-“Who falls asleep in a Democracy, will wake up in a dictatorship”.
-J. W. Von Goethe
N. P. Upadhyaya----
Kathmandu: Needless to say, the credit must go to Ilhan Omar-the Democratic/representative leader of the US who raised the untold suffering and the plight of the Muslims residing in the Indian Occupied Kashmir in much a loud manner when she took the guts to visit the Capital of Azad Kashmir in the third week of April this year during her what could be taken as “maiden” visit to Pakistan.
Her nerve must be admired that she took to task the declared Islamophobic Indian regime while being in South Asia and that too from the very territory of India’s immediate rival-Pakistan.
Ilhan Omar’s visit to Muzaffarabad and her due meeting with the President of the AZK, came as an unexpected “event” for the entire Indian establishment which commented against the sudden visit of the US democratic leader as an “unwarranted” one.
Despite the Indian anger, Ilhan Omar accomplished her “mission” in a befitting manner that was certainly long overdue by a US dignitary.
In a way, Ilhan Omar’s visit to Pakistan this time must have opened the so far “closed” eyes of the powerful Western countries which is why leaders, representatives, parliamentarians across the globe have begun to talk on the Islamophobic Indian establishment.
At least the Western media, the French one to be more specific, took note of the India’s Islamophobic credentials that it has earned after the advent of Prime Minister Modi in India.
In Nepal, patriot Nepalese take PM Modi as a South Asian menace of the Himalayan dimension who is force landing in Nepal shortly.
Ms. Ilhan Omar while in Muzaffarabad, as stated earlier, held “meaningful” talks with the AJK President and as per the Tribune Pakistan dated April 21, 2022, she is learnt to have addressed a press conference also wherein she is believed to have said that the United States Foreign Affairs Committee had previously held hearings to investigate the reports of human rights violations in IIOJK and discussed the Modi administration’s anti-Muslim rhetoric and its effects”.
Ms. Omar added, as Pak Tribune reports, “I don’t believe that it is being talked about to the extent it needs to be in Congress and within the administration,” adding that she hoped her visit to AJK motivates more conversations.
“The condemnations and concerns of those who fight for human rights and the question of Kashmir will be included in future hearings within the USA,” Omar guaranteed.
This does mean that the US democratic leader has in advance signaled the US foreign affairs committee to remain prepared to answer her volley of questions on the Kashmiri people’s plight in Occupied Kashmir.
The Kashmir issue now is in the US table for discussions, sooner than later.
Omar, reports says, had voiced her staid concerns in the US Foreign Relations Committee when PM Modi changed the Status of Kashmir on August 5, 2019.
Let’s presume that Ilhan Omar’s February visit to Pakistan must have annoyed India to the hilt which is what Pakistan apparently desired.
Ms. Omar is of a Somali immigrant, as stated earlier, and perhaps the lone lady in the US who targets the Islamophobic men and the nations like India.
The First Post dated April 22, 2022 writes that Omar, who is known for her razor-sharp comments on India had ruffled feathers in New Delhi once again by visiting Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (Pok).
Here is more interesting than whatever is written in the earlier paragraphs or previous issues.
Faisal Shah-a broadcast journalist and a columnist blogger has posted a video clip dated April 21, 2022, which shows US Representative Ilhan Omar visiting the Line of Control ( the dividing line between India and Pakistan) along the Chakothi bridge.
This must have forced the South Block men to pull their hairs.
Writes political analyst Asad Ali for the Pakistan Observer dated April 29, 2022, that the “visit of US lawmaker to Pakistan and AJK is likely to pave the way for more cooperation between two countries and help Islamabad to make Biden Administration realize how sensitive IIOJK issue is and how India is making the life of Kashmiri people miserable by using unconstitutional and illegitimate tactics”.
Ali adds, the visit may help the US in understanding Pakistan’s position regarding the human rights violations in IIOJK by India.
Media outlets claim that Indian Occupied Kashmir is an “open air Jail” for the Kashmiri Muslims which speaks so many things unspoken.
Around the same time when Ilhan Omar was in Pakistan meeting new executive head PM Shehbaz Sharif, Hina Rabbani Khar and the freshly ousted PM Imran Khan , the world recognized and acclaimed confrontational critic, author and an Indian Human Rights activist to the core, Ms. Arundhati Roy blasted at her own Indian government in a far flung country-the United States wherein she talked on countless political aberrations observed in the functioning of the Indian government after the inaugural of the Modi government in India.
Ms. Roy while addressing an academic gathering in the “Sissy Farenthold lecture gathering at the Lyndon B. Johnson auditorium, in the US. April 22 (last month) said that, to mark the Ram Navami celebrations , violent Hindu mobs armed with swords and staff rampaged through as many as eleven cities.
Continued Arundhati saying that” led by Swamis and BJP activists, they entered Muslim settlements, dog-whistling outside Mosques, chanting obscene insults, openly calling for the rape and impregnation of Muslim women and the Nar Sanghar-(genocide) of Muslim men”.
Arundhati Roy is an Indian author best known for her novel The God of Small Things, which won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 1997 and became the best-selling book by a non-expatriate Indian author.
Added Arundhati Roy, writes Amjed Jaaved for the Modern Diplomacy dated May 4, 2022, that ‘Any response by Muslims has led to the bulldozing of their property by the government or burning by mobs.
Those arrested, almost all Muslims, are accused of conspiracy and rioting, and will likely spend years in jail.
One of those charged was in jail on a different charge long before Ram Navami. Another, Wasim Sheikh, accused of pelting stones at the Hindu procession, is a double amputee and has no forearms.
Their homes and shops were bulldozed by the government. In some cities crazed TV anchors rode inside the bulldozers”.
Her speech in Texas, US, made in the recent weeks ( to be specific April 19, 2022) has been noted in various countries more so in the European nations which take Indian Prime Minister Modi as their “ideal” person to which Modi could never be.
It is not for nothing that the US very freshly commented on deteriorating religious harmony in India.
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) says the state of religious freedom in India has “significantly worsened” last year, calling for targeted sanctions against the country over alleged abuses.
The US Commission in its annual report released, April 25, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has urged the State Department for the third straight year to place India on the US list of “countries of particular concern”, reports Al Jazeera dated April 25.
Al Jazeera further writes that “ the government continued to systemize its ideological vision of a Hindu state at both the national and state levels through the use of both existing and new laws and structural changes hostile to the country’s religious minorities.”
This means that the US too has now registered India in its note book among the countries wherein minorities are subjected to hatred and oppression.
However, the ground reality is that the US at the highest level enjoys strong partnership with the Indian theocratic state for multiple strategic reasons-the QUAD being one.
After Ilhan Omar’s and Arundhati’s hitting nail right on the head, some British Lawmakers instantly took up the plight of the Minority Muslims across India and more so of the Kashmir Muslims who are living under India’s continued oppression.
Of the several MPs from the United Kingdom, one Labor Party parliamentarian Ms. Naz Shah was the first one to have dazed Boris Johnson’s government when she took to task her own Prime Minister and strongly urged PM Johnson to raise the issue of Islamophobia with Prime Minister Modi.
Ms. Naz Shah- a gutsy lady in her own right Tweeted stating that “I ask @BorisJohnson when the alarm bells of genocide, the daily lynching of Muslims, calls for rape of Muslim women & the systematic nature Islamophobia in India is being normalized, as someone who claims to be a champion of human rights, will you raise these issues with PM Modi?”
Unfortunately Boris Johnson who was on an, “India appeasing mission” cleverly skipped to raise the issue on India’s increasing Islamophobia for some “understandable” political reasons.
This skipping in effect exposed Boris Johnson’s real democratic credentials.
Britain is falsely taken as the “mother of democracy”. But is it? The debate must continue amongst academic circles across the globe.
Look at the tryst of destiny!
The British East India Company which ruled mercilessly the now Independent India for several decades and decades perhaps prefers to be ruled by its own former Colony for some “strategic political reasons”.
The British Prime Minister for his somewhat erratic acts was taken to task by some hard hitting Parliamentarians and some critical media in Britain like the Guardian.
PM Johnson thus gave a clean chit to the erratic Indian establishment whose “democratic backsliding”, as per the UK’s Guardian Daily is taking its toll-the minority Muslims and the Dalits know this better.
Sensible people in Nepal say that India under PM Modi is already a theocratic state.
The recent sad happenings in India wherein the Minority Muslims are being brutally targeted, vandalized, Muslim houses and Mosques bulldozed by some “fanatically deviated Hindus” could all be summed up in a sentence, quoting the Sikh writer of eminence Khuswant Singh who in his widely read book “The End of India” says, we repeat it once again, in his own words, (sic), “Unless a miracle saves us, the country will break up”.
He says further that, “it will not be Pakistan or any other foreign power that will destroy us; we will commit hara-kiri”.
Well after Ms. Naz hitting hard her own UK government, it was the turn of the argumentative British MP, Zarah Sultana who had abundantly criticized, April 26, 2022, PM Johnson for having visited the JCB factory, as stated in our previous article, the day after reports its vehicles were used to destroy ruthlessly the Muslim homes and businesses houses in Delhi.
It was a chaotic scene which was shown in the Idiot Box the world over at a time.
Opposition MPs raised concerns over human rights in India after the Prime Minister said on a visit last week that the UK hopes to have a trade deal worked out with the country ( India) by October.
Zarah Sultana said B. Johnson’s visiting the factory was a blunder.
As if it were not enough, enters yet another British MP Nadia Whittome who said in her recent Tweet that “the BJP (Modi’s governing party) is using JCB diggers to bulldoze the homes and shops of Muslims.
Boris Johnson posed with JCB diggers on his recent visit to India, but his minister wouldn’t say whether he even raised these demolitions with Modi”.
Bringing up the issue, MP Whittome asked, reports the WIRE dated April 29, 2022, “whether Johnson questioned Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the targeting of Muslims properties, and if not, why not.
“Local governments in a number of other Indian states have also carried out similar demolitions,” she said.
“So I ask again, did the prime minister raise this with [Narendra] Modi? If not, why not?
And does the minister accept that the prime minister’s visit to India has helped to legitimize the actions of Modi’s far-right government?”
PM Boris is already back and thus Nadia’s questions have by now evaporated in the ethereal medium.
MP Nadia is a Labor Member of Parliament for Nottingham East and is taken as UK’s youngest MP.
Looking at the increase in the communal and religio-violence in India, the lady journalist Arfa Khanum Sherwani Tweeted dated April 29, 2022 wherein she says, “Time for secular forces to stand up against the communal hatred”.
While this story is being written, attention has been drawn towards a Tweet posted by Swedish Professor Ashok Swain, April 30, 2022, wherein the Professor reports that “India’s police are not protecting Muslims in riots! India’s police leading the riots with Hindu Right wing against the Muslims”.
The video clip that this professor of Indian origin has posted should open the eyes of those who for multiple political and strategic reasons express their happiness in having excellent ties with India under Prime Minister Modi.
The picture tells everything untold of PM Modi as to how he is up against “annihilation” of the Minority Indian Muslims and the Dalits.
The champions of Human Rights across the world perhaps conclude that “Good or Bad….Our Modi is perfect for strategic-political reasons”.
The West stands exposed thus.
The concerns expressed by several UK Parliamentarians like Ms. Naz, Zarah Sultana, Nadia Whittome, Khalid Mahmood and many others appear to have jolted the office of the European Union’s Human Rights officials.
Without wasting time, one top EU human rights official held official meetings with National Human Rights Commission ( NHRC) and also with the Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas naqvi who had, to recall, rebuked the concerns expressed by some UK MP’s over the Jahangirpuri Bulldozer calculated event by stating that “every citizen of India, including the minorities, is safe and secure”.
Minister Naqvi had dismissed the MPs allegations that Muslims in India are being harassed, killed, lynched, their houses destroyed and shops bulldozed.
However, with the sudden arrival of one top European Union HR Official in Delhi who raised a number of concerns during official meetings with the Muslim Minister Naqvi, let’s presume that the Minister in charge of the Minority must have been taken aback.
The EU Human Rights official is learnt to have talked of increasing communal violence in India and, interestingly, the EU official who was concurrently the European Union Special Representative of Human Rights “Eamon Gilmore” and had come to Delhi as one of the guest speakers at the India’s foreign ministry’s sponsored Raisina Dialogue held in the recent days in Delhi.
What was more than interesting was the Eamon meeting with Minister Naqvi that the EU representative did raise the issue of the situation in Jammu & Kashmir, and the condition of religious minorities.
How the Indian Minister may have responded to Eamon Gilmore on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is anybody’s guess.
Naqvi must have told the EU gentleman that everything is “fine” under the sun in Jammu and Kashmir which equals a white lie.
To recall, Eamon Gilmore this early February, 2022, was in Pakistan wherein he held a meeting with then Foreign Minister Qureshi who urged the visiting EU Dignitary to take note of grave human rights violations in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir at the hands of Indian security forces.
Writes Asad Ali for the Pakistan Observer dated April 29, 2022 that the “ visit of US lawmaker to Pakistan and AJK is likely to pave the way for more cooperation between two countries and help Islamabad to make Biden Administration realize how sensitive IIOJK issue is and how India is making the life of Kashmiri people miserable by using unconstitutional and illegitimate tactics.
Asad adds that the visit may help the US in understanding Pakistan’s position regarding the human rights violations in IIOJK by India.
In the meanwhile, Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, secretary general of the Washington based world Kashmir awareness forum, has said, April 28, 2022, that the US has a moral obligation, as a world power, to impel India to bring an immediate end its systematic atrocities in Occupied Kashmir and across the South Asian countries.
A May 2nd Tweet posted by an unknown person has a photograph wherein Hindu supremacists place a saffron flag on a mosque in Rajasthan, India a day before Eid.
How the Muslim minority react to this (mis)adventure will have to be watched.
And here is a news from France.
Writes Sophie Landrin from New Delhi for Le Monde dated April 29, 2022, that “life in New Delhi and the rest of India, however, is not easy for Muslims. A wave of Islamophobia is sweeping the country, with the silent acquiescence of the authorities.
In several states, especially those ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party, extremists armed with swords and pistols have taken to marching in procession during Hindu festivals, in front of mosques or through Muslim neighborhoods, chanting hostile slogans and insults in order to provoke confrontations.
Once conflicts break out, the local BJP leaders swing into action, identifying Muslims as the perpetrators, arresting them and destroying or burning their houses”.
Arfa Khanum Sherwani, a lady with guts sums up the India as it stands today:
Likely impact on Nepal:
Nepal has abundant reasons to get scared what if the “terrified and the persecuted Indian Muslims make their way to Nepal in millions and millions from neighboring Uttar Pradesh,
India wherein the Muslim concentration is high?
Nepal must tighten its belt right now or it would be too late.
The message is loud and clear. That’s all.