‘India will become Syria’, says Ravishankar, ‘it’s nearly there’, suggests PEW research

India will become Syria if Muslims ‘don’t give up claim’ to Ayodhya, says Ravishankar

India ranks fourth highest for social hostilities involving religion, behind only Syria, Nigeria and Iraq, according to PEW research’s 2015 report

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the Art of Living founder, in an interview with India Today on Monday said, “If Ram Mandir issue is not solved, we will have a Syria in India.”

He claimed that, “Muslims should give up their claim on Ayodhya as a goodwill gesture. Ayodhya is not place of faith for Muslims…We cannot make Lord Ram to be born in another place.”

The spiritual leader also indicated that the Supreme Court’s order on the disputed site will not make a difference, according to NDTV. The only way forward, he claimed, is for Muslims to give up their claim on the site and build another mosque on a five-acre land in Ayodhya.

The Syrian Civil war, which has entered its eighth year and the past week has witnessed more than five hundred deaths in Syria, was brought up by the Art of Living founder as a reference to what will happen to the Indian Muslims if they ‘don’t give up claim’ to Ayodhya.

However,  according to a research by Pew, an independent non-partisan polling and research organization, India already ranks fourth highest in having social hostilities involving religion.

ALSO READ: It was a courtesy meet, too late to solve Ayodhya dispute by talks, says Adityanath on Ravishankar meet

After Syria, Nigeria and Iraq, India ranked fourth according to Pew Research Centre’s report. The report published in its annual Global Restrictions on Religion Report since 2009, quotes data from 2015.

The latest report studied the social hostilities involving religion using 18 sources, mostly international non-government organizations and multilateral agencies. The report analyzes “the extent to which governments and societies around the world impinge on religious beliefs and practices.”

It used mainly 13 indicators which included crimes motivated by religious hatred, mob violence related to religion, communal violence, religion-related terrorist groups, using force to prevent religious groups from operating, the harassment of women for ‘violating’ religious dress codes and violence over conversion or proselytizing.

Katayoun Kishi, the study’s lead researcher, had told Huffington Post India in an email interview in 2017 that hostilities between Hindus and Muslims factored into the India’s poor ranking.

“One of the indicators in the Social Hostilities Index looks at whether incidents of violence occurred as a result of tensions between religious groups. In India in 2015, there were instances of attacks by Hindus on Muslims due to alleged cow slaughter, rioting after clashes between Hindus and Muslims, and mob violence involving the two groups,” she said.

Courtesy: HuffPost India/PEW Research.

“Among the world’s 25 most populous countries, Russia, Egypt, India, Pakistan and Nigeria had the highest overall levels of government restrictions and social hostilities involving religion,” says the report.

This report compiled data of 2015 and published in 2017, shows that the government in India and the society are both hostile involving religious freedom and practices, to a level which almost aligns itself with Syria.


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