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Sunday, November 26, 2023

Worsening and insecure life of Muslims in India

India is home to some two hundred million Muslims, one of the world’s largest Muslim populations but a minority in the predominately Hindu country. Since India’s independence, Muslims have faced systematic discrimination, prejudice, and violence, despite constitutional protections. Since Modi’s reelection in 2019, the government has pushed controversial policies that critics say explicitly ignore Muslims’ rights and are effectively intended to disenfranchise millions of Muslims.

CM Narendra Modi said on December 19, 2007, that Muslims don’t deserve any of the 15% reservation under Sachar commission recommendations because that would come in the path of development of the country had withheld it from reaching the poor and deserving underprivileged Muslims for twelve years as long as he was chief minister of the state of Gujarat.

He told the National Development Council in Delhi: “The 15 Point Programme that focuses on earmarking certain outlays of the various developmental schemes and programs of the government of India amongst the eligible beneficiaries based on their minority status should be reviewed in the interest of maintaining the social fabrics of the nation. Such discrimination, amongst the eligible beneficiaries, for the flow of funds based on minority status, will not help the cause if taking the people of India together on the path of development.”

A constant grouse that became the leitmotif of his public meetings and rallies was his familiar target, those who are hum panch and hamare panch, we five and ours 25. It depicted the fertility and polygamy of the Muslim community by universalizing the misconceived practice of the Muslim community. But so was the populism fervor that his audience lustily cheered him for what he was uttering. He also called the community members an eyesore as most of them are using grease and other lubricants to repair the vehicles on the sides of roads and their attire is generally stained.

Read more: When & how will terrorism between India and Pakistan end? -Part 1

The Muslims were an important component of the development of Gujarat

The expensive cars and trucks that carry the merchandise from place to place within the state and all across the country and beyond helped Gujarat acquire its wealth and fame. Michael Ignatieff says that democracy is the system of government where the minority has a secure place of their own. Unfortunately, neither the Muslims were safe and prosperous when Modi was chief minister nor are they now when he is Prime Minister. Nor are they safe or their livelihood secure.

  This is what transpired this week of Diwali” Hey… how have you opened your shop? Who gave you permission? Don’t you know this is a Hindu area? Today is Diwali… close it down now. What is this… you think this is ‘your’ area… is this Jama Masjid? This is a fully ‘Hindu’ area,” Suryavanshi can be seen shouting and hurling abuses at the shop workers.

“We are giving a polite warning. We won’t submit more memorandums. It will then be the responsibility of the administration to maintain peace, not ours,” the Indian Express newspaper quoted Mahavir Bhardwaj, Haryana state president of the group, as said last week.

Read more: Tragic realization: Delhi, Gujarat and Kashmir

“We are ready for lathis [sticks], we are ready to go to jail. We won’t run if we are shot at, but this will not be tolerated.”


Mustafa Khan holds a Ph.D. on Mark Twain. He lives in Malegaon Maharashtra, India. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.