NEW DELHI — In the backdrop of rising hate crimes and mob lynchings against minorities, now parents are complaining of anti-Muslim comments hurled at their children by their peers in their schools. They are literally told to go to Pakistan.
The news came to the public when author Nazia Erum spoke out about the issue on her Facebook post. Erum, who is the writer of the book Mothering a Muslim, said “Getting information from various cities that there has been a sharp spike in children being singled out, bullied and being told to ‘go to Pakistan’. From my maid, cousins, and friends to Twitter acquaintances – everyone reporting this in”.
According to Erum, such behaviors got intensified after the Pulwama attack and subsequent Balakot airstrike.
Talking to media persons, she said that Muslim children are called jihadi and referred to Osama Bin Laden and Abu Bakar Al Baghdadi. They are abused by saying that their parents make bomb. One of her friends’ son was told by a teacher at his school that if he does not study, he may become jihadi but others can’t.
Urging parents to discuss the prevailing situation in the country, Erum said “Parents – your responsibility to ensure what your child hears and imbibes at home. Please take time out to sit with your child and have a word on the current situation in the country. We were all scared this week…the children are scared too. Speak with them please”.
She also urged non-Muslim parents to have a conversation with their children regarding the issue.
“It is unfortunate if kids are cornered for their religion. Not just Muslim parents, non-Muslim parents too should talk to their kids and tell them that it is not about their classmate,” said Erum.
Concerned citizens have been blaming Narendra Modi government to pave the way for spreading communal hatred in the country. The prevailing situation of communal animosity is being taken cognizance neither by the ruling party nor the opposition parties. News channels are also being accused of playing a larger role in creating the atmosphere of hatred, fear, and animosity.
Slamming news channels for their negative role, Erum said “TV channels – shame on you. Utter shame”.
Describing the role of the news channel, she said “But it is these ‘nationalistic’ TV channels which have promoted hate, the worst-affected of which are the children. When these channels talk about ‘enemies within’, use street language and deplorably low-IQ content, kids are listening to that. They are angry and hurt. There is a limit to the number of jokes and jibes they can take”.