Let’s Tell Our Muslim Citizens The Truth, They Are Not Free

Posted by The Girl with the Loudspeaker in Society
February 23, 2017

After reading a reply to a question on Quora about how Indian Muslims fare better than Muslims in other countries, I was a little intrigued. After talking to a few friends, I realised that the answer given on that thread was a superficial lie, which could be shattered with a little research and insight.

The answer showed that Indian Muslims had the freedom to pray, to travel, and live their life free, just like the Hindus. I use Hindus because they make up the majority population in the country and the comparison with Christians and other religious groups would not be fair.

The Indian courts have repeatedly said that noise pollution is unacceptable. Let’s see who faces the brunt of this order. It’s the mosques who use loudspeakers to give azaan (a prayer). While making noise in a baraat (wedding procession) and bursting loud firecrackers on Diwali doesn’t seem to be a problem (it also causes air pollution), the loudspeakers giving calls for prayers seem like noise pollution to the people? What is this, if not religious discrimination? There are blaring loudspeakers used in gurudwaras. Let’s not even start when there is a katha (story of Rama or Krishna) going on in a household for which they use such loudspeakers which may burst your eardrums. Or the loudspeakers used on Bada Mangal or Durga Puja.

I’ve witnessed this happening and am forced to raise a question. How do you say Muslims enjoy the same religious freedom as other people in this country when you don’t even allow them to call their people for prayers?

If one has seen Jolly LLB 2, one would have seen how a Muslim is made a scapegoat and killed just so an officer could make money and get promotions. Muslims are made scapegoats in reality as well. I am not making these claims in the air, there is data by National Crime Records Bureau which says exactly this.

A report from The Indian Express from 2016 highlighted how the only place Muslims are overly represented are jails. Everywhere else, compared to their population, they are under-represented.

According to the 2011 census, around 14.2% of the Indian population consists of Muslims. National Crime Records Bureau report says that 21% of the Muslims in India are in jail. They are either convicted or are undertrials or detained. In states like Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, the National Crime Records Bureau report states that the percentage of Muslims in jails is thrice their percentage in the population. For example, the total Muslims in the population make up 11.2% in Maharashtra, whereas in jails, the total occupancy is 30%!

I have heard people use the word katwa (a slang used to indicate the Muslim practice of circumcision) for Muslims. I have heard people call them Pakistani or Jihadi. Muslims in India cannot support the Pakistan cricket team because they know that they will face very strong repercussions. Honestly, at a point of time Pakistan had a better team than India. Their record against India is also better. If a Hindu supported Pakistan, people would not have an issue. The moment you find a Muslim supporting that team, it is “go back to Pakistan” for them. I have personally supported West Indies when they played against India. I’ve never been taken to task or been discriminated against. Why is it that we cannot grant the same freedom to the Muslims?

This is just the beginning of how we discriminate against Muslims on a day to day basis. A very small example of how we behave with our own countrymen. This should make us feel ashamed, very ashamed.

One man was lynched in Dadri based on rumours that he had beef in his house. We Indians have taken the lives of Muslims because of what they eat. We call them names and we shame them for being circumcised. If we cannot grant them small freedoms which we enjoy on a daily basis, at least let’s not lie to them saying that they’ve been given that freedom. Let’s tell them that they are not our equals. We will never do that, however. That’s because living a lie and pretending to be good and tolerant is so much easier.