By Zeenat Akhtar
Hyderabad: The All India Federation of Muslim Women Organizations expressed deep distress and concern over recent occurrences in India, where local government complicity is clear. It underlined that recent events have revealed a dangerous and scary trend of marginalisation and humiliation of Muslims in several states, particularly those administered by the BJP.
“It is a sad truth of our Nation that the Saffron forces have succeeded in raking up communal tensions in the Country,” Dr. Asma Zehra, Convener of Federation of Muslim Women Organizations, remarked. Every day, Muslims are attacked, their homes are set on fire, their property is looted, and their dwellings are demolished.
Furthermore, she stated that the arrests are ironically of Muslim boys and young men. Muslims’ businesses, clothing, women, food, prayers, and worship are all systematically targeted in the country as part of a hate and discrimination campaign, making life difficult for ordinary Muslims.
Women, children, and the elderly, according to Dr. Zehra, are the most vulnerable members of the community, suffering the most, while social, political, and religious organisations stay silent and scared.
She outlined a number of social media events that targeted Muslim women.
“In July 2021, Muslims women were targeted by sulli deals and the BulliBai App; in November, 10,000 farmers and peasants in Darang, Assam were forced to flee their homes and rendered landless; in December, pundits made an open call for Genocide at DharamSansad; and on March 15, 2022, the Karnataka High Court issued a ruling on hijab, which was followed by a boycott of Muslim businesses and traders”.
They are not raising a united front against injustice, nor are they able to hold the government accountable; in reality, they are absent from the scene. The Muslim community as a whole has issued a call for patience and peace. They have forgotten that Muslims are equal citizens of this country, and no effort has been made to obtain justice in accordance with the country’s Rule of Law and Constitution. This is supported by the government as none of the Ministers condemn this media bashing.
“An examination of events over the last eight months reveals a dangerous and frightening pattern of marginalisation and humiliation of Muslims, including media trials and labelling them as anti-National.”.
The release of the film “The Kashmir Files” to exacerbate and fuel sectarian tensions, as well as the promotion of the film by cabinet ministers and the federal and state governments, have all contributed to a climate of hostility and revenge towards Muslims, said Dr Zehra who is also the member of All India Muslim Personal law Board.
“The effect of the propaganda can be observed in the ShobhaYatras, which resulted in violence and riots against Muslims in eight states from April 8 to 14, 2022. Riots were witnessed in Karauli in Rajasthan, Sabarkantha in Gujarat, and Khargone in Madhya Pradesh as a result of these activities’ ‘.
She also took note of demolition drive of the BJP-led Madhya Pradesh government in Khargone town which was questioned by many secular and intellectual personalities
Local Muslims in Jharkhand are regularly subjected to loud music from a DJ, as well as filthy shouts and chanting by so-called “Bhakts” of Ram. On the roadways of Uttar Pradesh, it has been normal practice to publicly insult and humiliate Muslims with offensive chants. The police do not intervene, instead telling Muslims not to retaliate since the government is ‘theirs.’ Thousands of Muslim dwellings in Himachal Pradesh were demolished on the grounds that the land belonged to the railways. Attacks against Masjids and provocation by Hindutva fanatics have been reported in Delhi, Hubli, Kurnool, and other states.
Dr Zehra warned that Muslims cannot be treated like slaves or second grade citizens.
“Every community has a right to life of Dignity and to raise voice against any form of Oppression. The situation demands action for Protection of life and livelihood.”
The challenges are numerous, and community organisations’ power to fight for justice and preserve and safeguard Muslims in a peaceful and democratic battle is limited, she said.
Some “sold out” leaders who merely want to humiliate Muslims are also exploiting the community and its difficulties. It is a moral obligation to assist every oppressed citizen and to put an end to the oppressor through peaceful means.