Muslim Man Beaten Up for Identity Markers in Gurugram

Mohammed Barkat / Image

A 25 year old man named Mohammed Barkat living in Gurugram was allegedly slapped and abused by a group of man for wearing a skull cap.

The man shared his ordeal arguing that while he was returning from a nearby mosque on Saturday, he heard a group of men shout behind his back that skull caps were not allowed in the area. After having said this, the men started to brutally slap him and later resorted to beating him.  They even asked him to chant Bharat Mata Ki Jai and Jai Shri Ram.”

An FIR has been registered in this case and the BJP spokesperson from Gurugram has condemned the act. The accused in this case are yet to be identified but the Gurugram police have assured to take strict action against them.It was last year under the BJP reign that a communal clash between Hindus and Muslims in Bulandshahr led to the death of the SHO of the area.

The fight erupted when some Hindu men saw cow meat in a village in Bulandshahr, they took out processions and lodged a complaint at the local police station. But the situation went out of control and led to communal clash between the two groups (Hindus and Muslims) and while controlling the mob the SHO was shot dead.

Whose mistake did the SHO suffer? How does the cow meat matter? It might not seem to be an issue for a non-Indian but somebody who has lived in India will surely know that cow meat is at the core of Hindu religion and also the locus of many communal riots that took place in the past and the present.

Muslims being a minority in the Hindu majority state of India have been subjected to various forms of atrocities both by the government and people. They are judged as cow meat eaters and therefore they are labelled as the set of people from whom the majority should keep distance.

The state of India has historically expressed intolerance towards the minority group: Muslims in India, with the Hindutva oriented right wing party BJP came to power in 2014 the intolerance has only doubled.

BJP is here again and set to rule the country for another five years although the Prime Minister of the party Narendra Modi has directed the party to deconstruct the entire notion of minority fear, will it happen is still a question mark.

According to the reports of post-Sachar Evaluation Committee Report (2014), the Expert Group on Diversity Index (2008), India Exclusion Report (2013-14), 2011 Census and latest NSSO suggest Indian Muslims are a socio-economically backward community in India with very few Indian Muslims making to the top positions in the country. It was last year when a huge ruckus broke out in Gurugram regarding providing space to the Muslims to perform their Friday namaz. The argument against the prayers of the minorities was that they shouldn’t be allowed to do them in public spaces. They were compelled to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Radhe Radhe’

The prejudices and the stereotypes that exist with regard to the community in India is the only reason for their subjugation.

It takes a while for any non-Muslim in India to trust a fellow Muslim, they are called names and judgements are just a way of life for them.

The root of subjugation of the Muslim community in India lie in the partition history of the country that made two brothering communities, rival groups in today’s time. In exceptional cases the rivalry narrative dissolves as still there is some room for humanity left. But in the past few years especially after 2014 the politicisation of Hindu-Muslim divide has intensified the situation. Now that the right wing BJP is here to rule again, the fear remains: Are the minorities safe in India?

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