Videos from an Uttar Pradesh village show locals slapping and harassing three Muslim fakirs (a mendicant monk who is regarded as a holy man) who were begging for alms. Videos shared on social media show the men being forced to do sit ups and chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
Videos show a Hindutva ideologist, armed with a stick, demand identification from the fakirs. When they say they do not have any, he calls them “jihadis” and “terrorists”.
In a separate incident, a man identified as Tushar Shukla was seen harassing a Muslim shopkeeper in Kanpur. Shukla, who is apparently the Hindu Yuva Morcha president of the ‘Hindu Coordination Committee’, tries to force the shopkeeper to stop selling clothes on the road.
India has been at the center of a diplomatic backlash after two BJP leaders made comments that allegedly insulted Prophet Muhammad. Condemnations issued by several West Asian and Islamic countries heaped pressure on the BJP, which suspended Nupur Sharma and expelled Naveen Kumar Jindal.
Since Modi became prime minister in 2014, Islamophobia has become a matter of state policy.
Every day, Indian Muslims find themselves under attack and living in fear, as lynchings and hate speech are all but commonplace in the country.
Narendra Modi government has thus far been successful in skillfully isolating the wave of Islamophobia in its domestic realm from its wider strategic and economic ties with Muslim countries.
Diplomatic efforts are continuing to reassure India’s strategic partners in the Muslim world that India is a place of inclusivity. At home, BJP members have been instructed to be “extremely cautious” when discussing religion in a public forum.
But these efforts are only meant to contain the diplomatic fallout. This is unlikely to change the everyday trials of Indian Muslims living in Modi’s India.
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Source: The Wire | NDTV