Legislation targeting Muslims
Lower House of Indian Parliament, Lok Saba has passed a discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Bill to grant nationality to Hindu migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who migrated to India before 2015. The draft of his tacitly Hinduata imposing legislation was originally tabled in the Indian parliament in 2016 but it got lapsed due to lack of support from BJP allied parties. As the legislation blasts the pluralistic structure of the Indian Constitution, opposition lawmakers criticized it on the floor of the parliament. Muslim organizations and human rights groups took to streets in a number of cities in India against this legislation and described it against the rights of minorities and secular contours of constitution.
The Muslims rightly understand that the handle of the new law shall be used by the NrendraModi government to completely marganilise the 200 million large Muslim minority. The past record of BJP leadership amply confirm it when viewed in the context of government sponsored violence against Muslims in Gugrat, when NarendraModi was Chief Minister, burning alive hundreds of people in Samjhota Express, renaming of several Indian cities the names which had Islamic sounding and exclusion of material from school textbooks about the contribution of Muslims’ rule in India.
The bottom-line of the tweeter message of Prime Minister Narendra Modi vindicates the fearful stance of Indian Muslims. He thanked Lok Saba for passing the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 and termed as true reflection of India’s centuries old ethos of assimilation and belief in human values. In other words the law authorizes the imposition of Hinduata on the believers of other religions. By virtue of this law forceful conversion to Hinduism will have patronage of the state. It will pave the way for curbing religious freedom which was hitherto enshrined in the secular constitution of India. Opposition lawmaker of Itehadul Muslimeen Party Asaduddin Owaisi cautioned that the law is detrimental to the interest of the country.
There is no iota of doubt that the new legislation is Indian Muslims specific. It will be used to prevent them from the expression of their belief and deprive them of their cultural identity. Prime Minister Imran Khan has strongly condemned the passage of Citizen Amendment Bill being violative of all norms of international human rights and bilateral agreements with Pakistan. Likewise, foreign office in a statement condemned this legislative move of BJP government and termed it absolute violation of universal declaration of human rights and other international covenants on the elimination on the elimination of all discriminations based on religious beliefs.
Even in the decade of 1990s when moderate leaders like Attal Bihari Vajpai, Lal Krishna Advani and Jaswant Singh had sway in BJP affairs, the hawks including Murli Manohar Joshi, Oma Bharthi and of course Narendar Modi had never concealed their hate for Muslims. These Hindu extremist leaders led The RSS, Bajrang Dal and Hinu Wishwa Prashad workers onslaught on Babri Masjid during Congress government of Prime Minister Narseema Rao in November 1992. After the demolition of the historic mosque, they used the slogan that “reconstruction of Ramine Temle on the site of the mosque is the true articulation of national feelings” in their public meetings. The verdict of India’s Supreme Court in Babri Mosque case put a seal on anti-Muslims feelings. But former Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif always remained under illusion of Narendra Modi style of leadership and did not allowed building counter narrative against the Indian propaganda portraying Pakistan as country harboring terrorism. The present government has taken a bold and clear stand for the rights of Muslims in India. But it remains to be seen as to whether other Islamic countries seriously take enactment and enforcement of this anti-Muslims law and support the stance of Pakistan on it or give precedence to trade relations with India. On the annexation of Indian held Kashmir the reaction was muted except Turkey and Malaysia.