Coronavirus is proving to be another excuse to marginalise India’s Muslims

By Samar Halarnkar

Last week, I exited a family WhatsApp group after listening to a particularly inaccurate, agitated and rambling rant—falsely attributed to the steel baron Laxmi Mittal (debunked last year)—about how Hindus have been “humiliated, subjugated and massacred,” how Narendra Modi is relentlessly criticised because he stands up for Hindus; absurd arguments about how secularism isn’t for India (“who the f*** cares if you are a secular state or not, Britain is not a secular state, it is a developed country”); and how we were ruled by “marauders” for 1,000 years.

I used to point out inaccuracies, flag fake news and gently say what I believed about the rule of law, the Constitution and—what I have always considered—India’s compassionate, accommodative way of life. It made no difference to some family bigots. My efforts appear so quaint, naïve, and archaic today.

Angry Hindus are everywhere. I am clearly not one. If I am angry, it is at my fellow Hindus for becoming what they have: insecure, hateful and hypocritical, willing to eagerly receive the slow drip of anti-Muslim poison. That slow drip is becoming a flood, unhindered even by the life-and-death crisis upon us, indeed even encouraged by it.

This story first appeared on qz.com

Related Articles