Will Indian Muslims Live and Die for India?

Muslims are now facing a new phase of neglect under the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which formed the government in India in May this year.

By Rakesh Raman

Rakesh Raman
Rakesh Raman

A TV interview, which can only be called a mock show, India’s Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi faced CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Sunday, Sept. 21.

Before we go to the content of the interview, it’s pertinent to mention here that Fareed Zakaria has faced multiple charges of plagiarism (theft of editorial work), which is not only an offense, but a sin in journalism. He was thrown out of the job by TIME and CNN but later reinstated when he admitted and apologized for his wrongdoing.

Obviously, BJP’s decision to handpick Zakaria for Narendra Modi’s interview would raise suspicion about the credibility of the interaction. And as it was expected, the show was a kind of “Modi’s Questions, Modi’s Answers” in which Zakaria acted as a mere mouthpiece.

Among many mundane issues in the interview on the local TV channel CNN-IBN, Modi said that Indian Muslims will live and die for India. He was answering a question related to the recent message by al-Qaeda chief Aymen al-zawahari in which he said that the terrorist group will now target India.

When Modi said al-Qaeda won’t succeed in its attempts to woo Muslims because all Indian Muslims are patriotic, he appeared like a chameleon. Really. I could see the color of his face suddenly changed.

But that’s okay. Politicians are supposed to be liars. And top politicians are supposed to be top liars. Modi is a top politician.


Historically, BJP has been a distinct communal party with excessive affection for Hindus and an overt hate for Muslims.


As Modi said, Muslims in India may be patriots. But when you persecute a patriot, even a patriot would tend to become a traitor. And that has been happening in India under all political rulers.

Muslims are now facing a new phase of neglect under the Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which formed the government in India in May this year. BJP openly calls itself a Hindu party, which is hell-bent to make India a Hindu Rashtra – or a non-Muslim country, though there are nearly 15% Muslims (about 190 million) in India’s population.

Historically, BJP has been a distinct communal party with excessive affection for Hindus and an overt hate for Muslims. An attempt in 1992 by the BJP and its affiliate Hindu groups to demolish the Babri Masjid (a Muslim mosque) in Ayodhya (considered to be the birth place of Hindu God Rama) and create a Rama temple there was one of the cases where BJP showed its aggressive love for Hindus and hate for Muslims. At least, 2,000 people were killed in that melee.


Muslims have always lived in an atmosphere of neglect and fear in India under all Indian governments after the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947.


In order to assuage the hurt feelings of Muslims (rather, Muslim voters) and with the sole objective to win elections, subsequently BJP downplayed the temple issue. However, now after winning the Lok Sabha elections, the building of Rama temple in Ayodhya has again gained priority.

BJP and other Hindu organizations believe that after the elections, Muslims don’t have any role in the country. The construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya is just one of the cases that demonstrates the violent Hindu mindset of BJP and its supporters.

Among the other such incidents, it’s alleged that in the Gujarat riots of 2002, nearly 2,000 Muslims were murdered besides there were incidents of rape, robbery, and widespread destruction of property affecting Muslims.

It was also alleged that the killings were executed at the behest of the new PM Narendra Modi who was then the Chief Minister of Gujarat. Although Indian courts have almost exonerated Modi in this case, most Muslims in India still believe that Modi was responsible for Gujarat massacre.

According to Human Rights Watch, the attacks against Muslims in Gujarat were actively supported by state government officials and by the police. Police told Muslims, “We don’t have any orders to save you.”

As a result, the U.S. administration denied visa to Modi in view of the allegations of human rights violations against him in the 2002 incidents of riots and carnage. But now as he has become the PM of India, Modi is being invited to visit the U.S.


Muslims in India face BJP’s fury because some of the Muslim leaders have been outspoken against the Indian governments, Indian Gods, and particularly the BJP and Narendra Modi.


Muslims have always lived in an atmosphere of neglect and fear in India under all Indian governments after the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. As compared to other religions, most Muslims are living in extreme poverty and a perpetual state of deprivation.

The Rajinder Sachar Committee, appointed in 2005 by the then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, was asked to prepare a report on the social, economic and educational condition of Muslims in India. The report revealed the backwardness of Indian Muslims.

Among its findings, the Sachar Committee report stated that the status of Indian Muslims is below the conditions of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, which are downtrodden communities in India. Plus, it said that the overall percentage of Muslims in bureaucracy in India is just 2.5% whereas Muslims constitute above 14% of Indian population.

BJP is particularly averse to Muslims. This was also evident in the recent Lok Sabha elections. The party had fielded only seven Muslims among its 482 candidates (1.45 per cent) and all of its Muslim candidates were defeated. It is the first time that a ruling party has no Muslims in the Lok Sabha.


The global terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda and ISIS are entering India after the BJP government came to power a few months ago.


As a neglected community, Muslims also fear all governments in India that treat them as refugees. After BJP’s Lok Sabha election victory, The New York Times quoted Zahir Alam, the imam of Bari Masjid, a mosque in East Delhi in India, who said, “Fear is a basic part of politics, and it’s actually how politicians gain respect, but for us fear also comes from the general public. The meaning of minority has never been clearer than it is today.”

Since BJP has the compulsions to play vote-bank politics to keep Muslim voters with it, the party cannot afford to antagonize Muslims openly. However, it has unleashed its associated belligerent Hindu groups to intimidate Muslims at every possible opportunity.

Muslims in India face BJP’s fury because some of the Muslim leaders have been outspoken against the Indian governments, Indian Gods, and particularly the BJP and Narendra Modi.

A couple years ago, Akbaruddin Owaisi, a Muslim Indian politician based in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, held large public meetings attended by thousands of Muslims in India.

Owaisi spoke openly against Hindus, Hindu deities, BJP’s parent outfit Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishva Hindu Parishad, BJP, and Narendra Modi, saying they are working against the interests of Muslims in India.


The terrorists are coming to India with the promise to save Muslims from the communal and oppressive Indian regime.


Other minorities like Christians and Sikhs are not quite vocal. So, BJP has not yet targeted them. However, there has always been a clear animosity between Hindu political outfits and Muslims in India.

There are many reasons for this politically projected hate among the two communities. For example, there have been multiple cases in the past when Pakistan – a Muslim nation – has been accused of terrorism in India.

These include Mumbai bombings that Dawood Ibrahim allegedly organized and financed. And now Indian governments believe that he is being harbored and protected by the Pakistan government.

The 2008 Mumbai terror attacks are believed to be the handiwork of Muslim terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba, which has support from Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI, it’s believed.

Earlier, the attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001 was stated to be carried out by Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists. Indian side also alleges constant infiltration of militants from Pakistan in the Indian territory.


Only a handful of affluent Muslims or those who are part of the mainstream politics are tolerated in India. Others are considered a burden on the Indian economic and social systems.


It’s largely reported that terrorism is being executed with the help of Muslim outfits that reside in India or in Pakistan. And most acts of terrorism in India are blamed on Muslims. Obviously, Muslims are treated as enemies of Hindus (or Indians).

In general, only a handful of affluent Muslims or those who are part of the mainstream politics are tolerated in India. Others are considered a burden on the Indian economic and social systems. Then how do you expect Muslims to be patriotic for India, as Modi stated?

As Muslims are feeling more oppressed under Modi-led BJP government, the terror outfits such as al-Qaeda have become more active in India. Now even the ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) – a more violent terror group – has begun its campaign in India. Of late, members of ISIS were seen carrying ISIS flags in Kashmir, which is a disputed territory between India and Pakistan.

Although there are nearly 40 small- and medium-sized terrorist groups operating in different parts of India, the global terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda and ISIS are entering India after the BJP government came to power a few months ago.

These terrorists are coming to India with the promise to save Muslims from the communal and oppressive Indian regime. Obviously, Muslims in India would welcome their saviors with open arms. Then how do you expect them to be patriotic for India?

If Modi still feels that Muslims are loyal to India, he’s lying big time. When Modi said Indian Muslims will live and die for India, he told half truth. In fact, Muslims are not living with respect in India. But they are virtually dying in India under the persecution of successive Hindu governments. And that’s the full truth.

By Rakesh Raman, the managing editor of RMN Company

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Rakesh Raman