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The Growing Fears of Living in India As A Muslim

Updated: Aug 9, 2020

Maliha Khan | Delhi, India

I am currently writing this article, as I fear for my life. I, for now, am unsure about my safety and that of others around me.

Why you may ask? It is because I am a Muslim. I presently live in India’s capital - Delhi. The past few months here have been full of unrest due to the citizenship bill proposed by the Indian government. Excluding Muslims, and leaving thousands of Muslims under the threat of losing their citizenship.

My college being shutdown, the daily protests that started in my college, police brutality, had all become a part of my routine.

But then again, coming from a conflict zone, all these things were a part of my norm. I grew up as the curfews ate the whole Kashmir valley. I heard lullabies along with the slogans of the revolution. However, what I see today scares me.

With the visit of the US President Donald Trump to India in February, violence erupted in certain areas of Delhi. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi dined with Donald Trump, Hindu mobs were killing and beating up Muslims in the same city. The rendezvous of Modi was unaffected by the shootings, lynchings, and killings led by the followers of his ideology – Hindu extremism.

Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images
Muslims are being targeted and beat up; their houses and businesses are being burnt down. The form of brutality that these mobs are carrying out today cannot be called inhumanity or cruelty, but total insanity.
Cheena Kapoor—Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Indian Muslims for years now have been subjected to marginalization at the hands of the Hindu majority and these riots have time and again erupted in different parts of India. Be it 2002 Gujarat Riots during the state government of Narendra Modi- a Hindu nationalist populist, or the 1992-1993 Bombay Riots, Indian Muslims have always been marginalized and targeted by the Hindu majority. Many would call my claim to be groundless and untrue. They would preach the ideals of secularism that have been for long upheld in the Indian constitution. But to me, such a constitution feels void if the citizens don’t practice it.

Even today, at every step an Indian Muslim’s nationalism and loyalty towards the country are questioned solely because of their religious belief. Muslims are a minority in India and the Hindu extremist ideology of the ruling party puts them under a constant threat. Though being equal citizens with equal rights under the constitution; they have to live under fear constantly.

I do not need to say why it is wrong.

Nothing can justify unequal treatment and cruelty towards anyone. Every human deserves to be treated equally respectfully solely because he/she/it is a human. There should be no other requirement to qualify for respectful and equal treatment.

Nothing should take away this basic human right from anyone, not the religion, not the race, not the nationality, not the gender. It is because every human deserves to uphold their rights as humans.

It does not matter what one believes in, where one comes from, what gender one identifies with, it should not be a reason to treat anyone unfairly. I feel like as humans it is our basic obligation to actually “be human” and to treat every other human with basic decency and dignity.

Note from the Editors: The situation in India right now is deeply concerning. We are staying updated with the situation closely, and you can follow along various news sources as they cover this topic here:

The Guardian:

The BBC:

Foreign Policy:

Time Magazine:

TRT News:


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