BJP leaders spread anti-Muslim propaganda, fake news amid violence in Gaza
Several leaders of India’s Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have used the recent escalation of violence in Gaza as an opportunity to run messaging that promotes anti-Muslim hatred and Hindu supremacist politics.
The official handle of the BJP tweeted a video captioned “Never forgive, never forget,” in support of Israel, drawing false parallels with past attacks in India. A former colonel in the Indian army called on Israel to show Hamas “no mercy: no pity: no remorse.” A BJP lawmaker for Karnataka state casually noted that India “may face the situation that Israel is confronting today if we don’t stand up against politically motivated radicalism.”
Fact checkers flagged that several videos circulating on Indian social media were old ones that had been tweeted to push Islamophobic messaging.
University students booked for protesting against Israel’s violence against Palestinians
Muslim students from the renowned Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in far-right BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh state were booked for protesting Israel’s recent bombardment of Gaza.
However, BJP leaders and Hindu extremists who held rallies in support of Israel’s offensive while chanting slogans like “The battle lines are drawn clear, Israel is our friend”, were allowed to carry out their rallies without disruption.
Hindu militant groups’ nationwide anti-Muslim hate speech events continue
In Mumbai, Maharashtra, during an anti-Muslim hate speech event by Hindu militant groups Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal, Hindu extremist speakers peddled conspiracy theories, demonized Muslims, glorified the Hindu militant-led demolition of the historic Babri mosque in 1992, and advocated for violence.
In Ranchi, Jharkhand, a Hindu supremacist leader was filmed declaring, “If you want to live in this country, you have to say Bharat Mata Ki Jai,” or “Victory for Mother India,” a nationalist phrase that is often used as a warcry by Hindu extremists.