Right to freedom of religion, right to life and freedom of expression are some of the fundamental principles ingrained in our constitution. Any person born in India enjoys these rights right from start. However, they never realise the value of these rights as they are unable to contrast it with a different reality. The case of Uyghur Muslim women is a classic case which can throw light on the importance of these principles.
Freedom for living, eating, speaking and dressing are some of the desires of human beings but Uighur Muslim women have been deprived of these basic rights for more than a decade by the Chinese government. Although Chinese Authorities have banned all the available social media channels and many witnesses have been killed, some Uyghur women were able to give their interview secretly to some global media channels and upload their story on social media. This helped the outside world to get a glimpse of the atrocities they are facing every day.
Indian Muslim women are free to live and express themselves as they wish. There is no restriction on adopting their life-style, dress and education. Couple of months ago, some Chinese companies have prohibited Muslim women to come to offices wearing face veil and this decree was strictly enforced to the point that many lost their jobs. In contrast, Indian Muslim women are free to wear any type of Burqa/Hijab in any place including offices, malls, restaurants, cinema halls etc. they can express their opinion without any restrictions (unless it is related to national security).
Uighur Women are imprisoned in the detention camps and have to undergo tests. If these women are found positive in pregnancy, they are forced to abort their foetuses. Intrauterine devices are fitted in some women to prevent their pregnancy which has resulted in birth rates getting down by 60% in Uighur Muslim community. This has been termed as Demographic genocide’ by some human right organizations. On the contrary, Indian Muslim women are free to give births as per their wishes not available for Uyghurs women. They enjoy equality in comparison to their counterparts and can raise their voices against the Indian government whenever they are not getting justice. This is unimaginable for Uighur women who can never raise their voices against Communist Party of China.
Muslim women have easy access to education and to get jobs. A lot of Indian Muslim women have achieved outstanding government as well as private jobs which has helped them to live a dignified life. They are not only free to celebrate their own festivals but are also invited by the non-Muslim friends to celebrate Diwali and Holi which shows the level of brotherhood and communal harmony as well as level of tolerance practiced by the Indian government. All these are only a distant dream for Uighur Muslim women. They are forced to endure unbearable abuses that are considered as brutal crime but these are permitted by the Chinese government to suppress the dissenting voices.
It cannot be said that Indian society is perfect, it has its own flaws but that does not mean that it is unjust towards the women of a particular community. Crimes against women are religion neutral in India which are constantly being addressed at various levels in the government. The plight of Uyghur Muslim women shows the real face of Chinese government and deflated their so called development model. Some pseudo intellectuals questioning the Indian government’s stance on Muslim women must first address the atrocities by Chinese government on Uyghur Muslim women.