PRINCESS Hend Al Qassimi said a few days back on Twitter addressing the Indians working in the UAE, “All employees are paid to work, no one comes for free. You make your bread and butter from this land which you scorn and your ridicule will not go unnoticed.” Princess Hend Al Qassimi is a member of the UAE royal family. According to an estimate, over 3,420,000 Indian migrants are living in the UAE. There are seven states which constitute the UAE; these include Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain.
Not only in the UAE but in the whole Arab world, in the last few years, a shift is being noticed in the attitude of the local people with the Indians working there. Things are getting harder and harder for the Indian expatriates in Arab countries. There are two reasons behind; irresponsible attitude of the Indian netizens on social media against the Arabs and atrocities against the Muslims in India. The social media users in the Arab world are now giving clear warnings to the Indians that their entry to the Arab countries would be completely banned and they would be ‘fined and made to leave’ if they did not change their attitude.
Different media reports say that ‘some influential citizens of the Gulf country lashed out at the Modi government for giving a free run to far-right Hindu extremists, who have engaged in violence against Muslims, entertaining genocidal fantasies.’ Comments on social media, made by Indian nationals working in the UAE are creating a hazardous political storm and this situation would certainly lead to more difficulties for the Indian expatriates. In spite of the fact that the Arab countries are very much rigid in their religious beliefs, they never express any type of extremism or narrow-mindedness when they deal with the foreigners doing labour in their countries. No doubt it is the mild and soft rather kind attitude of the local Arabs that every year millions of workers from India come to those countries for earning bread and butter. Unfortunately these Indians have started behaving nonsensically in the last few years.
Oman is one of the Arab states most badly affected by hostile behaviour of the Indian netizens though it is a state very much caring about the rights of religious minorities. It welcomes everyone belonging to any religious community. In Muscat, Sohar and Salalah, one can find a large number of people from Jain, Buddhist, Zoroastrian, Sikh, Jew, Hindu and Christian communities. There are two grand Hindu temples in Muscat and a few Gurdwaras too. The government of Oman never puts restrictions on any type of religious activity of any community. According to a report Oman is hosting 448,000 Indian migrant workers of which 25% are unskilled workers, 30% semi-skilled and 35% are skilled ones. Recently, in reaction to the misbehaviour of the Indian expatriates, the government of Oman has decided to replace expatriate workers “as quickly as possible” with Omanis. No doubt, the workers from India are the largest expatriate community in Oman. Now as a result of this decision, millions of Indian workers will have to go back to their country.
If Indian netizens had not reacted with hostility in response to a tweet of Her Highness Dr. Mona Fahad Mahmoud Al Said, Oman would not have taken this decision. In a tweet she had criticized the Indian government on its shameful treatment with the minorities particularly with the Muslims. Her Highness Dr. Mona Fahad Mahmoud Al Said is a very learned and a scholarly lady working as the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Sultan Qaboos University Oman. The whole nation is obliged to her matchless educational services to Omani youth. It is said that her only aim of life is to usher Oman into the modern age with the help of the latest education techniques and by introducing to the youth, the most sublime traits of character. She is considered the most popularly respected member of the royal family. In response to her tweet, the Indian social media activists started a very organized type of deformation movement against her on social media. They used abusive and offensive language against her and at some places her character assassination was also observed.
Just to make situation more confusing someone from the Modi social media cell started a propaganda that the Twitter account which the Princess uses was hacked by some hostile intelligence agency and the tweet which condemned Indian atrocities did not belong to her. In other words these social media activists simply tried to spread the impression that this all was done by some neighbouring country. It is also a point of view that the government of Oman might not have decided so if Mr Modi had not changed the status of the Kashmir valley through revocation of Articles 370 and 35-A. Moreover a move against the Indian Muslims defaming them as a cause of spreading Covid-19 has also compelled the Oman authorities to take that decision. Mr Modi and his supporters are trying to normalize the situation with the help of common friends but still the Sword of Damocles is impending there. The fact of the matter is that our unwise actions simply make life a burden for us.
—The writer is freelance columnist based in Multan.