Modi’s Maltreatment of Muslims & the Middle East
By Sajjad Shaukat
Hindu politics and culture, dominated by the fundamentalist parties such as BJP, RSS, VHP, Shiv Sena and other similar groups which have been propagating Hindutva (Hindu nationalism) are feeling pleasure, because Indian elections based on media campaign against Islam and Muslims, enabled BJP hardliner Narendra Modi to get a land sliding triumph in the Indian elections 2014. Whereas the Indian Hindus celebrated Modi’s victory, who himself is follower of the Hindu extremism has become prime minister of India, the Muslim community in India felt alienated, frightened and perturbed, as most of them believed that they have been effectively disenfranchised.
Muslims who are well-aware of Narendra Modi’s agenda to reduce the Muslim community in India to second class citizens, feel nervous and gloomy. Muslim anxiety in India is multiplying due the fact that during the election campaign, Hindu majority was mobilized on ‘hate Muslim’ slogans. Hence, Modi regime is likely to target and persecute Muslims in India. Besides, other similar events against the Muslim community, the massacre of Muslims in Gujarat might be cited as an example of the BJP brutalities. While destruction and desecration of Babari Mosque in India led to the burning of Hindu Manders (Places of Hindu worships) and destruction of Hindu property in Pakistan. Similarly, maltreatment of Muslims—hating them in India will have dire repercussions for Hindus in the Middle East including non-Arab Islamic countries.
If the BJP led Modi government started harassing, hounding and cleansing Muslims in India, the heat will especially be felt by Hindus living in Middle East. In this regard, some forward looking members of Hindu community are already feeling the heat, as Muslim anxiety in India is surging through media projections and expert opinions about possible governing style of Modi in India. Insular minded Modi and Hindu extremists of the BJP stand fully charged to govern India with iron hand especially when question of Muslim community and other minorities is to be addressed. This has been the elusive dream of Modi and the BJP to forcibly convert all non-Hindu Indians into Hinduism. Their power motives are guided by their religious beliefs. Hence, tough times are ahead for Muslims to face in India
In this respect, anti-Muslim approach of the BJP and Indian new Prime Minister Narendar Modi could be judged from the fact that encouraged by the election-victory of the BJP, on May 28, this year, in a provocative act to disturb communal harmony among different religious communities in India, Rashtriya Hindu Andolan, a little known Mangalore-based Hindutva outfit and activists from various right wing groups organized a protest in Mangalore in front of the office of Deputy Commissioner by demanding the authorities to ban the morning Muslim call to prayer (Azan) across the country.
Now, the analysts believe that Modi’s base-mentality and narrow mindedness would entrap him into street quarrels and slanted politics, blended with social prejudice and political biases. Therefore, communal hate and religious abhorrence will surge in India. Muslims are likely to be the main target of Modi torment and the BJP persecution. This will certainly result into a chain reaction (loaded with public emotions) against Hindu community living in the Middle East and other Islamic countries. Internally, India will face the worst turmoil.
However, Muslim countries will not be able to control public reaction against Hindus, in case, Muslims are persecuted in India. Again, sacrilege of Babari Mosque in India and uncontrolled public reaction against Hindus in Pakistan and the other Islamic countries is a case in point. Obviously maltreatment, oppressive tactics and cruel injustice against Muslims in India will cause Hindu distress in the Islamic World, particularly in the Middle East. As regards the victory of the BJP in the elections and anti-Muslim statement of its leaders during the election-campaign, Muslims in India feel nervous due to the new Prime Minister Narendar Modi. And, Hindu abroad, particularly in the Middle East are equally worried as practical manifestation of Modi’s style of rule is likely to be upsetting for Indian Muslims.
Whereas Muslim dilemma in India is justified, while the incessant and unjust Indian propaganda against Pakistan is beyond anybody’s cognition. It simply speaks of Hindu deep seated animosity against Pakistan and Pakistani public.
Nevertheless, Modi and his Hindu followers must understand that in socio-political arena public motivation, based on exploitation of negative emotions may offer temporal gains, but in the longer run such gimmicks prove fatal and disastrous. No doubt, Modi has won election using ‘hate Muslim’ slogan, its practical manifestation will create negative backlash. Under the leadership of Modi, maltreatment and socio-political marginalizing of Muslims in India will send pessimistic message to Hindu community which is living in the Middle East.
In this connection, our own political leadership and media—especially of the other Arab and non-Arab countries must give a matching response to the BJP-led new government. In this context, they must make it clear that Modi’s victory in Indian elections is a source of concern not only for Muslim community in India, but also for the regional neighbors including the Islamic World. They must point out that Modi’s election campaign was based on negative emotional appeal in which, he used Pakistan as enemy, while tipping-off Muslims to go to Pakistan. In this respect, exploiting emotions negatively will have serious consequences for both the nuclear countries, South Asia and the Middle East.
These Islamic entities must indicate that Indian media already toes Hindu mindset and conducts propaganda against Pakistan and the Indian Muslims in one or the other way. That is why, Hindus hate Muslims in India and Pakistan. By speaking in optimistic tone, our own electronic media including that of the Muslim World must counter Indian propaganda, and suggest to the new leadership in New Delhi to avoid playing with the fire, otherwise, the results would be disastrous.
Nonetheless, Prime Minister Modi must understand that every action has its own opposite and equal reaction. Therefore, let us give peace a chance, before the propagandists spoil the issue to a point of no return. In order to settle all the issues including the thorny dispute of Kashmir with Pakistan, which are essential for peace of the region, BJP and Prime Minister Modi must forget that they won the elections on the basis of anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan slogans.
Consequently, Modi‘s maltreatment of Muslims by emboldening the BJP would have frightening repercussions in the Islamic countries, especially the Middle East including Pakistan.