Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi solidified his grip on power after the landslide victory in May 2019 Lok Sabha elections for a second term. During the election campaign, eyebrows were raised about Modi government’s lackluster economic performance and governance failure during his previous term in office, but he won over voters with promises to shore up national security by pursuing a Hindu nationalist agenda. Since the day Modi came into power, he has been accelerating the Hindu first agenda by institutionalising communal venom and creating toxic divisions between Hindus and Indian Muslims.
The unholy alliance between Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its faithful disciple Narendra Modi is fostering chauvinism, hate and intolerance in India which has resulted in Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) vicious right-wing populist policies. Altering the demographic outlook of IIOJ&K by revoking Article 370 and 35A from the Indian constitution, implementing the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Order, and passing of controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), seen by many as the most savage strike on the identity of Indian Muslims to isolate them from Indian social milieu, are just few of the measures taken by BJP government which prove that the particular wave of majoritarianism has hit a higher crest under BJP where Hindu sentiments have become more enfranchised and Indian minorities find it increasingly difficult to survive in this Hindutva ecosystem.
In a country which is already plagued with dangerous divisions of religion, caste and creed, the BJP government is spreading an us-versus-them narrative where Indian Muslims are required to prove their Indian-ness. The mushrooming growth of RSS branches across the country, proliferating hate speech, increasing number of cow vigilantes popping up across the landscape and targeting the minorities, especially Muslims, shutting down sane voices and silencing the critics by charging them with incitement or sedition, is not only the blatant manifestation of BJP government’s disregard for the Indian constitution but has also created a venomous atmosphere for Indian minorities.
Although Prime Minister Narendra Modi tried to rebuild the country’s shattered economy by courting foreign investors but his government’s failed domestic policies coupled with brutal treatment of the minorities have dealt a serious blow to India’s so-called secular face and muddled its economic message.
Prime Minister Modi’s lapdog media, the infamously dubbed ‘Godi media’, has been on the forefront in peddling fake news, extremism, hate and bigotry against religious minorities, especially Muslims. However, criticism from international media outlets, human rights watchdog organizations and world bodies is gaining momentum against BJP government’s communal polarization and Hindutva policies. BJP government’s divisive policies and ill treatment of minorities have been met with great shock by its Gulf allies.
Over the past year, India’s blatant actions further isolating and tightening the noose around the necks of the oppressed Kashmiris in IIOJ&K, and the sheer disregard with which it has been treating its minorities have drawn international ire. In a highly militarized region where even the most basic freedoms are denied to Kashmiris, the local media has been struggling to combat India’s attempts to muzzle the press. At such a time, the international foreign media has played a critical role in showing the world the extent of atrocities being committed by the occupying forces with impunity, sparking global outrage. Reporting by well-reputed international news organizations like The New York Times, Time Magazine, Al Jazeera, and The Diplomat — among others — have shown people the reality of exactly what has been taking place in the ‘open air prison’.
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