After arrest of 100 leaders, minister says 2 Muslim outfits to be permanently banned
Hours after India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Enforcement Directorate arrested over 100 Muslims connected with two Muslim organizations, a minister in Karnataka government said the federal government had launched the procedure to permanently ban the Popular Front of India (PFI) and the Social Demodratic Party of India (SDPI).
Without citing any evidence, Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra, a leader of the Hindu extremist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that rules the state, said the two organisations were connected with terror outfits.
Under India law, there is no provision to ban any organization permanently, as that would violate the Constitutional freedom to organize. However, the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act allows for banning organizations for five years, subject to judicial review and approval. In practice, the judiciary has rubber-stamped governmental bans without posing any serious questions.
Assam’s chief minister says India not a constitutional but a civilisational democracy
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, a Hindu extremist belonging to the BJP, on Thursday claimed that India was “not a constitutional democracy” but a “civilisation democracy.”
“Bharatvarsha [Hindu name for India] is not just a nation-state that came into being in the 19th century, but a living entity,” Sarma said. “India nurtures one of the oldest civilizations in the world. The sense of Indian identity is not a 19th-century phenomenon when India began to imagine itself as a nation-state. The sense of India is a civilizational continuity of the past several millennia.”
He claimed that European colonial powers “could not succeed in destroying the ancient beliefs and traditions of the indigenous population of India… because of the inherent power of Sanatan [Hindu] civilization.”
Sarma’s claims are the long-standing talking points of the Hindu rightwing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which has claimed that India was a Hindu country and that non-Hindus, especially Muslims and Christians, should not have citizenship or equal rights.
The Assam government has been increasingly persecuting the state’s Muslims.
Christians welcome Supreme Court order to 8 states to verify claims of persecution
Indian Christian leaders Thursday said they welcome the Supreme Court’s recent directive to eight states to verify the claims of Christian groups that filed a petition for protection after around 200 attacks were reported within the first five months of 2022.
“We are satisfied with the Supreme Court order,” one of the petitioners, Archbishop Peter Machado of the Archdiocese of Bengaluru, told UCA News.
In an interim order passed earlier this month, Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Hima Kohli directed chief secretaries of eight states to verify the list of attacks mentioned in the petition within four months and send the report to the federal interior ministry.