Arif: India’s growing intolerance made my immigration to Canada essential (Ottawa Citizen)

Indian PM Narendra Modi’s portrayal of Muslims as “infiltrators” reflects a broader trend towards religious polarization and nationalism.

By Daud Arif

Relocating to a new country is a decision fraught with emotional turmoil and uncertainty. As someone deeply rooted in India, I did not take the decision to move to Canada lightly.

However, the increasingly charged atmosphere in my homeland affirmed the necessity of this decision. I will share why, despite the heartache of leaving, the growing intolerance and systemic discrimination against minorities like myself made the move essential.

The climate of intolerance in India has been escalating, driven by policies and statements from the highest levels of government.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent portrayal of Muslims as “infiltrators” is not merely a political statement. It reflects a broader, more alarming trend towards religious polarization and nationalism that prioritizes one religion over others.

The Citizenship Amendment Act, for example, explicitly excludes Muslims from neighbouring countries from receiving fast-tracked citizenship — a move viewed by many as discriminatory and undermining India’s secular constitution.

Modi’s latest remarks have sparked significant controversy and concern among minorities in India.

By claiming that the opposition party, Congress, if elected, would “snatch resources from Hindus and give them to people with more children” (a veiled reference to Muslims), Modi fueled fears of further communal divisions and discrimination.

This rhetoric not only exacerbates fears among Muslims but also deepens the sense of alienation among those advocating for a secular and inclusive India.

This story was originally published in Read the full story here.

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