“Modi” undermined the voices of tolerance towards Muslims in South Asia

Under the headline “In a turbulent region… Moral erosion in India,” a New York Times report asserted that the hard-line stance of Narendra Modi’s ruling party toward Muslims has undermined the nation’s reputation as a voice of tolerance in South Asia.
The report talked about the weakness of the Indian position and his blind standing next to the demonstrations of Hindus in Bangladesh as a non-neutral sponsor towards those who belong to what he believes in. He referred to the mobs for days, burning homes, storming temples and clashing with the Bangladeshi police, killing many, during a protest Hindus in Bangladesh for the violent attacks they were subjected to in the capital, Dhaka, last month.

He added that the victims were from the Hindu minority living in Bangladesh, a Muslim-majority country struggling with rising extremism, and the violence against them angered politicians in neighboring India as the region’s traditional center of gravity. India has a history of promoting tolerance, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself has positioned himself on He is a Hindu hero in the face of a history of sacrifice, according to the New York Times.

He noted that “the erosion of human rights in India has undermined its high moral standing in a region where ethnic and sectarian tensions are simmering.” Sheikh Hasina, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and a close ally, who had just sent 71 red roses to Mr. Modi on his birthday, was clear words to India, even as she promised to chase the perpetrators.

“We expect nothing will happen there, which may affect any situation in Bangladesh that affects our Hindu community here,” Ms. Hasina said.

loss of tolerance
Mujib Mishaal, the report’s author, said that “India, which marginalizes the Muslim region at home, has lost its influence in South Asia as its government is trying to reshape the country into a Hindu state, adding that India, under the shadow of the Hindu party, has abandoned its traditional leadership role in promoting harmony in a region with many lines.” .

Mishaal warned that “this shift also provides opportunities for China, which has used promises of investment and access to its difficult economy to develop stronger relations with its competitor’s neighbours.”
Guided by what was quoted from Yashwant Sinha, India’s foreign minister in the first ten years of the 21st century, during the rule of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) now led by Modi, Sinha said, “We cannot say, stop it, this should not happen, because we ourselves guilty of that.”

South Asia
The report looked at the sectarian gaps that exist in South Asia, and the country related to India, and said that in Sri Lanka, a country with a Buddhist majority, the government took a tougher stance towards the Tamils, a largely Hindu minority whose grievances led to a civil war that lasted three decades, and the government did not exclude Its population is small, and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa recently appointed a hard-line Buddhist monk to lead a sweeping reform of the legal system, despite being accused of fomenting anti-Muslim hatred and imprisoning him for intimidating the wife of a forcibly disappeared journalist. The committee overseeing reform efforts includes Muslim scholars but no Tamil representation.

And in Muslim-majority Pakistan, where Pashtuns and Balochs have long been marginalized, and the rise of Islamic extremism has led to vigilante action against the Hindu minority, which makes up just 2% of the population, they have faced repeated episodes of violence, vandalism of their temples, occupation of their lands and an increase in forced conversion. For minority girls, according to the Pakistan Human Rights Commission, Prime Minister Imran Khan has spoken out against the abuse, but to little effect.

Concluding from his review that sectarian violence in one country often becomes fodder for the narrow nationalism of the other, Mr. Khan blamed Mr. Modi for unleashing a reign of fear and violence against India’s 200 million Muslim community, and Mr. Modi clips videos of violence against Hindus in Pakistan and elsewhere in the region as a justification for policies seen as discriminatory against Muslims.
“But such violence and abuse of minorities is not new in South Asia, a region with deep ethnic and religious fault lines that includes a quarter of the world’s population,” Meshaal commented.
He attributed this to the separation between India and Pakistan in 1947, and the separation of Bangladesh from Pakistan later, due to the war in 1971, which contributed to leaving large ethnic and religious minorities in each country. The local policies of one country inevitably affect the population of another country.

India set the tone
And the report again blamed India for the moral imbalance in South Asia, and said, “How India, the largest and most diverse country, tried to manage its affairs, set the tone for the rest, even when sectarian violence erupted within its borders, India was the big brother with bigger-than-life leaders like Gandhi.” and its legacy of ending centuries of colonial rule through nonviolence.”
He emphasized that “Mr Modi’s party policies have regressed, similar to the erosion of the US’s global standing on human rights during the Trump administration. His BJP has pursued a Hindu-first agenda that often puts the country’s Muslims at a disadvantage, and the party has refused to rein in extremist elements within its ranks, sometimes resulting in violence.”

The cause of the Bangladesh crisis
The report went back to detail what happened in Bangladesh of insulting the Holy Quran in a Hindu temple and downloading Mrs. Hasina, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, and others, for the hard-line stances towards Muslims in India that they had contributed to violence against Hindus in Bangladesh.
The report quoted “Muhammad Nizamuddin Khan, Professor of International Relations at Dhaka University, referring to the Hindu nationalist ideology of the BJP, and at the same time Hindutva politics in India is empowering BJP-style politics in Bangladesh.”

He explained that violence erupted in Bangladesh last month, due to rumors of disrespect for the Qur’an, the holy book of Muslims in a Hindu temple, and police said that seven people were killed.

This violence has exacerbated communal tension in India, and in recent weeks a right-wing Hindu group organized large protests in the Indian state of Tripura on the border with Bangladesh against violence against Hindus there, and police had to deploy tight security measures to protect mosques after members of the group vandalized one mosque on least and burned stores. A group of lawyers and activists who went to Tripura to document damages found themselves accused of violating a strict anti-terror law.

The report revealed that BJP officials have at times criticized the violence, but Modi himself has remained largely silent, unlike Pakistan where tensions with India sometimes erupt into open conflict, Modi has established good relations with Bangladesh, and harsh words can spoil relations. Diplomacy between New Delhi and Dhaka.

China is the winner
The report noted that India’s neighbors can find friends elsewhere, pointing to China, which is full of development projects and loans, and has actively positioned itself as a potentially profitable alternative. In addition to strengthening economic ties with Pakistan, it has also used Covid-19 vaccines and other aid to improve relations with Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Aparna Pandey, director of the India Initiative at the Hudson Institute, said that the ruling party’s Hindu nationalist ideology had previously made India more open-minded, its pluralistic model of governance avoiding inflaming tensions, and at times taking a paternalistic view of its neighbors now, she said, appears to be a policy Neighborhood First for Mr. Modi contrasts with the backlash caused by the Hindu nationalist vision at home.

Pandey added, If you are promoting a nationalist narrative, it is difficult to ask your neighbors not to do the same, then you will see every country in South Asia become more nationalist, forget about anything else, and this creates a strategic challenge for India.

Former Foreign Minister Sinha commented that Mr. Modi’s silence creates the impression as if we have lost control of the situation or that the state is actively encouraging violence against minorities.

He recalled that Sinha himself resigned from the BJP and now belongs to an opposition party, and served as foreign minister immediately after some of India’s bloodiest sectarian violence occurred in 2002 in Gujarat, where Mr. Modi was the chief minister of the state. He said, “Such violence does not affect India’s standing, because the country’s Prime Minister at the time, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, made it clear that the events were unacceptable and isolated.

Source: بوابة الحرية والعدالة by fj-p.com.

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