Islamabad: The Indian government has crossed all limits in violating basic human rights especially in the case of minorities, especially Muslims, said Lt. Gen. (r) Raza Khan, former chairman of the National Defense University (NDU).
He was speaking during a webinar on “Ban culture: A way to create Akhand Bharat” organized by the Institute of Area Studies (IRS) here on Monday.
Lt Gen (r) Raza Khan observed that the plight of Indian Muslims was a major concern in the present times and that it was imperative to define distinct roles for the international community, and in particular, the OIC in as a representative of Muslims. world to overcome these shameless abuses of power.
He said Akhand Bharat was the slogan of Rashtriya Sewak Sangh which aimed to reunite the 10 countries of the subcontinent including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and even Myanmar. However, everything that was happening in India, ie banning Friday prayers, banning hijab, mob violence against minorities, was the antithesis of this mythology of Akhand Bharat. He added that the current demographics of Indian prisons were a narrative of the plight of minorities in India, as most convicted criminals in Indian prisons were either Muslims or Dalits.
He said the human rights violations were unstoppable. the most frightening of these was the systematic dilution of the fundamental elements of Muslim identity. Minorities in India, especially Muslims, have been strategically pushed down the economic ladder, making them unable to rise as equal citizens. He said that today 33% of Indian minorities including Indian Muslims and lower caste Dalits are multidimensionally poor.
Despite Indian Muslims being the third largest Muslim population, their representation in India’s parliament remained at its lowest since partition, he added.
While discussing the Citizenship Amendment Act, he said the law was a reflection of Nazism, controlling the granting of citizenship at the whim of the government. The behavior that was inflicted on Muslims in India was a clear indication of the prevailing Islamophobia, he said. He added that the repeal of Sections 370 and 35-A had turned the Kashmir Valley into a huge prison. Moreover, the attempts to alter the demography of the Kashmir valley was also a gross violation of human rights.
He said the rise of Islamophobia, especially with regards to India, was discussed at length during the recent OIC session here in Islamabad. However, a more consolidated response to such state-sponsored Islamophobia was the need of the hour.