Banner Advertiser

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

[mukto-mona] Indians Angry at Trump’s Ban on Muslim Refugees Should Look at What Modi is Doing

Very good article by Darshana Mitra

India is also making discrimination against Muslims a key ingredient of its refugee and immigration policy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump. Credit: Reuters

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump. Credit: Reuters


<<  If the Narendra Modi government wants to provide protection to religious minorities in neighbouring countries from persecution  – a laudable objective – then it need not have looked further than the existing international frameworks of refugee law. Central to the definition of a refugee in the 1951 Refugee Convention is a well-founded fear of being persecuted on the grounds of religion, race, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion by the country of one's nationality. Till now, India has consistently refused to promulgate a central legislation on refugees, or be a signatory to the 1951 Convention, treating the decision to grant refugee status as a matter of political expediency. Even if it does not want to sign the 1951 convention, nothing prevents it from enacting a domestic law that incorporates its principal features. The fact that the government is not interested in doing so means granting protection to victims of persecution is not its primary objective.

What does that leave us with, then?

The Bharatiya Janata Party's 2014 election manifesto gives us the answer.

Page 37 of the manifesto states that "India shall remain a natural home for persecuted Hindus and they shall be welcome to seek refuge here". Why should India be a natural home for persecuted Hindus, as opposed to persecuted Muslims or Christians? Invoking the image of the "persecuted Hindu" is a masterful way of pushing the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's notion of India as a 'Hindu nation', and an embattled one at that. Just as the claim of a threat to national security, and the myth of a "white minority", is used to push xenophobic, Islamophobic  policies in the US. Interestingly, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 goes a step beyond the "persecuted Hindu" to include Buddhists and Sikhs and Christians as well. All, except Muslims, in fact. >>>


Posted by: Farida Majid <>

Mukto Mona plans for a Grand Darwin Day Celebration: 
Call For Articles:




"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it".
               -Beatrice Hall [pseudonym: S.G. Tallentyre], 190