Fromshining tointolerantIndia

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REEMA SHAUKAT
I NDIA marks its Republic Day on 26 January with a claimthatthey honourthe date on which the Constitution of India, came into effect on 26 January 1950 replacing the 1935 Government of India Act which was the governing document of India. History narratesthattheConstitution was adopted by the Indian Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949, and came into effect on 26 January 1950 with a democratic government system, completing the country’s transition towards becoming an independent republic. Thus, 26 January was chosen as the Republic Day because it was on this day in 1929 when Declaration of Indian Independence, was announced by Indian National Congress as opposed to the Dominion status ruled by the then British regime. Interestingly, India celebrates this day proclaiming itself a big vigil of democracy. India every year showcases its military parade on Republic Day, just to show off its military strength to the world. But unfortunately, its military is using its power brutally on innocent Kashmiris in Occupied Kashmir and pushes Pakistan to indulge in arms race thus creating strategic instability in the region. On the other hand, many Indians are now rising up against the ‘saffronization’ of India and imposition of harsh policies by Modi government. Considering the situation which has evoked after the December 2019 India is wrapped with tougher situation as people are protesting about the punitive and bigoted Modi’s policies. But the leaders in India are least bothered about the emerging situation as recently Parnab Mukherjee said that the last few months have seen people come out of streets in large number, particularly the young to voice their issues. Democracy thrives on listening, deliberating, discussing, arguing and even dissent. He believes this present wave of protests that have gripped the country shall enable the further deepening of democratic roots. One wonders the leaders in India who are taking this wave of protest as revival of democracy is what actual India is where even the Indians no matter to which faith they belong are protesting against the new citizenship bill. It is interesting to highlight that India leaves no stone unturned to portray herself as one of biggest democracies of the world and a night watch holder of human rights. India is vocal advocate of secularism but nowhere else in the world secularism is blatantly betrayed as India does. Hindu fundamentalism is on rise and influencing India society to the chamber of destruction. The hate campaign released by the fundamentalist powers is keeping the minority in India absolutely pre-occupied with defending their basic human rights and cultural identities. Theoretically, Indian Constitution protects the rights of minorities, but Hindu majority led by BJP has shown complete disrespect to it and commit brutalities against Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and Dalits with liberty. According to report released by ‘Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission’immoderations against religious minorities in India is a continuous marvel by using violence and disavowal of constitutional rights as the main tricks by Hindu extremists. Report shows India as an intolerant and unbearable country for religious minorities. No wonder animosity against Muslims is not new in India. They have never accepted Muslims as a separate sole power and the notable Muslim community in India has remained a prime target of Hindu antagonism. Sikh community is another target of extremism in India and particularly they are on hit list as Sikh ideology condemns the caste system and worshipping idols which is fundamental in Hinduism. Sikhism was downgraded to status of sub sect of Hinduism and Sikhs are since then demoralized and subjugated by Hindus. Christians too, are another suffering community in India. Considering the situation in India-occupied Kashmir particularly after the 05August 2019 when India abrogated the special status given to state of Kashmir, the valley has turned into an open prison. India in the past, by force seized a number of princely ruled states by violating the partition pattern and against the desire of the inhabitants of the respective states. Thus, it annexed Jammu and Kashmir by using military force. Pakistan confronted Indian hostility and showed how Indian claims contradictits stance.Meanwhile, United Nations intervened and in its resolution, UN demanded for a plebiscite to be held in the IoK to determine the desire of the dwellers. Over a period of time, India has been avoiding UN resolutions and their implementation below one excuse or the other. This is the reason that a sense of uncertainty prevails in the region (due to stubborn attitude of India) who with who cares attitude doesn’t like to be on dialogue table even. Tension along the LoC andWorking Boundary has been on the rise for a long time. United NationsMilitary Observers Group representatives have also visited different sectors along the Line of Control several times to record the evidence of damages/losses for reporting the same to their headquarters. But the present situation in IoK and the internal situation of India, all demonstrates Indian hegemonic designs for the region. Over the past few years and particularly with Narendar Modi’s sway, analysts say that it’s not a rosy picture now. India has rising intolerance, social instability, hate-crimes, violence against women, moral policing, caste and religion based violence and many other sorts of intolerance are rampant across the country thus making India among fanatical countries. Muslims suffered from Hindus before partition and now they are suffering in today’s India by Modi’s policies. Therefore, today’s India can collapse because of Modi. India, while celebrating its Republic Day must watch out its assaultive behaviour and look for its peaceful presence in the region. Hindu fundamentalism is increasingly broadening its influence everywhere and has already established a firm base of radicalism in educational sector, bureaucracy and media. India must review its policies in order to be called as democratic or secular India, otherwise minorities will definitely stand up for their rights some day and it will be too late for Hindustan to realize that it’s no more a de facto country. — The writer works for Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies, a think-tank based in Islamabad.