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Archive for category HINDUISM CULT

Anti-Muslim Aftermath of Modi’s Election Victory

Anti-Muslim Aftermath of Modi’s Election Victory

By

Sajjad Shaukat

 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s extremist party BJP had got a land sliding triumph in the Indian elections 2014 on the basis of anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan slogans. Indian election-campaign against Islam, Muslims and Pakistan enabled BJP hardliner Modi to become Indian prime minister. Whereas, the Muslim community in India had felt alienated, frightened and perturbed, as most of them were also effectively disenfranchised.

 

Muslims were already aware of Modi’s agenda to reduce the Muslim community in India to second class citizens and had felt nervous and gloomy. Their anxiety was multiplying due to the fact that during the election campaign, the BJP was also speaking of Hindu deep-seated animosity against Pakistan and Pakistani public.

 

Hence, since Prime Minister Modi came to power, he has been implementing anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan agenda with the support of fanatic coalition outfits. 

 

In this regard, various developments like unprecedented rise of Hindu extremism, persecution of Muslims, assaults on Muslims, including their places of worships and property by the fanatic Hindu mobs, inclusion of Hindu religious books in curriculum, forced conversion of Muslims into Hindus and ban on beef and cow slaughter clearly showed that encouraged by the Hindu fundamentalist groups such as BJP, RSS VHP, Bajrang Dal and Shiv Sena, including other similar parties have been promoting religious and ethnic chauvinism in India by propagating the ideology of Hindutva (Hindu nationalism) which is the genesis of Hindu terrorism.

 

Besides, continuing false flag operations, on Setember18, 2016, New Delhi staged the drama of the terror attack in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) at a military base in Uri, close to the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan. After the Uri episode, without any investigation, India’s top civil and military officials, including their media started propaganda against Pakistan by accusing that the militants who targeted the Uri base came from Pakistan’s side of Azad Kashmir. India created war-hysteria against Pakistan and started mobilization of troops near the LOC while claiming surgical strikes on the Azad Kashmir. But, the myth of Indian so-called surgical strikes was exposed, as Indian top civil and military officers could not prove the strikes. Meanwhile, Indian forces also accelerated violations of the LoC by shelling Pakistani side of Kashmir, which still continues.

 

 

India’s Saffron Hindutva Terrorista

 

 

 

However, BJP played the same anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan card to gain votes of a majority of Hindus in the general elections 2019. Hindu majority was mobilized on ‘hate Muslim’ slogans and ‘anti-Pakistan’ jargons, while the incessant and unjust Indian propaganda against Pakistan was beyond anybody’s cognition, which still keeps on going.

 

Notably, very tension escalated rapidly between New Delhi and Islamabad when on February 27, this year, in response to the Indian so-called pre-emptive air strike near the town of Balakot, close to the border with Pakistan’s sector of Kashmir, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) shot down two Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter jets and launched aerial strikes at six targets in the IOK.

 

In the aftermath of the false flag terror attack at Pulwama, the truth about India’s surgical strikes unmasked, when Indian top civil and military leaders failed in providing any evidence.

 

The myth of Indian surgical strikes was further exposed, when, referring to the statement of Indian India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who admitted on April 18, 2019 that no Pakistani soldier or citizen died in the air strike carried out by IAF across the border in Balakot, Director General of Pakistan Army’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Maj-Gen. Asif Ghafoor stated on April 19, 2019: “After India finally admitted that their so-called air strike carried on February 26 in Balakot caused no deaths and casualties…Hopefully, so will be about other false Indian claims [such as] surgical strike of 2016, denial of shooting down of two Indian Air Force [IAF] jets by Pakistan Air Force and claims about F16…Better late than never.”

 

Afterwards, journalists visited the targeted site of Balakot and Islamabad also released a video which exposed the false statements of New Delhi that IAF fighters targeted the camp of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and killed 350 militants.

 

In fact, the false flag terror attack in the Pulwama district of the IOK, which killed at least 44 Indian soldiers, was election stunt of the BJP. Exploiting that episode, a wave of jingoism was created by the BJP-led fanatic parties against the Muslims and Pakistan to win the general elections 2019.

 

Therefore, as regards the elections 2019, on May 23, 2019, National Democratic Alliance (NDA) won 352 out of 542 Lok Sabha seats, with the BJP sweeping up 303 seats on its own—21 seats more than it won in the 2014 elections. Across most of North and Central India, BJP candidates also won with bigger vote shares and wider victory margins than in 2014.

 

Owing to the huge mandate of the BJP, violence has been let loose, with “Jai Shri Ram”–a slogan that roughly translates to “Hail Lord Ram”. As Modi was named as the leader of the NDA for a second time, minority communities especially Muslims have made to live in fear by the extremist Hindus.

 

In this respect, in the aftermath of the election results, news reports have highlighted different cases in which Dalits and particularly Muslims were violently targeted for reasons as varied as allegedly possessing beef, protesting against caste-based discrimination or simply being Muslim. Especially, various incidents of arrests and violent assaults on the Muslims by the Hindus have been recorded.

 

In an incident, a Santhali teacher in Jharkhand was arrested for a two-year-old Facebook post defending the right of Adivasi communities to eat beef.

 

In Begusarai district, where Hindutva hardliner Giriraj Singh won the 2019 Lok Sabha seat, a Muslim youth Mohammed Qasim was shot at by a Hindu Yadav on May 26 after his attacker discovered his religious identity.

 

25-year-old Mohammad Barkat from Gurugram in Haryana was accosted by a group of Hindus who ordered him to take off his skullcap. According to a report of “The Hindu”, the group of men abused Barkat and told him that skullcaps were not allowed in that area. When Barkat told them that he was returning from the mosque after prayers, one of the men slapped him. Barkat told ‘The Hindu’, “When I refused, he threatened to feed me pork…The men also beat me with a stick and tore my shirt before driving away on a motorbike.”

 

Tabrez Ansari, 22, was caught by a crowd in the BJP-ruled state of Jharkhand on suspicion of stealing a motorcycle on 18 June. He was tied to a tree and beaten within an inch of his life. And while he was being thrashed, the crowd established his religion–Muslim and then began the demands for “Jai Shri Ram”. Ansari was then arrested and taken into judicial custody. On June 23, he died in a local hospital after he complained that he felt unwell.

 

In the West Bengal, a 26-year-old Muslim teacher Hafeez Mohammad Shahrukh Haldar was attacked by a group of Hindus on June 24 and was pushed off a train in Kolkata for not chanting “Jai Shri Ram”.

 

In the run-up to May’s general elections and after the results were declared, Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of Bengal, was constantly heckled by BJP mobs to shout, “Jai Shri Ram”.

 

Nevertheless, persecution of the Muslims continues unabated in India and the BJP-ruled central government has been largely silent in this regard.

 

In this connection, Hindu-Muslim communal tension flared up in Old Delhi’s Hauz Qazi on July 1, this year after 3 or 4 Hindu boys, including 45-year-old Sanjeev Kumar Gupta tortured a Muslim boy Aas Mohammad (20) on alleged wrong parking of motorbike on night of June 30, 2019, outside his house next to the temple. Muslims of the area observed shutter down strike. During the protest, another scuffle took place between Hindus and Muslims, which resulted in increased tensions. A group of Muslims damaged two Mandirs in the area. However, no casualty took place.

 

India’s Central Reserve Police (CRPF) cordoned the areas of Darya Gunj, Pahar Gunj, Lal Kunwan, Jamia Masjid and Chandni Chowk with the unannounced curfew-like situation. New Delhi has ensured a complete black-out of the incident in print and electronic media.

 

According to India Today, “Politicians giving a communal spin to the incident: Sanjiv Kumar, man involved parking scuffle in Delhi, speaks to India Today…Reiterating that there was no intention to give the Hauz Qazi incident a communal colour…Politicians end up giving communal colour to everything. Whether it is the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Congress or Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), there is no exception.”

 

It is notable that even foreign print and electronic media and analysts opined, “Modi’s election win is a victory for far-right Hindu nationalism…India’s secular democracy is under threat…BJP’s record in 2015-2019 has been divisive, to say the least. The party has marginalized religious minorities, especially Muslims, from public life with many, as a result, being lynched by Hindu nationalists in the name of cow protection…Jingoism and Islamophobia have propelled the BJP to an even stronger showing than in 2014. A Modi victory puts India’s 200 million Muslims in danger…Modi is part of the large Hindu supremacist family…In his home state of Odisha, he furthered India’s sectarian divide, pushed the idea of Hindu supremacy and with that, violence against Muslims, Christians and other minorities…Modi is radicalising Muslims.”

 

Undoubtedly, we can that the Constitution declares India to be a secular state, granting equal rights to the religious minorities, but in practice, the ideology of Hindutva prevails. Hindu politics and culture, dominated by the extremist Hindu parties have been propagating Hindutva agenda. After the election victory of the BJP and its coalition parties led by the fundamentalist Prime Minister Modi, Muslim anxiety in India is increasing owing to the fact that like the previous elections, during the election-campaign of 2019, Hindu majority was mobilized on the anti-Pakistan and anti-Muslim slogans. 

 

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is the author of the book: The US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

 

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                              

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Indo-US-Afghan collusion hinders peace by Asif Haroon Raja

Indo-US-Afghan collusion hinders peace

 

Asif Haroon Raja

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pakistan’s strained relations with India-Afghanistan

Pakistan’s bilateral relations with its eastern and western neighbours severely deteriorated after Narendra Modi led BJP took over power in June 2014. From 2015 onwards the two arch rivals have been engaged in low-intensity war. The Line of Control and Working Boundary in Kashmir has been kept bloody and on the boil by India. Terrorism in Baluchistan and FATA that had been controlled has been reinvigorated by India. She is resorting to covert war, water terrorism and hybrid war in collusion with Afghanistan. Nefarious activities of the duo are fully backed by USA and Israel.

Indian Prime Minister Modi used anti-Pakistan slogans for rallying the support of radicalized Hindus during the last state elections in India and later for national elections. He blamed Pakistan to hide his internal weaknesses and socio-economic failures. Ashraf Ghani-Abdullah Unity Government in Kabul has also constantly blamed Pakistan to camouflage its failure of establishing its writ in eastern and southern Afghanistan.

Despite the baseless allegations, the Pakistani ruling elite continues with its efforts to engage both the neighbours constructively for regional peace and prosperity and has considered the policy of appeasement as the best option to keep the two antagonists as well as the USA in good humour. Though Islamabad did its best to engage constructively with both New Delhi and Kabul, yet it failed due to Modi’s domestic political priorities and President Ghani’s internal political and security challenges.

RAW-NDS collusion

The bloody terrorist attacks in Lahore in February 2017 followed by another attack on a Sufi shrine in Sindh sponsored by RAW-NDS forced Pakistan to launch Operation Raddul Fasaad to complement Operation Zarb-e-Azb to destroy the terrorist sanctuaries located on Afghanistan-Pakistan border as well as sleeping cells in urban centres and to nab facilitators and handlers. In addition, Pakistan intensified its border management undertakings. The two main border crossings at Torkhum and Chaman were closed and border management improved to prevent infiltration.

In April 2017, Ehsanullah Ehsan, spokesperson of the Tehreek-e-Taliban’s (TTP) splinter group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, surrendered to Pakistan Army. He claimed that RAW and NDS were supporting terrorist groups by imparting training and providing funds, weapons, equipment and intelligence to subvert the internal security of Pakistan. Pak Army is now fencing the entire length of western border much to the chagrin of USA, India, Afghanistan, the three states sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan. Concurrently, Islamabad is endeavouring to convince the Taliban to hold talks with Unity regime in Kabul.

BJP’s hate-filled politics

The biggest problem while dealing with New Delhi is the prevalent xenophobic domestic Indian political atmosphere. From 2017 till May 2019 elections, Premier Modi used warmongering as a tactic for mustering the support of radicalized hawkish Hindu voters and to win the elections comprehensively. With this objective, his party adopted a vicious policy against the Indian Muslims. 

The BJP’s hate-filled politics against the minorities, particularly the Muslims, due to which lynching of Muslims and low-caste Dalits for eating beef and slaughtering and trading in cattle had risen, adding to the anxiety of India’s 170-million-strong Muslim population, didn’t dent BJP vote bank or the popularity of Modi among near 80% Hindus. Under Modi, several cities with names rooted in India’s Islamic Mughal past have been re-named, while some school textbooks have been changed to downplay Muslims’ contributions to India. The trend of marrying Muslims girls by Hindus is on the increase and so is the process of Hinduization. 

Kashmir imbroglio

Kashmir is the bleeding wound of India where its 750,000 are pinned down since 1990. After the martyrdom of Burhan Wani in July 2016, Indian security forces and the RSS gangs unleashed a reign of terror and employed all sorts of horribly cruel tools including pellet guns to crush the movement. The innocent Kashmiris have been persistently suffering from the brutality of the Indian armed forces. After Pulwama incident, the level of atrocities has increased. Despite the worst type of state terrorism and human rights abuses, the Indian civilian and military law enforcement agencies have failed to restore the writ of the state in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). The demoralization among the lower ranks has set in as was seen in 2004-05 and cases of suicides are multiplying.

Modi has made plans to rob IOK of its special status by revoking Article 370. He also has devious plans up his sleeves to change the demography of IOK by settling Hindu Pundits, Indian retired officers and soldiers and Kashmiri refugees; and also to carry out ethnic cleansing of the Kashmiri youth or force them to leave IOK. 

Kulbushan discomforts India

Another major irritant which has greatly upset India is the arrest of Indian Naval Officer, Commander Kulbushan Sudhir Jadhav on March 3, 2016, in Baluchistan. He had been working for RAW at Chahbahar since 2003. The death sentence awarded to him by the military court in 2017 has further disturbed RAW and Indian hawks. Kulbushan admitted that he was involved in terrorism and other subversive activities and had established big networks in Baluchistan and Karachi. Indians have been seeking his release but Pakistan has not relented. This could be one reason for India’s constant browbeating tactics and refusing to talk with Pakistan.

Hindutva

The other reason is BJP’s penchant for Hindutva. The resumption of a dialogue between New Delhi and Islamabad is not acceptable to the preachers and followers of Hindutva.

India’s leniency toward Hindu terror groups

While India has all along accused Pakistan of abetting terrorism without providing a shred of evidence and has constantly pressed Pakistan to punish the proscribed groups like Jaish-e-Muhammad, Lashkar-e Taiba and Jamaatud Dawa, allegedly involved in terrorism in India and IOK and has succeeded in blacklisting them, India has always been lenient towards its own Hindu terrorists groups which over 1000.

On June 13, the Bombay High Court granted bail to the accused – Dhan Singh, Lokesh Sharma, Manohar Narwaria and Rajendra Chaudhary, who were in prison since 2013. Four Hindu suspects, who were prime accused in the 2006 terror bombing case that killed 37 people in a Muslim town of Malegaon.

The serial bomb blasts near a mosque had also injured 100 people. Local police initially arrested nine Muslims, accusing them of engineering blasts. But, when the probe was shifted to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), it concluded that the blasts were carried out by the Hindu extremists.

In connection with another terror attack in Bhopal in 2008, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and former Lt Col Srikanth Purohit were arrested in connection with the incident. Both of them are out on the bail. Thakur recently won parliamentary elections, she contested on the ruling BJP ticket, from Bhopal.

Swami Aseemanand (real name Naba Kumar), linked to RSS is an ideological mentor of BJP. He and three other co-accused Lokesh Sharma, Kamal Chauhan and Rajinder Chaudhary were blamed for three terror attacks. All four who had confessed their crimes were acquitted early this year by an anti-terror court in Haryana in the February 18, 2007 bombing of the Samjhota Express that left 86 people dead, mostly Pakistanis. Last year Aseemanand was among five men acquitted in the 2007 blast in Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid. In 2017, he was acquitted in the Ajmer Dargah blast case. An Indian court has now ordered the release of four Hindu suspects, who were prime accused in the 2006 terror bombing case in Malegaon.

It has now been amply proved that the much-publicized Mumbai attacks on November 26, 2008, was an in-house affair. Till today, India has consistently blamed Pakistan and has refused to open dialogue until and unless Pakistan agrees to keep terrorism over the issue of Kashmir.

Books written on this subject – namely ‘Betrayal of India’ by Elios Davidson, ‘The Attack on Mumbai’ by Vir Sanghvi, and ‘’The Siege’ by Cathy Scott-Clark & Adrien Levy have laid bare the truth that it was a joint venture of RAW-Mossad and CIA to discredit Pak Army and Kashmiri movement and to get Pakistan declared a terrorist state. And yet India has never been questioned. Same is the case with false flag operation in Udhampur, Pathankot, Uri and Pulwama, all engineered to hide the cruelties of India in IOK and to dub the liberation movement in Kashmir as Islamic radicalism duly supported by Pakistan.

Pakistan has ample proofs

With Kulbushan and Ehsanullah have divulged the entire racket of RAW-NDS against Pakistan with its tentacles spread from Iran, Pakistan’s coastal belt to Afghanistan, what more proof is needed to prove that the duo backed by the USA are the real source of instability in Af-Pak region and much-maligned Pakistan is the victim of terrorism.

India’s jingoism

The biggest problem while dealing with New Delhi is the prevalent jingoistic domestic Indian political atmosphere. Premier Modi, during the last year state elections campaign, used warmongering as a tactic for mustering the support of radicalized hawkish Hindu voters. The BJP secured a majority in the important state elections and constituted its governments. The campaign, however, amplified anti-Pakistan feelings in Indian society.

BJP’s landslide victory

Modi led BJP surprised the world by bagging 303 votes in the Lower House of 543. The BJP’s main rival Congress, couldn’t win a single seat in 13 states and five union territories. Congress managed to secure 52 seats only which was an 8-seat improvement over last elections. Rahul Gandhi – the great-grandson, grandson and son of three premiers, even lost his own seat in Amethi, a family bastion but managed to win a seat in Kerala. Congress BJP’s landslide win has crushed the Gandhi dynasty’s comeback hopes. Rahul tamely threw in his towel after the election results were announced.

Modi’s victory attributable to Pakistan bashing

Modi achieved a landslide victory because of his Pakistan rhetoric, aggressive policies against Indian Muslims and Kashmiri Muslims, and lies and false promises and not on performance. He won despite being likened to Hitler, a compulsive liar and a “gutter insect”, alleged corruption in a Rafael defense deal, the desperate plight of farmers, the lackluster economy and humiliations suffered at the hands of Pakistan in September 2016 on account of fake surgical strike, and then in the aftermath of stage-managed Pulwama attack in February 2019. In fact, killings of over 40 soldiers in Pulwama on February 14 incensed the Hindus, escalated Hindu extremism and further bolstered BJP’s votes.

 

 

 

 

The air intrusion in Balakot on February 27 was a complete fiasco since the Mirage 2000s with Israel-made Spyke missiles could uproot few pine trees only, but Modi helped by Indian media claimed it as a roaring success, falsely claiming destruction of Jaish-e-Muhammad camp and killing over 300 militants. He roared, “Wherever the terror groups and perpetrators may hide, our security forces will flush them out and punish them. Every drop of blood of our slain soldiers shall be avenged.”

These high-sounding rhetoric made the Indian public ecstatic and hysteric. Exploiting their sentiments, Modi named himself as the Chowkidar (Watchman) and the only who can defend India and make it great.

 

Indo-Afghan hostility hinders peace  

Surely, the continuity of such collusive nefarious activities of NDS-RAW would not be tolerable for the sake of dialogue process. Although the Afghan Unity Government constantly levels baseless allegations against Pakistan to camouflage its own failure, yet Islamabad is determined to engage Kabul for cordial bilateral relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

India has inflicted tens of thousands of cuts on the body of Pakistan and has openly expressed her desire to break Pakistan into four parts, and yet Pakistani leadership is bending over backwards to resume dialogue with India which has been wholly unproductive due to Indian intransigence and deep-rooted hatred.

Will Modi fulfil his promises? 

Now that Modi is firmly in the saddle, will he fulfil his unaccomplished promises? Will he be able to make India Great as claimed by him? Will he be able to tackle the economy and unemployment which has surged up particularly among the women? Will he create a higher number of jobs needed? Can he address wealth inequalities? The agriculture industry is also in an awful state. Drought, low prices of agriculture products and heavy debts have driven thousands of farmers to commit suicide. The country’s waterways are filthy and India is home to 22 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities. Open latrines and millions sleeping on footpaths are other unresolved problems. Religious minorities – including India’s 170 million Muslims – are terrified and feeling insecure.

Will he continue persecuting the minorities or balm their wounds to integrate the heterogeneous society which is an ethnic museum? Will he exploit his brute majority to revoke Article 370 and make IOK integral part of India, or allow the Kashmiris their right of self-termination? Will he continue to tread on the beaten path of jingoism, whipping up war hysteria and keeping the people mesmerized in a mythical world in pursuit of his mission to make Pakistan a compliant state, and become a world power, or else adopt a saner approach and adopt a reconciliatory approach in the overall interest of South Asia?

India has once again shown her mindset by trying to influence FATF to blacklist Pakistan. China, Turkey and Malaysia thwarted the baleful move. India can never achieve her ambitions by beating war drums and adopting a confrontationist approach.   

It is most unfortunate that the US-Israel-Afghan-India nexus is a collection of spoilers who have chosen the path of hostility, which is bound to lead to catastrophic results. Sudden rise in temperature in the Persian Gulf stoked by the USA has added to the gravity of the situation. Conversely, Russia-China-Central Asian Republics-Pakistan and ASEAN vie for co-existence, peace and collective prosperity and are placing their hopes in BRI and CPEC.

Afghanistan and Pakistan have suffered a great deal on account of wars imposed by outsiders in Afghanistan and making Pakistan a frontline state. Both earnestly need peace. No peace is possible in the region without the resolution of the dispute in Kashmir and end of the war in Afghanistan. Therefore, it’s imperative that Russia, China, Turkey, Iran should play a constructive role in resolving the two issues.

Modi seems to have climbed down the high horse he was riding and has asked Pakistan to rebuild trust and develop enabling environment for progress in ties. This whiff of fresh air has come in response to two letters written by Imran Khan. He, however, once again reiterated that for cooperative ties, it was important to build an environment free of terror, violence and hostility. Coming months will indicate the seriousness of Modi’s apparent desire for re-engagement. 

To conclude, the mistrust hinders constructive engagement. Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan need to appreciate the usefulness of the connectivity between the neighbours for the prosperity of their people. All three should disperse the clouds of distrust and hatred and build trust, bring in amity and cooperation. Enduring peace and stability in South Asia hinge on the resolution of the long-pending dispute of Kashmir and end of the war in Afghanistan.

The writer is a retired Brig, war veteran, defence analyst, columnist, author of five books, Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre, member CWC and Think Tank Pakistan Ex-Servicemen Society, member Executive Council Tehreek Jawanan Pakistan. asifharoonraja@hotmail.com

 

 

 

 

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As India’s Muslims are lynched, Modi keeps silent By Nilanjana Bhowmick Washington Post

As India’s Muslims are lynched, Modi keeps silent

By Nilanjana Bhowmi

 

There is a silent but systematic slaughter against Muslims in progress in India. It’s not too late to call it out.

 

 

NEW DELHI — On June 23, three days before India celebrated Eid, 15-year-old Junaid Khan was stabbed to death by a group of men aboard a train. He was going home to Khandawli, a village in the north Indian state of Haryana, after shopping for new clothes in New Delhi, accompanied by his brother and a couple of friends. The mob mocked their skullcaps and taunted them for eating beef, before stabbing them.

 

 

Eid was sombre in Khandawli on Monday, as it was across the country. In a national first, scores of Muslims across the country offered their Eid prayers while wearing a black band, a symbol of protest against the killing of the teen as well as growing atrocities against Muslims in the country, which have been increasing since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office three years ago. In September 2015, a Muslim man, Mohammad Akhlaq, was lynched in Dadri near the Indian capital, over rumours that he had killed a local cow and stored its meat in his refrigerator. The month after that, 16-year-old Zahid Rasool Bhattdied when vigilante groups attacked his truck with a bomb in Udhampur. In March 2017, suspected cattle traders Muhammed Majloom and Azad Khan were hanged in Latehar. In May, traders were thrashed in Malegaon, Maharashtra for allegedly storing beef. In Jharkhand in May, 19-year-old Mohammed Shalik was tied to a pole and beaten to death, reportedly over a romantic relationship with a Hindu girl. In May, two more Muslim men, Abu Hanifa and Riazuddin Ali, were killed for allegedly stealing cattle in Assam. More recently, on June 7, a Muslim man was attacked in Dhanbad, Jharkhand, on suspicion of transporting beef to an Iftar gathering. Two more cases of lynching over cow slaughter rumours were reported earlier this week in eastern India.

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On Sunday, before his first visit with President Trump, Modi addressed India through his radio program Mann Ki Baat (Heart-to-heart-talk). And while his monologue touched upon various topics, including yoga, toilets, sports, a meeting with the Queen, books as gifts and the … er … weather, Junaid Khan’s murder didn’t find a nano-second of air time.

Modi did not mention the more than a dozen cases of lynchings, mostly against Muslims, recorded in India since September last year, especially in states ruled by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Modi also did not address the violence of the cow-vigilante groups, who often owe allegiance to the BJP or its ideological parent the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

And while the list grows longer every day, the violence against Muslims and cow-vigilante groups have not elicited a single tweet of condemnation from India’s social media savvy prime minister, who is quick to condemn atrocities all over the world. Modi’s silence, in fact, is beginning to feel like a redux of the Gujarat riots in 2002 which killed more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims. For years he stayed silent, and when he spoke finally, he had compared the riots to a puppy being run over.

The Hindu Hitler

 Yogi Adityanath

The Hindu Hitler prepares to meet party leaders.

Photograph: Manish Swarup/AP

Amnesty International  released a statement Wednesday evening, calling the situation “deeply worrying” and accused Modi and other BJP leaders of not condemning the attacks and in fact to have “even justified the attacks at times.” Aakar Patel, executive director of Amnesty International India, said in a statement, “The Indian Prime Minister, senior BJP leaders and Chief Ministers must break their silence and unequivocally condemn the attacks.”

A soon-to-be-published report by the Mumbai-based Centre for Study of Society and Secularism and the U.K.-based Minority Rights Group International notes there has been a notable increase in hostility towards India’s religious minorities since the BJP government, led by Modi, came to power in May 2014 and began to actively promote Hindu nationalism.

According to the report, the volatile state of Uttar Pradesh in north India, site of the disputed Ayodhya Ram temple and where India witnessed one of its worst communal riots in 1992, saw a spike in communal violence since the BJP came to power in the state this year. The appointment of Yogi Adityanath, a Hindu hard-liner known for his controversial anti-Muslim views, as the chief minister of the state dismayed many at the time.

Modi’s silence over these attacks, the report says, has emboldened extremist right-wing groups. Recently, in another first, no BJP ministers attended the traditional Iftar gathering that the president of India hosts every year.

There is a silent but systematic slaughter against Muslims in progress in India. It’s not too late to call it out.

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Saffron activists left red faced as leader’s daughter elopes with Muslim by Global Village Space, India

Saffron activists left red-faced as leader’s daughter elopes with Muslim

 

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The Saffron brigade has got a bit of a shocker as the daughter of a prominent Hindutva group leader allegedly fled with a Muslim youth to get married. Miffed with an increasing number of similar cases in the district, Hindutva leaders have submitted a complaint to the country’s defence minister to act sternly against ‘love jihad’. The couple has reportedly registered their marriage in Mumbai. However, the 23-year-old girl is now back home in Mangaluru.

In an interesting turn of events, the man, Mohammed Eqbal Chowdary, a resident of Mankurd in Mumbai, has filed a complaint with the Mumbai Commissioner of Police that a gang, suspected to be men from the saffron brigade in Mangaluru, kidnapped his wife from Inorbit Mall in Mumbai one evening. However, the local media stated that the girl, in an affidavit which has been forwarded to the Maharashtra police, has mentioned that she has come back on her own accord.

It is apparent that in the current timeline, ‘love jihad’ has become the greatest sociocultural tool available for Hindutva to spread its message of divisiveness and oppression across Indian society.

Though the girl, a law student, fled five months ago, the incident has come to light only now. The Hindutva leader originally hails from Kasaragod. He has been residing with his family in the city for several years. His daughter had been studying at a private college. She came in contact with Chowdary, a technician, a few years ago through Facebook. The friendship then turned into love. Five months ago, she fled to Mumbai in order to start a new life with Chowdary.

The saffron outfit members have submitted a memorandum to defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman against such cases during her recent visit to the coastal city. The incident comes to the fore on the back of a similar case wherein a 25-year-old Hindu woman fled with a Muslim youth, just a little over a day before she was supposed to enter wedlock with a man from the same community as hers.

Saffron outfits have been fuming with such cases labelling all of them as cases of ‘love jihad’. The instances of interfaith marriage coming under attack by relatives often with the support of Hindutva groups are on the rise in India. The most prominent recently is the case of the 25-year-old college student, Hadiya.

The Hindutva ideology pushes for a docile wife subservient to a patriarchal system. Career-oriented women are discouraged and deemed to be the opposite of good mothers and wives.

In 2016, Hadiya – who was born as Akhila – converted to Islam and left her home. She married Shafin Jahan and, despite her constant reassurances that both her conversion and her marriage were the result of her free will, her father filed a complaint claiming that she was a victim of ‘love jihad’ – that she was converted so she could fight for Daesh in Syria.

The marriage was annulled by the High Court in May this year and it resulted in her being confined in her parents’ house for months on end. Shafin Jahan moved the Supreme Court against the judgment. “I want my freedom,” she told judges in the Supreme Court, adding that she had spent the last 11 months in “unlawful custody”.

 

But their marriage still hangs in the balance for the top court merely asked her to complete her education first. In a sense, the Hadiya case paved way for the narrative of ‘love jihad’ in the state to penetrate further.

‘Love jihad’ has become an integral part of the Hindutva lexicon. It refers to the marriages between Muslim men and Hindu women. Its appeal to communal sensibilities by demonizing the matrimonial relations of Muslim men and Hindu women and thus synchronizes with the communal slogan of “Hindu Khatre Mein hay” (Hindus are in danger). Hindutva fundamentalists use the threat of ‘love jihad’ as one of the many perceived perils to the Indian Hindu community.

The incident comes to the fore on the back of a similar case wherein a 25-year-old Hindu woman fled with a Muslim youth.

‘Love jihad’ appeals to both communal hatreds as well as the patriarchy inbuilt in several Indian cultures. ‘Love jihad’ posits Hindu men as the protectors of Hindu women. Not only are they protecting the survival of their faith but also safeguarding their honour and family by stopping Muslims from marrying Hindus.

 

Hindutva proclaims that a good Hindu woman is one who is subservient to her male counterpart. The Hindutva ideology pushes for a docile wife subservient to a patriarchal system. Career-oriented women are discouraged and deemed to be the opposite of good mothers and wives. This is apparent from the statement of the RSS chief that the duty of the woman is to look after her husband, failing which he can disown her and refuse to take care of her.

It is apparent that in the current timeline, ‘love jihad’ has become the greatest sociocultural tool available for Hindutva to spread its message of divisiveness and oppression across Indian society.

 

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Has Caste Discrimination Followed Indians Overseas? by Priyanka Mogul

Has Caste Discrimination Followed Indians Overseas?

Has Caste Discrimination Followed Indians Overseas?

by

Priyanka Mogul

diplomat.com

 

“One is of the opinion that you leave behind all the trappings of the caste system once you leave India, but perhaps I was naive.”

Saunvedan Aparanti, an Indian student studying in London, has found himself at the center of a heated campaign to introduce caste discrimination legislation in the United Kingdom. Having moved to Britain for university, Aparanti was surprised to find himself at the receiving end of “caste supremacy” from his new flatmates. The caste system he speaks of — and its trappings — is one that the world has, unfortunately, become familiar with. Stories relating to caste violence frequently emerge from some South Asian countries, particularly India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. Headlines featuring the rape and murder of so-called “lower caste” people, or Dalits, are no longer rare.

Everyone is in agreement that this mistreatment of people based on an ancient social hierarchy is horrific and that it must be combatted. But when Indians say caste discrimination has followed them overseas, the solution doesn’t appear as straightforward anymore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Across the UK, a fierce debate has been playing out within the British-Indian community over whether there is a need to introduce legislation for caste discrimination. In 2011, the employment tribunal heard its first claim of caste discrimination when a couple alleged they had been wrongfully dismissed by their employers because of their inter-caste marriage. Vijay Begraj claimed he was told by a “higher caste” colleague that he was lucky to be working in a law firm as his caste would have made him a cleaner in India. The tribunal also heard that Begraj had been assaulted by relatives of one of the firm’s partners and had been called derogatory caste names. The law firm in question, Heer Manak, denied the allegations until the case was ultimately abandoned in 2013.

Stories such as Begraj’s have united Dalit rights campaigners in the U.K. in the fight for caste law. Caste Watch UK, the Dalit Solidarity Network UK, and the Anti-Caste Discrimination Alliance are a few who have taken center stage in the campaign, with support from a number of academics. The United Nations has also lent a voice to the debate, urging the UK government to implement caste discrimination law.

Manifestations of Caste in the UK

So who is experiencing caste discrimination in the UK? And where and how are they experiencing it?

Numerous reports have been put together, each compiling a number of U.K.-based case studies of caste discrimination. Due to the stigma that comes along with being a “lower caste” person, many are afraid to speak out publicly. Instead, they choose to isolate themselves from the Indian community in the UK and live among non-Indians who have little understanding of caste dynamics.

Research conducted by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research and the Equality and Human Rights Commission has detailed various incidents of caste discrimination in the UK. The majority of these appear to occur in the personal sphere, which falls outside the reach of the Equality Act 2010, which relates to education, employment, and provision of goods and services. This has led some to question whether the implementation of caste under the Equality Act would do very much to combat instances of discrimination among social circles.

However, Dr. Meena Dhanda, a leading academic in diaspora Dalit studies, has noted that there is crossover between what happens in the private and public spheres. She argues that if prejudice exists, it cannot always be assumed that this prejudice does not cross over into the areas of employment and education.

Reena Jaisiah, a young woman of Dalit ancestry, illustrates how this crossover is possible. Her experience saw her become the victim of caste discrimination on the school playground, where students would bully her and call her derogatory names relating to her caste. This then carried on into her adult life, when she was running her shop and found that an elderly “upper caste” woman consistently refused to put money in her hand, instead placing it on the counter.

“That is exercising untouchability here in the U.K.,” Jaisiah said in Caste Aside, a documentary that sees her recount her life as a “lower caste” woman in Britain. Jaisiah’s experience doesn’t appear to be an isolated one, with caste rights groups such as the Dalit Solidarity Network UK and Caste Watch UK noting that they receive calls from people across Britain who say they too have become victims of caste discrimination.

“This is a rights issue that’s happening across South Asia,” said Meena Varma, director of Dalit Solidarity Network UK. “In fact it’s happening globally, because wherever the diaspora go, they take their caste with them, and so, therefore, that discrimination goes with them.”

Arguments Against Caste Legislation

However, not everyone in the British-Indian community believes that caste legislation is necessary in the U.K. The Hindu Council UK and the National Council of Hindu Temples UK have both opposed the calls for caste legislation, with politicians such as MP Bob Blackman backing them.

“Caste legislation simply doesn’t stand ground,” said Anil Bhanot, director of interfaith relations at the Hindu Council UK. “Dalits have become rich now here because there’s no discrimination.”

Bhanot goes on to note that the instances of caste discrimination that have been brought up so far relate to prejudice within social circles, rather than discrimination that would fall under the realm of equality law. He also argued that implementing this legislation will make caste more prominent among British-Indians, bringing awareness of caste where he says there is currently none.

Satish Sharma, general secretary of the National Council of Hindu Temples UK, takes a similar perspective on the legislation. When asked to characterize the Hindu community in the UK, Sharma commended the “harmonious” nature of the community and emphasized that the current generation of British-Hindus have been free from the understandings of the caste system and do not discriminate against each other in any way. He fears that this legislation, if implemented, will automatically presume certain members of the community — anyone who isn’t a Dalit — are “prejudiced by birth.” He strongly opposed this notion and restated his belief that caste is not an aspect of the Hindu religion. Instead, he argues, caste, as it exists today, is a Euro-Christian concept imposed on Indian people.

“Where does this notion that there is some sort of superiority being played out in the British-Hindu community come from?” Sharma questioned. “It’s purely an act of mischief. And if that isn’t a recipe for friction, then I don’t know what is.”

What Happens Next

On September 18, the British government ended a public consultation on caste and equality law in Great Britain, which invited the public to submit their views on “how to ensure that there is appropriate and proportionate legal protection” against caste discrimination. Groups on both sides of the debate rallied supporters to submit their thoughts on the issue.

Sat Pal Muman, Chairman of Caste Watch UK, has hit back at those opposing the legislation, saying: “They are afraid that if caste discrimination law does kick in, somehow it will affect their religion. They may have something to hide, there may be some skeletons in their cupboard.”

As the debate continues, campaigners are hoping that a decision will be made on the legislation in early 2018. Hindus groups remain concerned that bringing caste into U.K. law will send a message that caste is becoming a prominent feature in British-Indian society; something that they believe is far from true. Meanwhile, Dalit rights groups remain anxious about what will happen to the thousands of caste discrimination victims they say they know in the UK.

Future cohesion of the British-Indian community hangs in the balance as the UK government mulls its next move.

Priyanka Mogul is a freelance journalist based in London. She is the producer of Caste Aside, a documentary about the British government’s controversial decision to introduce legislation against caste discrimination in the U.K.

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