Escalation in Hindutva violence an outrage against the Indian Constitution, says US-based advocacy group
WASHINGTON — The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) has said that persecution of Muslims under the rule of Bharatiya Janata Party has increased beyond one’s imagination.
In a strongly worded statement issued on Monday, the IAMC took note of a series of recent incidents that suggest that the Indian state has “legitimised the persecution of Muslims, encouraged, and enabled violence against the largest minority community in the country”.
IAMC is an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos.
“The Narendra Modi government must demonstrate to all Indians and the international community that the Constitution is still in effect,” said Ahsan Khan, President of IAMC.
“This will require putting a stop to the violence against Muslims by groups affiliated to the larger ideological fraternity of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS),” added Khan. BJP is the political arm of RSS.
The IAMC has reminded India that on January 26, it will celebrate its Republic Day which honours the date on which India adopted its Constitution. The Constitution is a collective resolution of the people of India to secure for all its citizens justice, liberty and equality and to promote fraternity among them all, without regard to caste or creed, the statement reads.
The vandalization of Brigadier Mohammed Usman’s grave marks yet another low in India’s rapid descent into fascism. The fact that the grave of a true national hero and martyr like Brigadier Usman was targeted shows that the nationalism of Hindutva is not about the nation at all, nor does it adhere to the norms of any religion. Rather, it is a narrow, bigoted creed that does not regard anything as sacred in its naked drive for power and supremacy, the statement added.
“Be it Uttar Pradesh or Madhya Pradesh, there is no limit to persecution of Muslims by the state. Being a Muslim in India has become a nightmare and that needs to stop,” said Khan referring to the anti-conversion ordinance brought by the government of Uttar Pradesh which is led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Khan described Adityanath as “Islamophobic and hate mongering” who has emerged as the “new poster boy of radical supremacist groups aligned with Hindutva”.
The UP ordinance targets Muslim men who happened to marry Hindu women. Following its promulgation, numerous cases of harassment of interfaith couples have been reported. Over a hundred former civil servants from the IAS, IFS, IPS and other cadres of the civil services, have said that the ordinance has turned the state into “the epicentre of politics of hate, division and bigotry.” Recently, they wrote an open letter to Adityanath, urging him to withdraw the controversial law. These former civil servants include former National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, former Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and former Adviser to the Prime Minister T.K.A. Nair.
Mohammad Jawad, national general secretary of the IAMC, referred to recent attacks on Muslim households and places of worship in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, following rallies carried out by Hindu right-wing groups.
“In Ujjain district of Madhya Pradesh on January 31, police razed the house of a daily wager who had built his house over the past 35 years, pushing a family of 19 to the street. It was done in a one-sided action by the police after the local Muslim community resisted vandalism of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha workers who tried to create communal disturbance by chanting Hanuman chalisa in front of a mosque, and later damaging its minaret,” said Jawad in the same statement.
He said that members of right-wing Hindu groups used collection of donations for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya as a pretext to create fear among Muslims.
“The agitation for demolition of Babri mosque during the 1990s was turned into a source of majoritarian violence. Hindutva groups are following a familiar model of violence,” he added.
IAMC is dedicated to promoting the common values of pluralism, tolerance, and respect for human rights that form the basis of the world’s two largest secular democracies – the United States and India.