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“The Parameters Of Surviving In This Country As A Muslim Are So Low”

Remember, Remember?

The 15th of December!

I can’t bring myself to write about the terrorism and brutalities the Delhi and UP police did and continues to do without going through a mental breakdown. Using this lockdown as an opportunity, the Government of India has resorted to targeting the voices that are educated enough to counter their false statement.

Political Art expression
Graffiti at Jamia Millia Islamia

The voices that are bold enough to slap their ministers discriminating based on religion, the voices that scream and the world is compelled to hear every single word. India has become a parody account of democracy. Students/Activists from Delhi, UP, and other parts of India have been cunningly framed as riot instigators and are booked or jailed under false and obnoxious pretenses.

CAA Is An Attack On India

Theirs is a fight to secure power and ours is to secure justice. The CAA is not just an attack on the idea of India but it is an attack on Muslims. People who sat on the road blocking the national highway that connects three states didn’t want to engage in their idea of secularism-communalism binary rather they wanted the movement to go and their voices are heard as of how an unconstitutional bill was passed overnight in Lok Sabha which only invited refugees who are Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, and Christian.

It basically says Muslims are not welcome and this again is the violation of the citizenship act which was never based on a religion but is a collective commitment to equality, liberty, and justice to all. People came on roads because this amendment alters who we are as a country. It categorizes Muslims as second-class citizens and makes room for discrimination in other areas of governance and public space.

Democracy proffer a contrivance for the ruled to keep a check on the rulers and to dissent in an informed and reasoned manner. The people in power have always been callous vis-a-vis without conceding that the other Indian’s entitlements are being violated and the violated has often been bludgeoned into passivity.

What ails Indian democracy is that the passive does not choose to show dissent more often and when they do, like the students of various universities, the outcome is even more tragic than the tragedy that set off the unrest, to begin with; to wit the regions that had chronicle that state is the first agent of violence since December 15, 2019, to present date.

The Suppression Of Dissent

The parameters for surviving in this country as a Muslim are so low. Sedition, UAPA, and NSA have become a standard for crushing the voices who speak against this oppressive regime. Our lives have turned into a survival strategy. Every Muslim youth who has been fighting against the government’s anti-Muslim, anti minorities agenda is a potential threat to national security in the eyes of the state.

All the cases booked are against a Muslim voice only. This is no coincidence. This fight is indeed between Muslims and the state. The identity is in question. The arrest and custodial torture of activist Mr. Sonu Warsi from Shaheen Bagh is another example of the socialist, secular, democratic, republic that India is.

I am reminded of Mr. Sonu Warsi, of all the times he achingly spoke about the condition of Muslims in India, of every meeting we had to combat CAA/NRC/NPR, of the charges he’s been slapped with just for being vocal unapologetic Muslim, of the fact that he was in jail for 2 days. The state cannot even bear to see our version out in public. So fragile is our great state that even after nationwide lockdown they are framing Muslims under false charges. It is just a matter of time and luck they come for you and me.

By definition, democracy affords space for grievances to be redressed. Any space where dialogue between the governor and the governed has ceased relinquishes the right to be called a democracy. And we won’t be the first Muslim youths to be sent to jail for dissenting on false charges. The lives of countless Muslim youths have had been criminalized by the state before us. There would be a minute difference this time. We’ll go as fighters and not victims.

Thank you,

A fearless citizen,

Syed Rafat Jahan

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