Bulldozing justice – 22 Jun 2022

Amnesty International has said that Indian authorities are “selectively and viciously cracking down on Muslims who dare to speak up … against the discrimination faced by them”. Amnesty is not alone in these sentiments. Pakistan has been consistently raising the issue of Indian brutalities against its Muslim minority population as well as its reign of terror in Occupied Kashmir. A new video released by a senior BJP member, which has gone viral across India, shows police in Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh beating Muslims who were protesting against the blasphemous comments made by BJP spokespersons a few weeks back; that this happened after Friday prayers only makes it even worse. Muslim men and boys were violently beaten with batons – all captured on video. Those who reached the police station to protest were also in some cases taken into custody. While police have denied the action, the reality is that India is growing into an increasingly fascist country where no Muslim is safe.

This has been continuing for the past few years in particular since Modi’s India became the very ugly face of what once used to be known as a ‘secular’ country. It has now taken a turn for the worse – one that simply cannot, and should not, be ignored by the world. Indeed, pressure from Muslim countries that had spoken out against the blasphemous comments by the BJP spokespersons did lead to the BJP taking action. But, as many have argued, it was only financial compulsions that led to such reaction. Bulldozers still came for agitating Muslims, and there will no doubt continue to be violence unleashed by Indian security forces in Occupied Kashmir, and Indian police and public in India.

That ‘Shining India’ is no more is a given; what is frightening is how easily Hindutva fascism has found takers across the country – and abroad, specifically among non-resident Indians (NRIs). And, while Pakistan is speaking out in condemnation of these events, that is not enough. There has to be a stop to what is happening. But the question is how this will happen and who will achieve it. Amnesty International’s statement at least indicates the international community is becoming involved in the upsurge of anti-Muslim violence in India. But will this be enough to stop it? There is no sign that the BJP intends to change its policies and for now India continues to become an increasingly hostile state for the Muslims who live in it and form a giant minority within a massive population.

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