Are Muslims in India going via a interval of fear and helplessness?

Exactly one week in the past, a mob of Hindus within the Neemuch district of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh attacked some Muslim devotees, together with a shrine attendant and a lady, at evening. According to Indian media reviews, they have been crushed in a single day. The attackers additionally blew up part of the shrine earlier than leaving.

A month and a half earlier than the incident, a number of younger Hindus in Sekli village in district Ujjain severely beat Abdul Rashid, a Muslim junk supplier, and threatened him that it was a Hindu village and he shouldn’t be seen right here once more. After the incident, Rashid acquired scared and stopped going to the village, which has severely affected his work.

Talking to BBC, Rashid stated: “I have been working here for 20 years. We all go to the adjoining villages too… no one has ever stopped me. [But now] I was beaten by many young men. They threw away my luggage and they made me chant the slogan Jay Shri Ram (victory to Lord Rama) and said that I should not come here again.”

Read extra: Attacks on Muslims changing into ‘routine’ in Modi’s India: report

An influential particular person in Ujjain district, on situation of anonymity, stated that assaults on Muslim junk sellers within the space had been occurring for a very long time however nobody knew about them.

“The video of the attack on Abdul Rashid was made by the attackers themselves and posted on social media which went viral and highlighted the incident and a report was lodged. People’s mindset is changing here now. It was not like before,” he added.

A cow vigilante group in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura lynched a Muslim youth. PHOTO: INDIAN MEDIAA cow vigilante group in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura lynched a Muslim youth. PHOTO: INDIAN MEDIA

Six days in the past, the physique of a Muslim engineering scholar was dismembered and dumped on a railway monitor in Bangalore. The Muslim scholar was allegedly in a relationship with a Hindu lady.

A neighborhood hardline Hindu organisation reached a proper settlement to finish the connection between the 2. Despite the settlement, the boy was killed. Several members of the Hindu organisation have been arrested in relation to the incident.

Also learn: Cow vigilantes kill Muslim man, injure 4 others in India

In addition to those three incidents, in latest days, there was a rise in religiously motivated hate assaults on small native Muslim businessmen in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Hari Anh, Karnataka and lots of different states.

Some observers say that not solely are Muslims now feeling insecure within the present atmosphere, however the nation’s democratic system can also be coming underneath the affect of a hardline Hindu mindset.

A collection of such hateful incidents started in 2017 with the killing of a Muslim man in broad daylight on a freeway in Rajasthan’s Alwar district who was crushed on the road by members of a hardline Hindu organisation working to ‘protect cows’.

Pahlavi Khan Hari was a dairy farmer within the space and on the day of the incident, he had bought a cow from an area market.

Talking about Pahlavi Khan’s homicide, an area journalist Mohammad Zubair Khan informed BBC: “The incident has created a fear in the minds of the people here.”

“If we are coming from Alwar, Rewari, Palol, Gurgaon or Faridabad, we are just afraid that something similar to what happened to Pahlavi Khan would happen. Life here has been badly affected.”

Leading analyst Arifah Khanum stated that some assaults are being carried out systematically, and a few individually. “There is a campaign of hatred against Muslims. Attempts are being made to pit neighbour against neighbour. Attempts are being made to change the country’s DNA.”

Read: Hindutva mob cuts off aged Muslim man’s beard, beats him to pulp in India

The gravity of the scenario could be gauged from the truth that throughout a significant assembly of the far-right Hindu hardline social gathering Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) final month, the subject of the ceremony was the “growth” within the variety of Muslims in Uttarakhand.

When Arifah was requested if there have been incidents in latest days the place individuals are being “awakened” on social media that there are numerous Muslims among the many vegetable distributors and whether or not it’s harming the economic system of small Muslims, she stated: “Muslims are already marginalised because of poverty and being a minority.”

She stated that makes an attempt at the moment are being made to additional isolate Muslims economically. “In the current environment, the majority of Muslims in India are feeling insecure. I think a section of the majority community is inclined towards religious extremism. It is difficult to say how large the religiously hardline class has become, but extremism is very dangerous in any country in the attitude of the majority community,” Arifa added.

Analysts say the incidents are supposed to intimidate Muslims, partly as a result of the attackers consider the federal government is not going to take motion towards them, whereas there are a number of incidents the place authorized motion is taken towards the sufferer, as a substitute.

Leading commentator Rajni Bakhshi writes in an article printed within the Indian Express: “Such violence against Muslims is seen as justice for Hindus. The general impression is that the administration will turn a blind eye to violence against Muslims. These incidents have increased the sense of insecurity among Muslims,” she added.

Farheen Saifi, a scholar from New Delhi, says: “When we see these incidents on social media, a fear arises in our hearts that this may also happen to us.”

Ahmed Ansari, a scholar from Jharkhand, believes that strict legal guidelines should be enacted towards such incidents of violence in order that the plenty could be protected against them.

On the opposite hand, Nargis Khatun, a scholar from Uttar Pradesh, is worried concerning the deteriorating scenario however says she has not had such an ordeal but. “I have to travel. I wear hijab but so far I have not had any bad experience or any discrimination. I think there is still respect for Muslims in the hearts of the people.”

But Ayman Rizvi, a Delhi-based social employee who wears hijab, has a distinct expertise. “When these people see a man with a beard, a cap, a girl in a burqa, they start mocking our religion. I am called a ‘tent house’ because I wear hijab in that way. What is the government’s response to these incidents?” she added.

Government response

The Indian authorities has repeatedly expressed “concern” over such incidents, however critics say it has not taken efficient steps to forestall such incidents, that are encouraging hardliners.

Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, nonetheless, stated that such incidents have been a supply of concern for the federal government. “Such incidents are a disgrace to humanity, but it is no less dangerous to try to paint these incidents as religious. It is neither in the interest of society nor in the interest of Muslims to paint these events as such. As soon as the elections arrive, the vote-hungry politicians come out and create this illusion.”

He claimed that the Muslims of India have now realised these techniques and have been on the trail of progress.

Elections will probably be held in a number of necessary states of India within the near future. Observers consider such incidents of violence towards Muslims will improve sooner or later.

Arifah Khanum says: “We achieved a democratic nation after years of battle for independence. Now we’re witnessing each brick of this complete constructing shattering. We are seeing it crumbling. It can solely be prevented by electoral means and by stopping democratic establishments from collapsing.”

The article initially appeared in BBC Urdu

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