Rise of religious intolerance in India | By Asad Ali


Rise of religious intolerance in India


WE are living in a society where intolerance has increased significantly.There is no value of human life.

People are attacking and killing one another over communal disputes without knowing the facts.

This trend has taken dangerous turn in Modi’s India where Hindu fanatics have increased their brutalities against minorities, extensively.

Minorities are being subjected to mental and religious tortures over the flimsy allegations of insulting Hinduism.

The recent Hijab row, killing of Dalit man and gruesome murder and rape of Dalit girls in India has triggered another religious debate in the country over shrinking space for minorities.

Hindu goons are roaming freely under the state patronage to kill and rape people of other than Hindu religion or Other Backward Castes (OBCs).

There are no signs that these trends may end in near future.Historically, India’s massive population is diverse as well as devout.

Not only do most of the world’s Hindus, Jains and Sikhs live in India, but it also is home to the world’s largest Muslim population and to millions of Christians and Buddhists.

Unfortunately, Muslims have become target of Hindu driven policies of Indian ruling elite.

The debate over the Hijab issue in BJP-led state of Karnataka has taught us many lessons when it comes to practise religious norms and values in India.

The fuss, which is created by Hindu zealots over Hijab issue, is taking dangerous and somehow violent shape.

Hindu monks are on the streets and threatening Muslims for wearing Hijab in the country.

Since last few weeks, violent protests erupted in different states such as Madhiya Pradesh, Utter Pradesh and Karnataka where Hindu fanatics are vandalizing property of Muslims and other lower caste people.

Recently, on 20 February, a Hindu monk was killed in Karnataka’s Shivamogga district.As expected, Hindu extremists linked the incident with Hijab row in the state while calling for strict action against Muslims.

Tension continues to simmer in Shivamogga district with death of Harsha, an office-bearer of Bajarang Dal and subsequent political friction.

Harsha was a tailor and held position of ‘Prakanda Sahakaryadarshi’ (coordinator) in the district.

BJP is trying to manipulate the issue of Harsha’s death by giving it communal colour for mere political point scoring, amid elections in some crucial states.

The use of religious political tool is not a new thing for BJP.It has used similar incidents in the past as well for point scoring to get maximum political mileage.

Hundreds of security personnel have been rushed to Karnataka after mobs burnt vehicles and vandalized properties.20 people were injured in the unrest.

Karnataka government imposed stringent measures against Muslim organizations to investigate murder of Harsha.Several incidents of arson were reported as angry mobs pelted stones at business places.

BJP’s leaders are accusing Muslims of killing Harsha.BJP’s General Secretary contended that Harsha was killed by Muslim fundamentalists for his opposition to hijab at educational institutions.

Blaming Muslims in general and Pakistan in particular have become a policy tool for Indian leaders to cover up its negligence.

This is the true face of Modi’s India.These Hindu monks have made the life of minorities miserable.Likewise, Hindutva-driven policies have taken over India.

Karnataka is becoming caldron of anti-Muslim sentiments.Minorities and liberals are under severe distress of Modi govt.Ban on Hijab is also a practical demonstration of all this chaos.

Animosity against Muslims is increasing as Modi’s actions are strengthening RSS and Hindu fanatics’ stance regarding Muslims.

Karnataka is becoming Gujarat 2.0.Ban on Hijab is purely is political card used by BJP.

Sadly, India has become a country where minorities are being killed for mere political and religious gains.

These acts by Hindu monks are crime, which needs attention of international community, human rights watchdogs.

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom classified India as Tier-2 in persecuting religious minorities.

In its recent report, the US Commission charged Hindu groups for their campaign to “Saffronize” India through violence, intimidation and harassment against non-Hindus.

Approximately, one-third of Indian states implemented anti-conversion and anti-cow slaughter legislation against non-Hindus, and mobs engaged in violence against Muslims whose families have been engaged in dairy, leather or beef trades for generations, and against Christians for proselytizing.

Many historians maintained that religious violence in independent India is a legacy of policy of divide and rule pursued by British government during colonial era, in which administrators pitted Hindus and Muslims against one another.

However, BJP/other nationalist groups have expedited its use for mere political mileage. Now, the world must have to act decisively against the religious terrorism in India under patronage of ruling elite.

They must ensure provision of all fundamental, religious and constitutional rights of minorities.

Ironically, it has become imperative to pretend something as per Hindu culture to prove your love for India.

In a nutshell, in Modi’s India, minorities have no place to live freely and that’s all one can say.

Most Hindus in India say being Hindu, being able to speak Hindi are very important to be ‘truly’ Indian.

—The writer is Islamabad based expert in Indian political affairs.


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