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Politics Of Hatred In India – Islamophobia And Beyond




The recent Hijab Ban in India’s Karnataka State has sent waves of opposition and condemnation in the world. However, the issue goes too deep and has its roots in the piled-up Islamophobia combined with the wish to persecute Indian Muslim minorities as we have seen in Kashmir. India, therefore, has become a hub of violating minority rights, be it Muslims, Sikhs, Dalits, or Kashmiris; all are burning under the religious and ideological discrimination by the BJP.

“India has become the land of systematic persecution of 250 million Muslims. This persecution of Muslims, owing to the Islamophobic ideology, has taken its most lethal form in India” – Noam Chomsky, a renowned Professor of international relations, theory, and world politics. 

There is a debate going on in the world among social media users, experts, and even government leaders regarding the rising Islamophobic wave of persecution in many parts of the world. In India, however, it has taken a systematic form that is targeting the social freedom of Muslims and barring them from going to educational institutes and workplaces.

The hijab is a form of cultural and religious symbolism towards adherence to Islamic ideology. For Muslim women, it is an empowering and liberating symbol that not just provides them with a distinctive Muslim identity, but also gives them a safe and secured place to progress in the world. In contrast, the Western notion of women’s freedom negates the concept of liberation that is associated with the hijab for Muslim women. That is why, in Western countries, the hijab is seen as a form of slavery and limitation, and Muslim women are often attacked physically or verbally in public places as a form of degradation under the pretext of Islamophobia. 

In India, the rise of a few most violent and brutal religious and political organizations; the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Bajrang Dal, and the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), have wreaked havoc in the country with the propagation of Hindutva ideology. This ideology is a utopian concept of making a purely Hindu state with no rights or space for any other religion or even the discriminated poor Hindu communities. Thus, all under this pretext, India is turning into another Third Reich where the Aryan race ruled out all others as outsiders and lowly creatures.  

The roots of Islamophobia in India are centuries old. Historically, the Partition of India in 1947 triggered animosity among Hindus and Muslims, and sadly, the so-called biggest democracy in the world could not eradicate this hatred budding in its deepest political and ideological circles towards Muslims. No amount of secularism could prevent India of today from persecuting and discriminating the minorities. 

The world leaders have sent alarm over the growing political propaganda and extremely conservation religious politics in India. However, the BJP government seems to be providing an unhindered leeway to these extremist organizations. Amidst all this, not just the Indian Muslims, but the Kashmiri Muslims are equally suffering the increased wave of brutality and oppression.

The world must curtail this hydra-headed dragon of discrimination, hatred, and extremism as the world is highly globalized and connected. A single event can cause the “butterfly effect” and can spiral into a global conflict as Muslims occupy almost every corner of the world. A global wave of protests and conflicts may arise due to increased Islamophobia. 

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