In India, the otherization of Muslims mines citizenship at the foundations: of exclusion, excesses and abdication – By Aiman Khan and Madhur Bharatiya

The passing of the CAA by the Parliament, and the preceding and consequent actions of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, cannot be observed in isolation. In recent times, executive action (which also includes inaction) and exclusionary legislations have gone largely unchecked by the judiciary. Cumulatively, this has ensured a targeted social reorganizing on the ground to propagate anti-Muslim rhetoric while granting complete impunity to the active participants.

Since 2014, the otherizing of the Muslim body has been carried out to a large extent under the name of cow protection.… An extensive study carried out by IndiaSpend shows that 84% of the individuals who have died in cow-related violence are Muslims, and that these attacks, which the study refers to as “cow terrorism,” were higher in number in BJP ruled states. The study has also noted that 97% of these attacks were carried out after 2014. During its second term, the strategy of the government under the tenure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has focused on sanctioning exclusion and criminalization of the Muslim community through the law.

In the light of Covid-19 lockdown in India, national media houses and some political leaders have been actively involved in vilification of Muslims and labelling them as the carriers of coronavirus. Over the last few years, fueling Islamophobia in people’s minds has resulted in an otherization that is such that even in a pandemic Muslims in India have been villainized and discriminated against. This discrimination includes the denial of health services and an economic boycott in several places.

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