about Afrazul Khan when the media defining moment of his life are signalled by his death event? How have news media organizations written about him? How in-depth are their stories about him?
//What does it mean to save something or someone online? What does 4swunk as a platform offer me, that allows me to rescue people like Afrazul Khan’s who are corporeally absent from this material world
//"this is too much, should I just give up for the evening" //
//"...Nah, I am not going to do that"//
<<print $player_name>> makes a resolution to not just passively consume this violence circulated on social media.
//"I'm not going to be intimidated into silence. I am going to [[dig deeper]], because there is more to the story than what is being relayed to the public"//, they promise themself.
//“maybe if I begin sharing and reposting some of these news articles from my own page, I can hold on to parts of Afrazul Khan and others like him before they are forgotten in the past”//
So, <<print $player_name>> vigilantly begins [["saving"|bookmarking]] or bookmarking to be precise, all reportings and coverage on anti-muslim violence in India. EN-EM had first seen the practice of "saving" for political reasons at the hands of MAK, a 4swunk user who used his platform to amplify news about anti-muslim incidents in India. However, [[five years later, there were no traces of MAK to be found on 4swunk|MAK]]. <img src="images/hashimpura.jpg" alt="A group of muslim men with their hands up, being escorted by the police" />
"The Hashimpura massacre was an incident of mass murder of 50 muslim men by armed police on or around 22 May 1987 near Meerut in Uttar Pradesh state, India, during the 1987 Meerut communal riots. It is alleged that 19 personnel of the Provincial Armed Constabulary rounded up 42 Muslim youths from the Hashimpura mohalla (locality) of the city, took them to the outskirts of the city, shot them in cold blood and dumped their bodies in a nearby irrigation canal." - Taken from Wikipedia
[[Take me to 4swunk's login page|new browser]]
Who is MAK? Mohammad Asif Khan - everyday citizen journalist
5 years later... include screenshots of his tweets or posts
stories about censorship
— story about Mohammad Asif khan
in the five years that have passed, what happened in between?
To show how interconnected these stories of censorship are in a way? To whom it may concern,
This semi-fictionalized record is partly authored by an unnamed graduate student's actions and interactions while they are conducting research on digital Islamophobia in India. This account will be updated every 6 months, and, you, my dear reader(s), will get a chance to step into the graduate student's shoes, and act as accountants of the graduate student's actions, when they fail to do it themself.
Step into ____'s shoes by entering your name below.
<<textbox "$player_name" "Your name" "PC ">>Typing in their username and password,
Username:<<type 60ms>><<print $player_name>>13<</type>>
Password:<<type 60ms>> ********** <</type>>
<<print $player_name>> is taken to a web page that contains a personalized newsfeed for their perusal. They begin to leisurely scroll through folks social updates, adding a like or two when appropriate, but mostly staying quiet, until they reach the section where microbroadcasts by news channels, news personalities, and self-appointed citizen journalists, are being offered in 140 characters or less. It is here where they come across a headline which reads "A filmed murder of a Muslim man goes viral."
<<print $player_name>> stops their scrolling and takes in a deep breath. They close their eyes, and exhale out a deep suffering sigh.
//"f***! just how many more times? Why can't they just leave us alone"// <<print $player_name>> thinks to themself.
Their 4swunk newsfeed from the past couple months had started showing more posts of working-class muslims getting attacked in India.
//"I don't know if there is actually an increase in anti-Muslim violence, or if 4swunk is helping me confirm my beliefs..." <<print $player_name>> ponders further.
//"Well, let's first see what the headline is actually about..."// they decide.
[["A filmed murder of a Muslim man goes viral"|afrazul khan]]<<cacheaudio "mainsong" "music/fma.mp3">>Here you will engage in self-introspection about the feature of saving and bookmarking? What does it mean to save news about afrazul khan?
If I save news articles about Afrazul Khan and other like him on my phone, does that mean it is a way of me remembering him? What does saving look like online? And what can we save?
Saving online looks like bookmarking. Bookmarking regurgitated reaction news pieces surrounding Afrazul Khan.
Pursue [[MAK|MAK]] story furtherCan we be nonchalant about the violence we face? Can we be nonchalant in the face of a system that is design to trap and immobilize us?
Leisure & Nonchalance
I choose not to engage so I will go to sleep and think about this some other day.
Babri Masjid Demolition : offer a write up. You can also include a link of your computational study.
[[the Hashimpura Massacre|Hashimpura Massacre]] had. This is the passage where we get to know the history behind Shambhulal Regar, Afrazul Khan's murderer, and how Khan's murder is operating as a coverup for Regar's illicit love affair.