On Friday (May 27), American magazine The Atlantic resorted to fear-mongering about India to its global audience and alleged that the country’s ‘secular and inclusive ethos’ had eroded during the 8-year rule of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In an article titled, ‘The Hinduization of India is nearly complete’, author Yasmeen Serhan suggested that Muslims who stayed in India during Partition are paying the price for their decision to choose a ‘Hindu majority India’ over the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
The article highlighted the case of Shah Alam Khan, who supposedly rejected the idea of a theocratic State in 1947 to live in a ‘secular’ India. “They (Religious minorities) were promised a secular nation. The unmaking of secular India is a betrayal,” he had claimed.
During the provincial elections in 1946, Muslims had voted overwhelmingly for Muslim League which had stirred up religious passions with its demand for a separate Islamic State at the time. The Muslim League had asserted that Hindus and Muslims cannot co-exist in the same country and thus, Muslims should have a country of their own carved out of India itself, post-independence.
It is thus intriguing when several apologists claim that most Muslims stayed back in India out of choice and that most Muslims at the time did not want a separate Islamic state.
There can be no denying that there was opposition even from the Muslims at the time to the idea of a separate state, however, political statements and voting preferences are two rather separate concepts. This ‘trope’ is often used to trick the Hindu community into a web of guilt.
The propaganda surrounding Article 370 abrogation, NRC and more
Yasmeen Serhan then lamented how the Modi government revoked the special autonomous status of India’s sole ‘Muslim-majority territory’ aka Jammu and Kashmir. It may be recalled that Article 370 was a temporary Constitutional provision that gave special status to the erstwhile State.
By abrogating the temporary provision, the Government of India completely integrated Jammu and Kashmir into the Indian territory and nullified the claim that Pakistan had been making about it for the past 70+ years.
She also cast aspersions about the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the Citizenship Amendment Act. “That same month, the northeastern BJP-led state of Assam published a national registry that left nearly 2 million people, many of them Muslim, off the list, casting their Indian citizenship into doubt,” Yasmeen alleged.
It must be mentioned that the NRC was conducted under the supervision of the Supreme Court to distinguish the original residents of Assam from the immigrants who infiltrated the Indian territory from the neighbouring country of Bangladesh.
“For Indian Muslims, in particular, the situation is dire. During the recently passed holy month of Ramadan, they saw their houses and shops bulldozed, their businesses boycotted, and their religious gatherings heckled by Hindu-nationalist mobs,” the article read.
The propaganda piece in The Atlantic deliberately omitted details about the events to keep its international readers in darkness. The use of bulldozers by the Madhya Pradesh administration was to remove illegal encroachment, which was presented as State’s vengeance against Muslims.
Given that there are mosques in every nook and corner of the country, locals in Gurugram had objected to using public property for religious prayers each Friday by the Muslim community. They had demanded that the community members use mosques for prayers instead of roads.
“Worse, a series of draconian and discriminatory laws have recruited both police and courts to efforts to silence government critics and advocates for India’s religious minorities,” the author made a passing remark without making any specific reference to the alleged laws.
Insinuation about State vendetta against Siddique Kappan and Rana Ayyub
The article also made reference to ‘journalist’ Siddique Kappan, who was arrested on October 5, 2020, while trying to enter Hathras with a fake ID. In its affidavit to the Supreme court, the Uttar Pradesh government informed that Kappan was using the garb of journalism to create a caste divide and law & order disturbance in the State.
Kappan was associated with the radical Islamist outfit Popular Front of India (PFI) and a banned terrorist organisation named Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). The Uttar Pradesh government had submitted a copy of a front-page story by Kappan in Thejas, dating back to November 30, 2011, wherein he claimed that Al-Qaeda terrorist Osama bin Laden was a ‘martyr’.
The government revealed that Siddique Kappan was the mastermind of several other riots, who in collusion with Thejas Editors, wanted to create religious unrest in the State of Kerala. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a charge sheet against Siddique Kappan in a money laundering case.
References were also made to the case against ‘journalist’ Rana Ayyub for misuse of Covid-19 funds for personal gains. It was presented as State’s vendetta against a famous Muslim personality, who is allegedly out to expose the government.
On February 10 this year, OpIndia had reported that ED seized Rs 1.77 crore in Ayyub’s and her family’s accounts under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. A few days after the expose, Ayyub alleged in a statement that she was being framed for her “journalism” and she did not misuse the money.
However, all her claims were debunked by a Twitter user Hawk Eye who was the first to share details of alleged charity fraud last year. The ED has, in its attachment order, said, “Rana Ayyub has cheated the general Public Donors in a pre-planned manner and with the intention to cheat the general public donors.”
The misleading testimony of Nandita Suneja
The article in The Atlantic made references to one Nandita Suneja who allegedly left India to avoid communal tensions.”
“Nandita Suneja, who moved from her native Delhi to Australia in 2019, told me that the communal tensions made her Hindu family’s decision to leave much easier. She didn’t want to raise her daughter in an “atmosphere of stifling freedom and hate,” Yasmeen Serhan had claimed.
Nandita Suneja is a former Chief Political Correspondent for Times Now. She moved to Australia for better opportunities. Currently she works as Director, Global Health Strategies, The Georgia Institute, Sydney, Aus. pic.twitter.com/FwouC4N1cf— Stop Hindu Hate Advocacy Network (SHHAN) (@HinduHate) May 29, 2022
Twitter user ‘Stop Hindu Hate Advocacy Network (SHHAN)’ pointed out that Suneja worked as a Chief Political Correspondent for Times Now. It informed, “She moved to Australia for better opportunities. Currently, she works as Director, Global Health Strategies, The Georgia Institute, Sydney, Australia.”
Here is Nandita Suneja participating in anti-CAA protest in Sydney defending her “idea of India”. Anti-Hindu, anti-India lobby do not just pick random people to quote in their articles. There is a method to this narrative.#Hinduphobia pic.twitter.com/wvSgQRw6nn— Stop Hindu Hate Advocacy Network (SHHAN) (@HinduHate) May 29, 2022
The Twitter user pointed out how she has been active in anti-India propaganda in Australia and has been at the forefront of the anti-CAA campaign.
“Here is Nandita Suneja participating in anti-CAA protest in Sydney defending her “idea of India”. Anti-Hindu, anti-India lobby do not just pick random people to quote in their articles. There is a method to this narrative,” it stated.
It has been 8 years since the BJP government has been in power in India. Prophecies and claims about Muslim genocide, mass emigration, and change in Indian Constitution have fallen flat.
Nevertheless, the left-liberal lobby continues to cast aspersions about the possibility of catastrophe under the Modi regime in the hopes of creating lawlessness and anarchy in the country. While such attempts have been thwarted time and again, the latest article by The Atlantic appears as one more concerted effort to create hysteria in the minds of ‘politically naive’ Indians.