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OIC condemns India’s new domicile law

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) human rights body on Saturday condemned the Indian government’s new domicile law – Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Order, 2020 – calling it illegal and a violation of international laws. The Indian government recently announced a new domicile law, under which an Indian citizen, who has lived in occupied Jammu and Kashmir for 15 years, can call the territory their place of domicile. Through a gazette notification issued by the Indian government, a domiciled person has been defined as one who has resided for a period of 15 years in the occupied territory of Jammu and Kashmir or has studied for a period of seven years and appeared in class 10 or 12 examinations in an educational institution located there. Prime Minister Imran Khan also strongly condemned the new law, calling it a violation of all international laws and treaties.
Saying the timing of the move was particularly reprehensible, Khan said the action sought to exploit the international focus on the Covid-19 pandemic to further the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Hindutva agenda. The Indian government had on August 5, 2019 repealed Article 370 of its constitution, stripping occupied Kashmir of its special status. It also divided up occupied Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories; one Jammu and Kashmir, and the other the Buddhist-dominated high altitude region of Ladakh. The bifurcation of the territory came into effect on October 31 last year. A strict lockdown and communications blackout has been in place in occupied Kashmir since August last year. Indeed, the Kashmiris will never accept such blatant usurpation of their fundamental rights and attempt to change their demography and distinct identity. Unfortunately, international community is dormant on HR violations, and BJP leaders continue hate speeches against Muslims.
The comments made in a recent media interview by Subramanian Swamy, a member of the Indian parliament belonging to the ruling BJP, regarding Muslims, can only be described as hate speech and in any civilised dispensation the lawmaker would be facing charges of inciting communal hatred. While talking to VICE News, Swamy told the interviewer that “wherever there is a large Muslim population there is always trouble”. He added that Muslims in India were not considered equal citizens. When India’s home minister and the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh – its most populous state – can make similar statements inciting and condoning violence against Muslims; it appears to be part of the national narrative. After all, the BJP is and has been for decades the standard-bearer of communal politics in India. Prime Minister Imran Khan has rightly compared Mr Swamy’s comments to the Nazis’ demonisation of Jews.
Referring to the bloodbath, chaos and attacks unleashed by the RSS zealots against Muslims and other minorities in Delhi, Prime Minister Imran Khan had reiterated in February that today in India, the Nazi-inspired Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideology had taken over India, a nuclear-armed state of over a billion people. In a series of tweets on his twitter account, the prime minister said “Whenever a racist ideology based on hatred takes over, it leads to bloodshed.” The death toll in these attacks had risen to 40 as the security forces failed to stem the tide of saffron bands against the Muslim minority. The Muslims and their properties were targeted in series of attacks in which forty Muslims were killed and hundreds of them injured. The Hindu racism took an ugly turn after the promulgation of controversial Indian citizenship law last year.
More than 40 million Muslims live in Uttar Pradesh, but in the 2014 election, not a single Muslim was elected. Tools like National Citizenship Registrar (NCR) and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) have been introduced whereby millions of Muslims are targeted to make them stateless on the accusation that they have illegally infiltrated from Bangladesh. The Hindutva fascists want to make India a Hindu state, as envisioned by their guru Savarkar. Muslims and other minorities will survive only as second class citizens without any social, political and economic participation. This is why even the publication of the Sachar Committee Report that exposed sheer deprivation of the Muslims is so unwelcome in the Hindutva circle. Unfortunately, the Muslim rule in India in the past is being used to ignite the politics of revengeful anguish against the present day Muslims, despite the fact that Hindus had held prestigious posts during Mughal era.

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