|Gang Rape Victim: 8-Year-Old Asifa Bano|
The horror of a Muslim child's rape and murder was made even worse when the ruling BJP-affiliated right-wing Hindu lawyers marched in defense of her attackers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi reluctantly condemned the crime after waiting for several days. His belated acknowledgment came in response to international outrage.
Is this just another rape in India? Did the child's Muslim faith make her a target? Has Islamophobia gone mainstream in India? To answer these questions, let us put some context to what is happening in Modi's India.
India saw about 39,000 rape cases reported in 2016, a 12% jump over the prior year, according to Indian crime statistics. Children were reported as victims in 42% of the cases.
It is hard to say how many of the rape victims were Muslim. What is known, however, is the exhortation by iconic Hindutva leaders to rape of Muslim women. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, one of the founders of right-wing RSS who Prime Minister Modi describes as "worthy of worship", is among them. After getting elected to the highest office in India, Modi paid tribute to Savarkar by laying flowers at his portrait that hangs in India's Parliament.
|Hindu Nationalist Leader VD Savarkar|
VD Savarkar, in one of his books titled Six Glorious Epochs of Indian History, elaborates on why raping of Muslim women is not only justified but encouraged.
Savarkar has used revisionist Hindutva history to exhort his followers to rape Muslim women as payback for historic wrongs he believes were committed by Muslim conquerers of India. “Once they are haunted with this dreadful apprehension that the Muslim women too, stand in the same predicament in case the Hindus win, the future Muslim conquerors will never dare to think of such molestation of Hindu women,” he writes.
Hindutva Revisionist History:
American history professor Audrey Truschke, in her recently published book "Aurangzeb: The Life and Legacy of India's Most Controversial King" has argued that colonial-era British historians deliberately distorted the history of Indian Muslim rule to vilify Muslim rulers as part of the British policy to divide and conquer India. These misrepresentations of Muslim rule made during the British Raj appear to have been accepted as fact not just by Islamophobic Hindu Nationalists but also by at least some of the secular Hindus in India and Muslim intellectuals in present day Pakistan, says the author. Aurangzeb was neither a saint nor a villain; he was a man of his time who should be judged by the norms of his times and compared with his contemporaries, the author adds.
Truschke says the original history of the Mughal rule was written in Persian. However, it is the English translation of the original work that are often used to distort it. Here's what she says about it in her book:
"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."
In 2002 when Narendra Modi was chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat, hundreds of young Muslim girls were sexually assaulted, tortured and killed. These rapes were condoned by the ruling BJP, whose refusal to intervene lead to the rape and killing of thousands and displacement of 200,000 Muslims.
Since his election to India's top elected office, Modi has elevated fellow right-wing Hindu extremists to positions of power in India. Yogi Adiyanath, known for his highly inflammatory anti-Muslim rhetoric, was hand-picked in 2016 by Modi to head India's most populous state of Uttar Pradesh.
Adiyanath's supporters brag about digging up Muslim women from their graves and raping them. In a video uploaded in 2014, he said, “If [Muslims] take one Hindu girl, we’ll take 100 Muslim girls. If they kill one Hindu, we’ll kill 100 Muslims.”
Yogi wants to "install statues of Goddess Gauri, Ganesh and Nandi in every mosque”. Before his election, he said, “If one Hindu is killed, we won’t go to the police, we’ll kill 10 Muslims”. He endorsed the beef lynching of Indian Muslim Mohammad Akhlaque and demanded that the victim's family be charged with cow slaughter.
Madhav S. Golwalkar, considered among the founders of the Hindu Nationalist movement in India, saw Islam and Muslims as enemies. He said: “Ever since that evil day, when Moslems first landed in Hindusthan, right up to the present moment, the Hindu Nation has been gallantly fighting to shake off the despoilers".
In his book We, MS Golwalkar wrote the following in praise of what Nazi leader Adolf Hitler did to Jews as a model for what Hindus should do to Muslims in India: "To keep up the purity of the Race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic races -- the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by."
|Social Hostility Against Minorities in South Asia. Source: Bloomberg|
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 raping and lynching Muslims with impunity. The 2016 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.
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.
|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 gang rapes and 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. In their writings, iconic Hindutva leaders like Savarkar have encouraged rape of Muslim women. The elevation of 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.
Islamophobia Goes Mainstream
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Hinduization of India Under Modi
Muslim Victims of Gujarat 2002
India's Superpower Delusions: Modi's Flawed Policies
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Part II: Rape, a political weapon in Yahya's Pakistan, and its consequences
But any sort of figures are not even there in first place....unless you want to go with what the former East Pakistan take on it is.
Neal: "Rape, a political weapon in Yahya's Pakistan, and its consequences"
Nothing justifies rape regardless of who commits it.
Here's Sarmila Bose on East Pakistan Rape Claims
The available material shows that the victims of rape were Hindu and Muslim, Bengali, Bihari and West Pakistani. The perpetrators were civilian and military, and also Bengali, Bihari and West Pakistani. Pakistan army officers admit to the occasional opportunistic rape or attempted rape of women, Bengali and West Pakistani, by army personnel. Many of the non-Bengali victims appear to have been killed after sexual brutalisation by Bengali mobs as part of the “ethnic cleansing” set off by the militant Bengali nationalist movement – as evidenced by the state of their corpses, while those who survived had no place in the “heroine” category in independent Bangladesh. The circumstances of rape appear to have varied: opportunistic misconduct by army personnel on patrolling duty, sexual brutalisation during “ethnic cleansing” and mob violence, or criminality taking advantage of the dislocations of war and break-down of law and order. The allegation that the army maintained “comfort women” – even if the numbers were nowhere close to Bangladeshi claims – is a serious charge and merits further inquiry. However, Ibrahim’s book reveals that in most cases the abductors and rapists of Bengali women were Bengali men, who later passed them on to the military. For the majority of these women, therefore, even if the Pakistan army had done nothing, they would still be rape victims.
Without citing any source, Samantha Power wrote, “.... Pakistani troops killed between 1 and 2 million Bengalis and raped some 2,00,000 girls and women,” and Susan Brownmiller claimed “2,00,000, 3,00,000 or possibly 4,00,000 women” were raped.
For an army of 34,000 to rape on this scale in eight or nine months (while fighting insurgency, guerrilla war and an invasion by India), each would-be perpetrator would have had to commit rape at an incredible rate.
It is hardly surprising therefore, that the Hamoodur Rehman Commission, set up by the civilian government of Pakistan after the war and headed by a Bengali judge, was dismissive of the Bangladeshi claims: “According to the Bangladesh authorities, the Pakistan army was responsible for killing three million Bengalis and raping 2,00,000 East Pakistani women. It does not need any elaborate argument to see that these figures are obviously highly exaggerated. So much damage could not have been caused by the entire strength of the Pakistan army then stationed in East Pakistan, even if it had nothing else to do.
In fact, however, the army in East Pakistan was constantly engaged in fighting the Mukti Bahini, the Indian infiltrators, and later the Indian army. It had also the task of running the civil administration, maintaining communications, and feeding 70 million people of East Pakistan. It is, therefore, clear that the figures mentioned by the Dacca authorities are altogether fantastic and fanciful.”
On the rape allegations, the (Hamoodur Rehman) commission added, “The falsity of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s repeated allegation that the Pakistani troops had raped 2,00,000 Bengali girls in 1971 was borne out when the abortion team he had commissioned from Britain in early 1972 found that its workload involved the termination of only a hundred or more pregnancies”.
What the Rape and Murder of a Child Reveals About Modi’s India
By Mitali Saran
Ms. Saran is a journalist based in New Delhi.
India is sliding toward a collapse of humanity and ethics in political and civic life, as the recent reports of the rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl from a seminomadic Muslim community in the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir reveal. Politicians from India’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party defended the men accused of the crime and ignited a furious debate about the fundamental character of the country.
The child was abducted in January and imprisoned for a week in a temple, where she was drugged, starved and raped repeatedly before being murdered. Her body was thrown into the forest. At the time the crime passed without much comment beyond the local press.
Outrage finally exploded last week, after a front-page report in the Indian Express newspaper revealed terrifying details from the police charge sheet, including the fact that one of the accused, a police officer, had asked his co-conspirators to hold off killing the child so that he could rape her once more.
The charge sheet and other reports strongly suggested that this was not a random crime but one deliberately in line with the ugly sectarian politics playing out across India. Intimidation of religious minorities and violence against them has increased since Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the Bharatiya Janata Party to power in 2014. India’s traditional secularism is now locked in battle with the new majoritarian, Hindu chauvinist politics he represents.
The 8-year-old girl belonged to the Muslim Bakarwal people, who move with their sheep and horses between high mountain pastures in the summer and the plains of the Hindu-dominated Jammu region in winter. There is tension with local Hindus over the right to graze animals on the land. According to the police, the motive of the premeditated crime was to terrorize the Bakarwals and dislodge them from the area. The bereaved parents were not even allowed to bury the child in the village. They have since fled the area.
A newly formed group called Hindu Ekta Manch, or Hindu Unity Forum, organized a protest march in defense of the accused, who include a retired government official and two police officers. Thousands joined in, many waving the Indian national flag. Vijay Sharma, a co-founder of the group and an organizer of the march, was also a high-ranking leader of Mr. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party in the region.
Mr. Modi’s party shares power with a regional political party in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Two B.J.P. ministers in the state government joined the protest in defense of the accused. “So what if a girl died?” one of them remarked. “Many girls die every day.”
They demanded that the investigation be transferred from the state police — the investigators included Muslim officers — to the federal Central Bureau of Investigation, a largely delegitimized institution that serves as a de facto arm of the ruling party. Lawyers at a court in the city of Jammu tried to physically prevent officials from filing charges against the accused and have threatened the lawyer who is representing the girl’s family.
This battle for the soul and future of India is likely to get more violent in the lead-up to the national elections, scheduled for next year. Mr. Modi’s B.J.P. is braced for a desperate, ugly fight and has a long history of using religious polarization to electoral advantage.
It will be up to the citizens of India to fight for a tolerant, pluralist country and stop the degeneration of its civic and political life.
What the Rape and Murder of a Child Reveals About Modi’s India
By Mitali Saran
Ms. Saran is a journalist based in New Delhi.
Over the past week, horrified Indians have protested vigorously on social media and in some cities. The disgust and the fury at the complicity of politicians, and the federal government’s silence, grew into a thunderous chorus demanding that the prime minister speak up and fire the ministers backing the Hindu Ekta Manch.
Belatedly reacting to popular outrage, Mr. Modi finally said: “Incidents being discussed since past two days cannot be part of a civilized society. As a country, as a society, we all are ashamed of it.” He promised justice. His vague statement delicately alluded to another case in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, where a lawmaker from Mr. Modi’s party is accused of rape. Mr. Modi stayed away from his party’s involvement in both cases.
Yet instead of uniting India in horror, the incident has deepened religious, political and ethical divides. It has also made clear that there is no automatic political cost to crime or falsehood if it furthers the hegemonic political narrative. The politicians involved were sacked only after a huge public outcry. Government ministers, officials, right-leaning media and right-wing supporters have been perfectly sanguine about using the dead child to polarize society with whataboutery, fake news and wild conspiracy theories.
A spokeswoman for Mr. Modi’s party, Meenakshi Lekhi, attacked opposition protests, suggesting that they were selective and opportunistic. “You see their plan,” she said. “First shout ‘minority minority’, then ‘Dalit Dalit’ and now ‘women women’ and then try to somehow fix blame of state issues on the center.” An influential ex-editor tweeted that Muslim Rohingya refugees were to blame for the crime. A B.J.P. youth activist posted a comment, now deleted, on his Facebook page saying that the rape must have been fun. A pornography site reported a surge in searches for videos using the raped and murdered girl’s name.
The sense of national crisis today is because Indians feel a rising urgency to either counter this ethical collapse or to capitalize on it in the run-up to the next election.
Mr. Modi came to power in 2014, and four years into his term, religious and cultural bigotry stands mainstreamed in Indian society.
Many who voted for Mr. Modi’s economic promises are disappointed by his failure to deliver, and impatient with his deliberate silences around sectarian and sexual violence and hate speech by his party colleagues and ministers. The systematic destruction of democratic institutions is hard to ignore.
The B.J.P. and its Hindu nationalist affiliates are bent on refashioning India into a country that is increasingly hostile to secular, democratic, pluralist and minority Indians. The rape and murder of the little nomad girl has thus taken on a larger meaning, reflecting the struggle for the fundamental character of India.
India’s abuse of women is the biggest human rights violation on Earth
Tragic rape cases have shocked the country. But the everyday suffering of 650 million Indian women and girls goes unnoticed
India can arguably be accused of the largest-scale human rights violation on Earth: the persistent degradation of the vast majority of its 650 million girls and women. And this includes the middle classes, as I found when interviewing 600 women and men in India’s cities.
India is at war with its girls and women. The planned rape of eight-year-old Asifa in a temple by several men, including a policeman who later washed the clothes she was wearing to destroy evidence, was particularly horrific. Asifa’s rape has outraged and shaken the entire country. Yet sexual abuse in India remains widespread despite tightening of rape laws in 2013. According to the National Crimes Records Bureau, in 2016 the rape of minor girls increased by 82% compared with the previous year. Chillingly, across all rape cases, 95% of rapists were not strangers but family, friends and neighbours.
The culturally sanctioned degradation of women is so complete that the prime minister of India, Narendra Modi, launched a national programme called Beti Bachao (Save Our Girls). India can arguably be accused of the largest-scale human rights violation on Earth: the persistent degradation of the vast majority of its 650 million girls and women. And this includes the middle classes, as I found when interviewing 600 women and men in India’s cities.
India’s women are traumatised in less obvious ways than by tanks in the streets, bombs and warlords. Our oppression starts innocuously: it occurs in private life, within families, with girls being locked up in their own homes. This everyday violence is the product of a culture that bestows all power on men, and that does not even want women to exist. This is evident in the unbalanced sex ratios at birth, even in wealthy families. But India also kills its women slowly. This violence is buried in the training of women in some deadly habits that invite human rights violations, but that are considered the essence of good womanhood.
The first teaches girls to be afraid of their own bodies. When a girl is not supposed to exist, 1.3 billion people collectively pretend that girls don’t have bodies and especially no sexual parts. If girls do not have bodies, sexual molestation is not possible, and if it does happen, it has to be denied, and if it cannot be denied, the girl must be blamed.
Denial of sexuality in homes is another habit that is deadly to girls. Almost every woman I interviewed had experienced some form of sexual molestation. Only two had told their mothers, only to be dismissed, “Yes, this happens in families,” or “No, this did not happen.” Indian government surveys show that 42% of girls in the country have been sexually abused.
Speech is another basic human right. To have a voice, to speak up, is to be recognised, to belong. But girls are trained in silence. They are told to be quiet, to speak softly, dheere bolo, to have no opinions, no arguments, no conflicts. Silent women disappear. They are easy to ignore, overrule, and violate without repercussions. Impunity flourishes.
“SAY NO TO RSS SAKHA IN AMU”, Writes AMUSU President (Maskoor Ahmad Usmani)
1925 marks the birth year of the hateful and terror breading organization Rastriya Swayam Sewak Sangh, founded by Dr. K. B. Hegedwar and the coward V. D. Savarkar. The much exaggerated ‘veer’ Savarker was the same person who pleaded and begged to the British numerous times from jail for mercy and his release. Later, these fanatics shared by common ideology came under the banner of RSS. The tail of espionage and working hand in glove with the British is much known in the history of pre-independent India. From exchanging outfits and staging violence to spiting venom in public meetings there have been no stone unturned by the RSS to break down the social fabric of India.
It was on 30th January, 1947 (1948) when Ganghiji was gunned down by the Hindu fanatic and member of the RSS Nathu Ram Godse at Birla House, Delhi. Soon after the death of Gandhiji, in a letter to Golwaker dated 11th September, 1948 Sardar Patel the then home minister of India pointed out “Opposition turned more severe, when the RSS men expressed joy and distributed sweets after Gandhiji’s death.” What does this vindicates? And why was RSS so much happy that it had to distribute sweets after the killing of Gandhi?
In a letter dated 14th March, 1948, Dr. Rajendra Prasad wrote to Sardar Patel:
“I am told that RSS people have a plan of creating trouble. They have got a number of men dressed as Muslims and looking like Muslims who are to create trouble with the Hindus by attacking them and thus inciting the Hindus. Similarly there will be some Hindus among them who will attack Muslims and thus incite Muslims. The result of this kind of trouble amongst the Hindus and Muslims will be to create conflagration.”
Among RSS’s ideological forefathers the so called ‘Guru’ Golwalkar occupies a big space, in his book ‘Bunch Of Thoughts’ M. S. Golwalkar spits out venom in the following words:
“Even to this day there are so many who say, ‘now there is no Muslim problem at all. All those riotous elements who supported Pakistan have gone away once for all. The remaining Muslims are devoted to our country. After all, they have no other place to go and they are bound to remain loyal’… It would be suicidal to delude ourselves into believing that they have turned patriots overnight after the creation of Pakistan on the contrary, the Muslim menace has increased a hundredfold by the creation of Pakistan which has become a springboard for all their future aggressive designs on our country”
How the narrative for Indian Muslims having nexus with Pakistan has come to fore in contemporary times we need to look back of how virulent this notion was treatised by Golwalkar in his book, “…within the country there are so many Pakistans’… The conclusion is that, in practically every place, there are Muslims who are in constant touch with Pakistan over transmitter…”
There are some serious questions that need to be answered; it is a deep travesty for our country that the heads of incumbent dispensation are members of the same traitor organization.
RSS, which was responsible for pre and post-independence rioting, conspiring and spreading communal hatred, paradoxically in contemporary India claims itself to be nationalist and seek others patriotism for the nation. After seventy years of Independence it is bemoaning to see that elected BJP MPs like Sakshi Maharaj demands to declare Nathu Ram Godse as a national patriot.
BBC News - #India #rape: Third teenager attacked and burned in a week. #Modi #BJP #Hindutva
A teenage girl in India has been raped and burned alive by her attacker - the third instance of such an attack in the same week.
The 16-year-old girl died after being soaked in fuel and set on fire at her home in the Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh.
Police said she was killed after telling her attacker she would inform her family about the rape.
Two other similar attacks, one fatal, took place in Jharkhand this week.
A 17-year-old girl remains in critical condition after being set on fire by a suspect who allegedly said he wanted to marry the victim, but had been rejected.
The earlier case involved a 16-year-old who was burned alive after her parents complained to village elders about her rape. The accused had been ordered to do sit-ups and pay a fine as punishment, prompting them to beat the girl's parents and kill her.
In the most recent attack, the victim was at home alone in Jujharpur village when she was attacked. Police said they had arrested a suspect, named as 28-year-old Ravi Chadhar.
India is facing renewed public outrage over the number of violent sexual assaults in the country.
BBC India correspondent Soutik Biswas recently wrote that "rape is increasingly used as an instrument to assert power and intimidate the powerless in India".
Recent public anger over sexual assaults was sparked by the rape and murder of an eight-year old girl in January.
The girl, a member of a Muslim nomadic tribe, was found dead in Indian-administered Kashmir.
Eight Hindu men were arrested, and there was an outcry when two ministers from the Hindu BJP party attended a rally in support of the accused. In April, Hindu right-wing groups staged protests over the arrests.
Another BJP politician has also been accused of raping a 16-year-old girl - a charge he denies.
Public outrage over sexual violence in India rose dramatically after the 2012 gang rape and murder of a student on a Delhi bus.
Four of the accused were given a death sentence, recently upheld on appeal, and the case led to new anti-rape laws.
Twitter removes handle of man booked for his tweet encouraging rape & trafficking of Kashmiri women
PTI13 May, 2018
An FIR against the accused Ashish Kaul has been registered at the Kothi Bagh police station | @younustraluk | Twitter
Twitter removed the user from its social media platform after the police booked him for spreading hate against Kashmiri women.
Srinagar: The police on Saturday, 12 May, lodged an FIR against a Twitter user Ashish Kaul over abusive tweets about Kashmiri Muslims and asked the social media service for more details.
“Police in Kashmir took cognisance of the matter after it found the posts were abusive and attract offences covered under law,” a police spokesman said.
Screenshot from Ashish Kaul’s handle | @gowhargeelani | Twitter
He said an FIR has been registered at Kothi Bagh police station.
Police have also asked Twitter India to provide details of the Twitter user so that he is made to face the law, the spokesman added.
American Company fired Indian Hate-monger employee for his Anti-Kashmiri Muslim women tweets
His tweets evoked angry reactions from social media users with many tagging his employer, DDI World, and asking if it condoned such hate-mongering.
The company, an international firm specialising in providing leadership tools to corporates around the world, acted with lightening speed to inform that Kaul, the hate-monger, had been fired. The company said, “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. As a matter of policy, we cannot publically comment on employee matters; however, we are taking this situation seriously.”
DDI published statement clarifying that, the employee was suspended immediately after his tweet was reported to the company.
#Muslim beaten to death in #India for allegedly killing #cow http://po.st/b5A0Mo via @ChannelNewsAsia #Modi #beef #hindutva #Modi #BJP
A Muslim man accused of killing a cow was beaten to death by a mob in central India, police said on Sunday (May 20), the latest vigilante murder over the animal considered sacred by Hindus.
Siraj Khan, a 45-year-old tailor, was attacked in the Satna district of Madhya Pradesh state on early Friday and died at the scene, local police official Arvind Tiwari told AFP.
Kahn's friend Shakeel Maqbool, who was also attacked, was admitted to hospital with critical injuries.
As details of the violent assault emerged at the weekend 400 additional police were deployed to the district on late Saturday as inquiries widened, the Press Trust of India reported.
"We have arrested four people, and they have been sent to judicial custody. We are investigating what prompted the attack," Tiwari said.
He added that meat and a bull carcass was found at the scene, but did not elaborate as investigations were ongoing.
Hindus consider cows sacred and slaughtering the animals, or possessing or consuming beef, is banned in most Indian states.
Cow slaughter in Madhya Pradesh carries a maximum seven-year jail term but many other parts of India impose life sentences for infringements.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has promised to completely outlaw cow slaughter in India.
The right-wing Hindu BJP has been accused of turning a blind eye to a rising number of vigilante attacks in the name of cow protection.
Rights groups say Hindu mobs have been emboldened under the party, who stormed to power in 2014. Many of the victims are Muslims.
In two prominent cases last year, a dairy farmer was killed on a roadside for transporting cows and a Muslim teenager accused of carrying beef was stabbed to death on a crowded train.
Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/muslim-beaten-to-death-in-india-for-allegedly-killing-cow-10252056
#Modi's #India most dangerous nation for #women, #Pakistan ranks 6th, #US ranks 10th in survey @CNN
India is the most dangerous country in the world to be a woman because of the high risk of sexual violence and slave labor, a new survey of experts shows.
The Thomson Reuters Foundation released its results Tuesday of a survey of 550 experts on women's issues, finding India to be the most dangerous nation for sexual violence against women, as well as human trafficking for domestic work, forced labor, forced marriage and sexual slavery, among other reasons.
It was also the most dangerous country in the world for cultural traditions that impact women, the survey found, citing acid attacks, female genital mutilation, child marriage and physical abuse. India was the fourth most dangerous country for women in the same survey seven years ago.
Nine of the 10 countries on the list were from Asia, the Middle East or Africa. At number 10 was the United States, the only Western country to be included. The foundation said this was directly related to the #MeToo movement.
The release of the report comes amid mounting public outrage in India, where a series of high-profile rape cases, including two unrelated attacks on girls aged 16 and eight, have forced the issue of sexual violence back onto the national agenda.
In April, thousands of protesters took to the streets to demand better protection for women, in some of the largest mass demonstrations held in the country since the rape and murder of a female college student in Delhi in 2012.
India has long grappled with the issue of sexual violence. In the months following the 2012 case, the central government moved to pass legislation increasing penalties for sexual assault, rape, and sexual abuse, including extending prison sentences and introducing the death penalty.
But despite the introduction of stricter laws, around 100 sexual assaults are reported to police in the country every day, according to the National Crime Records Bureau, with nearly 39,000 alleged attacks reported in 2016, an increase of 12% from the previous year.
The analysis also finds that among the world’s 25 most populous countries, Egypt, Russia, India, Indonesia and Turkey had the highest overall levels of government restrictions and social hostilities in 2016. China had the highest score on the Government Restrictions Index, while India had the highest score on the Social Hostilities Index.
#India’s Shame. World's largest democracy is also its most dangerous for #women. #Misogyny in India is not a modern phenomenon. Thousands of women burned to death every year. Millions of female fetuses aborted. #Modi #Asifa #rape #sati #BrideBurning https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/india-s-shame-5b7lzdg60
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.
More than five years after the #Delhi gang-#rape, #India is still no country for #women. #Modi #India #misogyny https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2018/07/02/more-than-five-years-after-the-delhi-gang-rape-india-is-still-no-country-for-women/?utm_term=.77b9cee931f5
One of my earliest memories of walking in the streets of India involves being groped by a stranger as I went out to dinner with my family. I still viscerally remember that moment — and the moment right after, when I turned to the man who groped me and apologized, thinking it was my fault for, apparently, falling into his hands. At the time, I couldn’t believe anyone actually wanted to touch me there.
I was just six years old.
Incidents like this are commonplace for Indian women. In fact, every single one I know has their own story to relate — some more serious than others. So when I first heard of a newly-released Thomson Reuters Foundation report that ranked India as the most dangerous country in the world for women, I wasn’t surprised. You only have to spend a day in India to realize that, if you are a woman in a public setting, you had better be armed with either a large handbag or pepper spray.
But in India, the response to the report was more impassioned. It generated outrage among politicians, academics and civil society members — groups that generally struggle to find common ground. How, they asked, could India be ranked higher than countries such as Syria or the Democratic Republic of Congo, where women are caught in the middle of violent conflict, and where sexual violence is routinely used as a tool of war? And why was it listed higher than Saudi Arabia, where leading female activists are still languishing in prison for championing women’s right to drive?
For its part, India’s Ministry of Women and Child Development rejected the report, criticizing its methodology and claiming that it was a clear effort “to malign the nation.” Politicians from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) likewise accused Thomson Reuters of having an “agenda,” though they did not specify what that means. But this knee-jerk defensiveness completely misses the point.
Yes, the report is methodologically flawed. It was based on an opinion poll of 548 “experts” — who have not yet been identified — and relies on perception rather than fact. We do not know what data and criteria were used to compare countries, or even where the surveyed experts were from. These factors could have vast implications for how countries were ultimately ranked.
And yes, in terms of actual numbers, India still has a lower reported rate of rape per 100,000 people than most other countries, including the United States. This is thought to be likely because of extreme levels of under-reporting, though there is some evidence that reporting rates are on the rise. Statistics are an imperfect way to compare countries but, at first glance, singling out India for censure seems misleading.
Still, even with its flaws, the report highlights something important: Despite lawmakers’ attempts to convince us that India is safer for women now than it was before an infamous 2012 gang rape and murder in Delhi, conditions remain largely the same. Women still face harassment and abuse on a daily basis — just ask the scores of women who were molested en masse on the streets of Bangalore last year. For all of Modi’s rhetoric about “treating women like goddesses,” women are still treated as anything but.
The Thomson Reuters report casts a spotlight on a question that is not asked often enough: How much has the Modi government — or any Indian government, for that matter — actually done to tackle violence against women? The BJP can point to its large-scale awareness program for girls’ empowerment, Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (Save the Girl, Educate the Girl).
#America’s real #Muslim problem is #Islamophobia. It is time to recognize that the real Muslim threat in this country is to their well-being. And until we take their security seriously, none of us will be safe. #Trump #MuslimBan #Islam
June 2018 was an especially bad month for the status of Muslims in America. First, we learned that a new study showed that many Americans view Muslims in the United States as insufficiently “American,” and almost 20 percent would deny Muslim citizens the right to vote. Then, the Supreme Court upheld President Donald Trump’s decision to institute a ban on immigrants, refugees and visa holders from five majority-Muslim countries in a 5-4 decision.
The synergy of these two pieces of information is critical because it reveals a common attitude that Muslims pose a threat to U.S. security whether they are U.S. citizens or not. And while these attitudes do break down heavily across party lines, it is noteworthy that the study of U.S. perceptions of Muslim Americans conducted by Dalia Mogahed and John Sides for the Voter Study Group indicated that even 12 percent of Democrats would consider denying Muslim citizens the right to vote. Their study also showed that 32 percent of Democrats favor targeting Muslims at U.S. airport screenings to ensure the safety of flights. That figure compares with 75 percent of Republicans.
Taken together the Supreme Court decision and the voter study reveal a mainstreaming of Islamophobia. Whether aimed at Syrian refugees or U.S. citizens, these attitudes, policies and practices underscore the reality that America really has a Muslim problem — a problem seeing Muslims as human beings deserving of dignity, human rights and respect.
It should go without saying, but I’ll emphasize the point here, that the fears over threats posed by Muslims are simply not borne out by facts. At all.
White males pose the biggest threat to U.S. citizens, but no one is talking about taking away their right to vote. And as Margaret Sullivan reported for the Washington Post, 2017 was the deadliest year for civilian casualties in Iraq and Syria, with as many as 6,000 people killed in strikes conducted by the U.S.-led coalition — an increase of more than 200 percent over the previous year. That number is far worse if you add in countries like Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia and others.
While bigotry toward a wide range of groups has been normalized in the Trump era, there are particular features of the targeting of Muslims as security threats that are noteworthy.
As Moustafa Bayoumi, author of "How Does it Feel to Be a Problem," explained it to me, the key turning point was obviously the attacks of 9/11/2001. Since then, he said, there has “been a relentless drive to delegitimize Muslim American citizenship.” In addition, he pointed out that for many non-Muslim Americans, there is a tendency to think of a Muslim citizen as a Muslim first, rather than a fellow American, an attitude buttressed by the fact that “U.S. support for policies targeting Muslims has been substantial and consistent.”
But here’s the thing. Fear of Muslims was not simply a spontaneous response to the events of 9/11. The current attitude of suspicion, fear and intolerance of the Muslim community was purposefully orchestrated. A team of researchers that studied the roots of Islamophobia in the United Sates following 9/11, published as "Fear Inc.," identified seven charitable groups that provided $42.6 million to Islamophobic think tanks between 2001 and 2009.
Their research was further able to show a direct line from Islamophobic think tanks, like the Richard Mellon Scaife foundation, to media influencers and politicians.
An Entire Gated Community in #Chennai Got Together to #Rape a Child. #India Recoils at Girl’s Assault. For months, the police say, a group of 17 men took turns raping an 11-year-old #girl. #ChennaiHorror #Modi #BJP #RapeCapital
For months, the police say, a group of men took turns raping an 11-year-old girl.
In the gated community in Chennai, India, where the girl lived with her parents, the men gave her soft drinks laced with drugs, the police said. They filmed themselves raping her, brandishing knives and threatening to release the videos if the girl told her family, the police said.
The men were not intruders in the gated community, but employees who greeted residents, operated the elevator or brought water coolers to apartments.
When news broke on Monday that the authorities in Chennai, a coastal city in the southeast, had arrested 17 men accused of raping or molesting the girl over a period of seven months, chaos erupted at the complex in an older part of the city. Residents dismissed the building’s remaining staff members. Women volunteered to guard the complex’s entrances, and some called for the suspects to be hanged.
Indian television channels ran lengthy news segments with banner headlines that read, simply, “Chennai Horror.”
“This story has shaken me to the core,” Rohini Singh, an Indian journalist, wrote on Twitter. “An entire community got together to rape a child. I cannot even fathom the depravity and horror of this act.”
This has been a year punctuated by brutal crimes against young girls in India. In January, an 8-year-old was kidnapped, locked in a Hindu temple, gang raped and beaten to death. In May, a teenager in central India was set on fire after her parents told a village council that men in the area had raped their daughter. In June, a 7-year-old was raped in the state of Madhya Pradesh, also in central India. Afterward, the two men slit her throat and left her to die.
A poll released in June by the Thomson Reuters Foundation named India the most dangerous country in the world for women, ahead of war-torn countries like Afghanistan and Syria. In India, a rape occurs at least every 20 minutes, according to data from the National Crime Records Bureau.
Indian officials have struggled to figure out what to do. The government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved a measure in April to raise jail sentences for rapists and introduce the death penalty for those convicted of raping children under the age of 12.
But it is unclear whether the law will have much of an effect. India’s judicial system is notoriously backlogged, with millions of cases stuck in overburdened courts. Many of the crimes against young girls that gripped India this year have dropped out of the news cycle.
#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.”
Many people in #Haryana #India consider #rape to be a consensual act and blame #women for being victims of sexual assault. #Modi #BJP https://www.thequint.com/videos/documentaries/rape-is-consensual-inside-haryanas-rape-culture
In January 2018, ten rapes in ten days in Haryana seemed to shock everyone. And once again, everyone seemed to be asking the same question:
Itne rapes kyun hote hai, yaar?
We set out to travel across the state in an attempt to find out.
What greeted us was a mentality that deemed rape to be a consensual act and a society in which women are blamed for being victims of sexual assault. Wait, that means they’re not even considered ‘victims’. Society won’t even call a raped woman survivor if it is assumed that “she wanted it”.
Neither of these phenomena is unique to Haryana, but their widespread acceptance in the state served us a harsh reality check. The answer to the rapes lay all around us – in the state’s rape culture.
Open Defecation in India: A Major Health Hazard and Hurdle in Infection Control
Paurush Ambesh1 and Sushil Prakash Ambeshcorresponding author2
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“Cleanliness is next to Godliness”, a proverbial adage that traces its inception to ancient Indian times, is the epitome of irony in the current Indian health situation. The lost Indus Valley Civilization, with modern cities like Harappa and Mohenjodaro, was once the gold standard of sanitation infrastructure. Its extensive and efficient sewage system was not only an exemplary gem, but also a gift of knowledge to entire mankind. However history resides in books and has little relevance to the current situation.
Though over the last 50 years, the general health of Indians has improved and the life expectancy has increased, myriad health and sanitation problems still stare one in the face. The biggest one, open defecation, is the mother of all infection and morbidity. The WHO declared the year 2008 as International Year of Sanitation. It was here that the term ‘Open Defecation’ was widely publicized. Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programs helped spread the term all around the globe.
It is a matter of national concern as India has the most number of people practicing open defecation in the world, around 600 million , and is followed by Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria and Ethiopia. Still these countries come nowhere close to the staggering number contributed by India.
Most of it occurs in villages with a prevalence of 65% . In urban settings the prevalence is close to 16%. The problem has thick deep roots with a multi-factorial origin. Unavailability of proper toilets or toilets with dimly lit, broken or clogged latrines is common. However, the biggest problem is the mindset of people in both rural and urban settings. Children grow watching parents and grandparents practice open defecation. Most farmers believe that waking up early and defecating in the field, not only adds natural fertilizer to the soil, but also rejuvenates the bowel and the mind.
Open defecation is a major cause of fatal diarrhea. Everyday about 2000 children aged less than five succumb to diarrhea and every 40 seconds a life is lost . It is depressing that all this needless suffering is actually preventable. In densely populated countries like India, the health impact is magnified many fold . There is evidence to suggest that water sanitation and hygiene practices are associated with child linear growth . Children have a tendency to put common things in their mouth. In rural settings where open defecation is prevalent, large amounts of fecal pathogens via human and animal feces, are ingested by children. This creates a massive reservoir of bacteria, parasites and viruses that keep spreading gastrointestinal infection. An eventual result is growth stunting and malnutrition.
Though the health challenges seem to compound with time, the health budget allocation by the Government of India is getting smaller every year. This year also it is quite meager, only about 1% of the Gross Domestic Product. This may put financial constraints on dealing with sanitation linked diseases.
Number of #Indians political #asylum seekers jumps 996% in 10 years, up from 4,722 in 2009 to 51,769 in By 2018, according to #UNHCR. #Modi #BJP #India https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/996-rise-in-indians-seeking-political-asylum-in-past-10-years-1552869-2019-06-21 via @indiatoday
he number of Indians who feel their life would be in danger if they continue to reside in the country is increasing at an exponential rate. An indicator of this trend for any country is the number of its citizens seeking political asylum in other countries.
For India, in the 10 years between 2008 and 2018, the total number of such people rose 996.33 per cent. These are Indians who have requested political asylum in other countries on the grounds that they feel fearful to continue living in the country.
In 2009, only 4,722 Indians felt scared to live in India and thus applied for political asylum in other countries. By 2018, this number rose to 51,769, reveals an IndiaToday.in analysis of data collected by the office of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
In these 10 years, the United States and Canada have remained the most favoured countries for Indians seeking political asylum. In 2009, as many as 1,321 Indians applied for political asylum in the US while 1,039 did it in Canada.
While these two countries are still favourites among Indian political asylum seekers, the gulf between the number of Indians applying in the US and Canada has widened in the past decade.
Ten years ago, the difference in applications for the US and Canada was marginal--just 282. But by 2018, it ballooned to 22,967. (A total of 28,489 Indians applied for political asylum in the US in 2018 while 5,522 did it in Canada.)
United Nations data on asylum seekers for 2018 show that after the US and Canada, Indians prefer to seek political asylum in South Africa (4,329), followed by Australia (3,584), the UK (1,667), South Korea (1,657) and Germany (1,313).
Seeking political asylum in these countries isn't surprising as they are all developed economies and have an image of being peaceful and prosperous.
But what may come as surprising to some is that Indians have also sought political asylum in countries like Yemen, Sudan, Burundi, Bosnia among others--countries which have routinely hogged headlines for war and armed unrest in recent times.
Overall, in 2018 there were 57 countries where Indians applied for political asylum.
UNHCR reports show that despite being the world's largest democracy, India is not a popular destination among political asylum seekers.
For example, in 2018 there were 35.03 lakh political asylum seekers in the world but only 0.34 per cent of them (11,957) sought political asylum in India.
The US, Germany and Turkey were the most favoured destinations for political asylum seekers with 7.18 lakh, 3.69 lakh and 3.11 lakh people applying to these countries respectively.
But this does not mean that no one is applying to India. When it comes to South Asia, India has the largest number of political asylum applications. In 2018, of the 11,957 political asylum seekers in India, 65 per cent (7,864) were from Afghanistan. This was followed by those from Myanmar (2,064) and Yemen (1,134).
Rising tide of violence against #Muslims in #India. In 5 years of #Modi’s first term as #PM, #hate crime against Muslims soared; data shows that some 90% of religious hate crimes in the last decade have occurred since Modi came to power. #Hindutva #BJP https://time.com/5617161/india-religious-hate-crimes-modi/
On June 22, a viral video did the rounds on social media in India. A young Muslim man tied up, bleeding profusely all over his body, hands folded, was being lynched by a mob that forced him to chant of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Jai Hanuman.’ (Glory to Lord Ram and Lord Hanuman.)
The man, later identified as 24-year-old Tabrez Ansari, was beaten for hours until he died at the hands of a Hindu mob in the eastern state of Jharkhand. The death of Ansari, who married less than two months ago and is seen crying and begging for mercy in the video, has sparked protests in cities across India. His family says they were threatened by the police with a similar fate when they begged to get him treated while he was in custody, according to a report in The Wire. Police have arrested at least 11 people over the attack.
Ansari became the first victim of hate crime in the second term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. He is survived by a young wife who wants to know who in the country she can now turn to for justice. “My husband was my only support. Who will I live for now? I want justice,” she told the TV channel NDTV.
Just two days after the attack on Ansari, a 26-year-old Muslim teacher who taught in a religious seminary was thrown out of a train in the eastern state of West Bengal. Hafeez Mohammed Haldar was traveling when a mob chanted ‘Jai Shri Ram’ ( Glory to Lord Ram) and pushed him out of the train. Hafeez managed to escape death with minor injuries.
In the same week, on June 27, a Muslim cab driver, 25-year-old Faizal Usman Khan was beaten up by a group of men at night, barely minutes away from Mumbai, India’s celebrated cosmopolitan city. When Faizal begged for mercy, the men asked him to chant Jai Shri Ram, now a rallying cry for Hindu nationalists in the country.
If the first term of Narendra Modi’s rule in India was criticized for dogwhistle politics, his second term sets the ground for fear and insecurity. The hate crimes might be committed by seemingly-ordinary men on the streets of India but the impunity of their actions is being given a new lease of life from within the aisles of the Indian Parliament.
Modi’s acolytes have often sold him as an inclusive leader, a unifier in the international arena but fail to explain the Prime Minister’s studied silence against hate in the country, often manufactured in his own backyard. Leila may be a dystopian vision but it is also a cautionary tale, the story of a once-inclusive India that becomes immersed in hate to fulfil the opportunistic ambitions of a leader who raises Hindu nationalistic slogans. And in Modi’s India, where chanting Jai Shri Ram on the streets to invoke hate crimes against minorities, it’s hard not to see how that dystopian vision could become reality.
#Indian nationhood: a #masculine fantasy. In the #Hindutva imagination, while the #Kashmiri #Muslim man is the ‘Other’, Kashmiri Muslim #women are objects of fantasy. #Modi #BJP https://www.telegraphindia.com/opinion/indian-nationhood-a-masculine-fantasy/cid/1702112?ref=more-from-opinion_story-page&fbclid=IwAR0bjZXvQKqzhV0zNyim9gTpOMsvD_wZdBrbO7v-azDJ4J9CWeXJSdSIJjY
A nation is not conquered until the hearts of its women are on the ground. Only then is it done, no matter how brave its warriors nor how strong its weapons — A saying among the Cheyenne, an indigenous people in America.
Since the abrogation of Article 370, there has been much naked gloating about Kashmir’s ‘annexation’ in the rest of the nation. Even more disturbing has been the explosion of misogynistic jokes about Kashmiri women on Indian social media.
The entire discussion around Kashmir has reduced it to a political and economic issue. In doing so, what we miss is that nation states are violent masculine projects, and that they are played out on the bodies of women. In this way, they mimic the logic of colonialism, marked by patriarchy and sexual violence. This is ironic because nation states like India have been founded by defeating colonialism.
The sexual fantasies that have been unleashed around Kashmir —the top Google searches in India immediately after August 5 were ‘marry Kashmir girl’ and ‘Kashmiri girls’ — are thus not innocent. They are misogynistic. But they are also deeply tied to the political arena of nation-state building. The flurry of videos on TikTok and Facebook by men declaring that they will marry Kashmiri women — something that a Bharatiya Janata Party lawmaker openly asked his party workers to do — or buy property in Kashmir, are also linked to the larger ‘nationalistic’ goal of changing the demographics of Muslim-majority Kashmir.
Of course, the women are not humans, with voice and agency, but are reduced to the status of material property. It does not matter what Kashmiri women think about marrying all these men. This is what is reflected in the BJP lawmaker’s supreme confidence and the resounding applause with which his exhortation was met with.
Yet, we cannot trivialize these fantasies, for the consequences of nationalism and State-building for ‘others’ who do not fit neatly into them are real and terrible. That is why the entire focus has only been on how Kashmiris have been unjustly getting special privileges at the cost of the rest of India, and not on what it means to live in the most militarized zone in the world.
Women in particular are affected, for they are subjected to not only the patriarchy of the nation state but also the patriarchy of their own community. It is important to remember here that the women of the Kashmiri villages of Kunan and Poshpora, raped allegedly by the armed forces, are yet to receive justice even after 28 years of the crime. Human right violations and extra-judicial killings have occurred under the cover of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act not only in Kashmir but also in other theatres of recalcitrance like Manipur.
Justice is also yet to be delivered in the brutal rape and fake encounter killing of Thangjam Manorama despite the order of an interim compensation by the Supreme Court. The killing had led to an unprecedented protest by Manipuri women in the nude. In 2014, a judicial panel in Manipur noted that “Crimes against women, more particularly relating to sexual harassment committed by armed forces, are now increasing in some states like ours.”
It is time to recognize that sexuality and gender power, often taking violent forms, are as much a part of nationalism and nation-state building as their political and economic aspects. In the Hindutva nationalist imagination, while the Kashmiri Muslim man is the ‘Other’, Kashmiri Muslim women become objects of fantasy.
People in #India Searching For 8-year old #Muslim Girl Victim of Kathua #Rape Videos On Porn Sites Exposes Sadist Mentality Of #Indian Society. Search term ‘Asifa’ was trending in India on XVideos, the world’s largest #pornography websites. #Modi #BJP https://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/people-searching-for-asifa-rape-videos-on-porn-sites-exposes-the-sadist-mentality-of-society-343590.html
Remember that eight-year-old victim in the Kathua gangrape and murder case? She was kidnapped, kept in a temple, drugged, raped by several men for several days, mutilated and finally, brutally killed in January. How could you forget?
The filthy mentality of a section of this country is exposed once again after the screenshot below started making rounds on the internet.
The image shows that the search term ‘Asifa’ was trending in India on XVideos, one of the world’s largest pornography websites.
It may seem extremely crude to be true but unfortunately, it is. The search shows the extremely sadist, sick and voyeuristic mentality of the consumer base for miseries of other people.
A recent study claimed that Indians are among the most "prolific consumers" of internet pornography, accounting for 40% of the website’s 14.2 billion visits.
The search hints at rampant sociopathy and excessive suppressed sexuality.
How can one relish the video of a dead child to satiate perversion? Porn enthusiasts, looking for fodder to gratify their deviance have searched multiple websites to find some sort of a clip. Search terms have surged overnight with people prefixing her name followed by a “porn”, “clip” and “videos”.
“Forced sex India” and “rape sex videos Indian” are among the top searches on porn websites.
Recently, a report said that in Uttar Pradesh, people are buying footage of a woman being raped for the price of a roadside meal. Al Jazeera found several videos that appeared to depict rape for sale across the state. They cost from Rs 20 to Rs 200 and are transmitted to a customer's mobile phone in a matter of seconds.
The faces of women are visible, their screams are clear and the attacks on them are brutal. Such videos are made to blackmail victims so that they don’t report the rape but easily find their way into the dark trade of selling and buying rape videos. In plain terms, these videos are mostly referred to as “local films”.
#India’s #rape culture grows without shame or consequences. If #Delhi #school boys on Instagram privately plan to rape underage girls, then men from IT cells of #BJP & its allies publicly threaten women on Twitter and Facebook. #Hindutva https://theprint.in/opinion/pov/locker-room-boys-it-cell-men-india-rape-culture-grows-shame/414502/ via @ThePrintIndia
India has a rape culture. When not making “victims” out of women — young and old, newborn and dead — it breathes life into Indian boys’ and men’s everyday public conversations and private group chats. One such private group on Instagram, Bois Locker Room, was outed on Twitter Sunday. Screenshots of Delhi school boys sharing images of underage girls, with conversations ranging from ‘jokes’ about their private parts to planning a gang rape, went viral. They finally drew the attention of the Delhi Commission for Women, which sent a notice to both the police and Instagram demanding a probe.
But while this Instagram group had about 30-35 members, thousands of locker room boys grew up into same sexist and misogynist adults a long time ago, and no one took note. As members of Indian political parties’ IT cells, they are doing publicly what Bois Locker Room boys did privately. They log into their social media accounts every day and go after women who wear ‘short clothes’, speak their mind, talk back to them, don’t worship their political leaders, or don’t ascribe to their political ideologies — everything that hits at their masculinity. IT cells of all political parties — BJP, AAP and Congress — are part of this big boys’ club. But the BJP IT cell is most notorious.
The tools deployed by these men to target women are the same — threats of gang rape, mutilation, reminders of past heinous crimes, body shaming, slut shaming, character assassination, and spreading rumours. These men reduce the existence of women to sexual intercourse and their body parts, and want to teach them a lesson by circulating their nude pictures. They don’t spare their target’s mother, sister or any female relative
Almost all these men swear by their religion, are “nationalists and patriots”, and are followed by leading politicians of India, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Some are politicians themselves, like former MLA and BJP leader Kapil Mishra, who has targeted public figures such as Swara Bhasker, Kavita Krishnan, Shehla Rashid, Barkha Dutt, Alka Lamba in the past and most recently, directed his vulgarity at Jamia student Safoora Zargar over her pregnancy.
As the screenshots of ugly conversations of Bois Locker Room began to emerge on Twitter, many expressed shock over the language, the sexualisation of underage girls as well as the fact that they were casually planning to rape a girl.
But if the locker room boys talk mostly about girls’ breasts, the big boys of IT cells are obsessed with women’s vagina. Every other day, there’s a Twitter hashtag targeting the genitals of the mother of the person in whose name the attack is trending. But these rarely draw anyone’s attention — be it of Twitter authorities, the Indian police or the government. It’s part of men’s everyday conversation to refer to a mother or sister’s vagina; men’s abuses directed at other men are centred on telling them they rape their mothers and sisters.
#India's #Rape Scandal: PBS FRONTLINE correspondent Ramita Navai investigates a wave of shocking rape cases in India — some of them drawing in politicians from the country’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party #BJP #Modi #crime #Hindutva https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/indias-rape-scandal/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=share_button via @frontlinepbs
Third day of protests in #Delhi over alleged rape of 9-year-old #Dalit girl. The 200 million-strong Dalit community has long faced discrimination and abuse in #India, with attacks increasing since the start of the #coronavirus #pandemic. #DalitLivesMatter https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/aug/03/third-day-of-protests-in-delhi-over-alleged-of-nine-year-old-girl
The alleged rape and murder of a nine-year-old girl from India’s lowest caste has sparked a third day of protests in the capital, in the latest case to spotlight the country’s high levels of sexual violence.
Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets in Delhi on Tuesday holding banners reading “Give justice to the little girl” and demanding the death penalty for the four men accused of the crime.
The 200 million-strong Dalit community has long faced discrimination and abuse in India, with attacks increasing since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Activists protest in New Delhi after a series of rape cases in 2018 but India remains the most unsafe country for women in the world.
Dalits bear brunt of India's 'endemic' sexual violence crisis
The Delhi chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, tweeted that the alleged attack was “barbaric” and “shameful”. “There is a need to improve the law and order situation in Delhi,” he wrote, saying he would meet the girl’s family on Wednesday.
The opposition congress leader, Rahul Gandhi, tweeted that “a Dalit’s daughter is also the daughter of the country”.
The girl’s family told local media she was cremated without their consent and feared she was assaulted by a priest and three crematorium workers. She had gone to the crematorium, which is near the family’s home in south-west Delhi, to fetch water on Sunday.
The four men allegedly called her mother to the crematorium and told her the girl had been electrocuted. The mother was told that if she reported the death to the police, doctors conducting an autopsy would remove her daughter’s organs and sell them, the deputy commissioner of police for south-west Delhi, Ingit Pratap Singh, told the Hindustan Times.
The child’s body was then cremated, Singh said.
Police later arrested four men, who have now been charged with rape and murder, the newspaper reported.
An average of nearly 90 rapes of girls and women were reported in the nation of 1.3 billion people every day in 2019, according to data by the National Crime Records Bureau. Large numbers of sexual assaults are thought to go unreported.
Last year, the death of a 19-year-old woman from her injuries after she was allegedly raped by four upper-caste men in Uttar Pradesh caused outrage across India and triggered days of protests.
Speaking at #dismantlingglobalhindutva conf, Leena Manimekalai, producer of underproduction film "Rape Nation", said: “Hindutva has redefined nationalism as a genocidal impulse to rape and murder non-Hindu women. It is a celebration of toxic masculinity.”
Considering that caste is an intrinsic part of the Hindutva world view, a session was dedicated to the theme. Gajendran Ayyathurai presented his paper on “Systematic Blindnesses: Hindutva, Benign Brahminism and the Brick Wall of Caste/Hindu Identity”. In his argument, “benign Brahminism stands for how Brahmin-male claims of Hindu identity, Hindu culture and Hinduism have come to be legitimised in the Indian and Western academy’s theories, institutions and practices that superimpose and mask the latent and manifest forms of caste/casteism”. Bhanwar Meghwanshi, who quit the RSS as he became disgusted with its casteism, explained in Hindi that “Hindutva is not a religion or faith but is a communal political ideology that is based on brahminical Hinduism that wants to turn India from a secular nation into a Hindu rashtra”. Basing his argument on his own experience, Meghwanshi asserted that “the lower castes do not have any role in determining the strategies or politics of the RSS, instead, they are exploited and weaponised against religious minorities”. In her presentation, the philosopher Meena Dhanda said it was possible for caste “to be included in the legal definition of race under the [U.K.’s] Equality Act of 2010”.
Also read: Hindu right-wing organisations in the U.S avail themselves of low-interest loans offered by the SBA
In a session on “Gender and Sexual Politics of Hindutva”, the film-maker Leena Manimekalai showed a clip from her incomplete film Rape Nation, which partially looks at the stories of survivors of sexual violence during the communal carnages that took place in Gujarat and Muzaffarnagar in 2002 and 2013 respectively. Arguing that sexual violence is at the core of Hindutva, Leena Manimekalai said: “Hindutva has redefined nationalism as a genocidal impulse to rape and murder non-Hindu women. It is a celebration of toxic masculinity.”
The transgender studies scholar Aniruddha Dutta showed in his presentation how the BJP’s rise had even affected the Hijra tradition where there has been a transformation from a “syncretic Indo-Islamic tradition to a more orthodox version of Hinduism”. The Dalit feminist P. Sivakami critiqued Hindutva as having “no vision for Hindu women except that it intends to prepare and reorient them against their imaginary enemy, i.e., the Muslim man, thus diverting her from her real struggles”. The feminist scholar Akanksha Mehta segued from this presentation, stating that “notions of gender and sexuality rooted in caste and race are crucial to the Hindutva project” even as she compared the analogous role of women among savarna (caste) Hindus and Zionists.
Hindutva and its relationship to nationalism was the theme of the session titled “Contours of the Nation”. The focus was on the operation of Hindutva in Kashmir, the north-eastern region and the Adivasi-inhabited areas of central India. The anthropologist Mohamad Junaid examined the “spectacle of domination” of the Hindutva state, characterising it as “primarily an anti-Muslim state”. He also spoke about the long history of Hindutva in Kashmir, tracing it to the land reforms of the 1950s, which were a challenge to “Hindu sovereignty”.
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.
Punjab&Haryana HC suspends sentence, grants bail to J&K Police sub-inspector Anand Dutta convicted for destroying evidence in 2018 Kathua rape case in which 8-year-old Asifa Bano was kidnapped, mass-raped in temple, killed & thrown in jungle. Where is our collective conscience?
12-year-old boy in ‘critical condition’ following alleged gang-#rape in #NewDelhi. Protests in #India against the high incidence of sexual assault, typically against women and girls, have become commonplace in recent years. #crime #BJP #Modi https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/26/india/india-gang-rape-boy-delhi-intl-hnk
A 12-year-old boy is in “critical condition” after he was allegedly gang-raped and beaten in India’s capital New Delhi, according to a statement from the city’s police and a complaint lodged by the boy’s family to the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW).
Delhi Police Deputy Commissioner Sanjay Sain said in a video statement the alleged assault was carried out by three males – all minors known to the victim – including a family relative.
The alleged assault was said to have taken place in the northeastern neighborhood of Seelampur on September 18, but was not reported until September 22, according to both the police and DCW statements.
The DCW is a statutory authority appointed to investigate matters concerning the security and safety of women under Delhi law.
The case is under investigation, and two of the accused have been arrested, Sain said in the video statement. “The three accused are from the same community, they were neighbors,” Sain said, adding that one of the men was related to the victim.
They have not yet been charged.
According to a statement from the DCW on Sunday, the boy’s parents said their son was in “critical condition” after allegedly being assaulted with a rod and “brutally” beaten with bricks.
“The boy is not in a good state and may not make it,” DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal told CNN by phone when asked about his current condition.
Protests in India against the high incidence of sexual assault, typically against women and girls, have become commonplace in recent years.
In 2012, the gang-rape and murder of medical student Nirbhaya – a pseudonym given to the victim, meaning “fearless” – in Delhi galvanized millions of women to call for tougher penalties for perpetrators.
Nirbhaya suffered horrific injuries after being raped and assaulted with iron rods, according to court documents. She died two weeks after the attack in a Singapore hospital.
Nirbhaya’s death cast a spotlight on sexual assault in India and marked a turning point in the country, with the introduction of new laws including the fast-tracking of rape cases through the justice system and an amended definition of rape to include anal and oral penetration.
#India #Rape: Alleged rapist and his mother set teenage girl on fire after learning she was pregnant. India has long grappled with an epidemic of #violence against #women and #girls in the deeply patriarchal country. #Hindutva #BJP #Modi #Misogynist https://www.cnn.com/2022/10/12/india/india-girl-rape-pregnancy-attempted-murder-intl-hnk
A 15-year-old girl is being treated at a hospital in northern India after she was allegedly set on fire by a man accused of raping and impregnating her in the latest case of violence against women to shock the country.
Kamlesh Kumar Dixit, a senior police official in Uttar Pradesh state, told CNN the man, 18, and his mother were arrested on Monday on suspicion of attempted murder after they allegedly poured kerosene on the girl and set her ablaze on October 6.
Police also accuse the man – who is a cousin of the alleged victim – of raping her about three months ago after which she became pregnant, Dixit said.
Upon learning of the girl’s pregnancy, her family and the family of the alleged rapist had discussed whether the two should get married, Dixit added.
Citing police, the Press Trust of India – the country’s largest news agency – reported the girl was lured to the alleged rapist’s home on the pretext of getting married to him when she was allegedly set alight. However, Dixit declined to comment when asked about this detail.
India has long grappled with an epidemic of violence against women and girls in the deeply patriarchal country. And campaigners say the alleged involvement of a woman in this latest case demonstrates the scale of internalized misogyny in society.
“I’ve become so numb to stories like this. There is a lack of empathy in our country,” said Yogita Bhayana, an anti-rape activist from New Delhi. “For years, we have been trying to change things. This case demonstrates a failure of our system. The girl should have been helped.”
The girl’s condition and the status of her pregnancy are unknown. CNN ha
This BJP spokesperson says that Savarkar wrote a series of mercy petitions to the British Crown because Chhatrapati Shivaji wrote five mercy petitions to Aurangazeb!!!
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.
Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".
The book says, "Central to (Hindutva) perception is the belief that Muslim rulers indiscriminately demolished Hindu temples and broke Hindu idols. They relentlessly propagate the canard that 60,000 Hindu temples were demolished during Muslim rule, though there is hardly any credible evidence for the destruction of more than 80 of them."
Presenting what he calls "a limited survey of the desecration, destruction and appropriation of Buddhist stupas, monasteries and other structures by Brahminical forces", Jha says, "Evidence for such destruction dates as far back as the end of the reign of Ashoka, who is credited with making Buddhism a world religion."
He adds, "A tradition recorded in a twelfth-century Kashmiri text, the Rajatarangini of Kalhana, mentions one of Ashoka’s sons, Jalauka. Unlike his father, he was a Shaivite, and destroyed Buddhist monasteries. If this is given credence, the attacks on Shramanic religions seem to have begun either in the lifetime of Ashoka or soon after his death."
According to Jha, "Other early evidence of the persecution of Shramanas comes from the post-Mauryan period, recorded in the Divyavadana, a Buddhist Sanskrit, which describes the Brahmin ruler Pushyamitra Shunga as a great persecutor of Buddhists. He is said to have marched out with a large army, destroying stupas, burning monasteries and killing monks as far as Sakala, now known as Sialkot, where he announced a prize of one hundred dinars for every head of a Shramana."
Bringing up "evidence" from famous grammarian Patanjali, Jha says, he "famously stated in his Mahabhashya that Brahmins and Shramanas are eternal enemies, like the snake and the mongoose. All this taken together means that the stage was set for a Brahminical onslaught on Buddhism during the post-Mauryan period, especially under Pushyamitra Shunga, who may have destroyed the Ashokan Pillared Hall and the Kukutarama monastery at Pataliputra—modern-day Patna."
Ghanznavi's Destruction of Somnath Was Not a Hindu-Muslim Issue When it Happened
It was deliberately distorted by the British colonial rulers to divide and conquer India, according to Indian historian Romila Thapar.
British distortions of history have since been exploited by Hindu Nationalists to pursue divisive policies.
In 1026, Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni raided the Hindu temple of Somanatha (Somnath in textbooks of the colonial period). The story of the raid has reverberated in Indian history, but largely during the (British) raj. It was first depicted as a trauma for the Hindu population not in India, but in the House of Commons. The triumphalist accounts of the event in Turko-Persian chronicles became the main source for most eighteenth-century historians. It suited everyone and helped the British to divide and rule a multi-millioned subcontinent.
In her new book, Romila Thapar, the doyenne of Indian historians, reconstructs what took place by studying other sources, including local Sanskrit inscriptions, biographies of kings and merchants of the period, court epics and popular narratives that have survived. The result is astounding and undermines the traditional version of what took place. These findings also contest the current Hindu religious nationalism that constantly utilises the conventional version of this history.
Did you know that the composition of Mahmood Ghaznavi's army when he raided the Somnath temple in 1025 was, solely not a Muslim Army. Out of 12 Generals, 5 were Hindus. Their names are:1. Tilak2. Rai3. Sondhi4. Hazran5. Not knownAfter the battle, Mahmood issued coins in his name with inscriptions in Sanskrit. He appointed a Hindu Raja as his representative in Somnath. Arab traders who had settled in Gujarat during the 8th and 9th century died to protect the Somnath temple against Ghaznavi's Army.
Just three years before Ghaznavi's raid on Somnath in 1022, a general acting on the authority of Rajendra I, Maharaja of the Chola empire (848–1279) had marched 1,600 kilometres north from the Cholas’ royal capital of Tanjavur. After subduing kings in Orissa, Chola warriors defeated Mahipala, maharaja of the Pala empire (c.750–1161), who was the dominant power in India’s easternmost region of Bengal. The Chola's crowned their victory by carrying off a bronze image of the deity Śiva, which they seized from a royal temple that Mahipala had patronized. In the course of this long campaign, the invaders also took from the Kalinga Raja of Orissa images of Bhairava, Bhairavi and Kali. These, together with precious gems looted from the Pala king, were taken down to the Chola capital as war booty.
The question arises why is Mahmud Ghaznavi demonized but not Rajendra Chola's plunder of Hindu temples?In fact, the demonization of Mahmud and the portrayal of his raid on Somnath as an assault on Hinduism by Muslim invaders dates only from the early 1840s.
In 1842, the British East India Company suffered the annihilation of an entire army of some 16,000 in the First Afghan War (1839–42). Seeking to regain face among their Hindu subjects after this humiliating defeat, the British contrived a bit of self-serving fiction, namely...that Mahmud, after sacking the temple of Somnath, carried off a pair of the temple’s gates on his way back to Afghanistan.
By ‘discovering’ these fictitious gates in Mahmud’s former capital of Ghazni, and by ‘restoring’ them to their rightful owners in India, British officials hoped to be admired for heroically rectifying what they construed heinous wrongs that had caused centuries of distress among Hindus. Though intended to win the letters' gratitude while distracting the locals from Britain’s catastrophic defeat just beyond the Khyber, this bit of colonial mischief has stoked Hindus’ ill-feeling towards Muslims ever since.By contrast, Rajendra Chola’s raid on Bengal remained largely forgotten outside the Chola country.12 years after the attack, a king from the Goa region recorded performing a pilgrimage to the temple, but he failed to mention Mahmud’s raid. Another inscription dated 1169 mentioned repairs made to the temple owing to normal deterioration, but again without mentioning Mahmud’s raid. In 1216 Somnath’s overlords fortified the temple to protect it not from attacks by invaders from beyond the Khyber Pass, but from those by Hindu rulers in neighbouring Malwa; apparently, such attacks were so frequent as to require precautionary measures; apparently, such attacks were so frequent as to require precautionary measures.
The silence of contemporary Hindu sources regarding Mahmud’s raid suggests that in Somnath itself it was either forgotten altogether or viewed as just another unfortunate attack by an outsider, and hence unremarkable.
1. “India in the Persianate Age: 1000-1765” by Richard M. Eaton2. “Somanatha: The Many Voices of a History” by Romila Thapar
Ex British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw's Interview with Karan Thapar on The Wire
Topic: BBC's Modi Documentary
“I have long been very familiar with the history of India and independence in 1947 and communal violence that ensued. I was there when there were demonstrations against Ayodhya mosque”
“There are thousands of Gujaratis in my constituency (in England), mainly Muslims”
After Godhra incident or accident (in Gujarat in 2002) there was a need for effective policing that did not happen”
“There’s a colonial history of the East India Company and the British government playing one community against the other (Hindu vs Muslim) during the Raj”
“The United Kingdom was a colonial master of India until 1947. So we felt a moral responsibility and a long term bond. …the constituency of Lancashire I represented is 40% non white… I had a concern for our Gujarati Muslim constituents”
History As Politics
Links between knowledge and ideology do not justify the passing off of political agendas as knowledge as is being done in the rewriting of history by the present central government; and that too of a kind not based on the understanding of history...
The colonial interpretation was carefully developed through the nineteenth century. By 1823, the History of British India written by James Mill was available and widely read. This was the hegemonic text in which Mill periodised Indian history into three periods - Hindu civilization, Muslim civilization and the British period. These were accepted largely without question and we have lived with this periodisation for almost two hundred years. Although it was challenged in the last fifty years by various historians writing on India, it is now being reinforced again. Mill argued that the Hindu civilization was stagnant and backward, the Muslim only marginally better and the British colonial power was an agency of progress because it could legislate change for improvement in India. In the Hindutva version this periodisation remains, only the colours have changed : the Hindu period is the golden age, the Muslim period the black, dark age of tyranny and oppression, and the colonial period is a grey age almost of marginal importance compared to the earlier two. This also echoes the views of Sir William Jones and Max Mueller. It allows a focus on the Hindu and Muslim periods which as we shall see was part of the political stand of the religious nationalisms of the early twentieth century.
Anti-colonial nationalist historians, often referred to as secular nationalist historians, had initiated a critique of the colonial period, but tended to accept the notion of a Hindu ‘golden age’. They did not distance themselves to assess the validity of such descriptions. Many were upper caste Hindus, familiar with Sanskrit and sympathetic to the idea of a glorious Hindu past. This was in some ways an attempt to assuage the hurt of having been reduced to being a colony. Similarly, the argument that the Muslim period was based on Persian and Arabic sources tended to attract upper-caste Muslims to this study and they too were sympathetic to what was stated in the sources without questioning them too closely. Even those who critiqued Mill’s periodisation merely changed the nomenclature from Hindu-Muslim-British to Ancient-Medieval-Modern in imitation of the periodisation of European history. There was a debate over colonial interpretations, but with less effort to change the methods of analysis or the theories of explanation.
Mill’s projection was that the Hindus and Muslims formed two uniform, monolithic communities permanently hostile to each other because of religious differences, with the Hindus battling against Muslim tyranny and oppression. This was the view of many colonial writers on India and in terms of presenting historical sources is exemplified in Elliot and Dowson’s, History of India as Told by her Own Historians,published in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Chroniclers of the medieval courts writing in Persian and others writing in Arabic are included, the assumption being that there was no writing of Indian history prior to the coming of Islam. Nor was there concession to segmentation within the communities in terms of varying histories of castes and sects.
New Indian textbooks purged of nation’s Muslim history
By Anumita Kaur
The Taj Mahal is one of India’s most iconic sites. But this year, millions of students across India won’t delve into the Mughal Empire that constructed it.
Instead, Indian students have new textbooks that have been purged of details on the nation’s Muslim history, its caste discrimination and more, in what critics say warps the country’s rich history in an attempt to further Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist agenda.
The cuts, first reported by the Indian Express, are wide-ranging. Chapters on the country’s historic Islamic rulers are either slimmed down or gone; an entire chapter in the 12th-grade history textbook, “Kings and Chronicles: The Mughal Courts" was deleted. The textbooks omit references to the 2002 riots in the Indian state of Gujarat, where hundreds of Indian-Muslims were killed while Modi was the state’s leader. Details on India’s caste system, caste discrimination and minority communities are missing.
Passages that connected Hindu extremism to independence leader Mohandas K. Gandhi’s assassination were pruned as well, such as the 12th grade political science textbook line: Gandhi’s “steadfast pursuit of Hindu-Muslim unity provoked Hindu extremists so much that they made several attempts to assassinate [him].”
The new curriculum, developed by India’s National Council of Educational Research and Training, has been in the works since last year and will serve thousands of classrooms in at least 20 states across the country. It follows long-standing efforts by Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to craft a Hindu nationalist narrative for the country — a platform that Modi ran on in 2014 and secured reelection with in 2019.
“The minds of children are now under direct onslaught in this kind of intense way, where textbooks must not ever reflect South Asia’s dynamic, complex history,” said Utathya Chattopadhyaya, a history professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara. “So you basically create a body of students who come out knowing very little about the history of social justice, the history of democracy, the history of diversity, and so on.”
India has been home to Hindu, Muslim and many other religious communities for centuries. British rule stoked tensions among communities, leading to violence in 1947 after the country was partitioned into Pakistan and modern India.
Hindu nationalism has intensified under Modi. It has led to violent clashes, bulldozing of Indian-Muslim communities and deepening polarization throughout India and its global diaspora.
The curriculum change is another step in the trend, Chattopadhyaya argued. BJP-led state governments have launched textbook revisions for years. But now it’s stretched to the national level.
“This is actually an intensification of something that’s been happening. It is a way of ‘Hindu-izing’ South Asian history and ignoring all other kinds of diverse plural histories that have existed,” he said.
Last chance to read Mughal-era Sanskrit literature, before it is all deleted | Deccan Herald
by Anusha Rao
The recent removal of chapters on Mughals from the NCERT syllabus presents us with an opportunity to look at the colorful history of Sanskrit during that period. The most vibrant personality of this era was perhaps the celebrity poet Jagannatha Panditaraja, who managed to sell the same praise-poem to three kings (Shah Jahan, Jagatsimha and Prananarayana), after swapping out their names. Panditaraja, i.e., the ‘king of scholars’, was a title that the Mughal king Shah Jahan bestowed on Jagannatha. Our poet clearly liked being wined and dined well. He writes: “Only two people can give me all that I want—God, or the emperor of Delhi. As for what the other kings give, well, I use that for my weekly groceries!"
Legend goes that Jagannatha fell head-over-heels in love with a Muslim woman called Lavangi and married her. This would explain the Muslim woman (“yavani”) who is the subject of so many of his verses, where he meditates on her skin smooth as butter and wants neither horses nor elephants nor money as long as he can be with her.
Aurangzeb’s uncle Shaista Khan had even learnt Sanskrit himself, and six poems written by him are preserved in the Rasakalpadruma. Dara Shikoh, the eldest son of Shah Jahan had learnt Sanskrit, too, and his project was to understand Islam and through each other. Another celebrity poet of this age was Kavindracharya, the head of the Banaras scholar community during Shah Jahan’s rule. He pleaded the case for abolishing the Hindu pilgrim tax so eloquently in front of the king that the indeed came to be abolished. Poems in praise of Kavindracharya poured in from all across the country, and they are preserved today in the form of a book, the Kavindra Chandrodaya.
South India had its fair share of Sanskrit poets who enjoyed the patronage of multiple kings of different faiths. Bhanukara, a 16th century Sanskrit poet, wrote verses that we find in many well-known verse anthologies. These anthologies attribute to Bhanukara verses in praise of various kings—hinting that among his patrons were Krishnadevaraya, Nizam Shah and Sher Shah, all ruling in the Deccan! And Bhanukara clearly enjoyed a good relationship with the Nizam, given his hyperbolic verses in praise of the king’s generosity, skill in military conquest, and even his physical appearance. Another well-known Sanskrit poet of the 16th century was Govinda Bhatta, who composed the Ramachandra-yashah-prashasti in praise of King Vaghela Ramachandra of Rewa. But Ramachandra was not Govinda Bhatta’s only patron. In fact, Govinda Bhatta called himself Akbariya Kalidasa, as a tribute to the most illustrious of his patrons, Akbar. In one his laudatory verses, he praises Akbar as being the crest jewel of Humayun’s lineage.
Not all Sanskrit poetry about the Mughals is about kings though— the 17th century poet Nilakantha Shukla, a disciple of the famous grammarian Bhattoji Dikshita, wrote an epic poem on the romance between a Brahmin tutor and a Muslim noblewoman in Mughal Banaras.
As Sanskrit poets wrote in and of Islamic rule, a large number of Sanskrit classics were translated into Persian as well—including the Ramayana, Mahabharata, and even tales such as the Shuka Saptati. The Razmnamah, a Persian translation of the Mahabharata, commissioned by Akbar in the late 16th century, manages to strike a balance between the monotheistic god of Islam and the plethora of gods in the Sanskrit epic, retaining numerous divinities while weaving in Koranic phrases, and modifying prayers to address them to Allah. But how do we know all of this? Well, nobody struck these out from the manuscripts and inscriptions...
Most #women avoid #Indian streets at night. This group strode bravely together. #rape #misogyny #Bangalore #India #safety https://sc.mp/k0m2?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=share_widget&utm_campaign=3216301 via @scmpnews
The plans are optimistic in the face of a dismal national record: crimes against women in India have risen alarmingly in recent years, with more than 425,000 recorded by the government in 2021. India ranks 148 in a list of 170 countries in the US-based Women, Peace and Security Index.
On a warm, late March evening, in fading twilight, a dozen women gather outside the Central College metro station in the heart of the Indian city of Bangalore. Other than two pairs of friends, we are strangers.
But introductions are made and soon all is excited anticipation and a will to conquer. As pompous as that sounds, a group of women setting out for a night walk on the streets of Bangalore’s Chickpete area, a crowded, congested traditional business district, is a rare occurrence.
In general, women avoid Indian streets at night, especially if alone and in busy areas, because of the harassment they are likely to encounter: anything from being brushed against and deliberately crowded out to being purposely bumped into or grabbed.
Gully Tours is the boutique experiential tour company behind our “Pete by Night – For Women by Women” experience. “It’s not unsafe,” says Parvathi Bhat Giliyal, lead of the company’s heritage and food walking tours, to the assembled women. “Just be on your guard. Try and stay together and we will have a good time.”
We set off in twos and threes, dodging foot and vehicular traffic. As we cross into Chickpete, the chaos intensifies. The roads are filled with jostling pedestrians, bicycles, vehicles, vendors and people pushing carts of all sizes. It is noisy, dusty and humid.
By now, the group is in single file, each woman trying to keep the one in front in sight. It helps that we are carrying large, bright tote bags that are easily visible; it helps further that they are filled with goodies from women entrepreneurs, all collaborators of Gully Tours.
Parvathi breaks the group in gently. She leads us into small patches of sanity: first a deserted courtyard, to point out architectural styles that have been added over the years, and then the premises of the State Bank of India, housed in a 110-year-old stone mansion that used to be a lunatic asylum.
Back on the street and heading further into Chickpete, it feels as though we’re entering controlled bedlam. This is a traditional business district with a history going back nearly 500 years, all the way to the city’s founder, Kempegowda. Bangalore might be known as a smart tech city, but Chickpete is frozen in time.
As we head deeper into the maze, we discover alleys that are barely wide enough for a two-wheeler to pass through. Narrow buildings sit cheek by jowl, many fronted by business establishments with living quarters behind.
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