Hindu fanaticism & Muslims


Attempts are being made to desecrate Mughal-era mosques and monuments, including the world heritage Taj Mahal in Agra, on the belief that they were raised on the sites of demolished Hindu temples, Muslims have been lynched or humiliated in the streets for being Muslim or on charges of consuming beef, targeted Muslim homes and shops have been razed with bulldozers, protests are organised against the head-dress of Muslim women and loudspeakers on mosques, the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) seeks to deport undocumented Muslims and hold them in detention centres until their deportation, and BJP-affiliated political and religious leaders openly call for armed uprisings and genocide against the community, rape of their women, and boycott of Muslim businesses.
Last year had seen savage attacks on Muslims by Hindu mobs that evoked little official condemnation. While Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind petitioned the Supreme Court against assaults and repeated instances of hate speeches against Muslims across the country – especially genocidal calls made at the Dharma Sansad (religious conclave) in Hardwar by Hindu extremists who pledged to eliminate Muslims if necessary to make India a Hindu rashtra – 76 SC lawyers sought immediate judicial intervention, while voicing concern about law enforcement agencies “succumbing to non-state actors” in failing to protect minority rights. The petitioners also alleged that Uttar Pradesh police had arrested over 100 Muslims who were protesting against particularly inflammatory remarks by conclave organiser Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati, while none of the “hate mongers” had been acted against.
Modi has invested much effort in cultivating ties with the Arab world, visiting the UAE four times as Prime Minister, the emirates being India’s third-largest trading partner, behind China and the US. Saudi Arabia supplies around 20 per cent of India’s crude oil requirements and Qatar, nearly 40 per cent of India’s gas imports. Kuwait doubled its bilateral trade over the past two years, and in 2020-21, India’s trade with the six GCC nations amounted to nearly $155 billion, its exports accounting for just $44 billion of this. These countries also host nearly nine million Indian expatriates, while accounting for nearly 65 per cent of India’s annual remittances that totalled $87 billion in 2021, India being the world’s largest recipient of remittances.
Washington, in turn, appears to be yet weighing the odds on defining its partnership with India. When he was the Democratic US presidential nominee in 2020, Joe Biden, now President, had expressed disappointment over the CAA as well as over the implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, and had urged for the restoration of rights of all Kashmiris. His policy paper had noted that these measures were inconsistent with India’s long tradition of secularism and sustenance of a multi-ethnic and multi-religious democracy. Also, in her meeting with Modi in Washington last September, Indian-origin Vice President Kamala Harris did not shirk from impressing upon him how imperative it was to defend democratic principles and institutions, and to uphold human rights.
Biden also singled out India from within the Quad, the Indo-Pacific-focussed coalition of the US, India, Australia and Japan, when he called out India as “somewhat shaky” in supporting the US-led condemnation of Russia’s war against Ukraine, even as Australia and Japan were unequivocal in their rebuke. He went on to warn that “there is no room for excuses or equivocation”. His setting up last September of a new trilateral security alliance for the Indo-Pacific, called AUKUS, an acronym of the three partner countries, Australia, the UK and the US, also complicates India’s constancy in the US-led campaign against a rising China in this region.
The move might presage an eventual supplanting of India by the UK in Washington’s scheme of things, signaling the Biden administration’s waning dependence on India in rebalancing the power equations in the littoral.
It is also believed that Biden might find it increasingly difficult to enlist a democracy-shunning India in partnerships like the Quad, which is positioned against an undemocratic China. After all, the 2021 Country Report on Human Rights Practices: India, released in April by his State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour, has stopped just short of accusing the Modi regime of crimes against humanity. This annual report, also known as the Human Rights Report, covers internationally recognised individual, civil, political, and worker rights, as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international agreements.