Like most tourists in Agra, I visited the Taj Mahal… Several centuries later, that India’s most famous monument is a magnificent example of Islamic art and architecture rankles some in the governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a force for Hindu nationalism that has some rather sharp words for India’s religious minorities. At about 180 million, India’s Muslims would themselves constitute one of the larger countries in the world, but in India, they remain very much a minority, about 14 per cent of the population.
One occasionally hears sniping from the BJP about the Taj Mahal itself, with local BJP officials going so far as to remove it from some tourist guides. A sound-and-light history pageant I attended in nearby Jaipur painstakingly rehearsed a millennium of local history but somehow managed to leave out entirely the emperor of the Taj Mahal, Shah Jahan. Not by accident, I expect.
Muslim monuments and mosques are not a matter of history alone. Consider the case of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya… in 1992 Hindu nationalist fanatics demolished the mosque, setting off lethal riots throughout India. Some 2,000 were killed, most of them Muslim. The matter has been in the courts ever since and this month India’s Supreme Court delivered its resolution.… From a strictly legal point of view, the judgment is astonishing.… The court of law, the court of public opinion, the court of history: In all places, religion in India is in the dock.
- China and India are using the same playbook to trample on their minorities, and the rest of the world is too powerless to stop them – By Alexandra Ma and Ellen Ioanes (Nov 23, 2019, Business Insider)
- Demolition of democratic, secular Constitution, old project of Hindutva gang – By Shamsul Islam (Nov 26, 2019, Sabrang India)
- Not just JNU: How India’s public universities becoming costlier hurts the most vulnerable – By Aranya Shankar, Dipti Nagpaul, Ankita Dwivedi Johri (Dec 1, 2019, Indian Express)
- National security cannot bar adjudication of fundamental rights – Former SC judge Madan Lokur with Arshu John (Nov 29, 2019, The Caravan)