Children of a Lesser God

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The unfortunate reality of India is that no matter how hard the Modi regime may try to hoot the tune of harmony, its calculated, cold-blooded bias against Muslims tells its own tale. In the latest instalment of bigoted policies, as many as 26 Muslim men were arrested for the unforgivable crime of “offer(ing) prayers without prior permission from local authorities” in the state of Utter Pradesh.
The snarling fangs of four lions perched atop India’s new parliament building are in a killer mood and sadly, their Hindu supremacist fascism need not wander here and there in search of prey. Just months ago, the intolerant regime had come after a key expression of Muslim identity: Azan.
With mosques in Mumbai lowering the volume of their speaker phones in fear of radical leader Raj Thackerey, the world’s largest democracy made merry on its way after tossing a handful of dirt on the coffin of its beloved ideals of secularism and religious freedom.
Mr Modi would be better off pulling the drapes off a furious orange flag as the new face of Incredible India because given the state of Indian Muslims today, the resolution to a growing wave of Islamophobia remains a distant dream. From the perverse scandalisation of Muslim women to hitting school girls over their choice to don hijab to running after people for harmless dietary preferences, mobs run amok across the country.
The ongoing mantra of land jihad is only a guise to dehumanise the Muslim community, stripping them off each and every part of their relgious identity so that silencing them into subjugation becomes much, much easier.
May it be far-right nationalists or the brazenly Islamophobic media, no one believes in a nuanced dance when it comes to waging a menacing finger on an overwhelmingly large minority. Muslims are neither equal nor safe in India. The same law officials pointing guns at Muslims who dare offer prayers in the open consider it their duty to safeguard (at times, even garland) Hindu pilgrims.
What is transpiring in the occupied valley of Kashmir in the name of unity as 2.5 million new voters threaten to further crush locals has been widely decried as the “last nail in the coffin of electoral democracy.” Now onwards, fear and harassment await Muslims of India every day as the violence of majoritarian politics keeps whipping up new ways to unleash terror. Would the West be bothered to call out Mr Modi for plunging a great civilisation into a stinking abyss or the heated courtship will continue as before?