Public Comment

BLM Offers Lessons to Indian Police

Jagjit Singh
Saturday August 01, 2020 - 03:30:00 PM

The Black Live Matter movement is gaining resonance in many of the minority communities around the world.

In Israel BLM has reenergized Palestinians, “Palestinian Lives Matter” are ubiquitous banners seen in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The horrific murder of George Floyd has renewed demands for ISRAEL GET YOUR LEG OFF PALESTINIAN NECKS!

In India police violence against Muslim minorities following the highly unpopular “Citzenship Law” created deep hostiles and mistrust. Disturbing accounts had emerged of gross mistreatment by police and state officials in the town of Nagina. Police chased young teenagers ranging in age from 13 to 17 and brutally tortured them. According to two of the boys, the officers laughed during beatings, saying, “You will die in this prison.” Witnesses said that police officers opened fire on demonstrators with live ammunition, broke into houses, stole money, and threatened to rape women. 

The BBC aired footage showing police officers knocking down security cameras in a Muslim neighborhood and shattering the windows of parked cars. Although these incidents occurred a year ago the situation has become worse with the pandemic as hundreds of poor low caste Hindus and Muslims flee to their villages often beaten mercilessly by police. 

Harsh Mander, a human rights activist visited homes resembling “wastelands,” where the police have become a lunch mob. Much like the US, none of the police officers were charged and continue to act with complete immunity buffeted by the right wing Modi government which seems to be in lockstep with President Trump.  

The overt discrimination towards Muslims threatens the very foundation of India as a secular and tolerant nation. This is extremely distressing for a nation which often boasts of its spiritual heritage. Donning religious garbs and chanting from scriptures is a waste of time if we do not imbibe the spiritual jewels into our everyday behavior to make as us kinder, gentler, honest and more compassionate people. Sadly, I have never come across an Indian family which has been not been fractured by financial entanglements rooted in dishonesty. 

Lashing out against minorities and committing egregious acts of violence only demeans us. 

The police have emphasized the need to preserve order and protect innocent people against “radical groups” with “deep-rooted conspiracies” to commit violent acts. Sounds familiar? President Trump would be so proud! 

If we really wish to bring honor and respect to Hinduism we should dismantle the unjust and cruel caste system. God did not give life to his most vulnerable people to be reviled and abused. Finally, let us remember the incredible life of African-American Rep. John Lewis who demonstrated enormous courage in advancing the cause of justice. 

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