‘India heading towards genocide of Muslims’

Experts say intimidation of minorities part of BJP’s election strategy

Our Correspondent February 20, 2022
Hindu Yuva Vahini vigilante members take part in a rally in the city of Unnao, India, April 5, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS


Hindutva majoritarianism is heading in the direction of genocide, and the world’s leaders must try and prevent that from happening, no matter their strategic inclinations.

This was the crux of the views expressed by the speakers at a roundtable organised by the Jinnah Institute the other day.

The recent controversy over hijab across universities in Karnataka, followed by mobs breaking into classrooms demanding that Muslim girls remove hijabs or go home, demonstrates the accelerated pace at which India is turning into a Hindu-supremacist polity that seeks to drive out other identities and customs.

Participants stated that the plight of Kashmiri Muslims, long before the revocation of Article 370, was known to all across the world, but the usurpation of political rights and the wave of tyranny unleashed by the Modi government in its second term is unprecedented even by Indian standards.

Marginalisation of all religious identities, especially the onslaught against Muslim communities is a daily occurrence, especially in the wake of electoral campaigns in Uttar Pradesh and other states, where communal politics is routinely used to intimidate minorities, they added.

Some of the experts pointed out that Hindutva is by no means a recent political movement, and its bold new iteration has emerged from decades of sidelined radical activism, that could not demonstrate its extremist power under secular governments. It always stayed under the surface, until 2014 when the mainstream embraced political Hindutva under the BJP-RSS steer, showing how long India’s Hindu polity had waited for this moment, and had never bought into the secularism of its constitution.

Participants cited judgments of the Indian courts over 30 years that show how legal precedents enabled the marginalisation of Muslims and Christians, and how far Hindutva has permeated India’s state institutions.

The few Indian voices calling out atrocities in Kashmir, or moves against schoolgirls wearing the hijab, or attacks against Muslim street vendors, are few that are far between. Other than a handful of journalists who report at high risk to their personal security, the media services BJP’s project of spreading communal hatred and disunion.


Published in The Express Tribune, February 20th, 2022.


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