Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi says the rising wave of Hindutva in India has emerged as a serious threat not only to Indian Muslims but also to regional security.
In his statement at the 47th Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers Niamey, Niger today, the Foreign Minister said the Modi government is systematically attacking the country s over 180 million Muslims.
Today, in my address to the #OIC47CFMNiamey, I spoke of the pressing issues confronting the Muslim Ummah including rising Islamophobia & the deteriorating humanitarian situation in #IIOJK and #Palestine. pic.twitter.com/sz9kq09pkL
— Shah Mahmood Qureshi (@SMQureshiPTI) November 27, 2020
The foreign minister said suffering and the situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir remains particularly dire. Against the backdrop of India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019, IIOJK has turned into a grave human and humanitarian tragedy.
He said for over 15 months now, over 8 million Kashmiris continue to face lockdown, military siege, communications blockade, arbitrary detentions, and unprecedented restrictions. The entire occupied territory has turned into the world’s largest open-air prison.
In April this year, Director-General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar said that “India’s attempt to link coronavirus with Muslims and Pakistanis has failed badly.” The DG ISPR clarified how is the Indian government committing violence against the Muslims under the cover of COVID-19 and promoting Hindutva.
The rise of Hindutva and anti-Muslim sentiments in India
The COVID-19 outbreak has exacerbated Islamophobic attacks and the country’s largest minority, Muslims — who account for over 14% of the country’s 1.3 billion population — have been attacked and accused of spreading the disease.
BJP, inspired by fascist ideas of RSS, believes that Muslims are responsible for the spread of the virus. Notably, not only mainstream media or social media sites are encouraging violence against Muslims, even the government of India is adding to this campaign in a very subtle manner. It recently sent a memo to the government of West Bengal state expressing concern that it was failing to implement the lockdown strictly in certain areas. It mentioned seven localities in the state, of which six are distinctly Muslim dominated.
It is important to note that Indian politics is being shaped by the extremist politicians and strategists who intend to wipe out the Muslim minority from India.
Dr Moeed Pirzada, a prominent political commentator and columnist, recently noted that “Ram Rath Yatra, Mandal Commission, Ram Janma Bhoni movement, Attack on Babri Mosque, Demolition of Babri Mosque, Bombay riots, Nuclear Explosions of 1997, Kargil Conflict, attack on Indian Parliament, Mobilization against Pakistan, Gujrat Pogroms, Mumbai terrorism everything in one or the other was skillfully utilized in redefining Indian narrative and politics moving it ever closer to the realization of a Hindu Rashtra which now exists in reality though it still needs a legal and constitutional cover”.
“We know where the Muslim population is in large quantity, there is always trouble — because the Islamic ideology says so,” said BJP MP Subramanian Swamy. Dr Swamy expressed not only his personal understanding of Islam but also what his party talks about, say analysts. The ruling party MP also said that “Muslims do not fall into the equal category”.
Since the electoral win of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, the country has been undergoing a massive socio-political change and moving towards an extremist Hindu state. Media reports suggest that freedom is under threat in India where secular values are being replaced with extremist Hindu ideologies. In PM Modi’s India, religious minorities enjoy little space to practice their religion freely.