Islam and Muslims – Evident Target
The chain of events starting from Unconstitutional Babari Masjid verdict, un-Islamic Triple Talaq Bill, CAA/NRC/NPR, Scrapping of Article 370, ban on Hijab, opposing halal meat, preventing small scale Muslim vendors from doing business around temples and the latest attempt to restrict Azan on loudspeakers are ample testimony of the present Government’s open hatred and opposition to Islam and Muslims.
Do the ruling parties justify these injustices to their slogans “Sab ka saath, sab ka vikas” and “Beti padhao beti bachao”?
M. Suhail Ahmed
Vaniyambadi, Tamil Nadu
Incidents of communal violence are rising day by day in India. They are not rising on their own but are a result of a planned strategy and a committed ideology of promoting one religion that is of majority and suppression of minorities. The efforts of our national leadership with the supporting role of our media are finally producing results.
India is ranked 136 out of 146 countries in the World Happiness Index 2022 which makes it the least happy country in South Asia after Afghanistan. One would wonder why this is so when Ram Rajya is the goal and devotees of Lord Ram are in power at both the Centre and in a majority of states.
The solution to communal violence and increasing association of a secular state with a particular religion is an amendment in the meaning of the word “secularism” in the Constitution. India had adopted a positive notion of secularism after Independence which meant that “the state would give equal respect to every religion”. As a result, we see religion practically overtaking every sphere of public life. The “negative” form of secularism should be adopted as is practised in the West which stands for separation of religion and state and says, “The state should be equidistant from every religion.” This would stop the leaders and Government officials from using religion as a weapon of polarisation and politics of development would prevail.
Need for Audit Mechanism on Police Functioning
A welter of high profile, brutal killings have shocked Indian society where police violence is daily reality ranging from the use of batons for crowd control to lethal custodial beatings and killings. In recent years the police have been accused of using excessive force to crush left wing extremists in the so-called “red corridor” and also casually deploying force to disperse peaceful protestors and non-violent mass gatherings.
According to the NHRC, only 21 officers faced conviction between 2005-2010, despite records of almost 600 deaths. As per NCRB data, not a single officer has been convicted for custodial death since 2011 while over 860 cases recorded in the same period and for the last 5 years only 3 officers have been convicted for almost 500 cases of human rights violation such as torture, illegal detentions, extortions, including 194 custodial deaths of which 60% were poor and from marginalised community – Muslims, Dalits and tribals as they are easy target.
India’s overburdened police force has 158 police officers for every 100000 people. That deficit of man power paired with inadequate advanced investment techniques and political pressure to get results, means confession under torture is often simply quickest or only way to resolve crimes even if it comes at deadly cost.
This is undesirable in a democracy where it is setting an example of systemic failure of criminal justice that seeks to protect its own. Further lack of accountability pushes the system of police tortures.
India is one of the only five countries to have not endorsed the United Nations Convention Against Torture (UNCAT).
Hence like financial, economical, safety audits, it’s high time to introduce an Audit mechanism under the faction of Social Audit on Police functioning at each police station periodically say minimum a week based on its number, nature of arrests/ detentions status in detail along with the profile of responsible officers. A copy of weekly report with such relevant information should be furnished to the offices of District Magistrate, NHRC, and to National Commission for Minorities. Subsequently, a Special Investigation Team be formed, comprising District Judges, members from NHRC and NCM to investigate the cases against vulnerable members of the society.
Dr. Majeed Mulla