Discrimination against Muslims allowed by law in India: Amnesty official

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Aakar Patel, Chair of the Board of Amnesty International in India, has said that there is a law permitted by the government of India to make discrimination against Muslims.

Aakar Patel made these remarks during a lecture on ‘Akhanda Bharat: Reimagining South India’ in memory of writer-filmmaker Chintha Raveendran, The Hindu reported.

“India has developed a nationalism that is fierce, but essentially inward-focused, and of late there is discrimination against Muslims that is permitted through law,” Patel said as reported by the newspaper.

He further noted that Muslims were the only communities for whom divorce had been criminalised in eight States ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party, adding that “There are States that have the power to annul marriages even if the couple have children.”

Patel also revealed that the ruling party in India did not have a Muslim MP, neither in the Lok Sabha nor in the Rajya Sabha.

“There is no Muslim Cabinet Minister for the first time in the history of India. There is no Muslim Chief Minister anywhere in India. The BJP has around 1,000 MLAs across States, none of them is a Muslim. The idea is that there should be friction between communities for the democracy to work,” he said.

Patel pointed out that the Congress representation also highlighted such discrimination, citing the fact that of the 1,000 AICC members across the country in 1947, only 3% were Muslims, with similar trends transferred to the BJP’s administration in the 80s and 90s.

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