It is generally India that regularly protest the treatment of minority Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan. But on Monday the boot was on the other foot, when Pakistan’s foreign office lodged a strong protest against the hate speech by Hindu religious leaders in Haridwar. The dharam sansad has been condemned by right thinking Indians and while police complaints were lodged no arrests have so far been made by the state government.
Suresh Kumar, India’s Charge d’Affaires in Islamabad, was summoned by Pakistan’s foreign office and told about Islamabad’s concern at the open call for violence against Indian Muslims.
"It was impressed upon the government of India that it was highly reprehensible that the Hindu Raksha Sena’s Prabodhanand Giri, and other Hindutva figures who called for ethnic cleansing, have neither expressed any regret nor the Indian government has condemned or taken any action against them so far," the statement said.
The MEA is likely to swat back at Pakistan and ask Islamabad not to interfere in India’s domestic matters. However by consistently refusing to take action against hate speeches by Hindus, India is spoiling its own image of a secular democracy where all sections including minorities are treated equally. All of this is noted in today’s inter-connected world. Add to this the random attacks in many places during Christmas celebrations last week end. All this will reinforce India’s image as a country where minorities are under attack.
The Pakistan statement went on to say . ``Regrettably, the toxic narrative against minorities, particularly Muslims, and their persecution under state patronage has become a norm under the current Hindutva-driven BJP-RSS combine government in India."
Pakistani newspapers added that the statement reminded to the Indian side that such incitement to violence by Hindutva figures, including ruling party’s elected members, also preceded the anti-Muslim riots in New Delhi in February 2020, the spokesperson said.
"The continued grave violations of human rights of minorities, especially Muslims and their places of worship, anti-Muslim legislations by the union government of India and several BJP-ruled states, and continued incidents of violence against Muslims on flimsy pretexts by Hindutva groups with complete impunity and often under state patronage highlight the worsening trend of Islamophobia and present a grim picture about the fate of Muslims in India.