India is going through a dark phase; a phase never wished by its founding fathers and is experienced horribly by its population, a significant proportion of which belongs to Muslims, its largest religious minority. The Constitution of India, when adopted in 1950 after Independence, gave it the principles of equality, liberty and fraternity, where the people belonging to every religion, be treated equally. However, not only the Executive but all other organs of the present government and law enforcement agencies seem to have tilted towards a selective and favorable approach to a particular religious community, Hindus, constituting the majority in the country. The Country when run by a party having strict allegiance to a particular religion, to which unity in diversity seems to be unacceptable and establishment of order as per religious principles is obligatory, is dangerous to the subsistence of heterogeneous nature of the society. The current regime seems to be much motivated by religious factors than being concerned about aspirations and needs of general people, to appease the majority, Hindus, thus ignoring the pain and sufferings of other people. The slogan “sab ka saath, sab ka viqas & sab ka vishwas” (together with all, development for all ) seems to have been used as a tool to garner public support for political gains, but in reality, the minority in the country hasn’t been treated at par with the majority, not taking them “saath saath”, (together) thus going against the cardinal principles of secularism and Rule of Law. The recent Citizenship Amendment Act passed by the Union serves an example to define the attitude of the regime, been viewed as an anti-minority Law.
Muslims are viewed as anti-national elements and are discriminated in every aspect of life. The recent incidents in the country where Muslims were held responsible for the spread of Covid-19, relating to Markaz , an event held in Delhi and people targeting them in every society is worrisome and explains the hatred and schism in the society. Muslim street vendors were asked their names to not buy from them, discriminating on religious grounds; all fake propaganda and hatred on social media without censorship is damaging the fabric of the society. Ideologies and propaganda play an important role in influencing the people, and driving them towards desired goals, hatred. A lawyer was recently beaten up to pulp by police thinking him to be a Muslim, due to long beard, later apologizing on finding him a Hindu. When any country’s law enforcement agency indulges in such an irresponsible and selective behavior with its people, the spirit and the plinth foundation of such a country is considered dead. India, considered the largest Democracy, has to conform to democratic principles and ideals and treat its subject alike placed in similar situation. However, the roots of hatred against Muslims are getting stronger and spreading rapidly. Mob lynchings of Muslims in the name of protection of cows (though sacred for Hindus, but it doesn’t extend to kill a person) are common, and have become an order of the day. A mob lynching might kill a single individual or two but it kills and buries the basic foundations of a country. Indiaspend data shows that 84% dead due to cow-related violence since 2010 are Muslims and 97% attacks occurred after 2014, when a new regime came to power. As James Badwin, a noted American Writer in his book Dark Days says, “A mob isn’t autonomous: it executes the real will of the people who rule the state.” It clearly shows the approach adopted and practiced by the institutions in power, which otherwise should confirm to Rule of Law and work for the betterment of society as a whole. The Allahabad High Court’s decision banning “Azaan” (Calling for prayers) on loudspeakers goes against the tenants of Islam, holding Azaan on amplifier not an essential part of Islamic practices. However, transformation of religious practices as per the change in society requires Azaan be given on amplifiers to call people for obligatory prayers, out of their busy schedules. This pronouncement of the court is likely to dilute the concept of secularism, an unreasonable classification, conflicting with essential part of Religion. The Secular nature of India, considered basic structure of Indian Constitution as held in Kesavananda Bharati v State of Kerala AIR (1973) 4 SCC 225 and again reiterated in S.R Bommai v Union of India, AIR (1994) SC 1918, requires every religion be protected equally and people belonging to different religious groups be given equal treatment but these recent episodes have exposed the approach of state in not respecting this important and basic part of the Constitution. DD Basu in his commentary on the Constitution of India says, “No sane person would question the proposition that the objects of Religion and politics are different and that they shouldn’t be mixed up. Obviously, the cause of both will be ruined if one is used for achieving the purposes of other.” The current political scenario is however clear that religion is used as a means to gain political might and power by exploiting the emotions of people on religious grounds. This state of affairs is likely to disrupt the development and progress of the society and lead to hatred and communal riots. States have been formed on religious demands in past, if these incidents continue, there might be demands from religious communities for separate independent states out of India and might pose risks for disintegration of Union. While states around the world try to adopt more democratic values and strive towards development and prosperity, however, India seems to be running in opposite direction, towards hindrances in development.
Recently in Kerela , a church set erected for the shoot of a Malayalam Film was vandalized by the Right Wing Hindus, for the reason that the church purportedly stood opposite to Shiva Temple, as said by Hari Palode.
The intolerance is now growing against all other minorities, and this is tainting the image of the country at all levels, religious motivated decisions and actions are always bad for a secular country. The ethos of the nation would be in deteriorating position and there would be unprecedented implication if these Anti-Minority laws and actions, and govt, sponsored incidents remain the norm for prevailing and promoting majoritarianism rule. The occasional government must act in accordance with democratic and secular principles in order to protect the heterogeneous nature of the country and ensure unity, which would lead to development and prosperity.