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Tuesday, January 31, 2023
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HomeOpinionAn ugly face of India

An ugly face of India

By Khawaja Khabib ur Rahman

The secular India is a deceptive face behind the real ugly face of Modi’s India, where only Hindus has the rights and Muslims along with other minorities are second grade citizens, and often are regarded as no citizens with no rights. This is a right perception that India is in the hand of two politicians and a businessman. The Prime Minister of India Mr. Modhi, his right hand powerful interior minister Amit shah and Ambani’s business empire. They will never turn an opportunity to usurp poor minorities’ rights to benefit their corporate greed for their self-interest. The image of progressive India is sabotage underneath Modhi’s fascist regime, where minorities are struggling to breath. The heinous attacks by RSS on minorities become routine, now the government is legislating laws to tighten more minorities. As India is home to 1.4 billion people belong to a variety of ethnicities and religions, but very unfortunate to be from minority to breath in India. India is home to some two hundred million Muslims, one of the world’s largest Muslim populations but a minority in the predominantly Hindu country. Since India’s independence, Muslims have faced systematic discrimination, prejudice, and violence, despite constitutional protections. Experts say anti-Muslim sentiments have heightened under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has pursued a Hindu nationalist agenda since elected to power in 2014. Since Modi’s reelection in 2019, the government has pushed controversial policies that critics say explicitly ignore Muslims’ rights and are intended to disenfranchise millions of Muslims. Under Modi, violence against Muslims has become more common. The moves have sparked protests in India and drawn international condemnation.

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Muslims have experienced discrimination in areas including employment, education, and housing.

Over the last two decades, the representation of Muslims in parliament has stagnated: after the 2019 elections, Muslims held just 5 percent of seats. That’s partly due to the rise of the BJP, which by mid-2022 had no Muslim members of its party in parliament.

What controversial actions has the Modi government taken with regard to Muslims?

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In December 2019, the parliament passed and Modi signed the Citizenship Amendment Act, which allows for the fast-tracking of citizenship for Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Critics say the law is discriminatory because it excludes Muslims and applies a religious criteria for the first time to the question of citizenship. The Modi government argues that the law is designed to provide protection for vulnerable religious minorities who faced persecution in these three Muslim-majority countries.

There are legal restrictions on religious conversions in at least six states that have at times been used to arrest and intimidate Muslims and Christians who proselytize, according to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Christians and Muslims who identify as low-caste Dalits are restricted from accessing educational and employment benefits traditionally reserved for Hindu Dalits.

India also has experienced “very high” levels of religion-related social hostilities in the past decade, according to the same Pew Research Center study. In fact, since we began tracking this issue in 2007, the country has consistently scored “very high” on the study’s Social Hostilities Index. In recent years there has been a surge in mob attacks by Hindu vigilante groups against Dalit and Muslim consumers and traders in the beef, dairy and leather industries. Additionally, Dalit women are disproportionately victims of sexual violence due to their caste, while Muslim women and girls also have been targeted due to their religion.

Communal tensions – between Indians of various religious faiths and castes – have long plagued Indian society. Most Indians are at least somewhat concerned about these tensions, but even larger shares are worried about other national issues, according to a 2017 Pew Research Center survey.  Almost four-in-ten Indians (37%) said “communal relations” are a very big problem in their country, while an additional 31% named this as a moderately big problem. But greater shares of Indian adults named crime, terrorism, corruption, lack of employment opportunities, rising prices and other issues as major national problems.

Under the Gujarat Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Act, enacted in December, anyone found to be illegally occupying public or private land can be charged and tried in special courts, with penalties including fines and jail sentences of up to 14 years. There are nearly 800 ongoing land conflicts in India, according to Land Conflict Watch.

What have been the largest outbursts of violence? A few recent acts of violence against Muslims are;

Babri Masjid, 1992. Disputes over the mosque in the northern city of Ayodhya have turned deadly in recent decades. Hindus claim a general from the Muslim Mughal empire built the mosque on the birthplace of the Hindu deity Ram during the sixteenth century. In 1992, Hindu militants destroyed the mosque. An estimated three thousand people, most of them Muslim, died in ensuing riots-the deadliest religious clashes since partition. In 2020, Modi set the cornerstone for a new Hindu temple on the site after the Supreme Court approved its construction.

Gujarat riots, 2002. Nationwide clashes broke out after a train of Hindu pilgrims traveling from Ayodhya through the western state of Gujarat caught fire, killing dozens of people. Blaming Muslims for starting the fire, Hindu mobs throughout Gujarat killed hundreds of Muslims, raped Muslim women, and destroyed Muslim businesses and places of worship. Opposition politicians, human rights groups, and U.S. lawmakers criticized Modi, then Gujarat’s chief minister, and the BJP for not doing enough to prevent the violence and in some cases encouraging it. An Indian government investigation said the train fire was an accident, but conflicting reports have said it was arson.

Muzaffarnagar riots, 2013. In towns near the city of Muzaffarnagar, more than sixty people were killed in clashes that broke out between Hindus and Muslims after two Hindu men died in an altercation with Muslim men. An estimated fifty thousand people, most of them Muslim, fled the violence; many lived in relief camps for months, and some never returned home.

Anti-Muslim mobs. Hindu mob attacks have become so common in recent years that India’s Supreme Court warned that they could become the “new normal.” One of the most common forms of anti-Muslim violence is vigilante groups attacking people rumored to trade or kill cows, which many Hindus believe are sacred. At least forty-four people, most of them Muslims, have been killed by these so-called cow protection groups, according to a 2019 Human Rights Watch report. Muslim men have also been attacked after being accused of “love jihad,” a term used by Hindu groups to describe Muslim men allegedly trying to seduce and marry Hindu women to convert them. Hundreds of Muslim men have been arrested for violating anti-conversion laws that several BJP-led states passed in an effort to prevent love jihad.

New Delhi clashes, 2020. Violence broke out as Muslims and others protested the Citizenship Amendment Act in New Delhi. Around fifty people were killed, most of them Muslim, in the capital city’s worst communal violence in decades. Some BJP politicians helped incite the violence, and police reportedly did not intervene to stop Hindu mobs from attacking Muslims. A 2021 Human Rights Watch report found that authorities had not investigated police complicity, while they had charged more than a dozen protesters.

Protests over Islamophobic rhetoric, 2022. In May, two BJP officials made profane comments about Prophet Mohammed, leading to deadly protests across India and condemnation from Muslim-majority countries. The BJP suspended the officials. The following month, two Muslim men killed a Hindu man who supported one of the BJP officials in an attack they filmed and shared online.

But the actual picture is more gruesome, persecution against minorities, forced disappearances, without a lawful documents and process by RSS on behest of the BJP’s supremo’s, is still unaccountable. The minorities are pushed to wall in secular India, The government is doing all unlawful acts to silence minorities in pursuit of greater Hindu agenda, where only Hindus will have the right to live.



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