SINCE the day it came into existence, the extremist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has been advocating the rights of the Hindus over everyone else in India. Even Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was not spared by the RSS due to his policy of non-violence towards the Muslims.

It is rather sad that while historical mosques are being razed in India and replaced by temples, Arab countries, like, say, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), are constructing new temples, with the Indian prime minister personally present at the inauguration ceremony, as can be seen in the accompanying image. With their deep economic ties with India, the Arabs are in a position to put pressure on India to change its behaviour towards its Muslim minority.

Saudi Arabia is India’s fourth-largest trading partner with bilateral trade worth $84.84 billion, while the UAE is next with $52.76 billion. They should use this economic leverage to force the Indian government to change its exclusionary and hostile attitude towards its Muslim population.

Qatar recently gave India a scare by prosecuting eight of its naval officers on a charge of spying for Israel. That gave India a massive diplomatic headache. There is every reason to believe that diplomatic and economic pressure from Arab countries will force India to mend its ways with regard to its treatment of its Muslim minority. What are the Arab countries waiting for?

Mikaael Ahmad
Muzaffarabad

Published in Dawn, April 18th, 2024

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