Indians Resort to Humiliating Friendly Arabs
By F. Z. Khan
India for the last many decades has been enjoying very good economic as well as diplomatic relations with the Arab world; a huge number of Indians, over 7 million, are working in the Gulf states, and the trade ties with UAE, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have earned India the biggest chunk of forex as well as prosperity. But, of late, these relations have been marred by the extremist Hindu regime’s anti-Muslim tirades; ever since the Modi-led RSS-fueled BJP has started state-sponsored persecution of Muslims in India. The Hindutva-committed Modi regime is out “to Hinduize India, where Muslims are no longer safe”, especially after the enactment of new Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) that denies Muslims and other minorities right of citizenship. The longest curfew in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir, the hell unleashed on Kashmiris and the persecution of Muslim population in other parts of India has not only agonized the world community, but the people of Arab countries are also feeling its heat; they have started questioning the very nature of their governments’ relationship with New Delhi.
But what has added fuel to the fire, recently, are the highly derogatory and insulting remarks made by a BJP MP, Tejasvi Surya, about the Arab women, which has sparked widespread hatred among the Arabs against Modi and his ideology, and their diplomatic and trade ties with New Delhi. Surya, a 29-year-old RSS Hindu fanatic from India’s South Bengaluru, in a tweet said, “95% Arab women have never had an orgasm in the last few hundred years! Every (Arab) mother has produced kids as act of sex and not love.” Another ex-MP dragged in Iranian women too, saying “hymenoplasty is increasing fast in Tehran…”
This is too much, something indigestible; the people of Arab countries, especially women in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE and other sister states, are outraged over such derogatory and insulting remarks by none else but a ‘friendly’ country’s MP. Such a ‘friendly’ country that gets transferred every year over $55 billion from the Gulf countries, and more than $120 billion annually from all Muslim countries. ‘Friendly’ in a sense that Indians, mostly Hindus, are treated well in the Arab states, as much as the Indians in UAE constitute the largest part of its population: over 3,510,200 Indian migrants are living in UAE, which is over 27% of the total population. In Kuwait 580,000 Indians are working while in Oman their number is 450,000. India’s business tycoon, who ranks at 394 on the list, is the richest Indian expat living in UAE with assets estimated over $4.9 billion.
“Is this the return of feeding the poor Indians, who have long been eating our share of meal while living amongst us for the last many decades?”, question the Arabs. “Isn’t it a backstabbing by our so called ‘friend’?” Swift reactions, in the strongest terms started coming in from various Arab figures who demand from PM Modi ‘punitive action’ against his MP. “Pity your upbringing @Tejasvi_Surya that respect for women couldn’t be instilled you despite India having some great female leaders. Please note if someday the govt bestows a foreign ministry to you, avoid travelling to Arab lands. You are not welcome here. This would be remembered”. These are the words of Noora Al-Ghurair, a Dubai-based businesswoman, who now demands expulsion of Indians from the Gulf region, because a number of RSS-influenced Hindus living in UAE and Kuwait are caught spreading hate material on social media. Six of them have recently been arrested.
Noora wrote in another tweet: “World is suffering from corona virus and India is suffering from corona via RSS. Hindutva are flourishing all over Middle East. They are persecuting and collecting extortion from Muslims in India. But no Hindutva has been forced to pay Jazia or any protection money to Muslims. If Muslims wanted, they could have easily extorted money from them but they didn’t.” She added, “For too long RSS is working in Gulf spreading poison. Interest to sell oil to India has emboldened coward Hindutva militants. All Arab countries should ban Indian Cultural Centers in their capitals. They are actually pits of anti-Muslim activities on front B/wood faces of SRK-AK-SK.”
Surya, who has been serving the BJP in multiple capacities including being an active member of Akhil Baratiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and state spokesperson of the YuvaMorcha and is currently playing active role in BJP’s national social media team, had recently warned over the Indian Muslims’ Shaheen Bagh protest against the CAA by saying that the Mughal raj would return if the “majority (Hindu) community” was not “vigilant”. He called, “Islamofascism is [a] grave threat to civilisation.” He is quite popular on social media, with more than half a million followers on Twitter. He called upon the BJP to “really become a Hindu party & not just be perceived as one.” In March 2019, he said people who are not with Modi “are strengthening anti-India forces”. He opposes the idea of women’s reservation in Parliament, which was part of BJP’s manifesto in 2014 and 2019.
Although he deleted his tweet on Arab women, yet its screenshot is still being tagged. Mona Alarbash, a lawyer, says: “The Indian parliamentarian’s deletion of this comment will not forget us of the heinous insult from it. We demand urgent and immediate accountability from (Indian) parliament and the (Modi) government. We the Arab Muslim women, are generational educators and directors of global competencies. Mejeb-al-Shrika, from Kuwait Institute of Law and Legal Studies, called upon the Indian PM for taking action against Surya. “@PMOIndia Respected Prime minister @narendramodi India’s relation with the Arab world has been that of mutual respect. Do you allow your parliamentarian to publicly humiliate our women? We expect your urgent punitive action against @Tejasvi_Surya for his disgraceful comment”, reads his tweet.
The outpouring of reaction doesn’t stop here. The royal families are also expressing their resentment against it. Her Highness Princess Hend Al Qassimi, said, “UAE law applies on nationals and non-nationals in terms of hate speech… Anyone that is openly racist and discriminatory in the UAE will be fined and made to leave.” She tweeted a screenshot of a law on hate speech that reads: “…The law prohibits activities the government deems supportive of political or extremist interpretations of Islam. These include the use of the internet or any other electronic means to promote views the government believes insult religions, promote sectarianism, damage national unity or the reputation of the state, or harm public order and public morals. Punishments include imprisonment and fines from 500,000 dirhams ($136,000) to one million dirhams ($272,000). In August the government increased the penalties for electronic violations of the law, including raising the maximum fine to four million dirhams ($1.09 million). The law prohibits membership in groups the government designates as terrorist organizations, with penalties up to life imprisonment and capital punishment.”
Although a strong criticism is being seen from saner elements in India, yet the maniac Modi’s government has still not apologized over Surya’s remarks. “Today, India stands embarrassed, humiliated”, said Congress leader Sanjay Jha, however, the row on Twitter continues to trigger outrage amongst the Arabs. “Everyone is disturbed with the death of pregnant elephant but none is concerned about the hardships faced by SafooraZargar who is in a jail. She was arrested for participating in anti-CAA protest.” And last but not the least: “Show me one case of a Hindu being forced to chant anything by Muslims. These stories of Muslims being lynched keep emanating and it is obvious that the terrorists involved in this are supported by the (Indian) government, why else would this continue?”
(The writer is a freelance columnist, based in Islamabad)