The Platform

Photo illustration by John Lyman

Terrorism refers to the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political, ideological, or religious goals. It can take many forms, including bombings, assassinations, and hostage-taking, and it often targets civilians to spread fear and gain attention. In India, terrorism has been a significant concern for many years, and various extremist groups have been responsible for several violent attacks.

Some of these groups are motivated by religious or ideological beliefs, while political or economic grievances drive others. The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is a political party that has been in power at the national level since 2014. Many incidents prove that the BJP is promoting and tolerating extremist elements within its own ranks.

The treatment of Muslims in India has been a subject of concern and controversy, particularly under the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. There have been numerous reports of Muslims facing discrimination, violence, and exploitation of their rights in the country. One major issue that has garnered attention is the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) passed by the government in 2019. The CAA allows for the expedited naturalization of non-Muslim immigrants from certain countries while excluding Muslims from the same benefit.

This has led to accusations of the CAA being discriminatory and biased against Muslims. Another concern is violence against Muslims in India. There have been several reports of lynchings, beatings, and other forms of violence against Muslims, often with the perpetrators going unpunished. In some cases, the violence has been incited by members of the ruling party or affiliated groups. In addition to physical violence, Muslims have also faced discrimination in employment and education. Muslims have reported being passed over for jobs or promotions due to their religion, and there have been instances of Muslims being denied admission to educational institutions.

There have also been reports of Muslims being targeted by the government using various laws and policies. For example, the National Register of Citizens (NRC) has been used to target and harass Muslims, with many being falsely accused of being illegal immigrants and facing deportation or detention. It is important to note that not all members of the BJP or the broader Hindu community support or condone the exploitation of Muslim rights. However, the party and its affiliates have been widely criticized for failing to adequately address these issues and for promoting an atmosphere of hatred against Muslims. It is crucial that the government take steps to protect the rights of Muslims and ensure that they are not subjected to discrimination or violence. This includes holding perpetrators of violence accountable, promoting religious tolerance, and ensuring that laws and policies are applied fairly.

Mob lynching of Muslims has been a serious and ongoing issue in the country. This violent form of vigilantism is often fuelled by baseless rumours and false accusations, and it has resulted in the loss of countless lives and widespread fear and mistrust among Muslims.

One of the most well-known instances of mob violence occurred in 2018 when a group of Muslims were lynched in the state of Jharkhand on the suspicion of being beef smugglers. The incident sparked widespread outrage and condemnation from human rights groups, and it highlighted the prevalence of mob violence against Muslims in India. Another instance of mob violence occurred in 2019 when a Muslim man was beaten to death in the state of Karnataka after being accused of theft. This incident, along with many others, has led to calls for stricter laws and penalties to curb mob violence that often targets Muslims.

One factor that has contributed to the rise of mob violence in India is the proliferation of fake news and misinformation on social media. False rumours and baseless accusations are often spread quickly on platforms like WhatsApp, leading to the formation of mobs that attack and murder individuals based on these false allegations.

Modi’s government has faced criticism for its failure to address the issue of mob violence. To generate some positive public relations, the government has passed several laws and implemented measures to curb mob violence, including the creation of a special task force to investigate cases of mob violence and the establishment of a helpline for victims of such attacks. But the ugly truth is that saffron terrorism is at its peak in India and Muslims are no longer safe. Despite these efforts, however, mob violence targeting Muslims remains a significant issue and one that requires continued attention and action from the government and civil society. It is essential that steps be taken to ensure the safety and security of all citizens and to hold those who engage in such violent acts accountable for their actions.

Annas Mangi is a student of Government and Public Policy at the National Defence University, Islamabad. Annas is also a contributing author at the Centre for Strategic and Contemporary Research.