New Delhi: Amid the ongoing row over controversial remarks on Prophet Mohammad (SAW), the CPI(M) on Thursday said the “Nupur Sharma episode” has shown that the “Hindutva agenda” of the government and that of BJP is now under international scrutiny.
The latest edition of party mouthpiece People’s Democracy has alleged that the BJP government has been presiding over a “systematic anti-Muslim campaign” and whipping up Islamophobia.
The BJP-led government at the Centre has faced strong diplomatic backlash from most of the Muslim countries, including the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, Malaysia and Turkey, after Sharma, a former national spokesperson of the party, made controversial remarks against the Prophet (SAW).
The Left party alleged that while within the country, the authorities came down with a heavy hand on the protests in Kanpur and scores of Muslims were arrested under the National Security Act, it was when the Qatar government summoned the Indian ambassador on June 5, followed by Kuwait and other Gulf states, the BJP suspended Sharma and expelled its Delhi media unit head Naveen Jindal from the party.
“The government, through its ambassador in Qatar, declared that the offensive remarks do not reflect the views of the government but that of ‘fringe elements’. The hypocrisy of this statement is glaring. By dubbing official spokesperson of the ruling party as ‘fringe elements’, the party self-condemned itself. It has confirmed that it is ‘he ‘fringe elements’ who are the mainstream of the party.
“In reality, Islamophobia is intrinsic to the BJP’s declared Hindutva ideology. Anti-Muslim rhetoric is part of the official stand of the BJP…,” the editorial stated.
The editorial also highlighted the statement of the Secretariat of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which has 57 countries as members, which stated that remarks by the spokesperson of the ruling party was part of the growing spate of hatred and defamation of Islam and systematic practices against Indian Muslims, particularly in the light of a set of decisions to prohibit the use of hijab in educational institutions in some Indian states, including demolition of Muslims’ properties and growing violence against them .
“It is not enough for the Modi government to say that it respects all religions, it has to assure the country and the world that Muslims will be treated as equal citizens in all respects and any anti-Muslim activities will be curbed by law.
“Not stating so categorically means that the BJP and the government are only biding for time for the diplomatic storm to die down before getting back to its business of baiting the Muslims. But as the Nupur Sharma episode shows, the Hindutva agenda of the Modi government and the BJP is coming increasingly under international scrutiny. The Vishwaguru is being seen in a darker and sinister light by the world,” the editorial said.