India treading a dangerous path

The international religious freedom report released by the United States of America (USA) has put India under the wrong spotlight. The report said that right-wing Hindu groups used “violence, intimidation, and harassment” against minorities, especially Muslims and low-caste Dalits, in India. But the report has been rejected by the government of India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government insisted that no foreign country had the right to criticize its record. The ruling BJP reacted in a strange way by alleging that the report showed a clear bias against it and the Narendra Modi government. This comes at a time when a Muslim man, Tabrez Ansari, who was mercilessly beaten up by a mob on 18 June in Jharkhand, succumbed to his injuries on Saturday. A graphic video of the lynching was shared on social media, which enraged online users.
He was forced to recite the Hindu phrase ‘Jai Shri Ram’ while being beaten. In the last five years, several people hailing from the Muslim community have been lynched on mere suspicion of carrying beef. There is growing hostility against the minorities, be it Muslims, Christians or even Dalits, in India. Instead of rejecting the US religious freedom report, the government of India should accept the fact that it has failed to protect the minorities. It is a bitter truth that today the minorities feel insecure in this country. In most cases, the hatred against the minority communities is fuelled by the leaders of the ruling BJP and its greater Sangh Parivar members. If this continues, India is heading towards difficult times. The constant conflicts between communities on religious lines have the potential to have a catastrophic effect on the country. Before it is too late, the BJP should accept the plural nature of India and treat every community with respect.