BY Muhammad Azhar Kaleem
An Indian court has given a controversial and biased verdict in a case which was going on for twenty years related to the Hindu-Muslim riots that occurred in the Indian state of Gujarat in 2002. All of the world are aware that it was a well-planned and well-organized assassination attack on the Muslims of India. The real mastermind of these attack and riots were RSS an Indian Hindu extremist militia that believed in Hindutva and firmly believe that India is a state for only Hindus and all other nationalities and religious groups and communities are foreigner invaders and they should be expelled from the state or have to live as the third class citizens like the lower castes of Hindus called as Dallat or Shudar and even considered more inferior than these lower caste hindus hence the Muslims have no right to live in India with any honour and prestige. Although India claims that it is the world’s largest secular democratic state the reality is quite opposite because many incidents advocate that Indian Hindu extremists are widespread majority class in India and they had oppressed all other communities and religious entities like Christians, Parsi, Buddhists, Jain-mat,Sikhs and especially the Muslims.
This hateful ideology and extremist philosophy had been portrayed many times in a sequel and after every short span of time we witness many such incidents which revealed that India is running towards a broken bridge of intolerance and religious extremism. The recent documentary “ India: The Modi Question “ released by BBC has clearly shown that Narendra Modi the person who holds the most influential and powerful status as a Prime Minister of India has a serious involvement in spreading the Hindu Muslims riots in Gujarat and had played a key role in whole of this game of blood and chaos. This documentary has been banned throughout India just like an attempt to close the eyes of the nation and to keep them silent and these religious fanatics always try to hide this ugly aspect of India by threatening, emotional blackmailing, extortion and abductions.
The most cruel verdict by the court has been given just some days ago about the case of the murders of 11 Muslims in such riots in 2002. The victims of these Muslim families were shockingly disappointed after listenig to the decision of the court according to which the 69 most dangerous culprits who committed such heinous crime of the massive assassination of the Muslims fearlessly , have been released and declared innocent. 10 years had been spent in this case, and the psychological pain and torture of the families and relatives of these Muslim families could not be written, comprehended or described by any means through the words. 10 years they just hoped, waited and remain dedicated to get the justice but after 10 years of humiliation they just got a bundle of more humiliated treatment from the justice system of India which now look like the hijacked system just to protect the strong Hindus only and in their parameters of justice there is no space or value of the life of the innocent Muslims, even it could be calculated as the more degraded and cheap than the animals like monkeys and cows to whom they worship and give special protocols always and no one could give any type of harm to these animals but the Muslims are free to be tortured, humiliated, and killed by any mob of Hindu extremists.
It is the biggest slap on the face of the world’s so-called secular democracy and on its justice system, the echo sound of this slap would be remain vibrant for many upcoming years in the history of India forever.
In 2002, riots broke out in the Indian state of Gujarat, resulting in the deaths of over 1,000 people, mostly Muslims. In a recent ruling, an Indian court exculpated 69 Hindus accused of killing 11 Muslims in the 2002 riots.
The court’s decision has sparked controversy and criticism from human rights groups and political leaders who argue that justice has not been served for the victims and their families. Some have also accused the Indian judicial system of bias against Muslims.
Fueling the hidden historical flames of Communal Violence
India has a long and complicated history of communal violence, particularly between the Hindu and Muslim communities. One of the most significant incidents of communal violence in recent history was the Gujarat riots of 2002, where over 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed in a matter of weeks. In this context, the recent decision by an Indian court to exculpate 69 Hindus accused of killing 11 Muslims in the 2002 riots has reignited concerns about bias against Muslims in India’s judicial system.
The Gujarat riots of 2002 were triggered by the burning of a train carrying Hindu pilgrims, which resulted in the deaths of 59 people. The incident was blamed on Muslims, and in the aftermath, Hindu mobs attacked Muslim homes, businesses, and places of worship. The state government, led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was accused of complicity in the violence and of not doing enough to protect the Muslim minority.There have also been concerns about the independence of the judiciary, with some accusing the government of interfering in the case.
The bias against Muslims in India is not a new phenomenon. The country has a long history of communal violence, and Muslims have often been the target of discrimination and violence. In recent years, there has been a rise in Hindu nationalist sentiment in India, which has been accompanied by an increase in anti-Muslim rhetoric and violence. The BJP, which has been in power since 2014, has been accused of promoting a Hindu nationalist agenda and of discriminating against minorities, including Muslims.
The situation has been further exacerbated by the recent passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which many argue is discriminatory towards Muslims. The CAA provides a path to citizenship for refugees from neighbouring countries but excludes Muslims. Critics of the law argue that it is part of a broader campaign to marginalize Muslims in India.
The bias against Muslims is not limited to the justice system. Muslims in India also face discrimination in education, employment, and housing. They are often subject to stereotyping and negative portrayals in the media, which further reinforces the prejudice against them.
The situation has been further aggravated by the government’s use of laws such as the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and the National Security Act (NSA) to arrest and detain Muslims without due process. The government has also been accused of using sedition laws to silence dissent and criticism of its policies.
The bias against Muslims in India has serious implications for the country’s democratic values and social cohesion. India is a diverse country, with a rich history of religious and cultural pluralism. The rise of Hindu nationalism and the marginalization of Muslims threatens to undermine this diversity and divide the country along religious lines.
The Indian government must take urgent steps to address the bias against Muslims and to ensure that justice is served for all communities. This includes holding the perpetrators of violence against Muslims accountable, reforming the justice system to ensure fairness and impartiality, and promoting education and awareness to counter prejudice and discrimination.
India’s Pluralism at stake
India’s democratic values and its commitment to pluralism and diversity are at stake. The government must act now to address the bias against Muslims and to uphold the principles of justice, equality, and human rights for all.
One of the key challenges in addressing the bias against Muslims in India is the political climate in the country. The ruling BJP, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been accused of promoting a Hindu nationalist agenda that seeks to marginalize minorities, including Muslims. This has led to concerns about the independence of institutions such as the judiciary, the media, and civil society organizations.
There have been calls for greater accountability and transparency in the functioning of these institutions to ensure that they are not influenced by political or ideological considerations. There is also a need for greater dialogue and engagement between different communities to promote mutual understanding and respect.
Need of Legislative Reforms
Another important step towards addressing the bias against Muslims in India is through legislative reforms. For example, the government could introduce laws to prevent discrimination in housing, education, and employment. There could also be initiatives to promote diversity and inclusiveness in public institutions and to address the root causes of communal violence and prejudice.
In addition to these measures, there is a need for greater awareness and education about the importance of diversity and pluralism in India. This could include initiatives to promote interfaith dialogue, cultural exchange programs, and media campaigns that highlight the contributions of different communities to Indian society.
Overall, addressing the bias against Muslims in India requires a concerted effort by the government, civil society organizations, and the broader public. All stakeholders must work together to promote a culture of inclusiveness and diversity, and to ensure that justice and equality are upheld for all communities. Only then can India truly live up to its democratic ideals and its commitment to pluralism and diversity.
Social media management
Another important aspect that needs to be addressed is the role of social media in fueling communal tensions and spreading hate speech against Muslims. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have been criticized for their failure to curb hate speech and disinformation, which have been linked to incidents of violence against minorities.
The government could work with social media companies to develop strategies to combat hate speech and promote digital literacy among the public. This could include initiatives to educate people on how to identify and report hate speech and disinformation and to encourage the use of positive messaging to promote social cohesion and harmony.
It is also important to note that the bias against Muslims in India is not a monolithic phenomenon and that different Muslim communities face different forms of discrimination and marginalization. For example, Muslims in Kashmir face a unique set of challenges, including political marginalization and human rights violations.
Addressing the bias against Muslims in India requires a multifaceted approach that involves legislative reforms, institutional accountability, social media regulation, education, awareness-raising, and interfaith dialogue. All stakeholders must work together to promote a culture of inclusiveness and diversity, and to ensure that justice and equality are upheld for all communities.
One of the ways to address the bias against Muslims in India is to empower the Muslim community through political representation and participation. Muslims in India are underrepresented in political institutions, with only a handful of Muslim politicians at the national level. This has led to a lack of representation and a sense of alienation among the Muslim community.
Another important aspect is the need to promote economic opportunities for Muslims, who are disproportionately represented among the poor in India. This could include initiatives to promote entrepreneurship, job creation, and financial inclusion for the Muslim community. It is important to address the economic marginalization of Muslims in India to reduce their vulnerability to discrimination and to promote their participation in the country’s economic growth.
It is important to note that addressing the bias against Muslims in India is not just a domestic issue but has implications for India’s international image and standing. India is a diverse country that is home to many different communities, and the bias against Muslims threatens to undermine the country’s reputation as a pluralistic democracy that respects human rights and diversity.
Addressing the bias against Muslims in India requires a comprehensive approach that involves political representation, economic empowerment, education, social media regulation, and interfaith dialogue. All stakeholders must work together to promote a culture of inclusiveness and diversity, and to ensure that justice and equality are upheld for all communities. By addressing the bias against Muslims in India, the country can live up to its democratic ideals and its commitment to pluralism and diversity.
Another important aspect that needs to be addressed is the role of law enforcement agencies in perpetuating bias against Muslims in India. Muslims have often been subjected to arbitrary detentions, extra-judicial killings, and torture at the hands of police and security forces. There have also been cases where Muslim youth have been falsely implicated in terrorism-related cases.
To address this issue, there is a need to strengthen the accountability mechanisms for law enforcement agencies and to ensure that they are held to high standards of professionalism and respect for human rights. This could include initiatives to improve training and capacity-building for law enforcement officials, as well as measures to ensure independent oversight of their activities.
In addition, there is a need to address the issue of impunity for those who commit violence against Muslims. In many cases, perpetrators of communal violence have gone unpunished, which has contributed to a culture of impunity and a sense of injustice among the Muslim community. To address this issue, there is a need to ensure that perpetrators of communal violence are held accountable for their actions and that justice is served for the victims.
Public Awareness and Multi dimensional approach
It is important to recognize that the bias against Muslims in India is not a problem that can be solved by the government alone. There is a need for greater public awareness and engagement on the issue, as well as greater solidarity among different communities. This could include initiatives to promote interfaith dialogue, cultural exchange programs, and media campaigns that highlight the contributions of different communities to Indian society.
In conclusion, addressing the bias against Muslims in India requires a multi-dimensional approach that involves political representation, economic empowerment, education, social media regulation, law enforcement accountability, and public awareness. All stakeholders must work together to promote a culture of inclusiveness and diversity, and to ensure that justice and equality are upheld for all communities. By addressing the bias against Muslims in India, the country can take a significant step towards realizing its potential as a truly pluralistic and democratic society.
(Muhammad Azhar Kaleem is a Scholar of International Relations and Analyst of Conflict & Conflict Resolution, Global Politics, Peace and diplomacy and Defense and Strategic Studies and Media Psychological Warfare ,studied from Quaid e Azam University, Islamabad)