Modi's India Sees Festivals Used as Tools of Intimidation Against Muslims

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In recent times, festivals in India have taken on a darker hue as they are increasingly being employed as instruments of intimidation against the Muslim community, underscoring a concerning trend in the nation's sociopolitical landscape.

Traditionally festivals were occasions of joy and celebration, but festivals in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's India, have become platforms for the targeted harassment of Muslims. Hindu festivals, once symbols of cultural unity, are now being utilized to instill fear and division within the society.

Reports have emerged of Hindu religious processions, deliberately routed through Muslim neighborhoods. These processions, often accompanied by displays of weaponry and inflammatory rhetoric, including anti-Muslim slogans, have further exacerbated communal tensions.

The recent Holi festival, typically characterized by the joyous tradition of applying colors, has been marred by instances of coercion and aggression, towards Muslims. Incidents have been reported of Muslims, particularly women wearing the hijab or abaya, being forcibly soaked in colors, reflecting a disturbing pattern of religiously motivated harassment.

This disturbing trend is not without its political keystones. The complicity of those in power, coupled with hate against Islam, has emboldened such acts of intolerance. Criticism has been directed towards those who have cultivated alliances with the Modi administration, prioritizing economic interests over human rights concerns.

Moreover, the erosion of accountability has empowered perpetrators, granting them impunity to act with impunity. Instances of retaliatory measures against Muslims defending their dignity, including police brutality and forced evictions, underscore the systemic nature of this issue.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, known as RSS; and Bhartiya Janata Party, known by BJP, ideological allies of the ruling party, have been perpetuating this cycle of violence. Their tacit endorsement of such acts, coupled with government policy to maintains a culture of fear and discrimination.

As India grapples with these alarming developments, questions regarding the erosion of secular values and the protection of minority rights, are disappearing. The weaponization of festivals demands the urgent need for concerted efforts to safeguard the world’s largest democracy, and uphold the principles of equality and justice for all citizens.

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