It has now been a few weeks since India’s parliament passed a bill which offered amnesty to non-Muslim illegal immigrants from three neighboring countries. The act which discriminated against Muslims caught the India regime off-guard as tens of thousands of people took to the streets in protest. Despite this the protests have only grown in scope.
1. What is the Backdrop that has Led to the Discriminatory Acts?
The current government in India is led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which is the political arm of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) whose long term aim has been to declare India as a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ and turn Muslims into second class citizens. The BJP is headed by Prime Minister Modi who himself is accused of presiding over the massacre of Muslims in the state of Gujarat of which he was the Chief Minister in 2002.
Modi’s first term was marked my large scale violence against Muslims – killing more than 100 in lynchings carried out by fanatical Hindu mobs and protected and backed by the government on false charges of eating or trading beef.
In the BJP’s second term Modi won the 2019 Parliamentary Elections with an outright majority and the emboldened the Prime Minister has been going full speed ahead implementing RSS’s vision of ‘Hindu Rashtra.’
2. Where Do the Citizen Amendment Act (CAA) and National Citizenship Registry (NRC) Fit into Things?
The BJP government is implementing its 2019 election promises it made to its voters to implement a nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC) which sought to identify ‘infiltrators’ (often a euphemism for Muslims) and have them kicked out of the country. A similar state level NRC exercise conducted in the north-eastern state of Assam had resulted disastrously in getting more than 2 millions residents identified as ‘illegal’ a large majority of whom turned out to be Hindus.
Critics argue that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was brought about to deal with the kind of eventuality proposed from the nationwide NRC exercise. The CAA will allow all those caught in the NRC exercise as ‘illegals’, to be eventually absorbed as citizens leaving only the Muslims out – who allegedly are the REAL target of the proposed NRC exercise.
The passaging of the controversial CAA followed the abrogation of ‘Article 370’ in the Muslim state of Kashmir, stripping off its promised autonomy and bringing it directly under the Indian authority solidifying its brutal 70 year military occupation of the region. It also came after the handing over of the ‘Babri Masjid’ site to Hindus by the Supreme Court which had been trying the case for decades.
The CAA was passed in the Indian Parliament by an overwhelming majority – proposing to grant citizenship to ‘non Muslims from Muslim majority countries (Bangladesh, Pakistan & Afghanistan) under the garb of giving refuge to victims of ‘religious prosecution’ and is seen widely by Muslims as a pre-cursor to be implemented in conjunction with NRC, the eventual result of which is feared to convert a large number of Muslims into illegal citizens.
3. What is the Reality of Muslims in India?
Islam is the second-largest religion in India, with 14.2% of the country’s population or around 200 million Muslims, making India the country with the largest Muslim population outside Muslim-majority countries. Since its ‘independence’ in 1947 from the British Colonial Raj leading to its partition into two countries – Hindu dominated India and Muslim dominated Pakistan, the reality of Muslims in India has been characterised by large scale descrimination, social political marginalisation and often state sponsored violence, irrespective of the party in power.
The destruction of the 15th century mosque, the ‘Babri Masjid’ on 6th December 1992 by violent Hindu mobs was marked as a watershed event in the tumultuous history of Muslim prosecution in ‘secular’ India.
4. How Have the Muslims in India Responded?
The passing of the CAA was met with fierce protests by Muslims all across India who clearly saw through the ‘anti Muslim’ agenda of the legislation being an ‘existential threat’. The bill has also lead to alarm bells ringing among a large section of the ‘liberal’ intelligentsia and the common masses where its been seen as a law which violates the ‘secular ethos’ of the Indian constitution. Ironically, it’s the same ‘masses’ which had overwhelmingly voted the BJP into power, based on its election manifesto which included the promise to implement the NRC.
The protests were kicked off by the students of Jamia Millia Islamia, a reputed central university in the heart of the capital on 15th December 2019. This was met with a brutal response from the local police where they barged into the campus turning it into a battle ground. The police lobbed teargas shells inside the university campus, forced their way in and assaulted students, allegedly thrashing them even inside the library and canteen. The heavy handed response of the government to the peaceful exercise of their ‘democratic rights’ by students, sparked off a nationwide protest reaction from students of prominent universities across India.
Muslims have organised protests and demonstrations as well as marches across the country and even united in their denunciation of the law and the demand to abrogate it. The protests have been seen large scale participation of Muslims who have been shocked into action after a series of developments lynchings, riots and pogroms in the last few years which has increased their sense of insecurity, resentment and alienation from mainstream political parties and to an extent from the state itself.
5. How Has the Indian Government Responded?
The government has been taken by surprise to the resistance from Muslims who they have largely been seen, until now as apathetic and having been feared into submission and their inevitable acceptance of undeclared ‘second class’ citizenship status. Predictably it has tried to rope in ‘official ulema’ to issue statements toeing the government line: the result has been largely ineffective where Muslims have largely condemned these ‘ulema’ and have refused to heed their advice.
On 22nd December 2019, Modi was forced into dedicating an election rally in Delhi to a speech which consisted of outright falsehoods and half truths. He insisted that his government has never even discussed NRC contrary to the speeches the Home Minister has been making, clearly laying out the plans of the government and has even gone on record to make a statement in the Parliament.
6. How Has the Wider Ummah Responded?
The Muslim diaspora in the West has been active in organising protests and condemning the Indian governments atrocities and policies. The current injustice arising out of the CAA and the NRC in India is a long list of tragedies that the Ummah is having to go through while living under the injustices of secularism that dominate their existence in the last century after the abolishment of the Khilafah in 1924: be it under the failed experiments of ‘Islamic Pakistan’ , ‘Secular India’ or the ‘Liberal West’ and the ‘Islamic Regimes’ across the Muslim world.
This crisis also exposes India’s fault lines of having a population divided along regional lines (many north Indian states oppose the legislation as they perceive it to be a threat to their local identities which ‘Hindutva’ has failed to co-opt) due to the failure of nation state model to unite masses of various backgrounds, ethnicities and cultures.
7. What Has Been the Response of the Muslim Rulers?
Statements have been issued by the rulers of Pakistan and Malaysia where they focused on the contradiction of the various acts with secularism. Other countries have expressed concern but no actions have materialised. Over 10 million Indian citizens work in the Gulf States, this fact has not been used to pressure India. Half of India’s energy imports are from the Middle East and this has not been used by the Muslim rulers to pressure India.
8. What is the Solution for the Ummah?
The Muslims will only be citizens under the Khilafah state, a state that will reflect her beliefs, aspirations and ideology. Khilafah will not only protect her but propel a strong campaign to challenge and replace the unjust democratic regimes in the world through its intellectual, political and material leadership. Within the space just a few days we have seen how democracy failed to deliver. In the UK the hopes of some Muslims were dashed by the result of the general election. In India, democracy has delivered what the hate-filled ideology of Hindutva openly carries against Muslims.
As for the hate filled belligerent state of India, the Khilafah state will avenge the oppression she has committed upon the Ummah throughout its existence. Not only this, the Khilafah will restore India to the Ummah and end the permanent of Indian aggression.
Muslim reported on the authority of Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Verily the Imam is but a shield from behind which the people fight and by which they protect themselves.”