New Delhi, 15 April 2022: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) feels that the unchecked communal violence poses a grave danger to the nation’s democracy and the situation is quite alarming. JIH demands that the central and state governments must immediately curb the growing incidents of violence against Muslims all over India. Violence has been reported from Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Goa.
Misuse of religious festivals
A similar modus operandi was visible in many places where processions were first taken out on the occasion of a festival. Contrary to and in direct contravention of the relevant laws, weapons, especially swords and knives were openly displayed and provocative and disparaging slogans were made against Muslims and Islam. Attempts were also made to damage some mosques. In some places, property and shops owned by Muslims were also damaged. Incidents of arson and looting were also noted. In many instances all this happened under the watchful eye of the police and knowledge of the local administration. While the celebration of religious festivals should be permitted, it cannot be misused as a tool for aggression and violence against a particular community. The silence of the Prime Minister and the Home Minister is also bewildering. They should have spoken and intervened in such a situation for it is ultimately the responsibility of the central government to ensure that the rule of law is upheld throughout the country.
Agencies of the State abandoning their constitutional duty
It is extremely shameful that some state governments have completely abandoned their constitutional duty of providing safety and security for all citizens regardless of their caste, creed and religious affiliation. In fact, through their actions these state governments are trying to project themselves as vindictive to people of a particular faith and consequently representing the interests of the majority community. A different yardstick is being applied to the aggressor and the victim. This has emboldened the miscreants who are having a field day by taking the law into their hands and committing acts of loot and arson at will without the fear of the law and law enforcement authority. Reports are being received from many places that the police are targeting the victims instead of taking any action against the culprits. Large numbers of innocent Muslim youth are being arrested and false charges are being framed against them. It appears as if the bureaucracy in these places is working on the instruction of politicians and the national interests are being superseded by the political masters of such officials.
Politics behind the violence
It seems that instead of protesting the recent price rise in petrol, diesel and essential commodities, the ruling party is focused on vitiating the peaceful climate in the country. Keeping the embers of communalism burning may yield political dividends, keep their vote bank intact and divert the attention of the electorate from their dismal performance but ultimately this kind of communal politics will be ruinous to the nation and also hurt the image of the country. The tragic part is that neither the government nor the opposition is speaking and acting in favor of the victims. It seems that the diktat of the hate mongers is being implemented and parties are now afraid to speak for Muslims fearing a loss in their electoral prospects and angering the majority community. These ongoing incidents are undermining public confidence in the government and administration.
Madhya Pradesh situation
In Madhya Pradesh, a particularly condemnable practice has been initiated. Going against all prescribed norms and protocols, the police and local administration have taken the role of judge, jury and executioner. They are demolishing the houses of the minority community who were under attack by violent mobs directly with bulldozers. The administration may try to camouflage this inhuman action under the garb of carrying out the due process of acting against alleged illegal constructions, but the import of this vindictive policy of the state is not lost on the victims and will be challenged in the judiciary. The attitude of the Home Minister of Madhya Pradesh is also extremely worrying as it appears that he is not unduly concerned about the situation on the ground and not bothered about the law and order situation in his state where rampaging lawless mobs are calling the shots. It is indeed condemnable that some political leaders known for their vitriolic speeches were invited from New Delhi to Madhya Pradesh and their incendiary speeches provoked the people and led them to commit acts of violence. Such leaders should be arrested immediately. JIH leaders are trying to liaise with state officials and the police and press for effective action. A central delegation of Muslim leaders is visiting Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthen. Efforts are being made to establish law and order in these areas in collaboration with civil society and leaders of different religions. Efforts are being made to take legal action against the oppressors and provide legal assistance to the oppressed.
JIH believes that these incidents are a product of the hatred that is being spread across the country. It is also the responsibility of the central government to take notice of the situation and call upon the state governments to take timely and stern action against the elements responsible for the violence as well as the forces inciting sectarian hatred. Action should also be taken against the police officers who are biased and guilty of dereliction of duty. JIH appeals to the Muslim community to continue building the country and society while adhering to the highest values of prudence, patience, and justice in the current situation, Muslims should not be instigated by any kind of provocation or fear. The situation should be confronted within the framework of the law without any psychological pressure we must keep trying to improve the situation in coordination with just people. Hatred should be countered by sharing love. These are the Islamic teachings and this is also the way of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who was a mercy to the worlds. In this blessed month of Ramadan, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind also appeals to the leaders of all political parties, religious leaders, civil society organizations and all conscientious citizens to feel their responsibility in this situation and to play an active role in maintaining law and order and preventing this cycle of hatred, poisonous speech, and violence.