Pir Mohammad Molazehi in an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations on the clashes between Hindus and Muslims in Delhi, in which 23 people were killed and hundreds were injured, said: “If we look back at the developments of 1947, on the eve of Indian Subcontinent independence from British colonialism we will see that the British at that time pursued a policy which was known as “Divide and Rule.”
He added: “There are about 200 kinds of local languages and cultures in India. At that time, this division based on religion created contradictions in the homogeneous society of the time. As a result extremist groups came into being and began attacking Muslims.
Molazehi added: The British aim at that time was to prevent the independence of India, but at a time when Hindu and Muslim leaders were working together, the conflicts diminished at certain junctures; but in 1947 massive population displacement occurred and since then two lines of thinking were created among Muslims with one group calling for a Muslim state and another believed in coexistence.
The analyst noted: In the current situation, the far-right religious party is in power with the slogan that we want to build a Hindu state with no place for non-Hindus to live in peace. This is while 200 million Muslims live in India.
Referring to the adoption of “Citizenship Act”, which allows those who hold Indian citizenship before 1947 to live in India, he added: “The law has received serious Muslim backlash which has led to protests and clashes.” Until recently, police had firmly prevented extremist violence, but reports have recently shown that police have not responded seriously to attacks on mosques and Muslim housing centres.
Increased Risk of Serious Conflict and Killing
The regional affairs expert added the fact that government forces are not acting responsibly and that they are bystanders has increased the risk of serious conflicts and massacre between the two sides because Muslims will have to defend themselves and under these conditions, the most harm will be dome to the minority group, namely Muslims.
Influence of Hardline Hindus on Security Apparatus
Concerning the goals of the Indian police forces in their indifference and inaction towards violence against Indian Muslims, he said: “Hindus are generally in control of the Indian police and security forces and the problem is that radical Hindu groups have infiltrated the security and police organizations.
He emphasized that the general policy of the Indian government was not to stir up the country, but that some of the security forces did not respond appropriately to the violence because of the influence of extremist Hindu groups.
Questioning India’s Reputation Worldwide
Molazehi cited some of the ruling party’s policies in India and said: the BJP is the main defendant and encourages extremist groups to put Muslims under pressure. But from the standpoint of the ruling establishment, these violence and killings undermine India’s credibility the world over and raise serious questions about the state of democracy in the country. India is said to be the largest democracy in the world.”
Violence Not in India’s Interest
“These acts of violence are not desirable for India’s sovereignty but they still compromise with extremist groups, which is completely against the law,” Molazehi said. In particular, the situation in Kashmir has become more acute than in the past, and this has exacerbated the violence.
On the prospect of continued violence against Muslims in India, he reiterated: “Unfortunately, as long as the BJP is in power the violence will continue in India. But the outlook of the other parties is different and if they win the election they will certainly change their policies and the police and security forces will stop the violence.