Clashes erupted in various neighborhoods of London after the India-Pakistan Asia Cup cricket match. According to a video clip viral on social media, a group of Muslims, some wearing masks, gather in front of a Hindu temple and vandalize it. Its denial has not yet come from the side of the police etc. Some Hindu groups took out a rally in protest but there were very few people in it and they were not doing any kind of violence. The Indian High Commission in London called on authorities to provide security to victims and places of worship that are vulnerable to attacks.
There are also reports of crowds gathering from neighboring urban areas in the tense localities, threatening to disturb the peace and create serious law and order problems in the localities with a mixed population of Hindus and Muslims. Police officials and the Mayor of Leicester have expressed concern over these incidents. Leicester Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said, ‘They are mostly teenagers and early twenties and I have heard speculation that people have come from outside (into the city) … this is very worrying for the neighborhood where all this happened .’ Leicester police are taking all precautions to keep the situation under control and have warned that they will not “tolerant violence or disorder” in the city.
How these warnings and cautionary statements will be able to control the situation, it is difficult to say. Violent mobs set on vandalism can easily outnumber the local police.
growing religious intolerance
According to the UK Home Department, ‘Pakistani nationals account for the seventh largest number of foreign criminals in prisons in England and Wales, they make up about 3 percent of foreign criminals.’ The matter is so serious that the UK recently signed Pakistan’s The Returns Agreement, so that it can deport Pakistani criminals, failed refugees, people who stayed even after their visas expired and immigration law breakers.
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Following the March 2012 shootings at a Jewish primary school in Toulouse, France, and the brutal murder of 12 people from the editorial group of satirical magazine Charlie Habdo in January 2015, the Jewish community in France became concerned about their future, with people thinking of emigrating to Israel. are. These incidents also had an impact in Britain, where police said there were “enormous concerns” about the threat to the Jewish people.
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Then the BBC reported it. Then Home Minister Theresa May and London Mayor Boris Johnson expressed concern over fears within the Jewish community. Both of them later became the Prime Minister. Yet attacks on the Jewish community in Britain increased. However, people from both Muslim and Jewish communities spoke together about their “deep roots” and found ways to protect and support each other.
It would be easy to say that those who are linking synagogues and attacks on Hindu temples, are trying to give a communal colour. If anti-Semitism is a fact of history, then the current narrative of Hinduphobia cannot be dismissed as a flight of imagination.
There are reports of growing anti-Hindu sentiments in British educational institutions. Omar Sheikh, an alumnus of the London School of Economics (LSE), was responsible for the murder of Wall Street General reporter Daniel Pearl. There have been many such incidents in colleges and universities in Britain that extremist groups like ‘Hizb-ut-Tahrir’ are teaching fundamentalism lessons to students. It is said that this group is active in more than 500 colleges in Britain.
Action, investigation is important
Often perceived as a ‘sporadically’ incident, terrorist attacks by ‘students returned from the UK’ are serious enough to warrant an investigation by both the UK and Indian governments. He was called ‘part of the tall tower’ by The Times Higher Education Supplement. It lamented the lack of studies on Islamic fundamentalism in educational institutions.
New Delhi will have to keep an eye on the activities of radical elements not only in various educational institutions of the country, but also in many foreign universities. Now the Ministry of External Affairs has a database of Indian students studying abroad. The ‘Student Registration Module’ on the MADAD portal created in July 2016 helps in automatic registration of students. This registration helps students in emergency situations, but does not provide any security information to the government. It is imperative that registration be made a mandatory process and linked to Indian Embassies abroad.
India should also send a message through its embassies to the Hindu population abroad that they should maintain their credentials of a tolerant, law-abiding and peaceful community, whose contribution to their new or adopted countries is very significant.
(The author is a former editor of ‘Organiser’. His Twitter handle is @seshadrichari. Views expressed are personal.)
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