There seems to be no end to the violence endured by the large Muslim community in India. They are living in constant fear and anger, amid a worrying rise in xenophobia under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership. In the latest, condemnable incident, scores of Muslims were targeted by an angry Hindu mob in the northeastern state of Tripura, in retaliation to the violence against Hindus in Bangladesh. Indian security forces guarded mosques in the region as the right-wing groups vandalized Muslim holy places and targeted worshippers, all in the name of ‘revenge’.
Tripura shares an 850-km long border with neighbouring Bangladesh, which recently witnessed Hindu-Muslim riots, as seven people from the Hindu community residing in that country were killed, while a temple ransacked. Following this, a Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) protest rally of around 3,500 people was organized in the Indian state on Wednesday. The protestors ransacked at least four mosques, three houses and set two shops on fire in the largely Muslim area of the Rowa Bazaar. It must be noted that the northern state is governed by PM Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), under whom, India is witnessing a rise in fascism, putting a dent to its ‘secular’ image.
Though communal violence in India witnessed a surge from the onset of PM Modi’s tenure, it was the passing of the controversial bill in 2019 to give religion-based citizenship to only non-Muslims who came from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, that sparked the new wave of Hindu-Muslim hatred in the country. Since then, mob lynching of Muslims, destruction of mosques and discrimination against members of the community have become the norm. It was just last month when harrowing video documenting the atrocities against Muslims in Assam showed Indian security forces brutally shooting the minority community. This has let to a social media outrage by civil activists in India, giving rise to #MuslimsLivesMatter. However, under Modi’s India, voices of dissent are actively stifled, muzzled and curbed. The treatment meted out to protesting students at the Jawaharlal Nehru University last year, bears the true face of India’s ruthless state-sponsored genocidal campaign.
But despite the rising number of cases, the international community have maintained silence over gross human rights violations in India to avoid losing its big economic market that have profited many foreign companies. The criminal silence of people in India too is making its minority groups live under constant duress in the world’s largest ‘democracy’.