Zakaria Virk, Editor
India used to be a tolerant country but not anymore. Why? It all started with the rise to power of BJP (Bhartiya Janta Party – People’s Party). BJP rose to prominence by agitating the demolition of a mosque in the city of Ayodha, so that a temple could be built for Ram. The destruction of the mosque in 1992 followed by deadly riots propelled the party to ascent. Also when Modi was chief minister of Gujrat massacre of Muslims took place in 2002 which made him a Hindu hero in the eyes of nationalists.
By creating divisions over religion and politics and national identity the Hindu nationalists get energized. This also distracts people’s attention from economy which has been struggling since BJP election victory. There is constant insinuation that Muslims are the cause for every problem in the country that they are always scheming to bring Hinduism down and sell the country to Pakistan. The new Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 is another cause for concern.
Supreme Court of India recently ruled that a Hindu temple could be built at the site of demolished mosque in Ayodha. Property worth millions has been destroyed by Yogi and Amit Shah; lives have been lost on the false pretext of beef. Yogi is destroying Muslim constituencies by seizing their properties.
PM is tarnishing the memory of Mohandas Ghandi, a preacher of non-violence. Many Muslims have been lynched or beaten to death for supposed disrespect to the Hindu religion like loving a Hindu woman or killing a cow. From time to time stoking such fears leads to massacres of Muslims like the one in Gujrat in which one thousands Muslims died.
While all this mayhem is going on, Indian media is scared. Demonetization of currency increased corruption so as BJP supporters can easily transfer funds. The government wants to convince the world that this is an internal matter; the fact is it affects millions of Muslims.
Lawmakers from US, UK, and European countries have raised their concerns and have conveyed them to the government. Secular & liberal minded Indians like Javed Akhtar, veteran actor S. Sinha, & Mahesh Bhatt are battling to have Indian democracy and secularism restored.
Mr. Bhatt says: “The Muslims of my country and all other minorities have never felt more insecure; if people choose to turn their face away from this naked truth, it’s their privilege but they do India a lot of harm when people are frightened to speak. There’s palpable anxiety in the air.” I don’t think the average Indian is so frightened of a Muslim. This fear has been crafted and structured. The media is working around the clock to create ‘the other’ to stay in power. To hate the Muslims is the lifeline of the BJP, let’s not mince our words.”
Regarding Bollywood’s deadly silence in this matter & being “Team Modi”, celebrated poet and author Javed Akhtar said: “No, I won’t say that but the fact is this is the proof that society is scared. Do all these people agree with him, his philosophy, his ideology or what his party is doing? Do they think lynching is wonderful? No. And if they don’t think that, then why are they not saying it? It’s fear, it’s purely fear.” India must remain a beacon of democracy, secularism but not nationalism. Muslim have lived here for more than a millennia, they cannot be deported.