Shabnam Hashmi returns award to protest against mob violence against Muslims; says National Commission of Minorities has ‘lost all credibility’

Shabnam Hashmi at the NCM office

By Staff Reporter

One of India’s most well-known activists and human rights campaigner Shabnam Hashmi today returned the National Minority Rights Award conferred to her in 2008 by the National Commission for Minorities.

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“I am returning it in the memory of the innumerable innocent victims lynched by marauding mobs. Mob Lynching of Muslims and Islamophobia have taken over India. Even before the community can mourn its dead, the next incidents takes place. There is an atmosphere of fear and terror. Under the present Government, the marginalization of minority groups has become the norm,” Hashmi said in a press release.

Shabnam Hashmi at the NCM office

Hashmi said that the design of turning India into a Hindu Rashtra, “which began decades ago with calling Muslims dirty, having too many children and being illiterate moved on to excluding them from residential spaces, targeting them as terrorists,” has now reached its pinnacle where all public spaces and all means of livelihood are becoming unsafe for the Muslim community. Hashmi was referring to the recent murders of 16-year-Junaid in Ballabhgarh, Jharkhand and the lynching of Pahlu Khan in Alwar, Rajasthan along with other similar cases reported from UP, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and various other parts of the country.

“Sadhvi Deva Thakur gives a call to declare emergency and sterilise Muslims and Christians to control their population and Sadhvi Sarawati gives the call to hang the ‘beef eaters’ and attack all secular people. 150 Hindu outfits openly hold a 4 day convention in Goa calling for turning India into a Hindu Rashtra by 2023. With over 4500 communities and over 400 living languages, dietary restrictions are forced on the people. The cow, and animal, has become a major tool to spread hatred, attack and kill innocent people,” she added.

“A 16 year old child is lynched and killed on a train for being a Muslim or a techie killed for having a beard, two young boys killed and hanged from trees in Jharkhand, a cattle trader paraded naked in Chittorgarh, a man assaulted in Anand, Gujarat for transporting calves, a 50 years old man lynched for transporting cows, or two boys lynched on suspicion of stealing cows, a boy dragged against SUV and later his head smashed against water tanker, then ran over under the SUV in full public view, another burnt alive in Nandurbar, an activist beaten to death allegedly by staffers of municipality in Rajasthan, for objecting to their photographing women defecating in the open. The Hindu Talibans are killing with impunity,” she said.

Hashmi also said that she expected a stronger response from the Minorities Commission. “The National Commission for Minorities should have played an active part in ensuring the dignity, security and constitutional rights of the minority communities. Instead of providing any security and standing with the prosecuted minorities the Chairperson based on false accusations and concocted stories by the police has given highly questionable and condemnable statement asking Muslims to go to Pakistan towing the line of the non-state actors who have been unleashed on the minorities by the present government,” she added.

“I return the National Minority Rights award given by the National Commission for Minorities, which has lost all its credibility, in protest against consistent attacks and killings of the members of the minority communities and total inaction, apathy and tacit support to the violent gangs by the government,” she concluded.