Recently, a Hindu temple in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province was demolished and set on fire by a group of extremist people. It is believed that it was one of the old structures of Hindu leader in the province. The people who destroyed the site belonged to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party– one of leading radical groups in KP, which is also a stronghold of Prime Minister Imran Khan-led PTI.
While on the other hand, in India, a group of Hindu mob attacked and vandalised a mosque. The incident took place in Madhya Pradesh state- one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP ruled states. According to Indian media, the tension started between two communities after a group of people used abusive and derogatory comments while they were passing through a Muslim locality. A video of demolishing the mosque, which has already been circulated on social media, showed that few people were attacking a mosque and placed a saffron flag on the top of the site.
Both incidents were shocking but more horrible was in India’s Madhya Pradesh state’s event, where a mosque was attacked by a Hindutva mob in the presence of local police.
Nevertheless to say, extremism against Muslims has raised in India since Hindu-centric Narendra Modi came to power. In Modi-ruled India, radical organisations and extremist people not only pose a dire threat to the world’s largest democracy, not only trying to damage the social fabric of a secular country, but their muscle-flexing is antithetical to the very idea of India.
Hours after the incident in Pakistan’s KP province, India lodged a strong protest over demolition of a Hindu temple and demanded stern action against the culprits. According to Pakistan media, more than 50 people have been arrested so far, including Mullah Mohammad Sharif– the mastermind behind the incident of the temple attack. KP’s Chief Minister also expressed his concern on the matter and warned that no person would be allowed to take the law into their hands. He also promised to the Hindu communities to rebuild the temple.
Mullah Mohammad Sharif of the JUI-F arrested by police for allegedly being one of two clerics who incited a crowd of protesters to attack and burn a Hindu shrine in the Pakistani city of Karak pic.twitter.com/IBs3w3kLTh— omar r quraishi (@omar_quraishi) December 31, 2020
While on the other hand, MP’s Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who did not even condemn the attack on a mosque and communal violence in several parts of his state, simply said that law will take its course. Shockingly, police have managed to arrest only 10 people in a mosque attack so far. But the Hindu cleric Acharya Shekhar, who had threatened ‘mass violence’ against Muslim in his video, has not been arrested as of now.
Mosque was attacked n vandalised by Hindutva goons in #Mandsaur #MadhyaPradesh.Mob was shouting JAI SHREE RAM slogans.Police was mute n spectator.They didn't have dare to stop rioters. In India NSA, UAPA reserved for Muslims only ?#एमपी_में_जंगलराज pic.twitter.com/sNTHvrw6Y2— SAHiL__MiSBAHi:ْاَبُــوْسَـــــاجِــد (@Sahil__Misbahi) January 1, 2021
Minorities are not safe in India and Pakistan
The violence against Muslim people has raised in Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled India. According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), at least 44 people killed, of which 36 were Muslims, in different parts of India between May 2015 and December 2018. While around 280 people were injured in more than 100 incidents across the country.
According to IndiaSpend (The Spending & Policy Research Foundation based in Mumbai, India), some 90% of religious hate crimes in the last decade have occurred since Modi came to power.
While atrocities against Hindu minorities cannot be denied in Pakistan and it has been proved on numerous occasions that this country is also not safe for other than Muslim people.
More recently, AP reported that nearly 1,000 girls from different religious minorities- Hindu, Sikh and Christian, are forced to convert to Islam every year. Another report also estimated that around 20-25 Hindu girls are forcibly converted every month in Pakistan.
Abductions and forced conversions are one of the serious problems in Pakistan, where states not only failed to protect them but also failed to provide basic necessities to its minorities. Sindh is one of the worst provinces in terms of conversions in Pakistan.
Religious Intolerance raises in India
No doubt, Pakistan is the official Islamic republic country and religion lies in the centre of the country’s constitution. According to Pakistan’s constitution, the president and prime minister will be Muslim and he/she will take an oath referencing Islamic idiom.
But India’s liberal constitution ensures that the country does not have any religion and the state or government will not interfere in a person’s personal faith, religion and belief. It clearly mentioned in India’s secular democratic fabric that religion has no place in the matter of state. Religion and State cannot be mixed.
However, things have changed gradually since Modi became Prime Minister and his party helped to bring the concept of ‘Hindu Rashtra’ (A Hindu land where Hindus will rule) more rigorously, which is a completely impossible thing in India. But the major concern is that a certain amount of Hindu fanatics are exercising a vulgar act of violence against minorities in the name of ‘Love Jihad’, ‘Ghar Wapsi’ (converting people to Hindu), and cow slaughter. This dangerous form of religious and hyper-nationalism is breaking the decades-old social fabric in India and governments have been turning a blind eye to increasing violence against innocents.