Exporting Extremism

At least 47 people have been arrested ever since violence broke out between members of the Hindu and Muslim communities in Leicester. The root cause of agitation was Pakistan’s defeat from India during the Asia Cup after which a crowd of hundreds flooded the streets carrying Indian flags and chanting anti-Pakistan slogans, eventually leading to a tussle between countless individuals of opposing groups. If anything, this is a direct consequence of the intolerant and anti-Muslim stance practiced, preached and preserved by the BJP government. Now, it seems as though the Hindutva ideology has been exported to countries like the UK where both communities lived relatively peacefully.
The unrest in Leicester was documented by many through news reports and even videos that were posted onto social media platforms. They clearly show a swarm of Indians celebrating India’s win and chanting ‘Pakistan Murdabad’ (death to Pakistan). Other videos showed people in masks fighting in the streets just as nearby Muslim residents and shop owners were intimidated and threatened. For such disturbances to follow after a cricket match between the neighbouring countries is a reflection of how intolerance is bred through decades of ideological rhetoric that has put both countries against one another. The divide is so extreme that it has crossed international borders and is manifesting through petty street fights, vandalism and intimidation, prompting the police to crack down on both the communities with urgency and severity.
There is no denying that such circumstances must be controlled and the UK administration is doing its best to hold those responsible, accountable. However, we must go beyond the instance to observe that the Indian state’s oppression of Muslims and propagation of the Hindutva movement promotes bigotry. Time and time again, violence against Muslims is encouraged and justified but now, with the instance making international news itself, the global community must call a spade a spade. We must work towards stopping this anti-Muslim hatred outside of India at least. 

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