The idea of granting freedom to minorities to manage their own affairs and the concept of ‘protection of minority rights,’ rose with the emergence of idea of nation-states. Our very own Constitution, based on secular principles, also provides full rights for the minorities living in the country. However, in the recent years we have seen that Constitutional rights granted to minorities are losing their sheen with the rising Hindutva ideology. Whatever anti-minority activities that used to take place at individual or organisational level are now being done at state level. States are rising up as strong actors facilitating the agenda.
The brutal genocide in Gujarat in 2002 followed up by the utterly preposterous lies uttered by the state government and by the chief minister himself is still fresh in the minds. Even after 10 years of the incident the investigations are opening up the ‘Pandora’s Box’. However, the irony is that still we find no political party ready to take up the cudgel in hand and jump into the fray to challenge Narendra Modi.
In January this year, Achuthanandan assailed the Kerala chief minister for allegedly spying on the members of the Muslim community. He claimed that the Intelligence department was spying on the e-mail accounts of certain Muslim leaders, including journalists and politicians. Karnataka is also a state where a number of illegal arrests of Christians have taken place after false accusations of fraudulent conversions.
The recent to join the list of states that are promoting the anti-minority activities is Madhya Pradesh where covert schemes and obnoxious laws are continuously being made to harass, suppress and oppress the minorities, be it Christians, Tribals or Muslims. In Madhya Pradesh the imposition of Surya Namaskar in schools, reciting of Bhojan Mantra before eating mid-day meal, naming of schemes after Hindu religious ceremonies, banning of slaughter of cows, proposition of laws similar to TADA, POTA, etc., introduction of Gita Saar in schools, declaration of eight cities as holy cities, etc., are not something which can be termed as mere co-incidence; instead, it is a carefully planned operation, being executed with utmost precision.
The illegal picking-up of Muslim youths and their false implication in bomb blast and terrorist activities has also seen a surge in the recent years. States like Bihar have become a soft target for police and special cells to find easy preys. The recent foiled attempt of picking up the Muslim youth from Jamia Nagar has raised questions as to whether Delhi is also becoming a state for targeting the minorities. The civil society and non-governmental organisations ought to take a serious note of this rising trend so that it may be contained before it is too late.