|UP CM Adiyanath with Indian PM Modi|
Pew Research Report:
A Pew Research report from data collected in 2015, about a year after Modi rose to power, found that the level of hostility against religious minorities is "very high". In fact, it said India scores 9 for social hostilities against religious minorities on a scale of 0-10. Other countries in "very high" category for social hostilities include Nigeria, Iraq and Syria. Pakistan's score on this scale is 7 while Bangladesh is 5.5.
Rise of Hindu Nationalists:
The situation for India's minorities, particularly Muslims, has become a lot worse in the last two years with Hindu mobs lynching Muslims with impunity. Recent election of anti-Muslim radical Hindu priest Yogi Adiyanath as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state, is seen as a clear signal from Mr. Modi that his anti-Muslim policies will continue.
Mohammad Akhlaq is believed to be the first victim of Hindu lynch mobs claiming to be protecting the cow. He was accused of consuming beef. For more than a week Prime Minister Narendra Modi remained silent over the incident and even after he spoke about it, he did not condemn it outright. The ruling BJP officials even tried to explain it as the result of the genuine anger of the Hindus over the slaughtering of a cow.
This year, The Indian Express, an English-language newspaper, found seven incidents between March and May of 2017 in which Indian Muslims were lynched by Hindu mobs. On June 22, three Muslims were killed in West Bengal state after being accused of cow smuggling. On June 27, a Muslim dairy owner in the state of Jharkhand was attacked by a mob after being accused of slaughtering a cow; the man was rushed to a hospital in critical condition after the police managed to save him from his attackers, according to Al Jazeera.
|Pew Research Report on Religious Freedom|
History of Anti-Muslim Riots in India:
Paul Richard Brass, professor emeritus of political science and international relations at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington, has spent many years researching communal riots in India. He has debunked all the action-reaction theories promoted by Hindu Nationalists like Modi. He believes these are not spontaneous but planned and staged as "a grisly form of dramatic production" by well-known perpetrators from the Sangh Parivar of which Prime Minister Modi has been a member since his youth.
Here's an excerpt of Professor Brass's work:
"Events labelled “Hindu-Muslim riots” have been recurring features in India for three-quarters of a century or more. In northern and western India, especially, there are numerous cities and town in which riots have become endemic. In such places, riots have, in effect, become a grisly form of dramatic production in which there are three phases: preparation/rehearsal, activation/enactment, and explanation/interpretation. In these sites of endemic riot production, preparation and rehearsal are continuous activities. Activation or enactment of a large-scale riot takes place under particular circumstances, most notably in a context of intense political mobilization or electoral competition in which riots are precipitated as a device to consolidate the support of ethnic, religious, or other culturally marked groups by emphasizing the need for solidarity in face of the rival communal group. The third phase follows after the violence in a broader struggle to control the explanation or interpretation of the causes of the violence. In this phase, many other elements in society become involved, including journalists, politicians, social scientists, and public opinion generally. At first, multiple narratives vie for primacy in controlling the explanation of violence. On the one hand, the predominant social forces attempt to insert an explanatory narrative into the prevailing discourse of order, while others seek to establish a new consensual hegemony that upsets existing power relations, that is, those which accept the violence as spontaneous, religious, mass-based, unpredictable, and impossible to prevent or control fully. This third phase is also marked by a process of blame displacement in which social scientists themselves become implicated, a process that fails to isolate effectively those most responsible for the production of violence, and instead diffuses blame widely, blurring responsibility, and thereby contributing to the perpetuation of violent productions in future, as well as the order that sustains them."
"In India, all this takes place within a discourse of Hindu-Muslim hostility that denies the deliberate and purposive character of the violence by attributing it to the spontaneous reactions of ordinary Hindus and Muslims, locked in a web of mutual antagonisms said to have a long history. In the meantime, in post-Independence India, what are labelled Hindu-Muslim riots have more often than not been turned into pogroms and massacres of Muslims, in which few Hindus are killed. In fact, in sites of endemic rioting, there exist what I have called “institutionalized riot systems,” in which the organizations of militant Hindu nationalism are deeply implicated. Further, in these sites, persons can be identified, who play specific roles in the preparation, enactment, and explanation of riots after the fact. Especially important are what I call the “fire tenders,” who keep Hindu-Muslim tensions alive through various inflammatory and inciting acts; “conversion specialists,” who lead and address mobs of potential rioters and give a signal to indicate if and when violence should commence; criminals and the poorest elements in society, recruited and rewarded for enacting the violence; and politicians and the vernacular media who, during the violence, and in its aftermath, draw attention away from the perpetrators of the violence by attributing it to the actions."
India is seeing a spate of lynchings of Muslims by Hindu mobs who have been emboldened by the rise of anti-Muslim Hindu Nationalist leader Narendra Modi since his 2014 election to the highest office in India. The elevation of fellow radical Hindu Yogi Adiyanath to the top job in Uttar Pradesh by Mr. Modi has further alarmed India's Muslim minority. University of Washington's Professor Emeritus Paul Brass, who has documented the history of anti-Muslim violence in India, describes it as "a grisly form of dramatic production" by well-known perpetrators from the Sangh Parivar of which Prime Minister Modi has been a member since his youth. Pew Research report on religious violence confirms India's status as a country with "very high" levels of social hostilities against religious minorities. There appears to be no relief in sight for them at least in the foreseeable future.
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In Pakistan, tens of thousands of Shia have been evaporated in bombings, plus the Ahmadis, and other minority religions. Balochi young men have been obliterated (like Bengalis in E Pak). The jews have been literally kicked out.
Shams: "In Pakistan, tens of thousands of Shia have been evaporated in bombings, plus the Ahmadis, and other minority religions. Balochi young men have been obliterated (like Bengalis in E Pak). The jews have been literally kicked out."
Your parroting of propaganda based on extreme exaggeration of facts is no match for actual data that the Pew Research report is based on.
BBC News - Why stopping #India's #vigilante killings of #Muslims will not be easy. #Lynchistan #Modi #BJP #Cow
Last month Prime Minister Narendra Modi said murder in the name of cow protection is "not acceptable". Hours after his comments, a Muslim man was reportedly killed by a mob who accused him of transporting beef in his car.
Under Mr Modi's Hindu nationalist BJP, the cow has become a polarising animal and religious divisions are widening. Restrictions on the sale and slaughter of cows are fanning confusion and vigilantism.
The recent spate of lynchings in India have disturbed many. Muslim men have been murdered by Hindu mobs, mostly in BJP-ruled states, for allegedly storing beef and, in one case for helping a mixed-faith couple elope.
Using data gleaned from news reports, some have argued that such hate crimes have increased since Mr Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government came to power. Party chief Amit Shah has rejected such assertions, saying there were more incidents of lynchings when the previous Congress government was in power.
When a prominent journalist said India was becoming a "lynchocracy", critics immediately took to social media to say that India had a long history of mob and religious violence and liberals were exaggerating the import of the recent murders.
A BJP MP and columnist wrote that there was a "streak of underlying violence in India's public culture", and since Independence, "political violence has been supplemented by flashes of mob violence aimed at either settling scores or securing justice".
I spoke to Sanjay Subrahmanyam, one of India's most distinguished and provocative historians, on the cultural history of violence in India. He told me it would be useful to distinguish between three acts of violence: pogroms (violent riots aimed at the massacre or persecution of an ethnic or religious group), mob violence and killings to defend social norms.
Is India descending into mob rule?
'Beef' lynching: Failure of India's political imagination?
A night patrol with India's cow protection vigilantes
During a pogrom, he said, "a majority community targets a minority, and the violence takes place on a sizeable scale, in an orgiastic mode".
"These are also usually repeated incidents. They often are based on systematic mobilisation, as well as systematic targeting. We all know the prominent instances in India. (The anti-Sikh riots in 1984, or the 2002 anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat, for example.) Often, the forces of law and order have a part, either active or passive."
Mob violence, Dr Subrahmanyam says, usually comprise acts on a small scale, which claim to deliver vigilante justice, because the forces of law are feeble and undependable.
"These are your thieves and robbers, or even sometimes when a car accident happens, a crowd gathers, and lynches the driver. Essentially, this is because of the perceived weakness of the law to deliver what it promises."
The head of a militant Hindu supremacist temple is now leading India’s most-populous state
Firebrand Hindu Cleric Ascends India’s Political Ladder
the taproot of Yogi Adityanath’s popularity is in a more ominous place. As leader of a temple known for its militant Hindu supremacist tradition, he built an army of youths intent on avenging historic wrongs by Muslims, whom he has called “a crop of two-legged animals that has to be stopped.” At one rally he cried out, “We are all preparing for religious war!”
Adityanath (pronounced Ah-DIT-ya-nath) was an astonishing choice by Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, who came into office three years ago promising to usher India into a new age of development and economic growth, and playing down any far-right Hindu agenda. But a populist drive to transform India into a “Hindu nation” has drowned out Mr. Modi’s development agenda, shrinking the economic and social space for the country’s 170 million Muslims.
Few decisions in Indian politics matter more than the selection of the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, because the post is seen as a springboard for future prime ministers. At the age of 45, the diminutive, baby-faced Adityanath is receiving the kind of career-making attention that projects an Indian politician toward higher office.
“He is automatically on anybody’s list as a potential contender to succeed Modi,” said Sadanand Dhume, an India specialist at the American Enterprise Institute. “They have normalized someone who, three years ago, was considered too extreme to be minister of state for textiles. Everything has been normalized so quickly.”
Adityanath did not respond to repeated requests for comment for this article.
In March, when the Bharatiya Janata Party won a landslide electoral victory in Uttar Pradesh, political prognosticators expected Mr. Modi to make a safe choice — Manoj Sinha, a cabinet minister known for his diligence and loyalty to the party. On the morning of the announcement, an honor guard had been arranged outside his village.
But by midmorning, it was clear that something unusual was going on. A chartered flight had been sent to pick up Adityanath and take him to Delhi for a meeting with Amit Shah, the party president. At 6 p.m. the party announced it had appointed him as minister, sending a ripple of shock through India’s political class.
They were shocked because Adityanath is a radical, but also because he is ambitious, even rebellious. As recently as January, he walked out of the party’s executive meeting, reportedly because he was not allowed to speak. Mr. Modi is not known to have much tolerance for rivals.
Political observers in Delhi are watching him as one might watch an audition. Journalists filed reports of his first 100 days last week, and some were lukewarm, noting his failure to contain violent crime.
Neerja Chowdhury, an analyst, said Adityanath has two years to establish himself as an effective administrator.
“Remember, he is 20 years younger than Modi, and he is a known doer, so if he manages to deliver on some fronts, he would then become a possible candidate” in 2024, she said.
“India is moving right,” she added. “Whether India moves further right, and Modi begins to be looked upon as a moderate, I think that only time will tell.”
Adityanath may be interested in rebranding himself a mainstream politician, but his followers in the vigilante group do not all agree.
During the days after the election, some 5,000 men came forward to join the organization every day, prompting organizers to stop accepting applicants, said P. K. Mall, the group’s general secretary.
Excerpts of Audrey Truschke's Aurangzeb
Across the border in Pakistan, too, many endorse the vision of an evil Aurangzeb. As Shahid Nadeem, a Pakistani playwright, recently put it: " Seeds of partition were sown when Aurangzeb triumphed over [his brother] Dara Shikoh". Such far-fetched suggestions would be farcical, if so many did not endorse them.
British colonial thinkers had long impugned thew Mughals on a range of charges, including that they were effeminate, oppressive, and Muslims. As early as 1772, Alexander Dow remarked in a discussion of Mughal governance that "the faith of Mahommed is peculiarly calculated for despotism; and it is one of the greatest causes which must fix for ever the duration of that species of government in the East". For the British the solution to such an entrenched problem was clear: British rule over India. While the Indian independence leaders rejected this final step of the colonial logic, many swallowed the earlier parts wholesale. Such ideas filtered to society at large via textbooks and mass media, and several generations have continued to eat up and regurgitate the colonial take that Aurangzeb was a tyrant driven by religious fanaticism.
Over the centuries, many commentators have spread the myth of of the bigoted, evil Aurangzeb on the basis of shockingly thin evidence. Many false ideas still mar popular memory of Aurangzeb , including that he massacred millions of Hindus and destroyed thousands of temples. Neither of these commonly believed "facts" is supported by historical evidence although some scholars have attempted, usually in bad faith, to provide an alleged basis for such tales.
Such views have roots in colonial-era scholarship, where positing timeless Hindu-Muslim animosity embodied the British strategy of divide and conquer. Today, multiple websites claim to list Aurangzeb's "atrocities" against Hindus (typically playing fast and loose with the facts) and fuel communal fires. There are numerous gaping holes in the proposition that Aurangzeb razed temples because he hated Hindus, however. Most glaringly, Aurangzeb counted thousands of Hindu temples within his domain and yet destroyed, at most, few dozen.....A historically legitimate view of Aurangzeb must explain why he protected Hindu temples more often than he demolished them.
The bulk of Mughal histories are written in Persian, the official administrative language of the Mughal empire but a foreign tongue in India today. Out of necessity and ease, many historians disregard the original Persian text and rely instead on English translations. This approach narrows the the library of materials drastically, and many translations of the Mughal texts are of questionable quality, brimming with mistranslations and abridgments. Some of these changes conveniently served the agendas of the translators, especially colonial-era translations that tend to show Indo--Muslim kings at their worst so that the British would seem virtuous by comparison (foremost here is Elliot and Dowson's History of India as Told by Its Own Historians). Such materials are great for learning about British colonialism, but they present an inaccurate picture of Mughal India.
Angry mob beat #Muslim man for allegedly carrying #beef in #India. #Cow #BJP http://metro.co.uk/2017/07/13/angry-mob-beat-muslim-man-for-allegedly-carrying-beef-in-india-6776885/ … via @MetroUK
A Muslim man was brutally beaten by a mob in India after the accuse him of carrying beef.
A video posted on social media showed a group of men hitting Salim Ismail Shah, 32, in Jalalkheda, India, yesterday.
He had been stopped while he was transporting 15 kgs of meat on his motorcycle, according to Jalalkheda Police Inspector Vijaykumar Tiwari.
‘He was accosted by four persons who beat him up, alleging he was carrying beef,’ he told The Indian Express.
‘Shah sustained injuries for which he was admitted to a hospital, from where he has been discharged.’
The Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act, 1976, bans the killing of cows and calves.
Inspector Tiwari added: ‘We have sent the meat sample to a forensic laboratory to find out if it was beef or something else.
‘We haven’t registered any offence against Shah as of now.’
It’s not the first time someone has been attacked after allegedly carrying beef, which is considered sacred among many religions in India, including Hinduism and Sikhism.
Last month a mob on a train headed to Mathura reportedly stabbed a 15-year-old boy named Junaid Khan to death because he was apparently carrying beef.
Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2017/07/13/angry-mob-beat-muslim-man-for-allegedly-carrying-beef-in-india-6776885/#ixzz4mjsqOR1G
Mr. Riaz is pig slaughter and consumption allowed for non Muslims or Muslims who want to consume it?
Anon: " is pig slaughter and consumption allowed for non Muslims or Muslims who want to consume it?"
There's no ban on pork in Pakistan.
I understand your projection to Indian problems here in light of Pakistans.
Prejudice is everywhere. Against blacks and others in the US to Sunni Shia politics internationally.
However, it is the infrastructure of hate and the scale of militant religious fervor that is imported and exported throughout the world in the form of terrorism, is the true question.
Pakistan needs to analyze that within itself otherwise the world will continue judge it harshly.
Zain: "Pakistan needs to analyze that within itself otherwise the world will continue judge it harshly. "
"The world" judges nations and religions based on its own interests, not based on merit.
The hypocrisy of "the world" is on full display all around us.....some are judged very harshly while others escape with little or no criticism for the same or similar actions.
Atrocities committed by western, Indian and Israeli forces barely get mentioned while actions of those in countries considered unfriendly get maximum negative coverage.
Pakistan should do what Pakistanis see fit and not to please "the world".
10 things #India must learn from #Pakistan. #Minorities treated better, women safer, ambulance servc http://www.indiatimes.com/culture/travel/10-things-india-must-learn-from-pakistan-292313.html …
Surprisingly, in Pakistan minorities are treated better. No, hindus aren't called terrorists and Sikhs who live in Pakistan don't have a grudge against the Islamic religion. It's unbelievable how many myths we have about Pakistan and it's too saddening that we actually believe random crap that is being said about Pakistan.
We make fun of the Pakistani cricketers while they are being asked about the match summary for they don't have such a strong command over the English language, but did you know that they are the fourth smartest people in the world? And that's not all according to a poll organised by the Institute of European Business Administration, from 125 countries, Pakistanis have been ranked the fourth most intelligent people across the globe. Pakistan has the seventh largest collection of scientists and engineers.
Accept it or not but the beautiful Sufi music that we Indians sway and hum to are originally from Islamic country Pakistan. And that's not all, even the ever famous musical show Coke Studio on MTV has been adopted by us from Pakistan. You must listen to the original Coke Studio from Pakistan, it's just too beautiful to even describe. The best thing about the show is that it isn't as commercialized as India and they actually feature budding artists instead of popular and renowned singers and musicians.
Yes, we do have several child prodigies in the country but no one makes it as big as this one. Pakistan's Muhammad Ilyas passed the examination enabling him to become a Civil Judge in July 1952 at the age of 20 years 9 months, although formalities such as medicals meant that it was not until eight months later that he started work as a Civil Judge in Lahore, Pakistan.
With death toll just rising at a rapid pace, we must learn how Pakistan's NGOs operate and how the health sector works. Edhi Foundation is Pakistan's largest non-profit social welfare program. It runs the world's largest ambulance network in Pakistan. Now that's something that we Indians must really look in to and get inspired for it will help us aiding and saving lives better.
#India’s Turn Toward Intolerance. #Hindutva #Islamophobia #cow #Modi #economy #jobs #BJP
Narendra Modi’s landslide victory as prime minister of India in 2014 was borne on his promises to unleash his country’s economic potential and build a bright future while he played down the Hindu nationalist roots of his Bharatiya Janata Party.
But, under Mr. Modi’s leadership, growth has slowed, jobs have not materialized, and what has actually been unleashed is virulent intolerance that threatens the foundation of the secular nation envisioned by its founders.
Since Mr. Modi took office, there has been an alarming rise in mob attacks against people accused of eating beef or abusing cows, an animal held sacred to Hindus. Most of those killed have been Muslims. Mr. Modi spoke out against the killings only last month, not long after his government banned the sale of cows for slaughter, a move suspended by India’s Supreme Court. The ban, enforcing cultural stigma, would have fallen hardest on Muslims and low-caste Hindus traditionally engaged in the meat and leather industry.
It would also have struck a blow against Mr. Modi’s supposed priorities: employment, economic growth and boosting exports. The $16 billion industry employs millions of workers and generated $4 billion in export income last year.
More disturbing was his party’s decision to name Yogi Adityanath, a Hindu warrior-priest, as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, and a springboard to national leadership. Mr. Adityanath has called India’s Muslims “a crop of two-legged animals that has to be stopped” and cried at one rally, “We are all preparing for religious war!”
This development led the analyst Neerja Chowdhury to observe: “India is moving right. Whether India moves further right, and Modi begins to be looked upon as a moderate, I think that only time will tell.”
On Tuesday, India’s film censor board, headed by a Bharatiya Janata Party stalwart apparently intent on protecting Mr. Modi and the party from criticism, ruled that a documentary film about one of India’s most famous sons, the Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen, cannot be screened unless the director cuts the words “cow,” “Hindu India,” “Hindutva view of India” — meaning Hindu nationalism — and “Gujarat,” where Mr. Modi was chief minister at the time of deadly anti-Muslim riots in 2002.
This might seem like merely a farcical move by Hindu fanatics, if it were not so in line with much else that is happening in Mr. Modi’s India, and if the implications for India’s democracy weren’t so chilling. But this is where Mr. Modi has brought the nation as it prepares to celebrate 70 years of independence on Aug. 15.
#India's #Muslims live 'in constant fear' as vigilante murders increase. #hinduterrorism #Lynchistan #Modi #Cow
In early July, local engineer Nazmal Hassan was caught wearing a burqa by police at Aligarh railway station in India's northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
He wanted to hide his identity due to fear of being targeted on the train.
His cover was blown when he was getting off the train and his bag accidentally hit a co-passenger, who fell over.
Mr Hassan said that the person accused him of intentionally hitting him, before launching an outburst of verbal abuse — attacking his religion — in public.
"Incidents of killings on the issue of us being beef eaters have scared me to death," Mr Hassan told the ABC.
"I have started believing that such things can happen to me also and I could also end up being a victim of this violence."
Mr Hassan's memory returned to the horrific murder of Junaid Khan, a 16-year-old Muslim boy, who was stabbed to death on a train while he was returning home from Delhi in early June.
Khan was allegedly killed because of his Muslim identity.
The teenager, wearing a skullcap, was thrown off a train after being stabbed by an unruly mob.
Vigilante campaigns target beef eaters
The assault was yet another against Muslims, who make up about 14 per cent of India's 1.3 billion people population.
According to international NGO Human Rights Watch, vigilante campaigns against those who consume beef have led to the killing of at least 15 Muslims — including a 12-year-old boy — since May 2015.
Scores more have been injured in seven separate incidents of mob violence.
India is experiencing a spate of vigilante murders targeting mainly Muslims accused of eating cows, which Hindus consider to be holy.
The violence is causing growing unease among the country's Muslim minority, prompting calls from activists for the Government to act.
Khan's was one of the many lynchings and atrocities against Muslims in recent months.
Lynching is an old crime in India, often committed against those of so-called lower castes and marginalised tribes in order to reinforce brutal social hierarchies.
#India is not shimmering, it is simmering. #IIP Down. #FarmerSuicides #unemployment #Lynchistan #KasaiCrisis #Modi
India is not shimmering, it is simmering. The Bharat-India cleavage has widened to an unprecedented degree. The disconnect between ground narrative and the public discourse is nothing short of hallucinatory.
There is unprecedented farmer distress in the country.As many as 12,602 persons involved in the farming sector– 8,007 farmers-cultivators and 4,595 agricultural laborers –committed suicide in 2015, according to figures provided by the central government to the Supreme Court.Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh told Parliament that according to National Crime Records Bureau data for 2016, which is yet to be published, 11,400 farmers committed suicide; in 2015, the number was 12,602.
From Tamil Nadu to Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh and even in the food bowl, Punjab, falling farm incomes are driving farmers to take the extreme step of ending their lives.
Similarly, the industrial scenario is dismal. In June 2017, eight core sectors of the economy grew by a dismal 0.4% , down from 7% for the corresponding month in 2016. The growth in Index of Industrial Production (IIP) was 1.7 per cent in May 2017, as compared to a growth of 8.0 per cent in May 2016.
As opposed to 380 lakh new jobs that India required in the38 months this government has been in office, job creation or job growth for 2015 and 2016 (April-December) stood at 1.55 lakh and 2.31 lakh in numbers respectively. The former minister for rural development Jairam Ramesh recently underscored this worrying downturn when he said, “In the first two years of the Modi government, only 4.4 lakh jobs were created in the organized sector as opposed to 21 lakh jobs created during the first two years of the UPA-II government.”
Demonetization and the implementation of the flawed GST have further broken the back of the informal sector of the economy leading to widespread chaos. The GDP growth numbers evidence this phenomenon. In the fourth quarter of 2016 the economy clocked only 6.1% which at 2004-05 base year translates into a measly figure of 4.1% only.
Social harmony has been torn to shreds with Hindustan acquiring the notorious sobriquet of Lynchistan – all thanks to the active encouragement and support of the ruling dispensation, notwithstanding the pro-forma condemnation by the prime minister once in a while. It does not require rocket science to discern the truth. You only need to ask why these lynchings weren’t taking place between 2004-14 and why have they become a norm these past three years?
Internal security lies in tatters. Kashmir is up a creek without a paddle. It is a volcano waiting to explode again as it did last year after Burhan Wani was killed by security forces last year. Maoist activity is on the rise. From January 1-July 15, 170 deaths in 504 incidents have taken place. The North East is on the boil with the Gorkhaland violence having peaked this summer.The 47-day-long indefinite shutdown, which started on June 15, is the longest so far in the picturesque hill station which had last witnessed a 40-day bandh in 1988 by the Gorkha National Liberation Front and a 44-day shutdown in 2013 by GorkhaJanmuktiMorcha on the statehood issue. Even in the otherwise peaceful state of Tripura, the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura has upped the ante on their demand to carve out Tipraland— a separate state from Tripura. Meanwhile, there is no sign of the fabled Naga Accord.
#NBA’s #KevinDurant on #India"Cows, Stray Dogs" "Bunch of Underprivileged People" "20 years behind" #Poverty #Filth
NBA champion Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors had visited India in July to help the NBA make inroads into the nation of 1.3 billion.
Durant took part in a camp in New Delhi, where he helped set a Guinness World Record for the largest basketball lesson – 3,459 people participated in it across multiple venues.
The NBA finals MVP met young players at the NBA Academy, with many more joining via satellite from four other cities across the country.
However, after returning to the United States, he said in an interview to The Athletic that India is 20 years behind in terms of knowledge and experience.
I went with no expectation, no view on what it’s supposed to be like. I usually go to places where I at least have a view in my head. India, I’m thinking I’m going to be around palaces and royalty and gold — basically thought I was going to Dubai. Then when I landed there, I saw the culture and how they live and it was rough. It’s a country that’s 20 years behind in terms of knowledge and experience.
Durant added that there are “just a bunch of underprivileged people living in India”.
You see cows on the street, monkeys running around everywhere, hundreds of people on the side of the road, a million cars and no traffic violations. Just a bunch of underprivileged people there and they want to learn how to play basketball. That was really, really dope to me.
#India at 70: #Lynchistan #racist #fascist #xenophobic #Hindu #Supremacist #Modi #BJP
"Mr. Modi’s rule represents the most devastating, and perhaps final, defeat of India’s noble postcolonial ambition to create a moral world order. It turns out that the racist imperialism Du Bois despised can resurrect itself even among its former victims: There can be English rule without the Englishman. India’s claims to exceptionalism appear to have been as unfounded as America’s own." --- Pankaj Mishra
India’s lynch mobs today represent the latest and most grisly expression of such cynical political ideologies. As the sheer brutishness of Mr. Modi’s populism becomes clear, the memory of the aristocratic Nehru becomes more sacred, especially among politicians and commentators from India’s English-speaking upper castes. But Mr. Modi has also turned that legacy of high-flown promises to his political advantage.
Nehru and his followers had articulated an influential ideology of Indian exceptionalism, claiming moral prestige and geopolitical significance for India’s uniquely massive and diverse democracy. Only many of those righteous notions also reeked of upper-caste sanctimony and class privilege. Mr. Modi has effectively mobilized those Indians who have long felt marginalized and humiliated by India’s self-serving Nehruvian elite into a large vote bank of ressentiment.
Virtuous talk of unity in diversity and secularism has been replaced by a barefaced Hindu nationalism: The tattered old masks, and the gloves, have come off. The state, colonized by an ideological movement, is emerging triumphant over society. With the media’s help, it is assuming extraordinary powers of control — telling people what they should eat at home and how they should behave in public, and whom to lynch.
Mr. Modi’s rule represents the most devastating, and perhaps final, defeat of India’s noble postcolonial ambition to create a moral world order. It turns out that the racist imperialism Du Bois despised can resurrect itself even among its former victims: There can be English rule without the Englishman. India’s claims to exceptionalism appear to have been as unfounded as America’s own.
And so one can, of course, mourn this Aug. 15 as marking the end of India’s tryst with destiny or, more accurately, the collapse of our exalted ideas about ourselves. But a sober reckoning with the deep malaise in India can be bracing, too. For it confirms that the world as we have known it, molded by the beneficiaries of both Western imperialism and anti-imperialist nationalism, is crumbling, and that in the East as well as the West, all of us are now called to fresh struggles for freedom, equality and dignity.
A study in contrasts: Muslims in India vs Pakistan by Dr. Ata ur Rahman ... The per capita income of Muslims in Pakistan is about $1,460 while the per capita income of Muslims in India is only about $400 – less than one-fourth of the country’s national Indian GDP. About 52.3 percent of Muslims in India live below the poverty line, with an average monthly income of $5 or less. Muslims constitute about 14.5 percent of the total Indian population. However, only between two percent and three percent of them pass the civil services examinations.
The literacy level of Muslims in India is also much lower than the national average. Only about four percent (one in 25) of Indians who receive education up to the high school level are Muslims, while only 1.7 percent (one in 60) of college graduates in India are Muslims. When we consider that one in seven people in India is a Muslim, these figures bring out the stark disparities that exist in India between Hindus and Muslims. In his book, ‘India’s Muslim Problem’, V T Rajshekar states that Muslims “are in many ways worse than untouchables and in recent years they are facing dangers of mass annihilation”.
The mass killings of Muslims in Indian towns and cities also add strength to the Two-Nation Theory. About 630 Muslims lost their lives during the 1969 Gujarat riots. This was followed by anti-Muslim violence in the Indian towns of Bhiwandi, Jalgaon and Mahad in 1970 when a large number of properties of Muslims were burnt and many Muslims killed. During anti-Muslim violence in Moradabad in 1980, about 2,500 Muslims were killed by extremist Hindu elements. Another 1,800 Muslims were slaughtered in the state of Assam in 1983 in a village called Nellie. The official 600-page Tiwari Commission Report on the Nellie massacre has remained a closely guarded secret since 1984.
The destruction of Babri Masjid in December 1992 by Hindu nationalists led to the Bombay Riots. BBC correspondent Toral Varia concluded that the riots were “a pre-planned pogrom” that had been in the making since 1990. According to many independent scholars, extremist Hindu rioters had been given access to information about the locations of Muslim homes and businesses through confidential government sources. This violence was planned and executed by Shiv Sena, a Hindu nationalist group led by Bal Thackeray.
The anti-Muslim riots that occurred in Bombay in January 1993 following the demolition of the Babri Masjid in December 1992, were reported in the following manner by international and Indian newspapers:
“Bombay: Day after day after day, for nine days and nights beginning on January 6, mobs of Hindus rampaged through this city, killing and burning people only because they were Muslims. No Muslim was safe – not in the slums, not in high-rise apartments, not in the city’s bustling offices – in an orgy of violence that left 600 people dead and 2,000 injured...Interviews have suggested, moreover, that the killing, arson and looting were far from random. In fact, they were organized by Hindu gangs, abetted by the Bombay police, and directed at Muslim families and businesses. The extent of police cooperation with the Hindu mobs appears to have spread through the entire police force, excluding only the most senior officers...neither the Maharashtra authorities nor the central government in New Delhi made any effort to stanch the flow of blood.” (The New York Times, February 4, 1993)
“Tragedy has struck Surat (Muslim) women… for them, it was hell let loose... While men were thrown into bonfires, torched alive or had burning tyres put around their necks, women were stripped of all their clothes and ordered to ‘run till they can’t… run”. (The Times of India, December 22, 1992).
How to Get Away With Murder in Small-Town #India? #bribe #vote #caste #politics #democracy #justice #misogyny
PEEPLI KHERA, India — On my last week in India, I went to say goodbye to Jahiruddin Mewati, the chief of a small village where I had made a dozen or so reporting trips.
Jahiruddin and I were not precisely friends, but we had spent many hours talking over the years, mostly about local politics. I found him entirely without scruples but candid. He suspected my motives but found me entertaining, in the way that a talking dog might be entertaining, without regard for the particulars of what I said.
Jahiruddin, though uneducated, was an adept politician, fresh from winning a hard-fought local election. During our conversations, he would often break into rousing, patriotic speeches about truth and justice, thumping the plastic table in emphasis and making it jump. The effect was somewhat tarnished by his Tourette’s syndrome, which caused him to interject the word “penis” at regular intervals.
He was frank about the dirty aspects of his job. He occupied a post reserved for women from lower castes, but no one pretended this was any more than a sham; his wife’s name appeared on the ballot, but the face on the poster was his.
Nearly everything he did in local government was transactional, driven by the desire to secure the votes of minuscule family and caste groups. The funny thing was, it seemed to be working pretty well.
Geeta’s husband — a slight man named Mukesh — stood above Geeta, who was slumped on the side of a rope cot, and brought the stick down on her head several more times. She died on the spot.
What bothered Anjum, she said, was that the police had been contacted about the killing but almost immediately closed their investigation, releasing Mukesh after a few hours.
This was not because he (Jaheeruddin Mewati) believed that Geeta deserved to die or that her husband deserved to escape punishment. It was something more practical. Mukesh’s extended family controlled 150 votes; Jahiruddin had won his last election by 91. A murder case would have been a blot on their caste, and by brokering the cover-up, he had performed a particularly valuable service to a key vote bank. It might help him win re-election someday.
“In India, there is no vote in the name of development,” he said. “In India, there is no vote in the name of doing something good. The vote is in the name of caste, family, community. And then 10 percent of people will say, ‘He did something good for me.’”
Indian journalist Gauri Lankesh shot dead in Bangalore
A prominent Indian journalist critical of Hindu nationalist politics has been shot dead in the south-western state of Karnataka, police say.
Gauri Lankesh, 55, was found lying in a pool of blood outside her home in the city of Bangalore.
She was shot in the head and chest by gunmen who arrived by motorcycle. The motive for the crime was not clear.
India journalists are being increasingly targeted by radical Hindu nationalists, activists say.
Gauri Lankesh, who edited a weekly newspaper, was known as a fearless and outspoken journalist.
She had returned home in her car on Tuesday night and was opening the gate when the attackers shot her, police said. She died on the spot.
Officials said they suspected she had been under surveillance by the gunmen. An investigation has been opened.
Her death has been widely condemned, with Karnataka state's chief minister Siddaramaiah calling it an "assassination on democracy".
Ms Lankesh came from a well-known family, and edited Lankesh Patrike, a newspaper founded by her father P Lankesh, a left-wing poet and writer.
She was the sister of award-winning filmmaker Kavitha Lankesh.
Who was Gauri Lankesh?
Known for her secularist criticism of right-wing and Hindu nationalists, including members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
Sympathetic to the Naxalites, or Maoist rebels, and was involved in the reintegration of former rebels
Worked for The Times of India and later ran the newspaper Lankesh Patrike, which her father founded, with her brother Indrajit for several years
She left to start several publications, including her own newspaper Gauri Lankesh Patrike
Ms Lankesh was convicted of defamation in 2016 for a report she published on local BJP leaders.
She was sentenced to six months in jail, and was out on bail and appealing the conviction at the time of her death.
In an interview with Narada News last year shortly after her conviction, she criticised BJP's "fascist and communal politics" and added: "My Constitution teaches me to be a secular citizen, not communal. It is my right to fight against these communal elements."
"I believe in democracy and freedom of expression, and hence, am open to criticism too. People are welcome to call me anti-BJP or anti-Modi, if they want to. They are free to have their own opinion, just as I am free to have my opinion."
'They come on motorbikes, kill, and vanish'
Her killing follows several assassinations of outspoken secularists or rationalists in recent years, including scholar Malleshappa Kalburgi, anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar, and politician Govind Pansare.
#India’s traditional medicine #Ayurveda prescribes #beef for several disorders. #Hindutva #BJP #AyurvedaDay #Modi
Ancient Indian scriptures imposed no bar on eating beef and, in fact, ayurvedic Acharya Charaka had recommended beef for some disorders, said veteran scientist P M Bhargava in his letter to President Pranab Mukherjee marking his returning the Padma Bhushan.
TOI on October 29 first reported the decision of Bhargava, 87, the founder director of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, to return the award he got in 1986, as a mark of protest against rising intolerance in the country.
Quoting Charaka Samhita, Bharagava said: "The flesh of the cow is beneficial for those suffering from the loss of flesh due to disorders caused by an excess of vayu, rhinitis, irregular fever, dry cough, fatigue, and also in cases of excessive appetite resulting from hard manual labour."
Bhargava said the lynching of Mohamed Akhlaq in Dadri "probably by fringe elements related to BJP" showed "the control that BJP wants to have on what we may eat ... just as it wants to control what we may wear, or whom we may love, or what we may read."
He called the Modi government "the least knowledgeable" about science. "I am a professional scientist with an experience of 65 years. I have also had the occasion of interacting on matters of science with the governments at the Centre since Independence. I find the present government the least knowledgeable and least concerned about science. The climate of religious conservatism that we have today is a major obstacle in the functioning of science and thus in meeting developmental objectives.
Bhargava was among the second batch of more than 100 scientists to sign an online petition last month against the "rejection of reason' that led to the assassinations of scholar M M Kalburgi, rationalist Narendra Dabhoklar and communist Govind Pansare.
In his letter to the President dated November 6, made available to TOI, the scientist named BJP and RSS behind the climate of intolerance. "No one would be more aware than you that, de facto, BJP is the political front of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and functions under the leadership of RSS that is fully committed to the ideology of Hindutva, which I find divisive, unreasonable and unscientific," he said.
Noting that according to the Constitution, one of the duties of our citizens is to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform, the letter said: "Steeped in superstition, unreason and irrationality, much of what RSS and BJP do goes against the grain of scientific temper. An example would be the recent statement of Shri Mohan Bhagwat who heads the RSS that marriage is a contract according to which the woman is supposed to be only a housewife and not work outside."
Bhargava said the Padma Bhushan had been very dear to him. "My returning it to you, for whom I have much respect and admiration, is an expression of my concern at the currently prevailing socio-politico situation in the country."
BBC News - #India student refuses to be 'anti-#Pakistan' poster girl. #Lynchistan #BJP #Modi http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-42081368# The Twitter account of an unofficial Pakistani defence blog is suspended after it doctored an image of an Indian student to portray her as someone who hated her country. Indian media swiftly hailed it as a "victory" against Pakistani propaganda, but the student, Kawalpreet Kaur, says she is uncomfortable with this narrative.
What did the tweets say?
The original tweet from Ms Kaur in June, featured her standing outside the 16 Century Jama Masjid in the capital Delhi, holding a placard that read: "I am a citizen of India and I stand with the secular values of our Constitution. I will write against communal mob lynching of Muslims in our country. #CitizensAgainstMobLynching."
Ms Kaur told the BBC that she had taken the picture in June as part of nationwide protests titled "not in my name" against rising attacks on Muslims and Dalits (formerly untouchables) by vigilante groups seeking to protect cows, which are sacred to Hindus.
The doctored image by Pakistan Defence saw the text on her sign changed to: "I am an Indian but I hate India, because India is a colonial entity that has occupied nations such as Nagas, Kashmiris, Manipuris, Hyderabad, Junagadh, Sikkim, Mizoram, Goa."
The accompanying tweet read: "Indians are finally realising the truth; their country is actually a colonialist entity."
#India: #Hindu man lynches #Muslim, has nephew make video of killing and shares it via WhatsApp, raises thousands of dollars. #Modi #BJP #Islamophobia #Hindutva
A Hindu man got his 12-year-old nephew to film him killing a Muslim laborer in India, in an attempt to raise funds for his anti-Islam camapign, according to police in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan.
The suspect, Shambulal Regar, shared his bank account details along with videos of the murder that mainly circulated on Whatsapp and received 300,000 rupees ($4,665) from more than 700 people across India.
“The accused wanted to become a Hindu hero after killing a Muslim man; his main aim was to collect money after committing the hate crime,” police officer Anand Shrivastava told Reuters.
Police have since frozen his wife's bank account as more than 500 people pledged donations to Regar's legal defense, local media reported. His supporters also staged a demonstration on Thursday. Ensuing clashes injured at least 30 demonstrators and 20 police officers, and there were 50 arrests, authorities told local media.
The videos began circulating on December 6, the same day that a charred body was found by a passerby who informed the police. The victim was a laborer from the eastern Indian state of West Bengal who worked near the area where he was killed.
Regar was arrested the day after the body was found. Regar’s underaged nephew was also arrested last week as police said he was the one who shot the videos, The Indian Express reported.
In one of the videos, which have since been taken down, Regar is seen attacking the man with an iron rod and then stabbing him as he lies on the ground, local media reported. In another, he pours a liquid over the body of the man and then throwing a match on it as he rants about “jihadis.”
According to the police, the man described himself as a proud Hindu fighting against a “love jihad”—a term Hindu hardliners use to accuse Muslim men of marrying Hindu women to convert them to Islam.
The police don't believe Regar knew the victim of his hate crime, the latest in a string of attacks against India’s Muslim minority—less than 8 percent of the country’s 1.32 billion citizens—that has increasingly been the target of Hindu extremists.
Hindu vigilantes have killed at least 11 people this year whom they suspected of killing or eating cows, an animal that conservative Hindus consider sacred, according to data journalism organization IndiaSpend, and cow-related hate crimes have increased.
In one recent instance, a Muslim man was shot dead while transporting cows near the Rajasthan-Haryana border after he and his two aides were attacked by a group of people, as BBC reported in November.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who leads the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, has publicly condemned the cow-related violence, but his critics say he hasn’t done enough to stop the anti-Muslim attacks.
After Hindu vigilantes take the cows from Muslim farmers, these end up in cow shelters that often sell or give the stolen cattle to Hindu farmers, a practice that has seen a steep increase in states governed by Modi’s party, according to a Reuters investigation published last month.
#Bengaluru, #India: #Hindu Doctor forces #Muslim woman to chant 'Krishna Krishna'
A woman has alleged that a government doctor forced her to chant “Krishna Krishna” to carry out a tubectomy surgery on her. The doctor, the woman claimed in her police complaint, threatened to cancel her surgery if she did not obey his order.
According to the complainant, Naseema Banu (22), a resident of Nandini Layout in Yeshwanthpur, she and her husband had decided that Naseema would undergo tubectomy surgery after the birth of their second daughter 10 months ago.
Knowing of a tubectomy surgery camp being held at Chintamani Government Hospital on Tuesday, Naseema, her husband and aunt left for Chintamani and enrolled her name in the hospital. After hours of waiting for her turn, when Naseema went to the operation area, she saw doctors asking patients to chant “Krishna Krishna” during the operation.
“I was asked to come for the surgery at 1 pm. The doctors operating on women were asking the patients to chant Krishna Krishna while being operated. As I was a Muslim, I started saying, Allah Allah, to which the doctors objected. I tried to convince them saying I am a Muslim and I cannot chant Krishna’s name, but the doctors refused to accept my explanation,” Naseema said in her complaint.
She further said that the doctors threatened to cancel her surgery if she did not chant “Krishna Krishna” and that she was forced into chanting it.
After the surgery, Naseema approached the Chintamani city police station and lodged a complaint, stating that her religious sentiments were hurt by the act of doctor Ramakrishna, who according to her forced her into chanting “Krishna Krishna”.
By rewriting history, #Hindu nationalists lay claim to #India. #Modi has appointed committee of #Hindutva "scholars" to change #India's national identity to one based on #Hindu religion. #Islamophobia #Pakistan http://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/india-modi-culture … via @SpecialReports
By RUPAM JAIN and TOM LASSETER Filed March 6, 2018, 11 a.m. GMT
NEW DELHI - During the first week of January last year, a group of Indian scholars gathered in a white bungalow on a leafy boulevard in central New Delhi. The focus of their discussion: how to rewrite the history of the nation.
The government of Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi had quietly appointed the committee of scholars about six months earlier. Details of its existence are reported here for the first time.
Minutes of the meeting, reviewed by Reuters, and interviews with committee members set out its aims: to use evidence such as archaeological finds and DNA to prove that today’s Hindus are directly descended from the land’s first inhabitants many thousands of years ago, and make the case that ancient Hindu scriptures are fact not myth.
Interviews with members of the 14-person committee and ministers in Modi’s government suggest the ambitions of Hindu nationalists extend beyond holding political power in this nation of 1.3 billion people - a kaleidoscope of religions. They want ultimately to shape the national identity to match their religious views, that India is a nation of and for Hindus.
In doing so, they are challenging a more multicultural narrative that has dominated since the time of British rule, that modern-day India is a tapestry born of migrations, invasions and conversions. That view is rooted in demographic fact. While the majority of Indians are Hindus, Muslims and people of other faiths account for some 240 million, or a fifth, of the populace.
The committee’s chairman, K.N. Dikshit, told Reuters, “I have been asked to present a report that will help the government rewrite certain aspects of ancient history.” The committee’s creator, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, confirmed in an interview that the group’s work was part of larger plans to revise India’s history.
For India’s Muslims, who have pointed to incidents of religious violence and discrimination since Modi took office in 2014, the development is ominous. The head of Muslim party All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, Asaduddin Owaisi, said his people had “never felt so marginalised in the independent history of India.”
“The government,” he said, “wants Muslims to live in India as second-class citizens.”
Modi did not respond to a request for comment for this article.
INTO THE CLASSROOM
Helping to drive the debate over Indian history is an ideological, nationalist Hindu group called the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). It helped sweep Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party to power in 2014 and now counts among its members the ministers in charge of agriculture, highways and internal security.
The RSS asserts that ancestors of all people of Indian origin - including 172 million Muslims - were Hindu and that they must accept their common ancestry as part of Bharat Mata, or Mother India. Modi has been a member of the RSS since childhood. An official biography of Culture Minister Sharma says he too has been a “dedicated follower” of the RSS for many years.
Referring to the emblematic colour of the Hindu nationalist movement, RSS spokesman Manmohan Vaidya told Reuters that “the true colour of Indian history is saffron and to bring about cultural changes we have to rewrite history.”
#Indian #Muslim: How I Got Over That Dark Geographic Shadow Called #Pakistan: “Musalman ke do hi sthaan, qabristan ya Pakistan” (A Muslim has only two choices of abode – graveyard or Pakistan). #BJP #Modi #Islamophobia
https://thewire.in/culture/how-i-got-over-that-dark-geographic-shadow-called-pakistan … via @thewire_in
Pakistan became an enemy that came between my friends and me occasionally, and between my country and me often. My yearning for acceptance of my loyalty as an Indian was strong, even though it came at the cost of irrationally bashing ‘Pakistan’ for its cricket and its politics, and anything that kept me on ‘the side of my people’ was acceptable to me.
So, Pakistan, with which I had maintained a safe distance growing up, came close, uncomfortably close, when my husband had to travel to Pakistan for his journalistic pursuits. It was almost an irritation when my father had to go to the Pakistan High Commission to fetch my husband’s visa in his absence.
My work got me in touch with Pakistani academics and researchers, and that is when I began to know Pakistan as its people. I found a window into their research, courses, and universities, daily email exchange and communication grew, and very soon my Facebook profile could list at least a hundred ‘friends’ in Pakistan. In early 2017, as my son recovered from a major heart surgery at Jaypee Hospital, I learnt of a family who had traveled from Pakistan for their son’s surgery. Our children were in the same ICU, fighting bravely for life, and outside, their Indian and Pakistani mothers shared their grief and bonded over the pain that they were going through. After three months of tough fight, the Pakistani boy passed away, and I remember his inconsolable mother as she cried in disbelief at her misfortune and the futility of her struggle. The little hope and courage that I would gather every day to see my son for two minutes every morning in the ICU seemed ruptured, and I could feel her pain. I hugged her, as this was the only solace that I could offer to another mother, who happened to be a Pakistani.
A few days ago, I was at the Chaophraya Emerging Leaders’ Dialogue in Bangkok. A first of its kind in a nine-year-old Track Two dialogue between India and Pakistan, the dialogue brought together mid-career professionals who represented the next generation of leadership across industry and scholarship from both countries.
I can claim to know the ‘people’ side of Pakistan now, which is as humble, passionate, and desirous of amity as are the people in India. They are also progressive, articulate, and ambitious, as are my people.
I can appreciate them for what they are without the fear of being abused and demonised for this. I have come of age. But not all Indian Muslims who are subjected to verbal abuse and violent attacks and are repeatedly asked to ‘go to Pakistan’ will have the opportunity of mental healing. School-going Muslim children, who are derogatorily called ‘Pakistani’ by their classmates, will grow up as vulnerable and marginalised adults. No cricket enthusiast will ever be able to appreciate cricket for the spirit of the game, and no one will offer a hand of friendship.
So next time, when some Vinay Katiyar (founder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s youth wing, Bajrang Dal) asks Indian Muslims to go to Pakistan, we should be able to tell him: I belong to India, it is my homeland, and Pakistanis are friends.
#US govt report on #ReligiousFreedom says #Muslims, #minorities threatened in #India. #India doesn’t prosecute #cow vigilantes, notes #BJP’s role in violence. #Modi #Hindutva https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/international/us-govt-report-on-religious-freedom-says-india-doesnt-prosecute-cow-vigilantes-notes-bjps-role
The International Religious Freedom Report, 2017, says that BJP leaders, including Raman Singh and Adityanath, had been accused of making remarks that could be interpreted as condoning violence.
The United States government has claimed in an annual report that Indian authorities “frequently did not prosecute members of vigilante cow-protection groups who attacked alleged smugglers, consumers, or traders of beef, usually Muslims, despite an increase in attacks compared to previous years.”The International Religious Freedom Report for 2017, put together by the US State Department every year, was released by US’ Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday.“Advancing liberty and religious freedom advances America’s interests. Where fundamental freedoms of religion, expression, press, and peaceful assembly are under attack, we find conflict, instability, and terrorism,” Pompeo said in his opening remarks at the time of releasing the report.“On the other hand, governments and societies that champion these freedoms are more secure, stable, and peaceful,” added Pompeo. The Secretary of State also said that he would host leaders from across the world at a conference on religious liberty over July 25 and 26.The yearly report took a critical view of certain leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), including Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh and UP’s Yogi Adityanath, for making “public remarks that individuals could interpret as condoning violence.”“On April 2, Chhattisgarh’s Chief Minister Raman Singh said anyone who killed a cow in his state would be hanged,” it mentions. The document also refers to then parliamentarian, and currently Uttar Pradesh’s (UP) chief minister, Yogi Adityanath for saying that “Mother Teresa had been on a mission to Christianize India.”The report further highlights that BJP leaders were tacitly backing people accused of carrying out mob-lynchings of Muslims, as it mentioned the September 2015 incident involving the killing of Mohammad Akhlaq in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh.“In October 2017 media reported a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state legislator in Uttar Pradesh was working to help the 18 charged individuals out on bail secure employment and the family of one of the accused that died in jail would receive 800,000 rupees ($12,500),” it said.The report also notes, “Members of civil society and religious minorities stated that under the current government, religious minority communities felt increasingly vulnerable due to Hindu nationalist groups engaging in violence against non-Hindu individuals and their places of worship.”The religious liberty report also mentions the surge in attacks on Christians under the current government, noting that they had jumped from 348 in 2016 to 736 in 2017. The figures were taken from the Union of Catholic Asian News, as per the US report.
The report goes on to scrutinise the role of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Ministry of Home Affairs, noting that the government agencies had been accused of coming out with misleading reports on communal violence on several occasions.Dwelling on the sectarian violence in Kairana in 2013, the report says that the National Human Rights’ Commission’s (NHRC) claims that members of Muslims community were responsible for driving out Hindus from the affected areas had been disputed by human rights activists.“Human rights activists acting on behalf of the Muslim community in Kairana, such as Harsh Mander, disputed the NHRC’s findings that Hindus had been driven out by Muslim crime and called on the NHRC to withdraw and apologize for the report, which the human rights activists stated had been used to spread prejudice against the Muslim community,” it states.
A wave of #religious intolerance is hitting big business in #India. A wave of religious intolerance as India heads toward elections is emerging as a new risk for its top companies. #Hindutva #Islamophobia #Modi #BJP https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-01/online-bigotry-is-becoming-a-risk-for-india-s-biggest-companies via @bpolitics
Over the past weeks, a telecom giant, the Indian lender led by Asia’s richest banker, and the local rival of Uber Technologies Inc. have been roiled by controversies linked to comments on Facebook and Twitter involving a minority community in the Hindu-dominated nation. All these started as social media posts, then gained a life of their own as people backed or vilified the comments, eventually forcing the companies to react to contain any damage.
Tensions on social media are mounting as the world’s largest democracy approaches elections early next year that will pit the Hindu nationalist beliefs of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party against the main opposition, which often spotlights secularism and rising religious intolerance. Risk consultancy Kroll Inc. says it’s seeing an “exponential increase” in questions from corporate clients on how to manage the fallout from incidents on social media.
“It doesn’t just carry reputational and business risk, it can snowball into business continuity risks that can spread faster than a forest fire,” said Tarun Bhatia, a Mumbai-based managing director at Kroll. “Companies can’t choose their customers or control what they say. So it comes down to how companies manage these incidents, how quickly they react.”
Bharti Airtel Ltd., India’s biggest telecommunications provider thanks to its 304 million subscribers, was tested on that recently. This is how it began: Around noon on June 18, Twitter user Pooja Singh complained about an Airtel customer service representative. An Airtel employee replied, promising to get back with more information, and signed off as “Shoaib.”
This is a recognizable Muslim name in a country currently riven by passionate teams of social media trolls, akin to the U.S. experience where political discourse often degenerates into hate-filled accusations.
“Dear Shohaib, as you’re a Muslim and I have no faith in your working ethics... requesting you to assign a Hindu representative for my request. Thanks,” Singh responded. Soon after, another Airtel rep named Gaganjot -- a clearly non-Muslim name -- promised to resolve Singh’s concern.
On the morning of June 20, Airtel published a statement on twitter refuting accusations that it gave in to Singh’s alleged discriminatory demand, something that had already attracted severe criticism of the carrier and threats to discontinue its services, including from opposition lawmakers. The statement said that both Shoaib and Gaganjot were just following established workflow processes that “got read as ‘bowing down to bigotry.”’
“Airtel has been resolute for 23 years” and “our training manuals will never carry instructions to pause and check one’s identity before serving a query,” the statement read. The company didn’t reply to an email from Bloomberg seeking further comment.
#Muslim survivors of #Indian massacre shaken by #citizenship test. #Modi #India #Assam #Hindu https://reut.rs/2OrxBkP
NELLIE, India (Reuters) - Thirty-six years after losing his parents, sister and a four-year-old daughter in one of India’s worst sectarian massacres, Abdul Suban says he is still trying to prove he’s a citizen of the Hindu-majority nation.
Suban is one of hundreds of thousands of Bengali-speaking Muslims categorized as “doubtful voters”, who will not find their names in a National Register of Citizens (NRC) the northeastern border state of Assam will release on Monday.
“If the government has decided to brand us foreigners what can we do?” said the 60-year-old. “NRC is trying to finish us off. Our people have died here, but we will not leave this place.”
Suban was seated with his wife at their house a few hundred meters from a vast paddy field where, in 1983, scores of people were chased down and killed by machete-armed mobs intent on hounding out Muslim immigrants. He survived by running as hard as he could and hiding behind a bush for days.
Work on the citizens’ register has accelerated under the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
With an eye on the 2019 national election, the BJP’s Hindu-first campaign has become more strident, critics say, playing to its core base with divisive programs such as the citizenship test in Assam, already a tinderbox of ethnic and religious tensions.
Elsewhere in the country’s northern heartland, lynchings of Muslim cattle traders have risen under Modi in the country where many Hindus consider cows sacred, further deepening social divides.
The BJP has denied the lynchings have any connection with it being in power. Modi has at least twice publicly spoken out against cow vigilantes.
Several other survivors of the “Nellie Massacre”, which killed around 2,000 people from more than a dozen villages, gave accounts of burying bodies in a mass grave now partly under water.
They said they hoped the release of the NCR list on Monday would not spark further violence. Security has been tightened across Assam.
The citizenship test is the culmination of years of often violent agitations by Assamese demanding the removal of outsiders they accuse of taking jobs and cornering resources in the state of 33 million, known for its tea estates and oil fields.
“The NRC is extremely important to make the Assamese people feel protected,” said Santanu Bharali, the legal adviser to the BJP chief minister of Assam.
“It’s a moral victory. The ethnic Assamese always maintained the presence of foreigners and this will prove that.”
In #India, sacred #cows are running amok. Villagers are locking them in #schools. When cows were too old to provide milk and bulls were no longer useful for hauling or generating progeny, #farmers used to sell them to slaughterhouses. Now they're scared.
the rise of “cow vigilantes” made transporting cattle in Uttar Pradesh a risky, expensive and potentially deadly task. Hindu extremists have beaten up and even killed people, mostly Muslims, whom they suspect of smuggling or slaughtering cows.
That all adds up to a quandary for farmers. When cows were too old to provide milk and bulls were no longer useful for hauling or generating progeny, many farmers used to sell them. Middlemen would transport cattle to other states or sometimes to slaughterhouses. Now those networks have collapsed. Farmers must either bear the expense of caring for unproductive cattle or simply abandon them. Increasingly, they are choosing the latter.
In Edalpur, stray cows went from an occasional irritation to a constant menace. This winter, farmers organized shifts to conduct all-night vigils in the cold, huddled in layers of clothing around small fires. Armed with sticks and flashlights, they watched for packs of stray cattle that would trample leafy potato plants and chomp on tender new wheat.
The tipping point came a couple of months ago, villagers said. A farmer attempting to roust stray cows from his field through the liberal use of a stick mistakenly landed a blow on his neighbor, whose head began bleeding. A fight ensued.
No one in the village would say whose idea it was to round up the stray cows and lock them in the school. “When people get pushed so much beyond their limits, what will they do? They will come up with a solution,” said Chhetra Pal, 25, who grows millet. “The whole village agreed.”
In the village of Bedai in the same district, the middle school had just received a fresh coat of cheerful yellow paint when farmers pushed 200 cows into its gates on Dec. 31. The cattle stayed for four days, leaving the school walls splashed with mud and urine. The school remained closed through mid-January, and its 70-odd students were taught instead at a nearby elementary school.'
It’s not clear how many stray cows there are in Uttar Pradesh: The last official count, in 2012, put the number at more than 1 million. The current state government has “disturbed the natural cycle” and left farmers with little choice but to abandon cows, said Anil Chaudhary, a former member of the state legislature from a regional party.
A 104-page report released by Human Rights Watch (#HRW) stated that at least 44 people were killed and 280 injured in more than 100 attacks by cow vigilantes across 20 #Indian states between May 2015 and December 2018. #Modi #Hindutva #India https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-20/india-cow-protection-groups-have-killed-over-44-people-report/10830902 … via @ABCNews
The crimes largely target minorities, and go unpunished due to the support of law enforcement and, HRW said, "communal rhetoric by members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to spur a violent vigilante campaign against consumption of beef and those engaged in the cattle trade".
HRW said 36 Muslims were killed in the reported time period, and police "often stalled prosecutions of the attackers, while several BJP politicians publicly justified the attacks".
'A free pass'
Victims are also from India's Dalit (formerly known as "untouchables") and Adivasi (indigenous) communities.
Human rights activist Harsh Mander told The Guardian many of the killings were filmed, with the footage shared.
"This 'performative' aspect of the violence recalls, for me, the lynchings of African-Americans in the US as a way of showing the status to which a community has been reduced."
Many Hindus consider cows to be sacred and most states ban slaughtering cows, but the need to "save" cows and the proliferation of cow-protection groups around the country are recent phenomena.
The Guardian reported that many Hindus in Kerala and Tamil Nadu eat beef, as well as members of less-powerful castes in need of a cheap source of protein.
HRW found a 500 per cent increase in communally divisive rhetoric in speeches by politicians, 90 per cent of which were from BJP members.
About 90 per cent of the attacks were reported after the BJP's ascension to power in May 2014, and 66 per cent took place in BJP-run states.
"Calls for cow protection may have started out as a way to attract Hindu votes, but it has transformed into a free pass for mobs to violently attack and kill minority group members," said HRW's South Asia director, Meenakshi Ganguly.
"Indian authorities should stop egging on or justifying these attacks, blaming victims or protecting the culprits."
HRW said many cow-protection groups have clear ties to the BJP.
'These vigilantes get political shelter'
The report itself focused on 11 cases in four states that resulted in 14 deaths, and the Government response in each.
In almost all the cases, HRW found, police stalled the investigations, didn't follow procedure, or were complicit in the ensuing cover-ups.
"Police face political pressure to sympathise with cow protectors and do a weak investigation and let them go free," one retired senior police officer in Rajasthan told HRW.
"These vigilantes get political shelter and help."
#India's #Modi Has Lit a Fuse. Killings of #Muslims by #Hindu mobs in #Delhi were neither spontaneous nor without a warning but inevitable. Modi's #Hindutva policies have entrenched impunity, captured institutions and fanned religious hatred. #pogrom #BJP https://nyti.ms/2whFvc4
Many Muslims are now leaving (their homes), hoisting their unburned things on their heads and trudging away from streets that still smell of smoke.
The question before the nation is whether the bloodshed will change the direction of Mr. Modi — who first ran for prime minister in 2014 under the slogan “Together for all, development for all.”
In that campaign, Mr. Modi presented himself as a strong nationalist leader and economic reformer, playing down his Bharatiya Janata Party’s history of Hindu-nationalist aims and vilification of Muslims.
Some doubt clung to him personally as well. Despite his having been cleared by a court, accusations remained that he was complicit in the massacre of hundreds of Muslims in Gujarat in 2002, when he was the state’s chief minister.
Lynch mobs who said they were protecting cows, a holy animal in Hinduism, popped up across the landscape. They have gone on to kill scores of people, mostly Muslims and lower-caste Dalits.
Mr. Modi appointed Hindu extremists to top government posts, including Yogi Adityanath, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest state, who has called Muslims a “crop of two-legged animals” and promised to wage a “religious war.”
Mr. Modi placed other Hindu nationalist allies at the heads of important universities and cultural institutions. Place names were changed — so, too, were textbooks — to de-emphasize Muslims’ contribution to India and play up Hindu teachings. Many Muslim Indians, who make up one of the world’s largest Muslim populations, at 200 million, said they had never felt so marginalized.
And impunity flourished. Members of mobs who had been filmed in broad daylight beating the life out of someone went unpunished, or, if they were caught, they were often hailed by party leaders as heroes.
That violence did not appear to hurt Mr. Modi with his most ardent supporters in a country that is 80 percent Hindu. And he was given a boost before elections last year by a wave of nationalist sentiment over clashes between India and Pakistan.
“It may not work in Delhi, but incidents like this do work in some places in Uttar Pradesh or Bihar,” said Mr. Gokhale, the Mumbai activist, mentioning two other states. “Tomorrow Modi might reap political dividends, but people are going to be dead.”
There could be other costs, as well. These days, Mr. Modi speaks less about the development and reforms he once promised. The economy is reeling, with unemployment at a 45-year high and growth slowing to the lowest rate seen in nearly a decade.
Privately, some officials say that Mr. Modi’s government is so focused on its ideological aspirations that it is losing sight of the economy. And as the country’s economic malaise deepens, there is worry that Mr. Modi and his allies will again look to Hindu nationalist sentiment for a boost, and a distraction.
“To build that Hindu nation, control is everything,” said Shivshankar Menon, a former national security adviser.
“We may see them continue to inflame tensions domestically,” he said. “They need the violence as a distraction from those failures.”
#India should be placed on #ReligiousFreedom #BLACKLIST and #Indian agencies and leaders sanctioned, #US panel says. #USCIRF says religious minorities face ‘increasing assault’ under #Modi. US state department unlikely to act. #USCIRFAnnualReport2020 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/28/india-religious-freedom-narendra-modi-us?CMP=share_btn_tw
In an annual report, the bipartisan panel said that India should join the ranks of “countries of particular concern” that would be subject to sanctions if they do not improve their records.
“In 2019, religious freedom conditions in India experienced a drastic turn downward, with religious minorities under increasing assault,” the report said.
US Commission on International Religious Freedom called on the US to impose punitive measures, including visa bans, on Indian officials believed responsible and grant funding to civil society groups that monitor hate speech.
The commission said that Modi’s Hindu nationalist government, which won a convincing election victory last year, “allowed violence against minorities and their houses of worship to continue with impunity, and also engaged in and tolerated hate speech and incitement to violence”.
It pointed to comments by the home minister, Amit Shah, who referred to mostly Muslim migrants as “termites”, and to a citizenship law that has triggered nationwide protests.
It also highlighted the revocation of the autonomy of Kashmir, which was India’s only Muslim-majority state, and allegations that Delhi police turned a blind eye to mobs who attacked Muslim neighborhoods in February this year.
The Indian government, which has long been irritated by the commission’s comments, quickly rejected the report.
“Its biased and tendentious comments against India are not new. But on this new occasion, its misrepresentation has reached new levels,” a foreign ministry spokesman, Anurag Srivastava, said.
“We regard it as an organization of particular concern and will treat it accordingly,” he said in a statement.
The state department designates nine “countries of particular concern” on religious freedom – China, Eritrea, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.
Pakistan, India’s historic rival, was added by the state department in 2018 after years of appeals by the commission, which was appalled by attacks on minorities and abuse of blasphemy laws.
In its latest report, the commission asked that all nine countries remain on the list. In addition to India, it sought the inclusion of four more – Nigeria, Russia, Syria and Vietnam.
#Indians Pissed off With #Racism and Police Brutality in the #US Don’t Care About the Same Issues in Their Own Country. They are the same ones practicing blissful silence when similar shit happens in #India. #Modi #BJP #Hindutva #Islamophobia #Floyd - VICE https://www.vice.com/en_in/article/889g9k/why-indians-pissed-off-with-racism-and-police-brutality-in-the-us-dont-care-about-the-same-issues-in-their-own-country-muslim-casteism-violence-minority
By Shamani Joshi
“We have a deep-seated history of slavery, thousands of years of caste-based differentiation and several decades of violent Hindu-Muslim rivalry that aren’t easy to unlearn,” says Vikram Patel, a psychiatrist, social researcher and founder of Sangath, an organisation dedicated to child development and mental health in low-resource settings. “There’s still a lot of social engineering required to make our society more inclusive of its diversity. This has a direct impact on children’s views while growing up when their families, which might be biased (by historical context that is casteist or anti-Muslim), impose unacceptable and inhumane prejudice on impressionable minds.”
Over the weekend, I saw all my social media feeds flooded with illustrated quotes of Desmond Tutu that declared “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor”, poignant protest signs that declared “I can’t breathe”, and the quintessential hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. These were all in solidarity against the incident that saw George Floyd, a black man, die after a police officer kneeled on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds—one which has sparked demonstrations against police brutality and racism around the world.
This outpouring of support resonating with a movement so geographically far away would have ordinarily been touching. Except, a lot of people are also kinda pissed off that some individuals who now claim to be infuriated by police brutality, systematic oppression and murder on the basis of arbitrary factors like skin colour, were the same ones practising blissful silence when similar shit went down in our own country. They’re the ones who feigned ignorance and apathy when critics pointed out that police forces in India target university students and Dalit rights activists. They stand in solidarity with an American-born movement against oppression while choosing to overlook the all too frequent religion-based violence and riots that have taken place in India.
India's so called intellectuals have a incorportated into the HIndu culture 'programme based on ' Tne Nazi Hitler the Avatar of Visnu' programme of cleansing lesser races.
Before #India’s elections in 2019, #Facebook took down inauthentic pages tied to #Pakistan’s military & #Indian Opposition Congress party, but it didn't remove #BJP accounts spewing anti-#Muslim #hate & #fakenews. Why? FB executive Ankhi Das intervened. https://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-hate-speech-india-politics-muslim-hindu-modi-zuckerberg-11597423346
In 2017, Ms. Das wrote an essay, illustrated with Facebook’s thumbs-up logo, praising Mr. Modi. It was posted to his website and featured in his mobile app.
On her own Facebook page, Ms. Das shared a post from a former police official, who said he is Muslim, in which he called India’s Muslims traditionally a “degenerate community” for whom “Nothing except purity of religion and implementation of Shariah matter.”
In Facebook posts and public appearances, Indian politician T. Raja Singh has said Rohingya Muslim immigrants should be shot, called Muslims traitors and threatened to raze mosques.
Facebook Inc. employees charged with policing the platform were watching. By March of this year, they concluded Mr. Singh not only had violated the company’s hate-speech rules but qualified as dangerous, a designation that takes into account a person’s off-platform activities, according to current and former Facebook employees familiar with the matter.
Yet Mr. Singh, a member of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party, is still active on Facebook and Instagram, where he has hundreds of thousands of followers. The company’s top public-policy executive in the country, Ankhi Das, opposed applying the hate-speech rules to Mr. Singh and at least three other Hindu nationalist individuals and groups flagged internally for promoting or participating in violence, said the current and former employees.
Ms. Das, whose job also includes lobbying India’s government on Facebook’s behalf, told staff members that punishing violations by politicians from Mr. Modi’s party would damage the company’s business prospects in the country, Facebook’s biggest global market by number of users, the current and former employees said.
India is a vital market for Facebook, which isn’t allowed to operate in China, the only other nation with more than one billion people. India has more Facebook and WhatsApp users than any other country, and Facebook has chosen it as the market in which to introduce payments, encryption and initiatives to tie its products together in new ways that Mr. Zuckerberg has said will occupy Facebook for the next decade. In April, Facebook said it would spend $5.7 billion on a new partnership with an Indian telecom operator to expand operations in the country—its biggest foreign investment.
Another BJP legislator, a member of Parliament named Anantkumar Hegde, has posted essays and cartoons to his Facebook page alleging that Muslims are spreading Covid-19 in the country in a conspiracy to wage “Corona Jihad.” Human-rights groups say such unfounded allegations, which violate Facebook’s hate speech rules barring direct attacks on people based on “protected characteristics” such as religion, are linked to attacks on Muslims in India, and have been designated as hate speech by Twitter Inc.
While Twitter has suspended Mr. Hegde’s account as a result of such posts, prompting him to call for an investigation of the company, Facebook took no action until the Journal sought comment from the company about his “Corona Jihad” posts. Facebook removed some of them on Thursday. Mr. Hegde didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Within hours of the videotaped message, which Mr. Mishra uploaded to Facebook, rioting broke out that left dozens of people dead. Most of the victims were Muslims, and some of their killings were organized via Facebook’s WhatsApp
Book titled "Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story" claims #Delhiriots were a conspiracy by Muslim jihadists. The fact is #Hindu mobs roamed the streets attacking #Muslims and burning their homes. Bloomsbury has now withdrawn it. #DelhiRiots2020UntoldStory https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/24/bloomsbury-india-pulls-delhi-riots-2020-book-after-anti-muslim-controversy
The book, titled Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story, claims that the riots were the result of a conspiracy by Muslim jihadists and so-called “urban naxals”, a derogatory term used to describe left-wing activists, who had a role to play in the riots. The claim contravenes reports by organisations such as Amnesty International and the Delhi Minorities Commission that Muslims bore the brunt of the violence.
The decision to withdraw the book has prompted many in India to accuse Bloomsbury India of censorship and the book’s author, Monika Arora, denounced the publisher for allegedly falling prey to “leftist fascists”. Delhi Riots 2020 will now be published by the Indian publishing house Garuda Prakashan.
The book began to draw controversy after it emerged that Kapil Mishra, a leader from the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), would be the guest of honour at an online launch event this weekend. The BJP’s national general secretary, Bhupendra Yadav, was to be the host.
Mishra is accused of instigating the riots that ripped violently through the north-east of Delhi in February and left more than 50 people dead, after he made a fiery public speech calling on his followers to clear away Muslim protestors.
What followed was three days of the worst religious violence in the capital in decades, where Hindu mobs roamed the streets attacking Muslims and burning their homes. Muslims retaliated but three quarters of those who were killed were Muslims, and thousands of Muslims lost their homes in their violence.
The decision to have Mishra as a guest of honour at the launch provoked an outcry in India. Bloomsbury quickly issued a statement denying any involvement in the event but a backlash began to grow against the book.
Among those who voiced concerns was the prominent British writer and historian William Dalrymple, who is published by Bloomsbury.
“I alerted Bloomsbury to the growing online controversy over Delhi Riots 2020, as did several other Bloomsbury authors,” Dalrymple said. “I did not call for its banning or pulping and have never supported the banning of any book. It is now being published by another press.”
Writing on Twitter, the poet Meena Kandasamy said “the literary world must take a stand” to stop Bloomsbury publishing the book. “This is not about cancel culture,” she said. “This is about defending literature from fascism. This is about standing up against religious divide, hate speech, islamophobia and false history.”
Sudhanva Deshpande, a celebrated theatre director and author, was among those who condemned Bloomsbury and accused them of failing to carry out “elementary fact checking”.
“Make no mistake about it, this book has nothing to do with the pursuit of knowledge … this book is part of a multi-pronged attack on India’s secular fabric, on the idea of natural justice, on ethics, on rationality, on humanity,” said Deshpande, adding: “The book has blood on its hands.”
On Saturday, Bloomsbury India released a statement confirming that it was withdrawing publication of the book. “Bloomsbury India strongly supports freedom of speech but also has a deep sense of responsibility towards society,” said the publisher.
However, Bloomsbury’s announcement was met with derision and accusations of censorship from some quarters.
Arora, the book’s main author, claimed that Bloomsbury India had previously had no issues with the book, that it had been cleared by their legal team, and that the publisher had been well aware of the launch event with Mishra, despite its public denials. She accused Bloomsbury of bowing down to “digital fatwas by international leftist lobbies”.
Book Excerpt (Aakar Patel's Price of the Modi Years): The Many Anti-Muslim Laws Brought in By the Modi Government
While the Citizenship Amendment Act rightly was criticised around the world for specifically targeting Muslims along with the NRC pincer, other laws India has passed since 2014 have not received as much notice.
These are those laws the Modi years have given us:
1. The Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, 2015
Under this law anyone found in possession of beef would be jailed for up to five years. It also banned the slaughter of bulls, bullocks and calves in addition to the existing ban on cow slaughter.
2. The Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Act, 2015
Possession of beef punishable by up to five years in jail. Sale of cows for slaughter to another state punishable by seven years in jail. Cow slaughter would attract jail of up to 10 years. The burden of proof would be on the accused.
3. The Gujarat Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 2017
This law extended the punishment for cow slaughter from seven years to life. It allows permanent forfeiture of vehicles transporting animals except under prescribed conditions. It also increased the fine from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. Minister of state for home Pradipsinh Jadeja said the logic was to equal cow slaughter with murder.
4. The Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Ordinance, 2020 repealed the 1964 law which allowed the slaughter of bullocks.
It made cow slaughter punishable by up to seven years. Purchase, sale, disposal or transport of cattle outside the state except in prescribed manner would be punishable by five years in jail. Fines of up to Rs 10 lakh are also imposed.
The Maharashtra law has this clause: “9B. Burden of proof on accused. In any trial … the burden of proving that the slaughter, transport, export outside the State, sale, purchase or possession of flesh of cow, bull or bullock was not in contravention of the provisions of this Act shall be on the accused.”
Meaning that you are guilty unless you can prove yourself innocent. If you are found with a bloody knife next to a corpse, you are presumed innocent. It is the State that has to demonstrate that you committed murder. But if you are found with or found near meat and accused of possessing beef you are presumed guilty of possessing beef till you disprove this to the satisfaction of the State. This is an invitation to violence. Two weeks after Maharashtra, on 17 March 2015, Haryana under the BJP passed its law criminalising possession of beef. The law has this section: ‘No person shall directly or indirectly sell, keep, store, transport or offer for sale or cause to be sold beef or beef products.’ Burden of proof was reversed here also. Punishment is up to five years.
While the Citizenship Amendment Act rightly was criticised around the world for specifically targeting Muslims along with the NRC pincer, other laws India has passed since 2014 have not received as much notice. The judiciary has been supine and allowed a de facto Hindu Rashtra to emerge through legislation. These laws have been written and passed and are being applied across India, targeting Indian Muslims, brutalising them constantly, while a demented media and a bored public have looked away.
Aakar Patel is Chair of Amnesty International India and author of Our Hindu Rashtra. His Price of the Modi Years will be released on November 14.
#Kerala #India murders: Two women killed in suspected human #sacrifice. Police say the accused - a couple and another man - "severely tortured" the victims before killing them. #Hindutva #BJP #Modi
Police in the southern Indian state of Kerala have arrested three people for allegedly murdering two women in a suspected case of human sacrifice.
The remains of the women, who were allegedly murdered months apart, were found on Tuesday.
Police say the accused - a couple and another man - "severely tortured" the victims before killing them.
They say they have confessed to the crime and an investigation is under way.
The accused haven't commented yet on the allegations as they are in police custody.
The gruesome case has made national headlines and shocked the people of Kerala - considered one of India's most progressive states.
Police say the accused are Bhagaval Singh - an ayurvedic "healer" - his wife Laila, and Mohammed Shafi, an "occult practitioner" from Idukki district.
On Wednesday, a court in Cochin city (now Kochi) sent them to judicial custody for three weeks.
Cochin Police Commissioner CH Nagaraju said the murders took place over four months and were suspected to be part of a ritual done for "financial benefits".
He added that the motive behind the murder was based only on a "preliminary assumption" and that they were investigating based on the confessions.
"Black magic" is still practised in some parts of India - people believe the rituals could bring prosperity, help childless women bear children, cure illnesses and even produce more rainfall.
Who are the victims?
Police have identified the victims as Padma and Rosli.
Padmam, 52, was from Dharmapuram district in neighbouring Tamil Nadu state and lived in Cochin. Rosli, 49, was from Thrissur district and lived in the satellite town of Kalady.
Padma's son had registered a complaint in September, saying his mother was missing.
Padma had been living in a one-room dwelling in Kochi since February. "She lived alone but she would call me every night," her sister Palaniamma told the BBC.
US Cites #Indian PM Narendra Modi's Immunity After #Gujarat2000 killing of #Muslims To Defend Protection To #Saudi Crown Prince #MBS. #Modi was banned from entering #US during 2005-14 over his involvement in the 2002 Gujarat anti-Muslim #Pogrom. #Khashogi
"It is a longstanding and consistent line of effort. It has been applied to a number of heads of state previously. Some examples: President Aristide in Haiti in 1993, President Mugabe in Zimbabwe in 2001, Prime Minister Modi in India in 2014, and President Kabila in the DRC in 2018. This is a consistent practice that we have afforded to heads of state, heads of government, and foreign ministers," said Patel.
The US government has cited the example of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to defend the immunity provided to Saudia Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The US intelligence community found that Mohammad bin Salman, often called MBS, ordered the killing of Khashoggi in 2018. However, he not been sanctioned and the US government continues to engage with him and the ruling Saudi family.
The Joe Biden administration on Thursday submitted in response to a lawsuit filed by Khashoggi's fiance Hatice Cengiz that MBS has immunity in the United States as he is a head of a government. MBS was recently appointed the Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia. While the decision attracted critcism from Cengiz and human rights advocates, the Biden administration defended the move and cited precedents, involving Modi.
What did US government say?
Modi was sanctioned by the United States during 2005-14 over his alleged role in the 2002 Gujarat Riots. The ban wan on his entry into the United States was lifted in 2014 when he became the Prime Minister of India. US Department of State Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel cited Modi and others to defend the immunity to MBS.
Modi’s Home Minister says the mass killing of 2000 Muslims in Gujarat, India in 2002 was done to teach minorities a Lesson! In which world, a ruling regime takes credit for killing 2000 of its own citizens?
"Rioters Taught Lesson In 2002...Permanent Peace In Gujarat": Amit Shah
Parts of Gujarat had witnessed large-scale violence in 2002 following the train burning incident at Godhra railway station in February that year.
Ahmedabad: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday said anti-social elements earlier indulged in violence in Gujarat as the Congress supported them, but after the perpetrators were "taught a lesson" in 2002, they stopped such activities and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) established "permanent peace" in the state.
Parts of Gujarat had witnessed large-scale violence in 2002 following the train burning incident at Godhra railway station in February that year.
Addressing a rally in Mahudha town of Kheda district in support of BJP candidates ahead of the next month's Assembly elections, Mr Shah alleged, "During the Congress rule in Gujarat (before 1995), communal riots were rampant. Congress used to incite people of different communities and castes to fight against each other. Through such riots, Congress had strengthened its vote bank and did injustice to a large section of the society." Mr Shah claimed that Gujarat witnessed riots in 2002 because perpetrators became habitual of indulging in violence due to the prolonged support they received from the Congress.
"But after they were taught a lesson in 2002, these elements left that path (of violence). They refrained from indulging in violence from 2002 till 2022. BJP has established permanent peace in Gujarat by taking strict action against those who used to indulge in communal violence," the Union minister said.
Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for abrogating Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, Mr Shah alleged that the Congress was against it because of its "vote bank".
AT 9.4 out of a maximum possible score of 10, India’s Social Hostilities Index (SHI) in 2020 was worse than neighbouring Pakistan and Afghanistan, and a further increase in its own index value for 2019, the Pew data showed. A higher score is worse. The report covered 198 countries.
Indian American Muslim Council
report notes that India’s Social Hostilities Index (SHI) in 2020 was worse than Afghanistan, Syria & Mali.
In India, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced in April 2020 that more than 900 members of the Islamic group Tablighi Jamaat and other foreign nationals (most of whom were Muslim) had been placed “in quarantine” after participating in a conference in New Delhi allegedly linked to the spread of early cases of coronavirus. (Many of those detained were released or granted bail by July 2020.)
Pandemic-related killings of religious minorities were reported in three countries in 2020, according to the sources analyzed in the study. In India, two Christians died after they were beaten in police custody for violating COVID-19 curfews in the state of Tamil Nadu.
In India, there were multiple reports of Muslims being attacked after being accused of spreading the coronavirus. In Argentina and Italy, properties were vandalized with antisemitic posters and graffiti that linked Jews to COVID-19. In Italy, for example, authorities found graffiti of a Star of David with the words “equal to virus.” And in the U.S., a Mississippi church burned down in an arson attack about a month after its pastor sued the city over public health restrictions on large gatherings. Investigators found graffiti in the church parking lot that said, “Bet you stay home now you hypokrits.”
Pew talks about how Muslims were blamed and targeted during the COVID pandemic.
In India, Islamophobic hashtags like #CoronaJihad circulated widely on social media, seeking to blame Muslims for the virus.
In India, there were multiple reports of Muslims being attacked after being accused of spreading the coronavirus.
In India, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced in April 2020 that more than 900 members of the Islamic group Tablighi Jamaat and other foreign nationals (most of whom were Muslim) had been placed “in quarantine” after participating in a conference in New Delhi allegedly linked to the spread of early cases of coronavirus. (Many of those detained were released or granted bail by July 2020.)
Pandemic-related killings of religious minorities were reported in three countries in 2020, according to the sources analyzed in the study. In India, two Christians died after they were beaten in police custody for violating COVID-19 curfews in the state of Tamil Nadu.
Anti-Muslim bigotry that blamed the Tablighi Jamaat but allowed much bigger Kumbh mela gathering to go forward in the middle of India's worst COVID outbreak killed 4.7 million Indians.
What is much more evident is how the incident and the BJP’s rhetoric fueled hate speech and bigotry against Muslims in the early stages of the pandemic. Muslims were blamed for deliberately spreading the virus across India by waging what Hindutva adherents claimed was a “corona jihad”.
For months, headlines, incendiary statements, and viral videos sought to convey the idea that the spread of the virus in the country was the responsibility of a single community.
Imagine if the Tablighi Jamaat gathering had been happening right now, with India in the grip of a brutal second wave of Covid-19 and daily case counts hitting numbers far higher than the worst days of 2020. Imagine the response of the BJP and India’s pro-government news channels if a police person had said something like this:
“We are continuously appealing to people to follow Covid appropriate behaviour. But due to the huge crowd, it is practically not possible to issue challans today. It is very difficult to ensure social distancing… A stampede-like situation may arise if we would try to enforce social distancing at ghats so we are unable to enforce social distancing here.”
It is not hard to imagine the anger and demands for accountability that might have been unleashed by a comment like that, from a senior police officer.
So what explains the relative silence of the government and the BJP when the same comment comes from the Inspector General of the Kumbh Mela currently taking place in Uttarakhand?
This was what Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat said on March 20:
“I invite all devotees across the world to come to Haridwar and take a holy dip in the Ganga during Mahakumbh. Nobody will be stopped in the name of Covid-19 as we are sure the faith in God will overcome the fear of the virus.”
While claiming that all Central guidelines would be followed and that only those with a negative RT-PCR would be allowed to come, Rawat repeatedly said there would be no “rok-tok” or obstacles. “There is no strictness,” he said. “But Covid-19 guidelines should be followed… It’s open for everyone.”
The Indian Dalits attacked for wearing the wrong shoes - BBC
Jun 19, 2018 — Documenting five seemingly mundane reasons Dalits (formerly untouchables) have been beaten and killed.
Dalit man killed for riding horse in Gujarat - Times of India
Mar 30, 2018 — Pradeep Rathod, 21, was beaten to death by a group of people from the Darbar community in Timbi village of Umrala taluka.
'This Is It. I'm Going To Die': India's Minorities Are Targeted In Lynchings
Aug 21, 2019 — That slogan — which means "Praise Lord Ram," a Hindu god — has long been known as a prayer. Now it's an incitement to mob violence against India's minorities.
India's Violent Mobs Are a Menace to Minorities
India: Vigilante 'Cow Protection' Groups Attack Minorities
Hindu Priest Calls for the Beheading of Christians in India
Spectre Of Mob Lynchings Continues To Haunt India Amid Lacklustre Laws
Apr 28, 2022 — Lynching is not defined as a crime under the Indian Penal Code. In 2017, NCRB collected data on cases of mob lynching, hate crimes etc. But it was observed that the data was unreliable.
Beaten and humiliated by Hindu mobs for being a Muslim in India
by Geeta Pandey
Unprovoked attacks on Muslims by Hindu mobs have become routine in India, but they seem to evoke little condemnation from the government.
Last month, a video that went viral on social media showed a terrified little girl clinging to her Muslim father as a Hindu mob assaulted him.
The distressing footage showed the 45-year-old rickshaw driver being paraded through the streets of Kanpur, a city in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, as his crying daughter begged the mob to stop hitting him.
His attackers asked him to chant "Hindustan Zindabad" or "Long Live India" and "Jai Shri Ram" or "Victory to Lord Ram" - a popular greeting that's been turned into a murder cry by Hindu lynch mobs in recent years.
He complied, but the mob still kept hitting him. The man and his daughter were eventually rescued by the police. Three men arrested for the attack were freed on bail a day later.
A few days later, another viral video surfaced showing a Muslim bangle-seller being slapped, kicked and punched by a Hindu mob in Indore, a city in the central state of Madhya Pradesh. The attackers could be heard abusing Tasleem Ali and telling him to stay away from Hindu areas in future.
In a police complaint, he later alleged that he had been "beaten by five-six men who hurled communal slurs at him for selling bangles in a Hindu-dominated area and robbed him of money, his phone and some documents".
But in a strange turn of events, Ali himself was arrested the next day after the 13-year-old daughter of one of his alleged attackers accused him of molesting her. His family and neighbours have strongly denied the accusation. They said it was inconceivable that the father of five would do something like that.
And eyewitnesses, quoted in the Indian press, said he was attacked because of his religious identity and the molestation accusation against him seemed to be an afterthought.
The two attacks were among several instances of anti-Muslim violence in August, but the last month by no means was cruellest for India's biggest religious minority group, with a population of more than 200 million.
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