“Living in Fear: Indian Minorities Unjustly Excluded from Republic Day Celebrations Despite Constitutional Protections”.

Indian minorities do not feel any excitement for Republic Day due to the lack of recognition of their rights in the Indian Constitution. Reports from the Mumbai-based Centre for Study of Society and Secularism and the UK-based Minority Rights Group International suggest that minorities are facing hate crimes, such as lynching and forced conversions. In response, the United Liberation Front of Assam-Independent (ULFA-I) and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K) issued a joint statement calling for a “total shutdown” on Republic Day. As a result, ethnic and religious minorities feel unsafe in a country where Hindu extremists are attempting to establish a Hindu Rashtra. The Naxalbari movement might even lead to a breakup of India into a variety of states.

But today’s India is anything but a secular state. RSS/BJP has embarked on an arduous journey to make India a Hindu Rashtra where Hindus will be superior and non-Hindus will have no place; its practical reflection can be seen in today’s India. India once again built a false narrative of a strong union through Republic Day celebrations. However, the Indian union is fake and historically made of coercion, annexation, and false promise. Indian minorities saw their future in separate homelands as an impeding outcome of a pseudo-republic.

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“Religious Minorities Under Siege: Unraveling the Fascist Mask of Narendra Modi’s Regime”.

Since the BJP, led by Narendra Modi, assumed power in 2014, religious minorities have experienced the worst kind of persecution. The Modi government has left no stone unturned to bring about India’s transformation into a Hindu Rashtra, disregarding the Constitutional obligation enshrined in Article 25 (1), which stipulates equal rights for all persons to practice, profess, and propagate religion. By disregarding the concerns of minorities including Muslims, Christians, and Sikhs, who have been subjected to unfair treatment in regard to their rights to food, clothing, marriage, and places for worship, their efforts to maintain India’s secular character have proven fruitless. This has exposed the ultra-nationalistic and oppressive nature of Modi’s administration.

In June 1984, Indian Army attacked the familiar Golden Temple along with 41 other gurdwaras of the Sikh community all across the Indian Punjab. This assault was codenamed “Operation Blue Star” and this marked the beginning of gross violations of Human Rights. This operation was marked by Sikh leaders as the genocide of the Sikh community. They are still wounded by the thought that their leader was killed in this operation. The Indian government had imposed draconian media censorship to hide the gruesome war crimes against Sikhs during ‘Operation Blue Star’ by their Army. 

Post this gruesome incident, 20,000 Sikh families fearing for their life migrated out from India. Many of them resigned from their jobs and returned medals they had received from the Indian authorities as a protest against the attack on Golden Temple. These historical moves were always deliberate in nature whether it was the Golden temple or Babri Masjid, whether it was Sikhs or Muslims. Perturbed by demands of the Khalistan referendum, the Indian establishment, using RAW and other tools working on a deliberate plan to repeat the episode of Operation Blue Star. In such circumstances possibility of India using the Army to oppress the Sikh’s peaceful struggle cannot be ruled out. Sikhs need to be aware of Indian machinations and the world community must take notice of Indian high-handedness. 

Indian political leadership has built up a case against ‘Sikh for Justice’ and other pro-Khalistan set-ups abroad. “India is using its discredited media to establish a link between the Khalistan movement with Pakistan. Indian history is full of such false flag operations. On the pretext of Khalistan separatism, India might use security forces to break the will of those having dissenting views with New Delhi.

India invites FM Bilawal for Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meeting: reports

India has invited Pakistan’s foreign minister to a meeting of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) that it is hosting in May, Indian media reported on Wednesday, signalling a possible thaw in relations between the nuclear-armed rivals.

The invitation came days after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif called for talks with India over all outstanding issues, including India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), before clarifying that talks cannot take place until the “illegal actions of August 5, 2019” are reversed.

Just a month ago, there were street protests in India over Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s remarks calling Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi the “butcher of Gujarat” on the sidelines of the United Nations Security Council meeting. India called Bilawal’s comments “uncivilised”.

Foreign ministry spokespersons for the two countries did not immediately respond to requests from Reuters for comment on the media reports that Bilawal had been invited to the SCO foreign ministers meeting being hosted in Goa.

According to the Indian Express newspaper, the invitation from Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has been delivered by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. It added that the “dates being looked at, as of now, are May 4 and 5”.

If Pakistan accepts, Bilawal would be its first foreign minister to visit India after a gap of nearly 12 years. The last foreign minister to visit India was Hina Rabbani Khar in July 2011, Indian Express said.

The SCO comprises Pakistan, China, India, Russia and Kyrgyzstan, as well as Central Asian countries with whom Pakistan has recently been strengthening foreign ties — namely KazakhstanTajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The newspaper also reported an Indian “top official” saying: “In keeping with its ‘Neighbourhood First Policy’, India desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan. India’s consistent position is that issues, if any, between India and Pakistan should be resolved bilaterally and peacefully, in an atmosphere free of terror and violence.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from British rule in 1947. The divided Himalayan region of IIOJK was the root cause of two of those wars.

Tensions flared again in late 2019 when India unilaterally revoked the autonomous status of occupied Kashmir. Shehbaz said New Delhi’s actions resulted in “flagrant” human rights violations.

https://www.dawn.com/news/card/1137291

Official talks between the two countries have been suspended since then, though there have been some attempts to resume negotiations through backdoor diplomacy.