India’s democracy is under pressure like never before as dreams of an ethnic Hindu nation leave its minorities sleepless.
By Valay Singh
Published On 15 Aug 202215 Aug 2022
New Delhi, India – As India celebrates 75 years of independence, the country’s Muslims and other minorities say they find themselves in a state of siege.
Ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since 2014, the South Asian nation has lunged rightwards under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with an overt and organised state patronage to a Hindu majoritarian agenda worrying its Muslims.
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Critics say Hindu majoritarianism has become a de facto state policy under Modi, with Hindu supremacist groups ratcheting up their demand to turn the country into a “Hindu Rashtra” or an exclusive Hindu state.
Across the country, Muslims are facing blatant and subtle discrimination from state and private institutions as well as Hindu right-wing groups backed by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Whether it is what Muslims wear, eat, their places of worship and their constitutional rights to practise and preach their religion – all have been systematically attacked, banned, demolished or diminished since Modi came to power in 2014.
For the first time in India’s history, its governing party does not have a single Muslim parliamentarian.
“If Hindu Rashtra means assigning second class status to Muslims, then India has practically already become one. Now it’s a question about making it official. Even If they don’t do it, the change has taken place”, author and journalist Dhirendra K Jha told Al Jazeera.