A video fuelling the propaganda about a government-sponsored conversion of a Hindu temple into a mosque in Patiala, India, ran wild on Thursday. Similar heated reports lamented the fast tilting of demography in vast stretches of land across the Indo-Nepal border, thanks to creeping Islamisation.
As icing on the gut-wrenching cake of diversity in Incredible India, strewn slippers sketched the journey of an emphatic rally by Hindu worshippers away from the original route and into the courtyard of a mosque in Karanataka.
All this encapsulates what a community of over 213 million Muslims (15.5 per cent of the general population has had to go through in this last week. The overall discomfort hanging heavy in the air as the second-largest Muslim population around the world holds its breath and awaits the verdict on the communally sensitive matter of using mosque premises for idol worship is a different story altogether. Time and again, enlightened voices of the press, even inside India, have demanded the ruling BJP to look into the state-sanctioned instigation of hatred. That the situation on the ground is fast moving to become untenable would be a gross understatement. Because the melting point was reached quite a while ago and millions upon millions of Muslims are now being threaded upon skewers to be seared over hellfire. May it be less than half the proportion of public representation, skyrocketing rate of unemployment or an institutional subjugation, Muslims are suffering on every front. And to make the writing on the wall visible to those sitting on the backbenches, Hindu nationalists do not stop at nuanced persecution alone.
From lashing at young men and women in the name of love jihad to grilling ordinary civilians for their dietary preferences, the BJP leaders believe in using every toxic slogan in the playbook. India might be entering a golden chapter in its history by a much-celebrated one-upping of its former coloniser, the UK, as the fifth-largest economy but does it actually deserve to lead the world when its kitchen reeks of unspoken horrors against one of its own? The so-called champions of human rights have, until now, treated the gross violations very lightly. Their largely insignificant warnings about “particular concerns” have not yet forced the Modi Administration to take a step back from its divisive trajectory. Ramming brakes on hate speech and allowing everyone breathing under the tri-coloured flag to live with freedom and dignity might be a good starting point for a country that has its eyes set on all key leadership positions. After all, the true mark of a great leader is the willingness to serve anyone and everyone.