By Jawad Ahmed
There has been a lot of deterioration in the way that the political leaders and people of influence within India talks about the religion of faiths of different population especially Muslims. Two BJP leaders Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal, hurled hateful and derogatory remarks against Holy Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), this has created a lot of ruckus in the Muslim world and India is facing a backlash from the Arab world. Pakistan while condemning this incident has issued a strong demarche, national assembly of Pakistan has also passed a resolution condemning this.
A very strong reaction not only from Pakistan but from Gulf countries and OIC has come to the fore and they have condemned this particular attitude by BJP leaders in the strongest terms. There has been an online campaign that has started to boycott the Indian products which is consequence of the sentiment that has hurt the Muslim population.
BJP has taken their hands off by saying that this is not what the party believes but BJP’s Hindutva ideology and the way they treated not just the Muslim population but different minorities reflects the other scenario. Moreover, top leadership of BJP is silent over Islamophobic remarks by BJP leaders same as they remains silent on Hindu extremism against other minorities.
There has been many incidents of targeting the religious sentiments of other religions in India but we have not seen Indian government going in a damage control mode which it is doing now. Something must be seriously different this time that’s why BJP is taking much pain as Indian ambassadors in different Arab countries were summoned in condemnation of the controversial remarks by BJP leaders against Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
Rising Islampphoia is not something new in India but it is something BJP government is committed to pursue hatred against the minorities specifically the Muslims. They are doing a division of societal fabric in which no one would treat minorities as first class citizen. Muslims living in India are facing difficulties as the kind of laws are introduced in IIOJK are now reflected in Indian culture as well. BJP is behind the current status of Indian society in which hate speech and violence has become a culture. The ideology of Gandhi is no more in India as secular face of India is being transformed into an extremist state.
The marginalization of Indian Muslims increased under BJP rule with a combination of discriminatory policies and state sponsored oppression by Hindutva regime. Sparking fears of further marginalization of Muslims under the government of Narendar Modi, Indian state’s assault on the holy sites and the religious sensitivities of the Muslims continue unabated.
Earlier, in a bid to humiliate and assert Hindu supremacy schools and colleges in Indian state of Karnataka bars entry from Muslims girls and women who wear hijab that created ripples across the country. Since Modi government came to power in 2014, Hindu mobs have suspected Muslims of transporting of cows or consuming beef and thus India stands at the Ronhingya model of ethnic cleansing of Indian Muslims.
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom, in its recent report, paints a grim picture of human rights in India. The report cites extrajudicial killings, suppression of media freedom, arbitrary arrests, violence against religious minorities, and excessive restrictions on funding NGOs and civil society organizations.
Respect of religion and tolerance for other religions is the key in maintaining a hatred free society, all religion of the World teaches peace and respect for others. No follower of a religion can target religious sentiments of others which would result in further division. Though, BJP suspended Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal but still the religious hatred that BJP has inculcated in Indian politics will haunt Modi’s regime in a longer run as double standards of Indian democracy has been slowly unveiled in front of the International community. Pakistan constantly has been rising the issue of Islamophobia, it was the effort of Pakistan that 15 of March was declared Day to Combat Islamophobia. Pakistan also hosted OIC conference in Islamabad and Islamophoia was also in the agenda point of the conference. A joint effort is needed by all the Muslim countries to convey a strong message so that no one could dare crossing redline of hurting the religious sentiments of others.
Jawad Ahmed is an Islamabad based researcher with having interest in Politics, Bilateralism and Strategic Studies.