Hate Speech By Politicians Rose 1130% Under Modi With BJP Accounting for 80% Of Hateful Rhetoric
Hate speech by high-ranking politicians has skyrocketed by a staggering 1130% since Prime Minister Narendra Modi won office in 2014, according to a hate speech tracker run by NDTV, an independent Indian news organization. This alarming phenomenon is a “hate speech pandemic” led by some of the most powerful elected officials in India, it has said.
The tracker shows that in the five years before Modi’s regime (2009-2014), there were 19 instances of “VIP” hate speech, an average of 0.3 instances a month. Since 2014 to date, however, there have been 348 instances of public and hateful vitriol against vulnerable groups, an average of 3.7 instances a month.
Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tops the list, with 297 instances of high-ranking hate, accounting for 80% of all VIP hate speech incidents.
Some of India’s most vitriolic Hindu supremacists are the BJP’s top officials. They include Keshav Prasad Maurya, the Deputy Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, who just days ago blatantly defended a call given by Hindu religious leaders to commit a genocide of two million Muslims.
Yogi Adityanath, UP’s Chief Minister, has openly encouraged Hindu extremists to destroy mosques and replace them with temples. Ashwani Upadhyay, another BJP politician, attended a hate speech gathering held last month and has organized hate rallies.
NDTV’s research confirms alarming reports released by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the State Department, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, and the Early Warning Project (co-headed by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum), which all say Modi and the BJP have played a key role in radicalizing many Hindus through both open hate speech and silent complicity in violence against minorities.
Court Slams Delay In Police Investigation In Hate Crime Of Muslim Man Beaten To Death In Delhi
Justice has still not been served for Faizan, a 23-year-old Muslim man who was beaten to death by a Hindu extremist mob in the February 2020 sectarian violence in Delhi in which more than 50 people, a majority of them Muslims, were killed. On January 13, the Delhi High Court ordered the police to take immediate steps to speed up the investigation into Faizan’s murder and provide a detailed status report.
In a video of the incident, Faizan is seen being brutally beaten by the mob, which included a police officer. Faizan was also forced to sing India’s national anthem and chant “Vande Mataram,” which is a nationalist slogan meaning “Hail motherland” and has been adopted by Hindu extremists as a war cry, using it as a way to humiliate Muslims and force them to “prove” loyalty to India.
Instead of arresting his assaulters, the police detained Faizan. He died of his injuries shortly. His mother has accused the police of denying her son critical healthcare that might have saved his life.
Despite a policeman’s involvement in the murder, the Delhi police have only done minimal investigation. Justice Mukta Gupta asked why the police had not traced the video of the murder: “It has been two years, you have been able to just identify some person?”
There have been multiple reports, including by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, that the BJP incited the February 2020 violence and the police were complicit in several attacks and murders.
Families Forcibly Evicted, Homes Demolished In Muslim-Majority Area In Jammu & Kashmir
Several families were forcibly evicted and had their homes demolished in a Muslim-majority area of Indian-administered Jammu, in what locals call a blatantly targeted eviction drive against Muslims. The Jammu Development Authority (JDU), which has been accused several times of selective anti-Muslim bias, claimed it was removing “illegal encroachments,” despite the fact that families have been in possession of the land from before Indian independence in 1947.
“All of a sudden, they (JDU officials) started demolishing our houses. We were helpless and pleaded with them, but they did not listen and flattened them,” said 70-year-old Saif Ali.
“How can I protect my child from the biting cold? Where will we go? They have demolished our house and ransacked our goods and belongings,” said Nasreena Akther, whose child is only two months old.
Residents of Jammu & Kashmir have responded with outrage, saying that the eviction drive was specifically anti-Muslim. The Muslim-majority region, which had its semi-autonomy revoked by the Modi government in late 2019, has suffered from gross human rights abuses at the hands of the Indian government and military, including wanton incarceration, crackdowns on free speech, and the detention of children.