〒180-0006 東京都武蔵野市中町2-3-5 IIHA武蔵野1階
Dear MEL Topic Readers,
India’s Hindu extremists are calling for genocide against Muslims. Why is little being done to stop them?
Approximately 80% of the population of India, the world’s most populous country, are Hindus. And the Bharatiya Janata Party, BJP, a right-wing, Hindu nationalist party has been the ruling party since 2014. What is life like for religious minorities to live in a country that is governed by elected conservative religious nationalists? One electoral strategy for such a party is to create religious tension and polarization to consolidate the Hindu vote. In short, attack religious minorities, particularly Muslims. In fact, India’s parliament passed a law to exempt Islam immigrants from three neighboring countries to obtain citizenship. Recently, more apparently and even openly offending hate speeches are seen in India even though they are prohibited. Though the sheer number of the Muslim population is huge, around 200 million, they consist only less than 15% of the population of the democratic state. This means their voices will scarcely be heard and their rights and lives are in constant danger. In fact, there were even calls for violence against Muslims by conservative religious leaders but they are rarely charged, or reluctantly if they are.
Hate speech often precedes hate crimes. In two years’ time, there will be another general election in India, and democracy favors the majority. And the majority of the voters are Hindus. There are about 200 million Muslims in powerful India and 150 million in poor Bangladesh. The former represents only 15% of the nation’s population and the latter does nearly 97%. How they are treated in their respective country seems very different despite their economic potentials.
Read the article and think about the mechanism of democracy and religion.