“This is the most painful Eid with the worst memories for Indian Muslims,” remarked Mohammad Habeeb ur Rehman to the Associated Press.
His comment was in light of the overall hatred and violence that Muslims in India have been facing under Hindutva-ruled India.
In general, the country is facing a problem with communal violence. Let’s look at what’s transpired from Eid until now.
On April 17, 16 people were arrested in New Delhi as a result of clashes between Hindus and Muslims that took place during a Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of the Hindu god Hanuman.
Following those clashes, authorities in New Delhi destroyed Muslim-owned shops with bulldozers. The Supreme Court then ordered a halting of the demolitions. Nonetheless, the AP reports that authorities continued with destruction of property for an hour after the order. This included demolition of the entrance and the stairs leading to a mosque.
A week before that (April 10), Hindu mobs terrorized Muslim neighborhoods in the city of Khargone in Madhya Pradesh, during a Hindu celebration of the birthday of Lord Ram [Ram Navami Festival]. Both sides then began throwing stones.
According to the AP:
“On April 10, a number of people were injured after anti-Muslim songs were blared through speakers during a procession to mark the birth of the Hindu god Ram in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, local media reported.”
Violence also ensued in three other states, Gujarat, West Bengal, Jharkhand where Ram Navami was also being celebrated.
The next day, authorities bulldozed around 45 buildings around Khargone, with most (though not all) belonging to Muslims. The authorities claim the buildings were illegal.
— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) April 29, 2022
This destroyed the livelihood of some residents, two of whom The Indian Express quotes as describing:
Rafeek Mohammad, 50: “‘I do not support the rioters and I want them to be arrested but why was my shop demolished today? How will I sustain my family of 17 now? Will the CM explain?’”
Narendra Sureshchand Gupta: “I had taken the shop on rent from the masjid committee authority, and no notice was given to us. Had the committee got the notice, they would have told us. We learnt about the demolition an hour before they brought in the bulldozers. Since I live nearby, I rushed in and, with help from others, managed to take out whatever I could.’”
This spurred the issuing of a curfew on May 2-3 (with a relaxing of it for some hours on May2), requiring that Eid prayers be made at home on May 3, when Indian Muslims celebrated Eid.
Some locals had also decided to partake in an economic boycott of Muslims.
With the support of BJP-led Madhya Pradesh Govt and Khargone district administration, institutional boycotting of Muslims underway in Khargone post April 10 riot.
Instead to holding such people accountable, official breaking every rule of the law book.https://t.co/tCwYb8osqz
— काश/if Kakvi (@KashifKakvi) April 29, 2022
Things do not appear to be looking up for Muslims in India, and BJP rule and overall popularity remains strong.
Let us remain conscious of Indian Muslims’ struggles and of the dangers posed by Hindutva, and let us keep our brothers and sisters in India in our dua.