Among the myriad of headlines in India about various issues, hate crimes against Muslims seem to be increasing and becoming regularized in society and news headlines.
Yet Another Hate Crime
The most recent and tragic event of hate crime against a man because of his religious views occurred a couple of days ago. The crime is clearly religion-based, considering the attacker in the video sends a warning against “Love Jihad.” The idea of the concept is that Muslim men “lure” Hindu women into marrying them, in order to increase the number of Hindu-to-Muslim conversions. There have been few cases where this may have been proven, but it most definitely does not justify hate crimes against the entire community itself.
The attacker is heard saying in Hindi, “You jihadis, this is the fate that awaits you. Stop ‘love jihad’ in India, or else you will meet the fate of this man.”
The shameless attacker then continues to cover the man, Mohammed Bhatta Sheikh, with petrol and light his body on fire in the video. What’s even more disturbing is the man’s influence on a 14-year-old child who knows no better, who actually recorded the entire event. The attacker has been arrested and will hopefully face severe charges. Sadly, this is not a rare type of crime in India.
It’s impossible to put into words how the deep and uncalled for hatred against innocent members of society affects the rest of society who see events like this occur almost daily and feel helpless without the help of the government to take effective actions.
It’s Only Getting Worse
Harsh Mander, an activist believes India is facing a “growing climate of hate.” He continues to express,
“We have a political leadership now in the country that has created an environment which is permissive of acting out hate speeches and hate actions. Lynching of this kind is a growing phenomenon in many parts of the country.”
There’s an ever-growing need for the government to take actions against these types of hate crimes, and do something to prevent them from even happening in the first place. The first step is to raise awareness about misconceptions of Islam, and the idea of “love jihad,” to help encourage rational thinking and stop unnecessary hate crimes.
Let’s all hope the family gets the justice they deserve, and the maniacal, irrational, uneducated, heartless, and downright disgusting attackers like Shambhu Nath Raigar face the necessary penalties for committing these crimes. No family should ever have to watch a video and hear the cries of their loved one begging for help while being brutally beaten up and killed for absolutely no reason.