India: The epicenter of Global Islamophobia
Image courtesy of Aman Sharma/Associated Press
India has always been known as one of the largest democracies in the world and that’s how people have been connected to it globally. Though there have been several instances of religious violence against Muslims since the partition of India in 1947, frequently in the form of violent attacks on Muslims by Hindu nationalist mobs that form a pattern of sporadic sectarian violence between the Hindu and Muslim communities, but in the last two decades, specifically after the demolition of Babri Masjid the anti-Muslim hatred has reached a new height. Under the Narendra Modi government it’s now a new normal for Indian Muslims to face harassments, taunts and lynching in the name of cow protection.
The causes of violence against Muslims are different in different periods due to political supports from behind. So, one particular reason will never give the clear picture. For some intellectuals, the roots are thought to lie in Indian history – resentment toward the Islamic conquest of India during the Medieval period, for some it’s divisive policies established by the colonial government during the period of British rule and the partition of India into an Islamic State of Pakistan and an Indian state with a Muslim minority is one of those many. Many scholars have also believe that the incidents of anti-Muslim violence are politically motivated and a part of the electoral strategy of mainstream Hindu nationalist political parties like the Bharatiya Janata Party (political wing of RSS) which is on power for the last seven years.
People from other parts of the world see it as a nation full of varieties and coexistence of people from different faiths and customs. But, in the recent years the story has taken a different route specifically since a right wing Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi has become it’s Prime Minister succeeding Dr. Manmohan Singh. Minorities have become a common target for the Hindutva organisations like Rashtriya Swayemsevak Sangh (RSS) as well as fellow members from the ruling political party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Image courtesy of Scroll.in
There’s a long list of victims who lost their lives for their identities, faiths and beliefs and their families and children have been seeking justice from its corrupt system for years and years on, yielding nothing. There are hundreds of families who’ve been suffering from such dirty political game and yet Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is globally known for his oratory skills, who’s active on every social media platform has never said anything about these killings. Only under the disguise of cow protection majority of Hindus have become a political support for Narendra Modi and thus they are being used to protect Hindu religion and faith from outsiders (BJP calls Muslims, Christians, Parsis etc. outsiders). To add to it, the worst thing going parallel to all these incidents is that almost all the culprits who usually kill the victim in broad daylight are being garlanded by the majority community for what they’ve done. The courts, police station are also doing their best to protect the culprits because of their political support.
The worst part of it is not that this is not stopping, rather it’s it’s growing exponentially everyday and the current Government has never been curious to resolve this matter. Though one might never expect strict actions against the terrorists (culprits) at least from the Prime Minister Narendra Modi but at least for global leadership he should have asked his followers to reject the path of terrorism to kill fellow Indians only to get political benefits.
Ironically the human rights organisations like Amnesty International, United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR), Southeast Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) have failed to take a strong move against the current govt for it’s recent crackdown on Muslims in India specifically for its passing of laws like Citizenship Amendment Act of 2019 which will give citizenship to almost each minority groups persecuted in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan except Muslims; the National Register Citizens (NRC) for its each and every citizens and most importantly on the issue of abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35 (A) of the Indian Constitution (previously implemented) from the previously fully functional state of Jammu and Kashmir which was eventually divided into two union territories namely Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. Not only that, the internet connection in the Kashmir valley was shut down long before COVID-19 hit the Nation and it’s been under curfew for last couple of years.
Image courtesy of The New York Times
Though the latest Babri Masjid verdict given in 2019 (in favour of Ram Temple in Ayodhya where the Babri Masjid was demolished in the broad daylight in 1992 although there had no evidence of existence of any temple on the site) was expected to feed the hunger of the Hindutva brigade it’s yielded nothing but more energy to the Sangh family. In February 2020, when the then US president Donald Trump was visiting India just before the deadly novel Coronavirus hit the nation the National capital city cum Union Territory Delhi was burning for nearly a week. When the city was being burnt for at least a week, mosques were demolished, Hindutva flags were hoisted in the minarets of the Mosques there were not a single statement from the head of the biggest democracy in the world. There were evidence of inciting Hindutva mobs by Kapil Mishra, a BJP politician from Delhi in presence of the Police commissioner (still available on YouTube and other video sharing websites) but when Delhi Police investigated the incident they found Kapil Mishra innocent. At least hundreds of Muslims were killed, thousands were wounded and made refugees who took shelter in other places. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was busy doing election strategies with his US counterpart.
After that horrible incidents it’s expected that Islamophobic incidents will cease and they (Hindutva goons) wil strive hard to get a better living leaving the Nationalism tag behind. But now it seems that they’ve a long list of To-dos. Now they’ve started a campaign to demolish the Taj Mahal (claiming that there had been a temple before it’s made a memorial by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan) just based on their propaganda fueled by Hindutva politics. And Indian media have been promoting those Hindutva hate mongers only for their own profit.
They’ve been doing live TV shows to demonise Muslims, to question their patriotism, to incite Hindutva goons to strictly take action against Love Jihad ( a politically motivated term to harass Muslim youths) and even asked questions on their purity on being selected for the civil services. This is how Modi regime have been peddling Hatred towards Muslims in India nowadays!