Murder is never an answer. No, neither is it a question and the answer to it is also not yes. We need to act like more civil beings. No wonder Todd Phillips and Steve Carrel said that today’s generation takes offence at everything.
We all know that there are some iconic rivalries in this world. In sports, there’s Real Madrid- Barcelona, Liverpool FC- Manchester United, Manchester United- Manchester City and Chennai Super Kings- Mumbai Indians. In politics, there’s the Democrats and Republicans, BJP and Congress. And in a department where there shouldn’t be a rivalry, in religion, there’s Hindus and Muslims.
Hindus and Muslims have been having a tense standoff between each other since the Partition. Not even the annual Eid biryani treats given by Muslims in South India is enough to bridge the gap between them. The Hindu-Muslim rivalry has transcended into a country rivalry with India and Pakistan taking bouts at each other in a consistent pattern.
In the year 2001, the Muslim population was about 13.5% with 132 million citizens and in the 2011 census, there are about 172 million Muslim citizens with a percentage of 14.2%. In 2017 there’s an estimate of 182 million Muslim citizens. India has the largest Muslim majority outside the Muslim majority countries. This, therefore, can be considered as India’s tolerance.
But can it be?
People say that the Congress converted the Muslims into its vote bank and therefore they appeal to them, that the BJP converted a sizeable chunk of the Hindus into its vote bank and therefore they appeal to the Hindus and that the AAP just sits around and lets the Central Government dictate terms from Delhi. With these appealing and appeasing communities and religions to ensure their votes in the next elections, each of the parties stoke their own communal/religious hatred and use that hatred to appeal to their vote banks.
Unfortunately, nothing good rises out of this. This action can be compared to the student who studies at the last minute and passes the exam, instead of studying from the first and clearing the exam in flying colors. None of the political parties who want to form the government rely on their achievements and instead they focus on stoking tensions between communities and prey on it. This is because they don’t have any. Consider the Congress in 2014. They were caught in a huge corruption scandal and couldn’t bounce back from it and lost its position at the Centre. Then the BJP in 2019 didn’t have any achievement to canvass on, and so they claimed the Army victories as itself and converted the patriotism of the country into hyper nationalism. Hyper nationalism has always been the sign of a fascist government and a fascist government is never a good one.
So, without further ado, let’s look into the events that are happening in India and decide if there’s going to be a Holocaust of the Muslim religion here and if there’s a need to create a law against religious violence.
Is there a Holocaust in the works?
It is no coincidence that hate crimes against religion has increased when a right-wing party rules in the Centre, or is in existence. The ideology of theirs is to ensure that the country is majoritarian. The ideology of KD Hedgewar was to create a country where the Hindus are the majority, but at the downfall of the Muslims. He wanted the Muslims of this country to be eradicated like the Jews in Germany. He wanted a holocaust of the Muslims to happen in India. He was a Nazi sympathizer. He founded the RSS. From the RSS came the BJP. Concluding from this chain, we can say that all right-wing parties that are based on the ideology of Fascism are dangerous to society.
Starting from the Babri Masjid Mosque demolition case in 1992 to the recent Muslim educational institutions being targeted and attacked and scholars and dissenters from the religion being prosecuted under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, the perpetrators can all be identified as Hindus. This is not to say that all Hindus are against Muslims, this is rather to say that there has been an ongoing unlawful activity being taken against them.
Member of Parliament Mahua Moitra in a blistering speech highlighted how there has been a tenfold increase of hate crimes against the Muslims from the year 2014-2019. She wasn’t wrong, however. Muslims have been killed for following their religious practices, for eating beef, for carrying cows from one place to another. More than the murders, it is the apathy that is shocking. At the height of the lynching of Muslims for carrying cows, then Home Minister Kiren Rijiju said that there was no lynching of Muslims were taking place.
India’s secular nature is under threat because of these activities. Our constitution makers engaged in a debate whether there was a need to include the word secularism in the Constitution because India was a democratic country and secularism is a basic tenet of Democracy, therefore there being no need for it be mentioned explicitly. In the way events are proceeding, the term secularism will need to be removed from the Constitution because we aren’t.
One must look no further other than the Tablighi Jamaat Incident to understand the reality of Indian Muslims. There was a huge congregation of Muslims from all over the world in Nizamuddin Markaz, Delhi. Since they came from all around the world, there was there some carriers of the Coronavirus. When our PM imposed a 21-day lockdown on 25th March, these people were caught in the middle and had no way of going back to their homes and so, they travelled across states. This ensured that the few of them who had Corona ended up spreading it across other states and since contact tracing hadn’t begun much later after that, they ended up spreading the virus. In my opinion, I would accept that the spread of the virus was accelerated because of this event, but what followed was completely unacceptable.
What followed was that the news houses and social media completely demonized an entire religion. Suddenly all Muslims across the country were being labelled as bio-terrorists and their killings and lynchings were demanded. #CoronaJihad became a hashtag that was used criminally and suddenly it was a mistake being a Muslim in this country. People who tried to argue against this demonization were labelled as terrorist sympathizers and were labelled as anti-nationals.
It is one thing to identify a mistake and call it out and it is another thing to entirely demonize the wrongdoer for a mistake. Blaming the Tablighi Jamaat congregation as the epicentre of the spread of the virus is one thing, demonizing the entire Muslim religion is overkill. This incident can be drawn as a parallel to how the Jews were demonized in Germany. One boy ended up missing and found dead in a well of a good to-do Jew and all of a sudden the entire Jew community was demonized as man-eaters and we all know what happened after that.
OpIndia published a fake article stating that a Hindu boy was kidnapped by some Muslims and was offered as a human sacrifice in a mosque. He was later found in a well which belonged to a Muslim. The DGP of the state of Bihar had to step in and ensure that no riots were happening because of this fake news. Similarly, the recent death of a pregnant elephant after it had eaten an explosives-laden pineapple was attributed to Muslims. The mob lynching of two Hindu monks was also attributed to the Muslims when it wasn’t so. The Home Minister of Maharashtra had to publish the entire charge sheet of 115 villagers to show that there was no Muslim involved in this lynching. Whatsapp and other social media were ablaze with false allegations against the religion and in order to stop inevitable bloodshed, never before done practices had to be adopted.
From all this, we can conclude that just because you have an agenda against the Muslims (or any other community in general), you can’t go further with it. But if you have an agenda and post fake news about that community/religion on the internet, you can be sure that there would be a mob ready to drag that community/religion to Hell.
The Delhi pogrom (calling it a riot is a criminal offence), the attack and arrests of students of Aligarh Muslim University, Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University which happens yearly, the Gujarat Riots all serve as an example where there has been law and order malfeasance. Each of the time these riots happen, there has been negligent involvement of the Police. In the Delhi Pogrom and the JNU violence, video evidence has been uploaded and it shows the Delhi Police standing around doing nothing to stop the flow of the rioters. About 45 Muslims were killed in the Delhi Pogrom and there have been widespread complaints that the Delhi Police was adamant in not taking any action against the rioters. The notable point here is that the Delhi Police directly reply to the Home Minister Amit Shah, who has been long suspected of having a hand in the 2002 Gujarat Riots along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The CAA-NRC activity also puts Indian Muslims at risk and they fear deportation to the concentration camps in Assam. The inhabitants who’ve been released from there describe it as Hell on Earth. About 1.9 million citizens in Assam have been excluded from the citizenship list. There has been an amendment to the Citizenship Act allowing non-Muslim minorities to obtain citizenship through the amendment. There is no intelligible differentia in this case of excluding Muslims from the amendment. Allowing the ruling party an error rate of 5% because this determining of citizenship can never be done correctly, we can still have 65 million citizens being stripped of their citizenship. Where do they go from there then? Muslims have the unenviable task of proving their ancestry citizenship and not being allowed to fall back on the amendment to obtain their citizenship as a minority, where do they go from there?
They have a narrative going against them. They are characterized as human sacrificers, monsters because they eat beef, terrorists because some people in some other country is going on a killing rampage, demonized because some event of theirs became the epicentre of the spread of a virus. One only needs to compare all these actions with what happened in Nazi Germany to draw parallels, and when you draw parallels, it chills you right to the bones.
What we have is a holocaust waiting to happen. 6 million Muslims needn’t die, but they can be subjected to the worst living conditions in the world. This allows the government to control the entire population of one religion and do whatever he wants with them as he/she deems fit.
What we can, however, do to stop this is that we need to protest against all these actions of the government. We need to struggle, we need to resist, and we need to protest. We need to make the government look at us. We need to make them understand their mistake and that they can’t be arbitrary in nature.
Thus, the author concludes by quoting a dialogue from an anime called Steins Gate:
“One could consider this a final warning from God to those who can still resist”