India’s Muslim community torn apart by rising communal violence
Delhi sees communal violence between Hindus and Muslims. (Photo/CGTN)
When a parade of Hindus marched through the streets of Delhi’s Jahangirpuri district on April 16 to celebrate Hanuman Jayanti, a Hindu religious festival, a crowd of Hindu extremists in the procession suddenly turned violent. Dressed in saffron, the “official” color of Hindu nationalism, and shouting communal slogans, mobs vandalized private and public properties and threw saffron bottles and flags inside mosques, leaving an enraged community behind. , broken and burned.
Jahangirpuri’s violence, along with a series of attacks in three other Indian states that it subsequently unleashed, marked the latest episode in India’s growing communal tensions. He also shed light on the unrelenting hatred and violence to which the 200 million Indian Muslims in the country are subjected.
The Guardian noted that India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has taken a tough line on Muslims, has been blamed for the increasingly irreconcilable enmity between Hindus and Muslims in the country. In an article titled ‘Hate, bigotry and untruth’: Communal violence grips IndiaThe Guardian pointed out that “the BJP is accused of overseeing an agenda of religious division and emboldening hostility towards India’s 200 million Muslims, relegating them to second-class citizens”.
Local BJP officials have also been the target of criticism for fueling the violence in Jahangirpuri as well as similar episodes of communal violence. According to the Times of India, across the country, BJP officials staged a so-called “anti-encroachment campaign”, in which Muslims were widely targeted, with their homes, properties and businesses being brutally demolished, often by bulldozers.
Along with the unrelenting communal violence in India, an avalanche of images, videos and news reports depicting the cruelty of the “anti-encroachment campaign” have surfaced. Hundreds of homes and slums in predominantly Muslim neighborhoods were flattened overnight, rendering women and the elderly homeless. Tea stalls, fruit stalls and food vendors, which had operated peacefully in urban corners for years, have now been destroyed by rumbling bulldozers, as a recent report in Foreign Policy highlights.
The anti-encroachment campaign and the rise of communal violence in India are not isolated cases, as in the shadows, Hindu extremists have been fermented and emboldened by the campaign, while conversely, the demolition campaign is deployed in an act of retaliation against Muslims, according to an analysis by the Washington Post.
Ruben Banerjee, an Indian author and journalist also pointed out in his article titled In India’s battle for Hindu supremacy, the bulldozer is its new weapon, that “by selectively targeting the country’s Muslims, the far-right ruling BJP is appeasing its Hindu core”. “With the ruling BJP having so much to gain in the immediate future, Indian Muslims are unlikely to be granted mercy anytime soon,” he concluded.
Related reading: With Hindu extremism growing out of control, India is on the precipice: media
The new cut in India’s old communal wounds has not only received very little response from the Indian government, but has also received lukewarm reviews from around the world. Citing the intolerable chasm endured by India’s Muslims, especially among Muslim women, Washington Post reporter Rana Ayyub wrote on May 12 that India “is engulfed in a fire of Hindu supremacy”, a situation which has become “so tense that Gregory Stanton, the founder and director of Genocide Watch, has warned that India may be on the verge of committing genocide against Muslim citizens.”
“But where is the response from the international community? she asked.
(Web editor: Meng Bin, Hongyu)