What next for India’s Muslims? More suffering and a further crackdown on their rights by the Modi government

If identity documents are lost – including in attacks such as those seen in Delhi – it is not difficult to envisage a scenario in which a proportion of the country’s Muslims are moved to detention centres

Gareth Price
2nd March 2020

In his second term, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s government has expedited efforts to undermine India’s Muslims. While Muslims are widely accepted to be India’s poorest community by religion (in part a statistical quirk given that much of the Muslim middle class moved to Pakistan at partition) the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) believes that for decades other parties – notably the once dominant Congress – have prioritised Muslims over Hindus.

First to go was the “special status” granted to India’s only Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir. Amongst the provisions removed was that on “outsiders” buying land in the state. This, according to the government, had harmed economic development. Curiously, the government has no plans to remove similar protection granted to several areas of north east India.

Next was a double whammy of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The government has suggested that the NRC – a measure intended to identify illegal immigrants in Assam – should be rolled out nationwide and reportedly instructed India’s states to start constructing detention centres.

Now, proving citizenship in a country in which 38 per cent of under-fives lack birth certificates is likely to prove trickier than the government suggests. And those who may struggle are unlikely to be just Muslims.

read more here:

C Indian Muslims pray during Eid al-Adha at Jama Masjid Mosque in Delhi. Rajat Gupta/EPA

 

Categories: Asia, India

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