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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Indian leaders’ rhetoric reflect Anti-Muslim atmosphere

News Analysis|

A BJP legislator stirred the communal pot in Uttar Pradesh and claimed that leaders of opposition parties were “anti-nationals” because they espoused religious beliefs other than Hinduism. Meanwhile in the Jammu area of Indian Occupied Kashmir, Jammu Bar President B.S. Salathia said: “If the people of Jammu have the tricolor in their hands today, tomorrow they could even have bombs and AK-47s if compelled.”

Bairia MLA Surendra Singh made the incendiary remark at a rally in UP’s Ballia and went on to say that the 2019 polls would be fought along religious lines — between “Islam and Bhagwan (Hindu term for God)”, to be precise.

Read more: Art: Tranquil resistance against Indian brutality in Kashmir

“The Opposition is made up of anti-nationals. They have different masters, for some it is Islam, for others it is Italy,” he said in an oblique jibe at Congress president Rahul Gandhi. “The 2019 election will see Islam pitted against Bhagwan. Now it’s up to the people of India to decide who will win – Islam or Bhagwan,” Singh railed.

The Bairia lawmaker is no stranger to controversy and over the last few days, his unbridled commentary on the Unnao rape case has caused an outcry. Yesterday, he defended the rape accused, a party colleague, Bangarmau MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar with a bizarre theory about the victim.

Read more: Hindu Nationalists demand release of Asifa Bano’s rapists

“I am speaking from the psychological point of view; no one can rape a mother of three children. It is not possible, this is a conspiracy against him,” he said.

The victim has alleged that Sengar and his accomplices gang-raped her last year. With police refusing to take action and the perpetrators continuously intimidating and threatening her family members, the victim attempted to immolate herself outside Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s residence. The next day, her father died in police custody, and the victim claimed her father was killed at Sengar’s behest.

Read more: Hindu Nationalists demand release of Asifa Bano’s rapists 

Dismissing the allegations, Singh questioned the veracity of the victim’s claims and said: “I have heard that the same girl had filed a false rape case against a man some years back, because of which the man had to spend six months in jail.”

In Jammu, amid slogans of ‘Bum Bum Bhole’, the Jammu High Court Bar Association president raised eyebrows on Wednesday with provocative statements in the light of the brutal Kathua rape. Seeking to turn the spotlight onto the Rohingya debate, another hot-button issue for Jammu the bar president claimed to Use Bombs and AK -47s To Remove Rohingyas.

“If you will not remove Rohingyas from Jammu, then we have the right to remove them with any weapon. If you have the mettle, ask police and the CRPF to stop us,” Salathia said amid cheers from the lawyers. Pointing to women lawyers, Salathia said: “We have many lionesses too. If asked, they can tear you apart (yeh aap ko nouch dalenge). We have many lions and lionesses. You will not get a chance to move out of Jammu”

He reminded Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti of the 2008 Amarnath agitation spearheaded by the Bar, in which the Kashmir valley was subjected to an economic blockade, and said they didn’t even allow Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba to come out of the airport for three hours.

Earlier, the Jammu and Kashmir Police filed an FIR against lawyers of Jammu who tried to prevent Crime Branch officers from filing a charge sheet in a court on Monday in connection with the Kathua rape and murder case.

Kathua rape victim family’s lawyer, Deepika S Rajawat had accused Salathia of issuing open threats to her asking her not to appear in the court. She also alleged that local lawyers were trying to protect the accused.

The words of both these Hindu political leaders aligned under the ideology of Hindutva were aimed against the Muslim minority. With the rise of the Hindutva fundamentalist BJP to power in 2014, Hindutva militants have become prominent in most parts of India. These brutal militants have enacted savage murders of mainly Muslims for various reasons such as “Gau Raksha” (Cow protection) and “Love Jihad”. In the name of protecting Hindus, Saffron terrorists have unleashed violence in several parts of India. Increasing incidents of ‘mob lynching’ and the silence of the Modi government has encouraged more hate groups and terrorists who have struck fear into the hearts of Muslims and the lower-caste Indians.

Most Hindutva extremists spread Islamophobia by exerting hatred within the Indians against the Muslim minority in India. The extremists compare the Muslim population of India with their “archenemy “Pakistan. This helps them to polarize society and convert animosity into votes and popular support. It is through such management that often Hindutva militants get away with horrific atrocities and eventually are hailed as “guardians” of Indian Hindus.