Indian Muslims feel insecure under Modi

Aloor Shanavas

A visiting youth activist from the Indian subcontinent said here on Tuesday that there is a strong feeling of insecurity among the Muslim community in India under the premiership of Narendra Modi.

Aloor Shanavas from Tamil Nadu, a well-known script writer and prominent activist in India, expressed these sentiments to Arab News during his visit to Riyadh.
Shanavas has written six books and directed three film documentaries to highlight the social problems in the country.

The events of 1990s — anti-Muslim violence such as the destruction of the Babri Masjid and the Mumbai riots, the anti-dalit violence mainly in Kodiyankulam and Thinniyam, and atrocities like burning alive of a Christian priest and his young children — greatly affected Shanavas. He realized the importance of fighting for the cause of minority communities and the oppressed and marginalized people. He became the voice of the voiceless through his writings, speeches and the visual media.

His compilation of poems entitled ‘Thottaakkal,’ dealing with the Gujarat genocide 2002, spread huge shockwaves in the Tamil milieu. Shanawaz has participated in a lot of programs in several TV channels from 2003 to 2006.

After the reports of committees headed by Justice Sachar and Justice Ranganath Misra, whose findings showed that Indian Muslims lagged behind even the Dalits in the fields of employment and power — were released, Shanavas directed and released a full-length documentary ‘Pirappurimi’ (birth right) highlighting the need for special reservation for Muslims. At a function held in Chennai on May 27, 2006 Parithi Ilamvazhudhi, the then Minister for Information released the documentary.

“Our Muslims have still not forgotten the massacre of their brethren in Gujarat for which Modi was largely responsible. Nearly 2,000 Muslims were killed in this genocide,” he said, adding that is the reason they are in a dilemma as to what will become of the community following Modi’s premiership.

However, he added that there can be a change in Modi’s attitude after the premiership. “It is yet to be seen,” he added.

He lamented as to why the voice of this massacre of Muslims in Gujarat was not heard. He stressed that the Muslim lobbying was not as strong as the propaganda for the killers. He said the Indian Muslims youths have a greater role to voice their opinion on matters affecting their community.

Although Modi won the majority of electoral seats in the last elections, only 30 percent of the voters were for him while the remaining 70 percent was against him.

He propagated the idea of Muslims co-existing peacefully with other communities in India. But he insisted that Muslims should be given their share in the government’s allocation of jobs and other facilities entitled for the minority community.

Shanavas has traveled to Sri Lanka, Qatar, Malaysia, Kuwait and Penang and addressed literary and social seminars. On Friday, he is slated to address his community members in a city hotel in the capital.





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