The Hindu-Muslim relations in India seem to be in their most pitiable state ever. Mob lynchings against Muslims have become so common that the country is slowly losing its title as a secular nation. Hindu vigilantes who have been on the rise in the past few years have now become highly confident of their actions. The recent killing of a 16-year-old Muslim boy just for the fact that he was a Muslim depicts not only the intensity but also the gruesome nature of the rising problem. In most cases, the attacks are organized under the excuse of beef consumption/distribution, while in several cases some kind of similar excuse. The fear that exists amongst Muslims and the concern amongst those who have come to realize the inhuman acts was what lead to the countrywide protests: ‘notinmyname’. However, the urgency to take strong action against the vigilantes finds no solution, as the government has failed to establish a working agenda to stop the vigilantes.
How Deep is the Problem?
In several districts, specifically in the states of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and surrounding regions, violence against Muslims is becoming common. Mobs, which go by the name “gaurakshaks,” comprise of vigilantes that are targeted towards killing Muslims. Muslims that fall within the claws of these vigilantes are beaten to death. The reason for the killing often is given as the trading/killing of cows or trading beef; acts that they believe go against their Hindu sentiments.
Though the killing/trading of cows for beef is illegal in many states, however, the results following are not legal either. No complaints are registered against Muslims, which prevents the involvement of police. What is even more questionable is that just because the victim is a Muslim; it is considered to be a justified killing.
Why is it Happening?
The slaughter of cows is the excuse given for Muslim executions; however, this is a veil that cleverly hides the real truth. The anti-Muslim wave that has hit several states is the real reason for these acts. Religious intolerance against Muslims for following their beliefs, which are different from their own, is an indigestible act for several miscreants. Nevertheless, going by the name of “gaurakshaks” provides these vigilantes an excuse for controlling something banned by law. Also, it binds them to the religious sentiments of several Hindus who are unaware of the real picture. Only in the light of the real facts and a secular vision will the plight of the Muslims be realized.
The execution of Muslims is slowly turning into an organized crime, which continues to strengthen its roots and terrorize Muslims. At such corrupted levels, the involvement or support of political organizations cannot be questioned. Political support, though directly not extended to the vigilantes, but protection from the law certainly is. Though Hindu vigilantes have been on the rise for the past two years, yet no strong progress has been made in any case. There have been no major breakthroughs that lead to any definite solution. Many cases are losing their strength against time as slow or no investigation makes it incapable to capture the accused.
Muslim killings are more of a political and criminal reason rather than a social problem. It is not a belief supported by the Hindu majority but by a few miscreants who hide behind the crowd. The saddening problem of Muslim killings is thus a shame upon the society as a whole. Though a large part of the society is not involved but remaining voiceless to the problem is certainly empowering it. Only with the collective efforts of all those who find it wrong can the Hindu vigilante miscreants be stopped and moreover, be presented before the law. Housing one of the largest Muslim populations worldwide, the nation, as well, is responsible for their safety.
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