This Government denying security & dignity to Muslims

Human Rights activist Shabnam Hashmi returned National Minority Rights Award (2008) to National Commission for Minorities on Tuesday. Minority affairs minister, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi refused to comment

Photo by Pradeep Gaur/Mint via Getty Images
Photo by Pradeep Gaur/Mint via Getty Images

Shabnam Hashmi

There’s a need to raise our voice against the violence against Muslims and we must register our protest. We have lost faith in the government. The fact is that the government is not allowing minorities to live in dignity and security.

Muslims are being projected as the enemy of the state and the people of the country. There is legitimisation of the communal ideology by the State and the media, this has led to acceptance of prejudices and stereotyping without questioning them in popular consciousness, deep infiltration of hate in the minds and hearts of ordinary people and apathy on the part of a large section of the society especially ‘educated’ middle classes.”

Indian democracy, secularism, pluralism and diversity have their roots in centuries of intermingling of different cultures, philosophical debates, and the legacy of the long struggle for India’s Independence. Democracy and secular thought are built and safeguarded consciously. The divisive politics and the interference of religion in the state have to be confronted at every step.

With over 4500 communities and over 400 living languages, dietary restrictions are forced on the people. The cow, an animal, has become a major tool to spread hatred, attack and kill innocent people. While a man was lynched to death by a mob near Delhi on a rumour that he had cow meat in his house, the whole state machinery was busy in getting the meat tested, instead of nabbing the culprits.

A 16-year-old child is lynched and killed on a train for being a Muslim or a techie is killed for having a beard; two young boys killed and hanged from trees in Jharkhand; a cattle trader paraded naked in Chittorgarh, a man assaulted in Anand, Gujarat for transporting calves.

A 50-year-old man is lynched for transporting cows, or two boys are lynched on suspicion of stealing cows, a boy is dragged against SUV and his head is smashed against a water tanker, then he is run over under an SUV in full public view, another is burnt alive in Nandurbar, an activist is beaten to death allegedly by staffers of a municipality in Rajasthan for objecting to them photographing women defecating in the open. How can one afford to remain silent ?

As told to Ashlim Mathew

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Published: 28 Jun 2017, 12:21 PM