Made in India, Incredible India! The taglines that encapsulate Indians, or at least that is how selective perception seems to work these days. Whoever is the apple of Uncle Sam’s eyes is viewed as a modern, democratic entity with enviable social, political and economic standing. Lest we forget Mr. Modi, the closest ally of Obama and now Mr. Trump was banned from entering the US back in 2005 when the whole world saw the people of Gujrat as human beings much like them. As December 6, 2017 approaches us the Indian Supreme court is entering the final hearing phases for the incident that shook India and left fissures in the fabric of the so-called Indian democracy.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Hindu Nationalist party, the power player behind parties like Bhartya Janta Party (BJP). By alleging that the historic Ayodhya Mosque is the location of the birth place of their “mythical” god Ram. The ceremony on December 6,1992 was supposed to bear symbolic significance as the foundation stone was to laid on the location. As per the account of Perveen Jain on the BBC, the Kerasevaks did more than lay stones on December 5th at the rehearsal, they took training for demolition. On that fateful day around 150,000 marched towards Babri mosque, as per eye witness accounts even the police shouted the extremist slogans. In a few hours the mosque was razed to the ground. The ensuing riots claimed more than 2000 lives. To this day Babri mosque is a disputed territory, ironically Indian historians are in dispute with the RSS claims about the origins of Ram.
Babri mosque’s incident signifies the deep rooted ratification the two nation theory receives time and time again. The biggest democracy in the world came in the news recently for all the wrong reasons when the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adiyanath stripped Taj Mehal’s status as a heritage site. The reason behind it was that it is built by Shahjehan, and for Mr.CM this was tarnishing his image/Hindu image. Since many in India criticized this new wave of nationalism, the very wise CM did care for the rating especially when the elections for the great party are right around the corner. Lynching of Muslims in the name of Cows is a common misdemeanor, 24 Muslims in the past seven years have been killed in 63 incidents according to Hindustan Times only because they allegedly something had to do with cows and cow meat, possessing or eating it. Imagine living in a country ruled by a government that attacks your basic right to consume food or practice religion, perhaps they are taking a page from Suu Kyi regime next door in Myanmar or vice versa.
Kashmir is India’s way of telling the world how to oppress and how to get away with it. Despite millions of deaths, former President Obama in an indirect reference agreed with Indians on terrorists. Indians on the other hand turns a blind eye to generations of those seeking independence/freedom. Burhan Wani died a year ago and a year later the people refuse to stand down. Disappearances and rape is not the unfortunate distinguishing feature for the people of Kashmir when it comes to persecution, it is the thousands blinded by pallet guns and those tied in front of army jeeps in an effort to dispel common people with placards. As long as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) remains intact violence is Kashmir is likely to continue.
Extremism in India is slowly becoming a new norm. Whether it is L Krishan Advani or Narsima Rao or Vajpayee. The case in courts against the culprits for the Babri mosque martyrdom is still pending while they boast a successful career in politics. Time and time again minorities in India are subjected to brutalities, whether it is Muslims, Christians or Sikhs. The riots in 1984 killing thousands of Sikhs or the recent legal notice received by Mahendra Nagdeve, in Madhya Pardesh (MP) for not practicing his religion i.e. Christianity.
It is high time that the pedestal that the propaganda gurus in India have created for themselves and their beloved PM Modi is incinerated. Never before was intolerance in India applauded to such a great extent, glass ceilings for minorities were always present but their existence was always denied openly, not anymore. Muslims face a tough battle ahead as their new generation not only face’s risk of cultural penetration but racism and ethnic stereotyping is gradually becoming a norm.
The Muslims of not only India but all over the world must always remember December 6 and vow to bring the culprits of the heinous act to justice. At the end of the day it is not Hindus but Hindu nationalists and those in parties like RSS and BJP who are blatantly prejudicial against Muslims. A distinction must be made between them and the religion as well as that will only strengthen our cause as no religion in the world stands to demean and persecute the other.