The General Elections of 2014 in India, resulted in a triumph for the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) and as a result, a Pro-Hindu leader Narendra Modi sat on the uppermost echelon of the governmental ladder. Modi’s party won the elections with an absolute majority. In the realm of economic diplomacy, he championed the rallying cry of ‘Reform, Perform and Transform’ India, pledging unwavering progress while elevating the nation’s stature in the international decision-making arena.
The BJP made efforts to garner Muslim support during the election drive, but subsequently, their government implemented certain policies that contravene the social, cultural, and religious values cherished by the Muslim community. Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) had a manifesto for Lok Sabha- the House of People or the lower house of India’s parliament- in 2019 which pledged the elimination of Articles 370 and 35-A of the constitution.
August 5, 2019, is marked as the gloomiest day for the populace of Jammu and Kashmir as the Indian premier’s party declared the annulment of Articles 370 and 35-A of the constitution of India. These interconnected laws provided the region of Jammu and Kashmir, which is under Indian administration, with distinctive semi-autonomous prerogative. Abrogation of these provisions had major repercussions for the predominantly Muslim populace of Jammu and Kashmir.
It also aggravated the previously strained relations between India and Pakistan, and potentially triggered unrest in the region. The Hindu Nationalists under the leadership of the BJP not only oppressed the Muslims but also the other minorities of the country. A graphic video recently came out, two women being sexually abused in public in India’s northeastern state of Manipur. The clip went viral on Wednesday 19, July showing two women belonging to the Kuki-zo group walking naked along a street, being ridiculed, insulted, and harassed by marauding hordes reportedly from the Meitei community.
There have been some ethnic clashes between the Hindu Meiti and Christian Kuki-zo communities in the Manipur state. Violence flared up among the majority Meiti and the minority Kuki-zo over the job quotas and land rights. Furthermore, the chaos was sparked by the orders of the apex court of India that government should consider extending special benefits enjoyed by the Kuki-zo to the Meiti populace as well. The video was shot 2 months ago but because of the unavailability of Internet facilities, it came to the mainstream media a little late.
The statistics are alarming, not less than 140 people have been killed, 3000 plus injured, and more than 50,000 have fled their homes since the unrest began. After almost being silent on the incident for 80 days, Indian Premier Modi called it a ‘shameful’ act and told authorities to take strict action against the suspects. The Manipur incident has underscored the pressing need for inclusive governance and policies that promote equitable representation and fair distribution of resources. Another recent event occurred in Haryana- an Indian state located in the northern part of the country- the burnt bodies of two men were found in a car. A report published by India Today disclosed that according to the relatives of the demised ones, they were forcefully abducted by the cow vigilantes. Later, they were burnt alive and the bodies were discovered inside a car. It serves as a wake-up call for Indian authorities to take proactive measures to safeguard the rights and security of all its citizens, irrespective of their ethnicity or religious affiliations.
The aforementioned incidents are not the only incidents of this type, but ample events have also been reported in the past. A report by Islamabad Policy Research Institute states, under the contemporary government 61 percent of Muslims have been victims of Hindu Extremism and an overall 73 percent of the minorities have been the prey of Hindutva ideologists, an immense number of 700 casualties in the Farmers Movement and last but not the least 124 Muslims have been assassinated in cow-related hate crimes.
However, the role of International Organizations addressing, promoting, and protecting Human Rights, for example, the Human Rights Commission and Amnesty International have been skeptical. In essence, these incidents underscore the immediate need for comprehensive steps to address the rife challenges presented by Religious extremism and Human Rights violations, both at a national and international level.
Abdul Hameed is an Intern at BTTN.