The primary religion of India is Hinduism. Muslims are a minority in our country. As a religion, Hinduism is conservative and the propagators are fundamentalists in nature. Still Hinduism is a tolerant religion that has coexisted with the Muslim minorities of our country for many years. The first seeds of the anti-Muslim feelings were sown undoubtedly during the riots of 1946, which ultimately led to the partition of India. Hindus were evicted from the erstwhile Bangladesh, where they had a prosperous life, only to be turned into hapless refugees overnight who took shelter in different parts of present India especially in the present state of West Bengal. It comes as no surprise that the evicted Hindu refugees and the riot-stricken Hindus of Kolkata would bear an almost killing grudge towards the Muslims. However, practically most of this generation is past now, and fortunately their siblings were not contaminated with this intense feeling of hatred.

However, the peaceful coexistence of the Hindus and Muslims in India has been jeopardized once again in the last decade when the world was hit by a new wave of atrocity, “Islamic jihad”, a fancy name given to terrorist activities in different parts of the world killing innocent people in the name of religion. India was torn apart during the last decade (2000-2010) by random and scattered acts of terrorism of the Islamic jihadis killing many innocent people. Starting with the attack on the Parliament, a blast near the Army camp in Jammu, the bomb blast in the German Bakery in Pune and to top it all the sheer barbarism of the 26/11 attack on the Taj Hotel in Mumbai leaves no doubt that India has become a prime target for the Islamic terrorists. Such terrorist and disruptive activities have created an atmosphere of terror and along with the loss of countless innocent lives, society has been thoroughly debased. Since Muslims are responsible for most of all the terrorist activities all around the world, it was eventual that the highly dubious and the wrong propaganda slogan, “All Muslims are terrorists”, would come into existence. For many Indians now, a Muslim is the face of malicious and senseless evil. This has further degraded the Hindu Muslim relationship thus fuelling anti-Islamic feelings all over the country. The Gujarat violence of 2002 is just another incident that reaffirms the fact that anti-Muslim feelings are indeed very strong now.

The government itself has not been just to the Muslim minorities, being completely deviated from its constitutional duties. Whenever there is an act of terrorism it is automatically assumed that Muslims are associated with it. Even the investigating agencies blindly arrest and torture innocent Muslims while the actual perpetrators get away scot-free. Even the media has been engaged in the communal demonization of the Muslims.

The Muslim community in general is in a state of total despair, being victims of police atrocities and communal violence like the Gujarat incident of 2002. India is a democratic country, but no democracy is worth its salt if it cannot protect its minorities. The Muslims are being victimized and cornered as a direct result of the disruptive activities of the Islamic jihadis, a handful of mad men senselessly killing in the name of religion. The Hindu-Muslim relationship is degrading day by day. The volatile conditions of another 1946 bloodshed will be imminent if the Muslim masses are pushed too far and I would not be surprised if the Muslims draw the first blood this time!

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