Muslim Minority in India
India is a nation of many religions. In spite of the existence of mixed religious groups, the constitution identifies the secular state of India and describes it as an autonomous republic (Wilkinson, 2005). However, the state of religion is not respected in the country. Many important civil rights promise liberty of reverence and forbidden favoritism on the position of religion. According to Kim & Prideaux (2005), all citizens have equal reasons. On the contrary, this essential equality proclaims that the religion of a citizen is entirely immaterial regarding the primary rights. Osella & Osella (2007) have found out that the Muslims in India comprise twelve percent of the nation’s entire population. However, the Pakistan-India division in 1947 resulted in the loss of lives and possessions of the local Muslims. The loss was caused by the Hindu hooligans who had expressed their aggressiveness and cruelty towards the opposing religion (Kim & Prideaux, 2005). On the same note, the Muslims, with a little civilization, migrated to Pakistan. This migration of a huge number of Muslims to Pakistan formed a vacuum in the leadership of the Muslims. The majority of the Muslims, who could not trace their family homes, became weak in the economic, political, community, and cultural fields (Wilkinson, 2005). The Hindu chauvinists frequently demanded their position in the country with an intention of misusing the power against Pakistan. In fact, the Muslims were enforced to prove their new loyalty as if they were new settlers in India (Tausch, Hewstone, & Roy, 2009). However, the Indian Muslims realized that they were in distress having improved India with other communities (Subramanian, 2008). This paper will discuss how the Muslims, who remained in India after the state gaining its independence, had suffered, and the laws that protected the rights of the minority of Muslims who have not moved to Pakistan. Additionally, Muslims minority in India faced inequality politically, economically and socially.
The suffering of Muslims in India after Independence
Discriminatory Policy of the Government
After India became an independent state, the government of India led by Aryan Brahmins adopted prejudiced actions against the Muslims (Tausch, Hewstone, & Roy, 2009). Although the Constitution guarantees the fundamental rights to all communities of India, the Muslims community is increasingly marginalized in their homeland. Immediately after India gaining its independence, several territories were re-settled to diminish the influence of the Muslims and their ability to win in any general election (Osella & Osella, 2007). Moreover, the names of contestants in political posts were deleted from the electoral rolls in an attempt of reducing their strengths in politics.
On the other hand, India is a vocal supporter of secularism that no nation has betrayed globally. The Muslims have faced numerous challenges and suffering due to the betrayal of secularism (Kim & Prideaux, 2005). It was only the federal government of India that was disloyal to the Muslims by becoming a party to the demolition of Babari Masjid. Also, the Bombay police participated in this form of betrayal by killing many Muslims, following the outcome of a demolition of Babari Masjid. Evidently, the jails of Bombay are still crowded with scores of innocent Muslims who were affected by the blast of March 12, 1993 (Kim & Prideaux, 2005). Ironically, no action was taken against the criminals who had massacred the Muslims. The incidences of targeting the Muslims regarding all kinds of discrimination have been continuous since India had gained its idependence. This measure has created tension and threat among the Muslims who still live in India. Occasionally, most of them feel insecure, thus facing psychological suffering.
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With India becoming an independent state, the Muslims were denied public employment even at lower levels. Despite the public commission fixing opportunities in the job sectors, the Muslim candidates who had qualifications for the written tests lost their chance in representation due to an infidelity of the Hindus (Wilkinson, 2005). Moreover, the Muslims were denied equal opportunities in the private sectors. For example, their demonstration was destitute in the law and order machinery (Tausch, Hewstone, & Roy, 2009). In the minority learning institutions run by Muslims, there were challenges that hindered their performance. To be precise, these systems were abandoned by the government. As a result, the level of literacy of the Muslims was below the average level of India. For that reason, the enrollment level of the Muslim community was also diminished. Due to the difference in the degree of education, the Indian population had a higher number of professions as compared to the Muslim children. (Kim & Prideaux, 2005). For that reason, the level of poverty among the Muslims would increase, resulting in additional anguish.
Denial of Religious Rights
In India, Hinduism was made compulsory in schools and other institutions of learning. According to the Muslims, the Hindu culture encouraged glorification of idol-worship. These habits and other fabulous characters form part of the Indian syllabus that is mostly used by various schools to pursue their education. As Tausch, Hewstone, and Roy (2009) state, the books published by the school provided false information relating the Muslim violence towards Hindu women, kidnapping, and forced conversion. More to say, the Muslim children were forcefully converted into the Hindu religion. The government of Delhi passed a law for the schools to begin frequent activities with collective singing, according to the religion of the Hindus (Subramanian, 2008). This song was similar to worshipping the homeland, which contradicted the Islamic faith. In the same context, the Muslims were disappointed and sometimes were denied the right to observe their religious obligations.
The lives and property of the Muslims were in danger because of affinity with their religion. In most cases, they were faced discrimination. The incidence of communal interruption often rose according to the communal forces of the Hindu chauvinists on the Muslim destruction. Sometimes, the Hindus performed inhumane acts on the Muslims such as butchering the innocent and unarmed Muslims and squandering their property. Unfortunately, this kind of hooliganism was incorporation with the government of India that undoubtedly supported such brutal acts (Kim & Prideaux, 2005). Consequently, most of the Muslims died mysterious deaths at the hands of the murderous Hindus. Those who survived were enslaved and given capital punishments, leading to both mental and physical torture. Furthermore, the police became part of the incidences of rape, murder, torture, mutilating, and aggressive at every riot. After every demonstration, it was usual to surround the Muslims places and pockets and take away licensed guns and even the kitchen appliances, leaving the Hindu areas free (Wilkinson, 2005). The Muslims also faced mass arrest in every riot.
Laws That Protected the Rights of Minority of Muslims in India
Following the suffering of the Muslims in India, it was imperative to fight for the laws that would be set to safeguard their rights. One of the implemented rules advocated for democracy. The constitution stated that all Indians including the Muslims who reached the age of twenty-one and above would be allowed to vote during elections (Wilkinson, 2005). This step was revolutionary because the Muslims were earlier considered inferior and were not given a chance to take part in any national elections. The move gave the Muslims the freedom that the state government had denied them earlier.
Another law regarding the responsibilities of the Muslims in India is equality. Every person was considered to be equal before the law regardless of religious affliction. This equality was influenced to promote the interests of the Muslim community. Ironically, the Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, in his opinion, suggested that India should not remain a Hindu Pakistan. The outlook, however, gave the Muslims same rights as the Hindus (Subramanian, 2008).
Although there existed the feeble and the lowly rank in the Muslim religion, the law offered special privileges to everyone, including the poorest and most disadvantaged Indians and Muslims because of the abolition of favoritism. In fact, the Assembly preferred that particular position in the government be set aside for the members of the lowest classes (Tausch, Hewstone, & Roy, 2009).
Another law that was passed to protect the rights of the Muslims was the powers of the central government and the state government. The Constitution aimed at balancing the central and state government powers through the provision of three lists of subjects. That is to say, a union list of topics such as taxes, defense, and foreign affairs that would be the responsibility of the central government. On the other hand, there would be a state list of the subjects such as education and health. This list ensures that the education and sanitary conditions of the Muslim children are accounted for and protected without any bias (Kim & Prideaux, 2005).
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In conclusion, the Muslims in India went through numerous sufferings that affected both the adults and the children. These challenges affected the Muslims economically, socially, and politically. Discrimination of the Muslims by the Hindus due to the difference in religion was a major issue. The Muslims ended up being tortured, raped, and enslaved. The Muslims’ engagement in riots only added the pain and suffering in their lives. Consequently, the police conducted the performance of these brutal acts on the Muslims with the support of the government. Because of the support of the leaders of India on discrimination and torture of the Muslims, there was no one to arrest or charge the criminals against inhumanity. Instead, the innocent Muslims were given capital punishments. Sometimes, the Muslims were denied a chance to vote or be elected to certain positions in the government. Additionally, the Muslim children were converted forcefully into the Hindu culture and religion although the Islamic beliefs opposed the Hindu faith. All the sufferings of the Muslims in India influenced them negatively. Many of them lost their lives, property, children, and land. Some were forced to live as squatters while some Muslims decided to seek refuge elsewhere. However, the laws were reserved to correct the suffering of the Muslims and unite them with Hindus regardless of religion. These regulations can help the Muslims live in peace with the Hindus by building understanding and union.