Indian Parliamentarian Says Prime Minister Modi Has Normalized Hatred For Muslims
The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) commends Member of Indian Parliament Shashi Tharoor for holding Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) responsible for the normalization of hatred for Muslims across India. “In just seven years of BJP rule, the cultural pluralism and Hindu-Muslim amity that India has touted for decades have been annihilated,” Tharoor wrote on November 11. “Islamophobia now seems to have colonized a significant segment of north Indian society, though the south has yet to succumb.
“India’s much-vaunted free press has been complicit – and even an active participant – in the erasure of its longstanding syncretic cultural traditions. Under BJP rule, the segregation and disempowerment of Muslims – the division of Indian society into “us” and “them” – is being gradually normalized, and Indians are becoming desensitized to the routine expression and practice of anti-Muslim bigotry.
“A Muslim who points this out will be told to “go to Pakistan.” Hindus like me are derided as “anti-national.””
Tharoor listed out the many ways in which Modi and his party have stigmatized Muslims and made them a target of majoritarian hatred. Tharoor belongs to India’s main opposition Congress party and is a former federal minister. Previously, he held a high-level United Nations job and is an acclaimed author and novelist.
Widow Of Muslim Ex-MP Killed By Hindu Extremists Tells Supreme Court Of Modi’s Complicity
Zaika Jafri, the widow of Ehsan Jafri, a former Member of Parliament who was killed by a Hindu extremist mob, has said the police failed to investigate the complicity of Modi and his officials in that killing as well as the wider anti-Muslim violence that occurred in 2002 and claimed over 2,000 lives in Gujarat state.
There was an effort to “protect” and ensure that extremists from the Bajrang Dal, the police, and the bureaucracy who had been involved in that violence and ensure they were not prosecuted, Jafri’s lawyer told the Supreme Court on November 11.
She has challenged a “clean chit” given by a Special Investigative Team (SIT) of the police, constituted by the Supreme Court, to 64 people, including Modi. The SIT had nearly a decade ago claimed that there was no evidence to suggest that 64 high-profile people, including Modi, who was then Gujarat chief minister, were complicit in the violence.
Police Implicate Catholic Priest On False Charges Of Forced Conversion
In yet another case of fraud against Christians in Uttar Pradesh, police have charged a Catholic priest, who tried to help two nuns illegally detained in Mau district, in a false case of forcible conversion. Father Bartholomis Minj said he was now planning to move the court for a pre-arrest bail. Already, UP Police have arrested many Christians on the false charges of forcible conversions, which is done under over-broad anti-conversion laws that have been widely abused to criminalize even Sunday mass at churches. On October 10, after Hindu extremists forcible took Sisters Gracy Monteiro and Roshni Minj of the Ursuline Franciscan congregation from the local bus stop to the police station, Father Minj had rushed there. “When asked, I told the officers that I was principal of St. Joseph School and left the place after meeting the nuns,” he said.
The priest later learned that the police had registered a case against a school principal without naming him. To his shock, a couple of days ago an officer came to his office and interrogated him for over an hour, prompting him to file for anticipatory bail before the district court.
“It is nothing but a clear case of harassment,” said Father Anand Mathew, a priest of the Indian Missionary Society based in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. “Hindu mobs storming churches and prayer halls, creating a ruckus and then summoning police alleging illegal religious conversions has become a general trend in India’s most populous state.”
Their main targets were mostly small prayer halls run by the Pentecostals and other such groups, but emboldened mobs may soon start eying Catholics and other mainline churches, Father Mathew added.