The recent incident of mass killings of minority Sikh community in the Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul has left the world stunned. The attack which took 24 innocent lives was claimed by the terrorist organization of ISIL, who conducted it to force the community to immediately leave the country. In a situation when world is already suffering with the fear of Coronavirus pandemic, the attack has further dugout the long debatable question to the public at large, “can global minorities be ever ensured safety?”
Stepping eastwards from the Afghanistan on the world map, to India, we find that here too isn’t any surprise anymore that the communal forces are attempting to tear apart the secular fabric of our beloved nation. Just a minor relaxation is that the situation hasn’t turned too worse, but it is expected to be in the uncertain future. The number of crimes against the social and religious minorities like Dalits and Muslims have been expanded considerably in the recent times. How tense the situation with minorities may be going, but still it’s a fact that the problem isn’t just with India or Afghanistan, but the hate crimes are much more deep-rooted and have existed since a long time in the human history. Be it the exodus of the Christians in the Roman Empire or of the forced conversion of Zoroastrians in the Islamic Iran, the past have an ample of evidences when the people of one group have faced enormous exploitation at the hand of other.
Also, not only in the past, but in the recent decades and even at present, the crimes and hatred against the minorities found just encountered a boom. Be it the racial discrimination in the United States of America and in South Africa or the present-day exploitation of Uighurs in China and Christians in Sri Lanka, the ugly blood stains are clearly visible everywhere. It must be considered that the discrimination in all the stated cases began by organized defaming of the marginal community, and when the social hatred reached brink, and then the exclusions and mass killings found their way. The basic aim in all the communal attacks is to either exclude and remove the oppressed community from the society or force them to assimilate completely with the majoritarian group.
What may sound weird is that the definitions and even the characters playing the role of ‘oppressors’ and ‘oppressed’ changes with the changing veil of the role-play called ‘society’. It is seen that the member of one community, religion or race may be the oppressed minority in one society, but the fellow members of the ‘same’ community may be the tyrant in the other order. The mentioned statement shall be more precisely understood with the reference to the behavior towards women. When Abigail Smith, the future wife of the then American-President John Adams said, “All men would be tyrants if they could”, she meant it, quite literally. It can be seen that many times; even the members of most marginalized community are further ill-treating the women of their community, because they consider them to be ‘weaker’.
A recent case of such exploitation within a community comes from our own Shaheen Bagh protests. When Pravesh Verma, a BJP MP, alleged protesters with defaming remarks as ‘murders’ and ‘molesters’, he didn’t receive much outrage of the people on the social media platforms, as was received by a girl named Gunja Kapoor who too came to defame the protest. Both had the same objective: to express ‘hate’. But the excess of abusive and unpleasant comments on Gunja’s social media profiles, than of Verma is a clear indicative to the mentioned ugly mindset of ‘brave’ men who consider raising voice a right, but yes only when it’s against a women. The pathetic saga continues with women, who have to not only deal with their religious or communal standings, but have to further be exploited due to their social positions. Anyhow, in this long and jumbled thread of minority, if you try to find the string of reason, you shall be lost in more and more assorted threads. It must be learned neither Hitler was able to end the Judaism civilization by killing six million Jews, and nor the communal forces in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan will be able to flush out the oppressed communities in their respective nations.
People must be enlightened that the homogeneity, which most majoritarian extremists strive to attain, is not only hard but impossible to ever achieve practically. Even if a fairly homogeneous society be ever formed, than it shall find some other reason to fight and oppress, be it even from their own community, because it’s true that human is a ‘social’ animal, but he’s indeed an ‘animal’ who craves to fight. Thus, what is required is to add just a splice of love and cooperation to make the world a better place to live, where humans are able to accept the fellow humans as they are.
Aashish Kochhar is a student pursuing History Honors from Jamia Millia Islamia.
The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Jamia Review or its members.