India must resist policy of racial division

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It has been five months since the government of India slammed Kashmir and more than eight million of its residents into a lockdown, isolated from most of the world and subject to the gauntlet of increased Indian forces sent to the region to suppress movement and resistance. The region’s population is predominantly Muslim.

In other parts of India, the streets are on fire as Muslims, Hindus and people of other faiths have risen up against the discriminatory conditions of the recently imposed Citizenship Law that clearly spells danger for India’s Muslim residents despite denials by the ruling BJP party. For the record, many of India’s secular intellectuals have warned of the seeds of the notorious RSS scriptures that are based on communal division and racial hatred of minorities that have overcome the ruling party of today’s India.

Along those lines, a concerned reader penned me his outlook on the current situation in India. He writes:

“Sir, thank you so much for your concern about India. The conditions are becoming worse for Muslims. You might be aware of how brutally the police of Delhi attacked students of a university for protesting against the citizenship bill. They used lashes to beat innocent students and also released tear gas on the campus to get rid of the students. Many students were injured, including girls.

“The entire Muslim community is roaring against this bill and the Modi-led government which is clearly a racist government and which has miserably failed in all aspects. It is the rise of the new Hitler, people say. Protesters are being brutally beaten by the police and they are being arrested for protesting, which is a right in every democratic country. Now the matter is before the Supreme Court which will decide whether to continue with this bill or not.

“This bill is clearly against the Constitution of India. The Constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion. If the Supreme Court decides to continue with this bill, then even it has become corrupt and cannot be trusted. India is a country in which the leaders cannot show their degrees to prove their education but they expect Muslims to show documents to prove their citizenship. Even a passport is not proof of Indian citizenship; they want Muslims to show that their ancestors lived in India before and after the 1970s, which is not possible for many people especially for the poor.

“I was born and brought up here in Saudi Arabia. I studied in the International Indian School Dammam. I remember that I chanted both the Indian national anthem and the Saudi anthem as well. I chanted both Allahu Akbar and Jai Hind in each morning assembly. Despite being a monarchy, freedom did exist, and still exists. That is what I love about the Kingdom, there is no discrimination based on religion. Even Hindus and Christians live here, work here and enjoy all facilities here. I feel proud to call the Kingdom my only home forever. RIP, so-called democratic India. M. Yousuf.”

As Mr. Yousuf rightly pointed out, the situation in India is grim. More so in that almost half a billion of the population are members of minority communities, 200 million of which are Muslims. India’s government currently seems intent on a divisive policy based on racial lines, something that has spelled doom for other countries in the past that followed such a doctrine.

It is in the interest of India and its people to cease this discriminatory policy before the India, as we have come to know it, splinters into smaller entities. Long live a secular India.

The author can be reached at talmaeena@aol.com. Follow him on Twitter @talmaeena


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