India: A Land of State-sponsored Persecutions and Injustices against the Minorities
Dr. Firoz Mahboob Kamal
The incurable evils of the Hindu psyche
Humanity, equality, fraternity, freedom and basic human rights do not work in the psyche of a typical Indian Hindu. In Muslim history, the pre-Islamic Arabs are known as the people of ignorance (jaheliya). They were idolaters, too. They are assumed to be the worst people in Arab history. But if compared objectively, they were much better than today’s Indian Hindus. Among the pre-Islamic Arabs, no section of people were labelled as untouchables. But in India, about 200 million people are labelled as untouchables and kept out of the ladder of social, economic and political advancement.
Such a crime is unthinkable in a civilized society. It is more toxic and inhuman than racism. Racism is a great crime; but it doesn’t render anyone untouchable –as done by the Hindu caste system. But such an evil practice is the part and parcel of the Hindu psyche. And it remains perpetually incurable. It is indeed a matter of great danger that the non-Hindu minorities have to live in the midst of such a highly toxic religious faith. In such a hostile milieu, the Muslims, the Christians and the untouchables happen to be the helpless victims.
Such caste-based division, segregation and hatred were never the parts of the pre-Islamic Arab culture. But these are sanctioned by Hindu religion, therefore enjoy religious sanctity and encouragement. In those pre-Islamic days, the Arab idolaters used to live peacefully with the Jews, the Christians and the believers of other faiths. The Arab widows never had to be burnt alive with the dead husband –as was practiced by the Hindus even in mid-nineteen century. Awfully, such a practice of extreme cruelty never touched the psyche of Hindu reformers. Even the poet Rabindranath Tagore –a Nobel laurate wrote a verse eulogizing such cruelty of satidah (burning alive of widows). Such barbarity could be stopped only by the non-Hindu rulers –firstly by the Muslims and then by the British.
The European disease
During the Muslim rule in India, the communal violence against the people of any faith was unknown. It started only after the occupation of India by the colonial British. The British arrived to India not only with the military might but also with the European moral disease of genocidal massacres based on faith, race and localism. Millions of Europeans were killed in the wars between the Catholics and the Protestants.
But in India, wars used to take place only between the royal inheritors and the dynasties but not between the people of different faiths. Both Muslims and Hindus were free to take side in favour of any of the warring parties. Many Hindu soldiers and generals worked soldier to soldier with the Muslims in the Muslim armies. In Moghul Armies, many of the top generals were Hindu. In the Army of Nawab Sirajuddowla, -the last ruler of Bengal, many of the generals were Hindu. So, in those days, wars seldom took place between the Hindus and the Muslims.
But after the occupation of India, the British identified Muslims as their perpetual enemies. They took Hindus as the partner in their war on Muslims and Islam. The war was inclusive. It was a war on Muslims’ faith, politics, economy, education and culture. The aim was to keep Muslim subjugated.
The war on Muslims continues
The British has left India in 1947 but the war on Muslims continues under the leadership of Hindutva forces that now occupy the driving seats of almost all main Indian political parties. So-called secular Indian National Congress and the recently formed Aam Admi Party led by Arwind Kejriwal are not any exception. Most of the Hindus are now embedded with this toxic Hindutva ideology. This is why, BJP doesn’t need a single Muslim vote to get a landslide election victory. Whereas, about 15 percent population of India are Muslim. And in some important states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the Muslims population is more than 20 percent. In the West Bengal and Kerala it is about 30 percent. And in Assam, the Muslims population are about 40 percent.
It is totally wrong to believe that the persecution of the Muslim minorities is only the policy of RSS (Rashtiya Sevak Sangh)-BJP (Bharat Janata Party)-VHP (Vishu Hindu Parisad) axis. In fact, it was started by the Indian National Congress even before the independence of India in 1947. For example, the Kolkata massacre of about 5,000 Muslims on 16 August 1946 and on later days was the works of the so-called secular Congress party thugs. The carnage was engineered on the occasion of Muslim League’s Direct Action Day for Pakistan. While the unarmed Muslims were returning from a mammoth public gathering in Kolkata’s historic Gorer Mat ground were attacked and killed by the Hindutva elements. Even the shanty Muslim neighbourhoods of Kolkata were burnt down. Even the Muslim women and children were not spared in that genocidal massacre. Hundreds of Muslim women were raped and thrown in the blazing flame of the burning houses. The carnage that started in Kolkata later-on snowballed all over India.
The BJP-RSS are not the only perpetrators
When Indian Congress came to power in 1947, the first government-engineered genocidal campaign against Muslims was launched in Hyderabad in the month of September to October in1948. It was a war of occupation against the Muslim ruler of Hyderabad. About 200, 000 Muslims were killed in that pogrom. According to the Sunderlal Committee report, produced by the Indian government, the civilian death toll was about 40,000. After every anti-Muslim genocide, it is a common ploy of the Indian government to make a committee to downsize the amount of carnage. Therefore, even a government estimate of 40,000 is huge. The actual number must be many folds higher.
The historic Babri mosque in city Ayudhya was dismantled in 1992. Such a huge crime was committed in broad daylight when Nar Seema Rao of Indian National Congress was the Prime Minister of India. He didn’t do anything to prevent such a horrendous crime. About 150,000 RSP-VHP cadres could assemble around the Babri mosque with the known criminal motive in the presence of the police. Prime Minister Rao showed his visible inaction and enjoyed the destruction of the mosque on the TV screen. What a disgrace that a single man was not punished for such a huge crime. The Indian Supreme Court appeased the stakeholders of the crime by granting them the huge land of the Babri mosque premise. This is indeed Indian way of appeasing the criminals. It shows, whenever a crime is committed against the Muslims, the government, the police, the judiciary are ready to condone it. The Indian history is full of such events.
In 1983, a huge genocidal carnage took place in Nellie in Assam. About 10,000 Muslims were killed. More than a dozen of Muslim villages were totally burnt down. Men, women and children were massacred. At that time, Rajeev Gandhi of Indian Congress was the Prime Minister. He didn’t punish a single killer. He made a deal of appeasement with the party of perpetrators.
During Rajeev Gandhi’s Congress rule, the Sikh people were also badly massacred in 1984. About 10,000 Sikhs were killed; of them 3,000 were killed in the capital city of Delhi. If the Congress government had an iota of interest to stop the carnage, it had enough means to stop that. But Rajeev Gandhi’s government decided to stay out of action.
The Hindutva toxicity runs deeper
In India, riots never happen if not planned and orchestrated by the party in power. Even many Indian intellectuals and politicians believe it. The Hindutva venom runs very high not only in RSS cadres but also in the mind of the people placed in higher levels in the department of police, judiciary and government administration. They are no less anti-Muslim than the RSS cadres. Hence, when an anti-Muslim carnage starts, the police and the government administration stay deliberately inactive and allow the criminals to continue their crime as per their wish. This is why the Gujrat genocide in 2002 could continue for about a week unabated. In those days, Narendra Modi –the current Indian Prime Minister was the Chief Minister of the Gujrat state. He maintained a policy of inaction against the perpetrators.
The policy of de-empowerment of the Muslims
The Indian government also runs a multi-prong strategy to keep the Indian Muslims de-empowered, de-mobilized and de-organized. Recently, the government banned a Muslim organization named Popular Front of India (PFI). The ban was imposed on the ground that the organization is threat to the security of the Indian state. Whereas the PFI was working for promotion of education and building awareness among the Muslims. Whereas the organizations of Hindu priests that openly declare the genocidal cleansing of Muslims are allowed to operate freely.
In the past, Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) was banned. The allegation was the same. SIM was blamed to have an anti-state design. Whereas SIMI was working to encourage the Muslim students to engage in Indian politics as its rightful citizens and to take part in educational and intellectual reawakening of the Muslims.
Omar Khaled –a scholar, researcher and human rights activist has been put behind the bar since 2020. His bail application is repeatedly denied. He was active in organizing Muslims in protest rallies against Modi government’s Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Registration of Citizen (NRC) in Delhi. Khaled’s speech describing RSS and Hindu Mahashaba as the British agents is labelled as a crime. Whereas many leftist Hindu intellectuals tell the same. Omar Khaled is considered a threat to the Indian state. And his crime is labelled unbailable.
The old strategy in operation
Now it implies that every effort to empower, educate and awaken Muslims is perceived as a threat to the security of the state of India. Here Islamophobia and Muslim phobia work heavily in the Hindu psyche. Every Muslim appears to them as potential enemy. Therefore, obstructing every avenue of Muslims’ resurgence and empowerment is the prime policy of the Indian government. The Muslims are not allowed to grow up equal citizens. They are labelled as progenies of the foreign invaders. However, this is not new. It is the clearly stated old strategy of all Hindutva ideologues of the past. Such an anti-Muslim strategy was pronounced and fiercely propagated by Savarkar, Golwalkar and Hedgewar –the original gurus of RSS-BJP politics. In fact, the ruling RSS-BJP-VHP axis is doing everything to implement that old strategy. 24/10/2022.