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‘Systematic invisibilizing of the Muslims’: Rajdeep Sardesai’s veiled tirade against BJP, makes bizarre comparisons between the party and his colony

The party that has done the most for Muslims is portrayed as a villain while being asked to do even more for the community, which is an irony that doesn't escape anyone

Several dignitaries from multiple fields including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Miniter Amit Shah graced the 21st edition of the India Today Conclave 2024 in New Delhi. A number of ‘experts’ also expressed their opinions, during an interactive session with journalist Rahul Kanwal on “How Will India Change In Next 5 Years.” Notably, another India Today journalist Rajdeep Sardesai, by force of his habit, couldn’t let the opportunity pass without using religious tropes and bringing up “Hindu-Muslim” while attacking the ruling dispensation, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

He alleged, “Just think about it. We are talking about ‘Ab ki baar 400 paar, 350 paar.’ This government at the moment in parliament doesn’t have a single Muslim MP. This 350 or 400 paar is also probably not going to have a single Muslim MP. 13% of your population in a way is being invisibilized. I don’t want to say it in this room also but I know in my own colony, which is an affluent and upmarket colony, how many Muslims live there today? There is a systematic invisibilizing of the Muslims.”

He reiterated, “I am not blaming an individual for it but this is the nature of it. An indoctrination has set in and I think since we are in a media conclave, we in the media should also look inside. How much have we done to spread these kinds of stereotypes, prejudice and the worst kind of hate politics that targets people because of the community they belong to? Nothing can be more dangerous for India in the future, the country with the third-largest Muslim population if the party in power with 400 MPs can not throw up a single Muslim MP or cannot actually actively promote a sense of genuine cooperation between communities. Don’t blame anyone and we in the media need to look inward.”

Interestingly, the veteran ‘journalist’ kept attacking the Bharatiya Janata Party while claiming not to “blame anyone.” However, he didn’t present nor was he asked to support his outrageous accusations of “Muslim invisibilisation or marginalisation” with any empirical data. On the other hand, there are hundreds of incidents where Muslims have demonstrated how non-marginalised they are by attacking Hindus and displaying their street strength by making a mockery of law and order.

When the “invisible” community acted due its helplessness

Social and mainstream media in India is rife with stories of Muslim attacks on Hindus over the most trivial of matters, which serve as justification for more killing and violence against the majority community. The nation’s collective memory continues to carry the graphic violence that occurred in Haldwani, Uttarakhand, where police officers, both men and women, were attacked by a vicious Muslim mob because the authorities were there to lawfully demolish an unauthorized madrasa and mosque in the Banbhoolpura area.

According to OpIndia’s ground reports, victims and eyewitnesses revealed that the rioters were purportedly sparing the Muslims while hitting journalists, police officers, administrators, and regular individuals after demanding their identities. They even attempted to burn journalists and police officers alive as well.

The country is still grappling with the aftermath of a double murder in Uttar Pradesh’s Badaun where barber Sajid and his brother Javed murdered 11-year-old Aayush and 6-year-old Ahaan also known as Honey and reportedly drank their blood. They also attacked 6-year-old Piyush but he managed to survive the assault, unlike his siblings. Sajid was killed in retaliatory firing when he attacked the police as he tried to escape while Javed was still absconding.

A Hindu shop owner named Mukesh in Karnataka’s Bengaluru was beaten only because he played “Hanuman Chalisa” and other Hindu devotional songs in his shop which was near a mosque. Bhajans infuriated the members of the ‘marginalised community’ that forces non-Muslims to listen to the Islamic call to prayer, known as Azaan, five times a day over loudspeakers to such an extent that they thrashed an innocent Hindu in order to assert their dominance.

Another recent instance transpired in the national capital’s Inderlok area where Sub-Inspector Manoj Tomar stopped Muslims from blocking the road and reading Namaz there as it caused inconvenience to the commuters. He kicked a praying man after none of them paid any heed to the repeated requests. However, instead of realising that they were in the wrong, the hostile throng assaulted the police personnel and hurled abuses at them.

Hindu holidays have witnessed an alarming increase in violent attacks. Radical Muslims consistently attacked Hindus and their festivals despite the many attempts of the secular media and liberals to propagate the myths of the “marginalisation of Muslims” and turned the shocking events into a new normal in the land of “Sanatan-Dharma.”

Notably, Islamists and their liberal cronies accuse Hindus of being responsible for the attacks, stating that these occurrences transpire because there are “Muslim areas” in the nation that are virtually off-limits to Hindus and that violators suffer repercussions. These areas are referred to as “Muslim areas” due to the majority religion of the residents yet if one were to apply the same reasoning to all of India, these same people foam at the mouth and label others “Sanghi” and “Hindutvavadi.” They want “no-go zones” with a Muslim population in a Hindu majority “secular” India.

Another prime illustration of the “vulnerability” of “marginalized Muslims” was the riots that swept the nation and were perpetrated under the guise of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019 protests when the agitators held the entire country to ransom for a legislature that had no bearing on them. Even Delhi wasn’t immune to the unrest and on the 24th and 25th of February 2020, Muslim mobs attacked Hindus which resulted in the death of 53 people while more than 200 people were left injured. An Intelligence Bureau Constable was murdered in the riots along with a Head Constable of the Delhi Police. 

These are but a few instances of the actions of Muslims in India that are frequently characterized as marginalized by individuals like Rajdeep Sardesai and his ilk when the reality is quite contrary to their claims. Muslims are indeed very much visible and they utilise most cruel methods to establish their supremacy which frequently results in violence and disregard for law and order. Rajdeep Sardesai doesn’t see any Muslims in his locality but not because it is inaccessible to them, however, the country has places where Hindus aren’t allowed to visit because they are “Muslim areas.”

Rajdeep Sadesai went so far as to hold the media accountable for the state of Muslims in the nation. However, he and his liberal media allies have persisted in portraying Hindus as the aggressors and Muslims as the victims, even in cases of the most terrible crimes. How can one forget that Islamists went on the rampage in the streets of numerous cities throughout the nation in response to BJP leader Nupur Sharma’s remarks after Mohammed Zubair of AltNews published an altered video of her and Tasleem Rehmnai who was abusing Lord Shiva during the Times Now debate? The edited footage ignited the fire that eventually grew out of control. Many Hindus including Kanhaiya Lal and Umesh Kolhe were killed for supporting Nupur Sharma.

Minority communities benefitted most from welfare schemes under Modi govt

The Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) released a working paper last year that showed that the poorest twenty per cent of Muslim households in India have benefited the most from Indian government policies. Between 2015 and 2021, the study examined self-reported data from over 1.2 million households across many criteria, including access to necessities.

The research underlined that there is no proof of discrimination against any social, religious, or geographic group when it comes to the supply of basic utilities. Minority communities have sometimes benefited more than majority populations. According to the research, access to basic utilities has significantly improved for all religious communities in India. Notably, the report did not rely on the rhetorical jargon of a self-professed liberal mindset, but rather on real facts and a reflection of the impartial approach of the Modi government.

The umpteenth initiatives launched by the centre including Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and Jal Jeevan Mission among others are being provided to each and every citizen without any discrimination. The accusation that the Bharatiya Janata Party does not provide tickets to Muslims, however, is unfounded because, similar to other political parties, the BJP also gives a candidate’s “winnability” priority when selecting its nominee.

The party needs to prioritize its political interests over meeting the fictitious demands of a random journalist whose spouse is a prominent figure in an opposition party. “Our ticket distribution is on the basis of winnability. If the media creates a wedge between the minorities and the BJP, and as it intensifies, there will not be any candidate who can win. We do hope that this gap ends,” Amit Shah has also repeatedly clarified the same.

Conclusion

The party that has done the most for Muslims is portrayed as a villain while being asked to do even more for the community, which is an irony that doesn’t escape anyone. The truth is that the opposition, liberals and Islamists would continue to relentlessly attack the BJP. They will never receive recognition or gratitude for everything they do. The BJP will have to prepare for many such attacks akin to those that occurred in 2014 and 2019 especially now when the election dates are announced.

Meanwhile, if Rajdeep Sardesai and any of his liberal peers wish to witness the real “invisibilazation of minorities,” all they have to do is observe the situation of minorities in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, where their numbers are dwindling so quickly that they are almost wiped-out and on the verge of becoming invisible. The same minorities to whom liberals and Islamists oppose granting citizenship under the CAA after they migrated to India to protect their lives and dignity from Muslim extremists.

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