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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Becoming the voice of minorities in India

Muslims have been facing oppression and discrimination in their everyday lives when they go out for education, employment, or even for housing. Majority of the Muslims have to tackle challenges when they want to make their lives better in terms of their financial or political standing.

With every moving second, the challenges that nations worldwide face are much more complex than they were ever before. Therefore, it is crucial to adapt to the changes and adjust your policies according to the changing times.

These changes include revisiting the economic and political policies in place and adjusting them according to the needs of today. Moreover, this also helps to create inclusive policies and strategies by bringing the youth and minorities into the socio-political picture and making the democratic environment more responsive to their demand and the challenges they face.

Read more: Investigate Indian oppression in Kashmir, Pakistan demands of UN

Hate against Hindu-Muslims 

The minorities in India have faced marginalization and oppression at the hands of Indian forces. These acts of injustice have mostly stemmed from religious hate or class differences. Since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came into power in 2014, the nation has been moving further rightwards and giving an unfair advantage to the Hindu majoritarian areas, putting the Muslim minority at a disadvantage.

The Muslims living in India have faced open and blatant discrimination at the hands of Indian forces and private institutions. Hindu groups have also made several attacks on Muslims that were backed by the BJP. Muslims are unable to even carry on with their normal lives. If it’s either what they eat, wear or the places of worship, all the constitutional rights of Muslims are being taken away from them and they are being attacked and banned from practicing their religion ever since Modi came into power.

Muslims have been facing oppression and discrimination in their everyday lives when they go out for education, employment, or even for housing. Majority of the Muslims have to tackle challenges when they want to make their lives better in terms of their financial or political standing but they fail to do so because of the discriminatory policies in place and the discriminatory nature of Hindus in India. Muslims even struggle to get access to necessities such as healthcare and public services and often Hindus are given priority over them.

Injustice at the Hands of Indian Institutions 

The justice system in India is extremely discriminatory towards the minorities living in the country. Muslims fight for years in court and still end up without any justice even though the constitution assures minorities of protection and justice. This is also the first time in the history of India that there is not even a single Muslim parliamentarian who is governing any party in India. The representation of Muslims in the Indian parliament has sharply declined in the last two decades. Ever since the 2019 elections, Muslim representation was only through 5 percent of the seats in the parliament. This was due to the BJP coming into power and currently, there is no Muslim member of their party in the parliament.

Read more: Indian illegally occupied Kashmir witnesses surge in violence after Yasin Malik sentence

The Indian state has recently increased the volume by which they have passed laws directed toward restricting the freedom of Muslims in the country concerning their religious practices. This includes laws such as anti-conversion law and a ban on wearing scarves to cover the head in public. This hijab ban is a violation of human rights under the International Human Rights Law. This law guarantees the right for everyone to freely practice their religious beliefs, and their expression and to have equal access to education without any hindrance. Moreover, this law also suggests that one must not be forced otherwise if they choose to wear religious garments as it violates the privacy of an individual to practice their religion under International Law.

Suffocating Everyday Survival 

A recent example of the hatred by the Indian government towards the Muslim minority is the three-day religious convention held in 2021 by the Hindu ultra-nationalists where the speakers openly talked about killing Muslims. Working-class Muslims are often beaten up on their way to work from their homes. Women are harassed and threatened which is a major reason why many Muslim Women in India choose to stay at home and not work or gain any formal education.

Hundreds of prominent Muslim women in India get humiliated and degraded on an everyday basis as their pictures and information are displayed on apps and websites suggesting that these women are for sale. A prominent and recent example of injustices as of September 13, 2022, is when the Hindus played songs of Muslim genocide outside a Mosque in India.

Higher authorities in India have started to resort to extrajudicial practices to oppress Muslims even further. They have started a practice called “Bulldozer Justice” through which they have destroyed the homes of several Muslims by alleging that they did not have a legal permit to own the property. The authorities started this practice to primarily target the Muslims who had participated in protests to stand up for their rights. Although the Supreme Court of India implied that these demolitions were not retaliatory but the practice continues to happen.

Read more: Syed Ali Geelani: Honoring a life dedicated to fighting oppression

Making Kashmir the Hotspot of Maltreatment 

Modi started to attack the only Muslim-majority area in India in 2019; Jammu and Kashmir. In late 2019, he started to split the territory that already had a disputed border area with Pakistan. He divided the area into two territories and took away their constitutional autonomy from them. Ever since this move Modi, the area, and the people living there have been the target of the crackdown on their rights and freedom by the Indian forces deployed in the area.

Since 2019, the internet services in the area have been shut down over 85 times. Women of Kashmir are being harassed and raped by the forces. This is a tactic being used by them to further spread fear in the area so that acquiring the territory becomes an easy task for them. The journalists in the area are also being harassed and threatened ever since which makes it difficult for the rest of the world to know about the exact situation in Jammu and Kashmir hence, the world remains unaware of the majority of the injustices and oppression being done by the Indian forces.

Read more: Locals heard gunshots as Indian troops target Baramullah

Many prominent political figures are also under the custody of Indian forces to prevent these leaders from initiating any movement against oppression by the Indians. Even though the government claims that the security situation of the area is being worked upon, hundreds of civilians in the area have been killed by armed groups ever since the division started in 2019.

 

Written by: Nayyab Nadeem Farooqi

The writer is a public Policy Graduate from the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST). The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.