Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah expressed concern over what he described as the “legitimisation of discrimination” against Muslims in India.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Abdullah said that certain policies and actions contribute to the marginalization of the Muslim community.
“Some policies and actions pursued in various states across the country are providing political patronage and cover for bigotry against Muslims, resulting in their further marginalisation,” said Abdullah, who represents Srinagar in the Parliament.
Abdullah particularly pointed out legislative measures in some states, including the recent ban on halal-marked food items, stating that these actions “have legitimised discrimination against Muslims.”
He said that such policies contradict the core principles of democracy and the values enshrined in the Indian Constitution.
“There is no place for bullying and oppression and sectarianism in a democracy. The message of ‘social, economic and political justice,’ ‘freedom of thought, expression, belief, religion and worship,’ and equality constitutes the very soul of our Constitution,” Abdullah said.
Expressing his concern about the impact of these actions on the democratic fabric of the country, Abdullah stated, “I think it’s bad for democracy…the government action in these states is taking the country in the wrong direction.”
Abdullah said that such “overtly targeted” actions send a clear message to the more than 200 million Muslims in the country that they “must bear every humiliation and injustice with silence.” He urged a reconsideration of these policies to uphold the principles of democracy and secularism.