China, the darling of India’s leftist parties and neighboring Pakistan, has yet again come up with new ways to harass its indigenous Muslim population. Chinese government has imposed regular “home stays” on Muslim families living in Xinjiang province. According to the Human Rights Watch, these home visits by the officials are a part of the China’s “Strike Hard” campaign in the Xinjiang province. The Xinjiang province is a Muslim dominated region and has mostly Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim minorities. This is neither the first nor the last attempt by the Chinese authorities to control the religious practices inside the country. In fact, this is the latest attempt in a long series of actions which have been taken by the Communist government in China to curb religious practices and beliefs in the Communist country. From banning religious teachings to making Imams dance and sing in the open, China has done all it can to encroach upon people’s right to practice religion. China had gone so far as to issue a notice in Xinjiang in 2017 to stop pious Muslims from fasting during the period of Ramzan.
This latest move by China has a carefully planned modus operandi; families are visited by government officials to whom they are required to provide proper information about their lives and political views. They are also subjected to political teachings by the very same government officials. Maya Wang, senior China researcher at Human Rights Watch, said, “Muslim families across Xinjiang are now literally eating and sleeping under the watchful eye of the state in their own homes,”. “The latest drive adds to a whole host of pervasive – and perverse – controls on everyday life in Xinjiang”, she added.
Xinjiang authorities have sent a huge 2,00,000 strong cadre of government officials since 2014 to visit and preach to the people of the Xinjiang province. Running under the garb of safeguarding social stability, the “fanghuiju”, an acronym for “Visit the People, Benefit the People, and Get Together the Hearts of the People” is the latest ploy of the Chinese agencies. “Becoming Family” was another initiative undertaken by the Chinese government in 2016 where 1,10,000 officials visited the largely Tukic muslim populations in south Xinjiang in order to form ethnic bonds. These home stays were mandatory on the Turkic families who could not refuse a government official’s visit of five days every two months.
China’s communist-style repression of religion and faith is nothing new, and there has been no let up in its approach in the past few years. What is surprising is how the Islamic Republic of Pakistan turns a blind eye towards the issues being faced by the people of the Islamic Ummah. The ever growing proximity between Pakistan and China, who have slowly turned into all weather friends, becomes highly questionable following these incidents. The Muslim pleasing cabal of Pakistani hard liner organizations who proudly proclaim Jihad against India have been silent on the issues being faced by their Muslim brethren in China.
The silence of Left wing media and their intellectuals from India is surprising considering how boldly they come out in support of any minority related incident which happens in our country. The Communist parties at least have a reason to stay silent on these matters, as any stance they take would be self-defeating in this matter. Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who went to meet Chinese Ambassador in New Delhi a few months back, sadly has not expressed any condemnation of the atrocities being committed on the minorities in China. The silence of Congress explains how much they care about minorities and their rights in India. The silence of Pakistan and their terrorist groups further explains the manipulative politics played by the religious leaders to suit their greed. China might be wrong in imposing cultural and religious barriers on its minorities but the hypocrisy of the Pakistan government has been exposed following their inaction on these topics. The ‘liberals’ who target India and Hindus for any incident should take a lesson from these policies of the Chinese government, it will suit them well to know what intimidation and suppression feels like.