Effects of Islamophobia on IIOJK under Modi regime

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Tasneem Shafiq

Muslims in India have been feeling under threat since the Hindu nationalist BJP came to power in 2014.

When Narendra Modi, secured a second term for his Hindu nationalist agenda in 2019, Human Rights experts sounded the alarm for a looming genocide, one threatening the existence of 200 million Muslims and 30 million Christians living in India.

History seems to be repeating itself. As the Nazi Jews were seen as “disloyal” and “enemies within,” similarly, in India, from Kashmir to Bengal, Indian Muslims have to prove their loyalty to Modi’s fascist government which considers them the “enemy within.

The Bollywood films and sections of the Indian media portray Muslims as gangsters, dons, smugglers, terrorists and anti-state actors.

Exactly similar to the representation of Jews as the “bad guys” in German films and press during the Nazi rule.

Destructive campaign against the Indian Muslims has resulted in the rise of a racist slogan – “Go back to Pakistan” – which has been heard in films and from sports stars, namely, Nasseruddin Shah.

BJP leader Rajeshwar Singh vowed to wipe out Indian Muslims and Christians by Dec 31, 2021.

He said “We have decided that Islam and Christianity will be finished in India by 2021. ” This is the “pledge” of the BJP, the political party with the most representation in the Indian parliament and state assemblies.

RSS terrorists are ideological equals of the Nazis. They endorse more horrific forms of torture including the imprisonment of Muslims in detention centres, police raids on Muslims mosques and at Jamia University, brutally beating young and elderly Muslims in public, intentionally demolishing their homes and lynching on the pretext of “holy cow protection.

” In IIOJK, a tragic and horrible past is turning into a reality. Modi’s rule has turned Kashmir and India at the threshold of a probable Indian Muslim’s Holocaust.

Hindu radical mobs kill any Muslim who eats beef, but the outside world sees India as the world’s largest exporter of beef, an activity that has dramatically increased under Modi’s govt.

This is the real face of a democratic India that is clearly anti-Muslim. Pakistan has repeatedly called on the international community, including the UN and the organization of Islamic Cooperation, to take notice of the “worrying level of Islamophobia in IIOJK” and prevail upon Indian authorities to prevent systematic human rights violations against minorities in the country.

According to Noam Chomsky, “Islamophobia has taken a most lethal form in India, turning some 250 million Indian Muslims into a persecuted minority”.

American scholar Dr. Gregory Stanton believes “possible mass extermination of Muslims” is “definitely underway in India” as Modi had already committed a Muslim genocide in Gujrat.

At a public rally in Gujarat on 10 Oct, 22 ahead of the state assembly elections due at the end of the year, Modi claimed that he had somehow “resolved the Kashmir issue”.

According to Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO), Modi’s narrative is completely false and misleading.

It reflects “how oblivious the Indian leadership has become of the ground realities in IIOJK”. It stated, “Despite clear UN resolutions that prescribe a free and impartial plebiscite for the final disposition of the dispute, India has not only illegally occupied the territory but is also guilty of egregious human rights violations employing over 900,000 brutal occupation force”.

Indian media reported that Modi said that he was walking in the footsteps of India’s first Home Minister Sardar Patel, claiming that “Sardar Saheb persuaded all the princely states to merge with India.

But another person handled this one issue of Kashmir,” in an apparent jab at India’s first PM Jawaharlal Nehru.

He said “As I am following in the footsteps of Sardar Saheb, I have values of the land of Sardar and that was the reason I resolved the problem of Kashmir and paid true tributes to Sardar Patel”.

The human rights watchdog had observed that in recent years, civil society members, journalists, lawyers and human rights defenders in Kashmir had faced relentless interrogation, arbitrary travel bans, revolving door detentions and repressive media policies. In a report titled “We are being punished by the law: Three years since the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir”, Amnesty documented interrogations, travel bans and detentions of journalists and human rights defenders.

The people of IIOJK continued to brave India’s reprehensible occupation which it sought to perpetuate through malicious demographic changes and strong-arm tactics.

India must be held responsible for its “nefarious scheme of altering the demography of IIOJK”, as well as for its brutal repression of the innocent Kashmiris.

Human rights and humanitarian organizations need to condemn India’s state terrorism in IIOJK and demand an immediate reversal of the Indian government’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019.

Modi should deliver on India’s commitments to the Kashmiris and to the world by ensuring that the Kashmiris are accorded their inalienable right to self-determination instead of making delusional statements about having resolved the dispute unilaterally.

The only solution to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute lay in ensuring that the Kashmiris were allowed to exercise their right of self-determination through the democratic method of holding a UN-mandated free and impartial plebiscite as espoused in the relevant UNSC resolutions and as per the wishes of the Kashmiri people.

[The writer has remained associated with the Institute for Strategic Studies and ISPR—Pakistan Observer]

 

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