On the 150th birth anniversary of one of the greatest revolutionaries of the Indian subcontinent, Mahatama Gandhi, his remains were stolen from a memorial in central India. The remains had been placed there since his death in 1948. Along with stealing those remains, the thieves also defaced his portraits at the memorial. This is a sign of the growing hatred and bigotry in the Indian society post Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) rise to power. Their ideology is a complete shift from the narrative of Mahatama Gandhi, who was a supporter of Hindu Muslim unity, whereas, BJP has built a stronghold based on its anti-Muslim narrative.

With the Kashmir issue being blatantly discussed around the world and its mention at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the Indian leadership along with its radical supporters feel the need to disassociate themselves from Mahatama Gandhi and his message of unity. Gandhi lost his life for this narrative and once again, this desecration is a message for all those who speak in favour of peace and against the religious bigotry being practiced in India - a country that once was proud of its secular roots.

In the last couple of years, India has witnessed a radical uprising resulting in a security issue for its Muslim population. India is home to 201 million Muslims, that are now being forced to either convert to Hinduism or face lynchings because of merely taking up space in the Hindu majority country. The situation can turn into a refugee crisis - the early signs of which are already apparent by what the state is doing in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). The actions of the state will validate the prejudices of the people and give them the confidence to act out on them because, with an anti-Muslim government, the chances of penalisation are bare minimum.