Tariq A. Al-Maeena
It has been more than four months since the people of Kashmir in the Indian administered region have been placed under heavily armed lockdown, with all communication to the outside world cut off. The abrogation of an article in the Constitution that provided the predominantly Muslim Kashmiris with a special status was dismissed with the stroke of a pen when the Modi-led BJP government made null and void the decades-old agreement and used strong-arm tactics to suppress dissent.
Following the re-election of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister, the agenda of the ruling party focused on two emotion-filled explosive elements: Kashmir and migration. Both share a common thread of bias against Muslims following a script set by the Hindutva, as “outlined in the 1920s by V. D. Savarkar, a convicted-violent-revolutionary-turned-ultra-nationalist. Savarkar, a British-trained lawyer and avowed atheist, espoused misguided ideas to deal with India's minorities, mimicking Adolf Hitler’s racist solution to Germany’s Jewish question and Spain's Inquisition to purge Muslims.”
But to many Indians and observers worldwide, this RSS fueled government does not seem to be stopping there. In another move directed at uprooting India’s Muslim migrant minorities, the Indian government’s new citizenship law seeks to uproot generations-old families residing in India if they happen to be Muslims. India's opposition party, as well as leading activists and lawyers, have raised concerns about the bill's constitutionality, alluding to the anti-Muslim slant specified in the law and readily adopted by the Indian government.
The message emanating from India’s rulers seems loud and clear: Only Hindus are Welcome! It is a message not unlike what the apartheid state of Israel has been promoting for many decades and which has witnessed the marginalizing of Palestinians and the uprooting of the original owners of the land by illegal Jewish settlers.
India’s minorities apparently are not going to take this lying down. Massive protests have sprung up across the country, protests that will tug at the fragile structure of a fast-fading secular India and lead it to fascist oblivion. The western world has already issued advisories for its citizens against traveling to India with this hazardous state of affairs. A message from an Indian perhaps sums it up best:
“This is less about who won or who lost. Or ideology. Or BJP vs Congress.
“This is about India. About democracy. About precedents.
And how, faced with a simple test, institutions crumbled and individuals stood compromised. Together, they pushed India onto a precipice.
“Look at who stood compromised and how:
“1. The Governor worked through the night to install a government without any due diligence.
“2. The President used the rarely used Rule 12 to dispense with the need for union cabinet approval and revoked President’s rule.
“3. The Union Home Secretary was wakened at 5:47 a.m. and signed “digitally”.
“4. The notification was uploaded without the President's physical signature.
“5. The Prime Minister used extraordinary powers to recommend revocation without union cabinet approval.
“I don't give a damn who forms the government. We are now a nation run by compromised individuals and no rule of law.
“President, Prime Minister, Governor, Home Ministry - none was spared.
“No institution stood up to be counted and no one is bothered. As the keepers of our Constitution, even the SC didn't take cognizance.
“We are done. And we citizens are mute spectators looking down the drain.
“Everywhere there are incidents of sectarian murder, communal propaganda and divisive politics. And there seems to be no stopping the forces that are destroying the country. Sensing the current turbulence are we heading for doom? This is strictly not a political message but a concern expressed by some people who love the country. A concerned Indian.”
Nishit Vyas, a Congress leader in Gandhinagar, the capital of Gujarat, on the current state of leadership in India stated:
“They are able to take steps as they wish because they don’t follow rules, have no respect for democracy and are not even afraid of God. Modi is the face and Shah is clearly the brains behind it all.”
Indian opposition party MP Shashi Tharoor chimes in that “India's new citizenship law is just the latest evidence that under PM Narendra Modi, the country is departing from its founding principles as a secular, open democracy.”
Now, folks, I don’t make this up. These are genuine worries of Indians seeing their country slipping into a dark place. Many remember South Africa and the dark days of apartheid. Would Nelson Mandela have applauded India’s current direction? We are all witnesses to the illegality of Israel’s rule over Palestine. And today we hear about a Muslim-free India from some of India’s politicians. This should be enough to cause Muslims around the world to sit up and take notice.
I call upon our readers to educate themselves about the hate-filled agenda of the RSS, a party that is apparently steering Mr. Modi and the BJP toward a Nazi-like state. Hitler polarized the German nation with his racial hatred. Is another Hitlerian saga in the offing?
Perhaps these words seem harsh, but they need to be said. And I hope for the sake of a better India, the Indian people will rise and resist such divisive and underhanded tactics that could splinter a secular India.
The author can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @talmaeena