ALI SUKHANVER -
Strategically and geographically Oman is a very important country, occupying the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula at the joining-point of the Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf. Muscat the capital of Oman is known as a very busy port as well as a commercial centre, always attractive for a large number of business people from all over the world. Moreover the country accommodates a large number of laborers and workers from all over the region providing them countless job-opportunities. No doubt, the workers from India are the largest expatriate community in Oman. The 2010 census pointed out that Indians constituted almost 20% of Oman’s that time total population of 2.3 million. Certainly now in 2020, the total number of Oman’s population and the number of Indians working there would have increased. Whatever be the actual ratio and accurate number, the Indians are still the largest expatriate community in Oman.
According to a report Oman is hosting 448,000 Indian migrant workers of which 25% are unskilled workers, 30% semi-skilled and 35% are skilled ones. Though the government of Oman has ever been very kind and caring to these migrants but for the last few years a vivid change is being noted in the attitude of the Oman government with reference to the Indian workers in Oman. Recently the government has decided to replace expatriate workers “as quickly as possible” with Omanis. Experts are of the opinion that the Indian immigrants would suffer badly and directly from this decision as they are in the largest number. It is also being said that this decision could be a reaction of the Oman government to the increasing cruelties of Indian troops, illegally deputed in the Kashmir valley.
It is also a point of view that the government of Oman might not have decided so if Mr. Modi had not changed the status of the Kashmir valley through revocation of Article 370 and 35-A. Moreover a move against the Indian Muslims defaming them as a cause of spreading Covid-19 has also compelled the Oman authorities to take that decision. If this decision is acted upon and such a huge number of Indians is sent back to India, it would no doubt create a lot of troubles and problems for India. Mr. Modi and his supporters are trying to normalize the situation with the help of common friends but still the Damocles’ sword is impending there. On the other hand, the Oman authorities are very much steadfast to their decision but they say that the said decision has not been taken specifically for the expulsion of the Indians working in Oman yet the on ground reality is that the decision would hit none but the Indians. And certainly there is a serious disliking rather resentment among the Indians over this decision. The government of Oman is very well aware of the unrest and uneasiness which is disturbing the Indians.
The situation became very depressing for Mr. Modi and his political supporters when a few days back in a tweet Her Highness Dr. Mona Fahad Mahmoud Al Said criticized Indian government on its shameful treatment with the Muslims. Her Highness Dr. Mona Fahad Mahmoud Al Said is a very learned and a scholarly lady working as the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Sultan Qaboos University Oman. The whole nation is obliged to her matchless educational services to Omani youth. It is said that her only aim of life is to usher Oman into the modern age with the help of the latest education techniques and by introducing to the youth, the most sublime traits of character. She is considered the most popularly respected member of the Royal family. In response to her tweet, the Indian social media activists started a very organized type of deformation movement against her on social media. They used abusive and offensive language against her and at some places her character assassination was also observed. Just to make situation more confusing someone from the Modi social media cell started a propaganda that the Twitter account which the Princess uses was hacked by some hostile intelligence agency and the tweet which condemned Indian atrocities did not belong to her. In other words these social media activists simply tried to spread the impression that this all was done by Pakistan.
It is not just Oman; almost all six Middle Eastern countries including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar are also expressing the same resentment on maltreatment with Muslims in India. This fact is also known to these Arab countries that Mr. Modi and his BJP followers spare no opportunity of defaming the Arab countries just on the basis of their religion Islam. Recently a very insulting rather derogatory tweet of a BJP Member of Parliament Tejasvi Surya also resurfaced on social media. This post was sexually offensive and derogatory towards Arab women. The BJP social media activists did their best to circulate and re-circulate the tweet and ultimately it reached the reporting desks of the mainstream Arab media. In short anti-Muslim, anti-Islam and anti-Arab campaign has ever been a part of BJP’s political philosophy. This time they have dragged Her Highness Mona Bint Fahad into the battlefield of a very dirty blame game.
Oman is a country which has never shown any type of religious extremism. It welcomes everyone belonging to any religious community. In Muscat, Sohar and Salalah, one can find a large number of people from Jain, Buddhist, Zoroastrian, Sikh, Jew, Hindu and Christian communities. There are two grand Hindu temples in Muscat and a few Gurdwaras also. The government of Oman never puts restrictions on any type of religious activity of any community but being a Muslim country Oman has a very strong affiliation with the Muslim brotherhood. It is out of question that Oman would remain silent on the atrocities against the Muslims in India or in any other part of the world.