Rising intolerance against minorities in India matter of concern: Raja Zafar

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ISLAMABAD: Senate House Leader, Raja Zafar-ul-Haq on Thursday said that rising intolerance and extremism against minorities in India, despite its high claims of being the largest democracy, is a matter of concern.

Addressing an international seminar on “Pluralism Vs. Exclusionism, The Case of Rising Extremism in India” that was organized by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) here, he said that violence had escalated not only against Kashmiris but also minorities, including Muslims, Sikhs and Dalits, since Narendra Modi was elected as India’s prime minister.

He said that Modi was also involved in the killing of Muslims in Gujrat when he was the state’s chief minister.

Former Pakistani high commissioner to India, Abdul Basit said that Muslims had limited representation in the Indian Lok Sabha.

“Since Modi became the prime minister, members of the extremist Rashtrya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Bajrang Dal and Shave Seena were perpetrating atrocities against minorities to forcefully convert them into Hindus,” he said.

He also said that if Modi was re-elected as the PM, extremism would rise further.

Other speakers said that religious intolerance, which already existed in the Indian society, had now gradually taken roots in the institutions as well.

They stated that in the recent years, a significant rise in religious and caste-based extremism has polarized the neighbouring country to a great extent, with lower caste Hindus and other minorities being the major victims.

They said that there was a sharp rise in the incidents of cow vigilantism, lynching, molesting and stigmatizing minorities in the name of “love-Jihad”.