India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came under fire for openly insulting the Prophet (PBUH). In a televised debate spokespersons of Modi’s party made derogatory comments toward the Holy Prophet (PBUH). This situation then became further aggravated when BJP’s Delhi media operation head Naveen Kumar Jindal, made more hateful comments in a now-deleted tweet. President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif were quick to join other heads of Islamic states to condemn the derogatory remarks recently made by two leaders of India’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Shehbaz Sharif labelled India under Modi to trample religious freedom and was responsible for persecuting Muslims.
Saudi Arabia’s government also responded harshly to the comments made by the official of the Modi-led government. Their Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its stance on the situation and called for the immediate removal of both the party members.
Similarly, other Muslim majority states such as Cairo and Qatar followed and condemned the words spoken about the Prophet. According to the embassies in Qatar and Kuwait, the opinions expressed by the two BJP members Naveen Jindal and Nupur Sharma do not represent the whole of the Indian Government.
The Indian government have punished the two members by suspending them, however, it may be too little too late as many Muslims from all over India are calling for their arrest. This news is not extremely surprising for Indian Muslims as many believe that Islamophobia and hateful discourse has reached dangerous levels in India. This could lead to serious clashes between Hindu and Muslim communities. The Indian Subcontinent has always been known for its diversity and harmony. The BJP is currently threatening this balance and has made India more polarized and hateful than ever.
India has enjoyed a very fruitful relationship with the Gulf nations. The trade between India and countries like Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia is set to be around 87 Billion USD. Furthermore, millions of Indian work and live in these countries sending capital back home. This incident and continued toxic politics will hurt India’s interests in religion. India is beginning to learn like its neighbor Pakistan that such rhetoric does not stay just inside the country. Rather these bleed into the international world and eventually become part of the country’s identity.