Hindu Monk, Freed On Bail In Hate Speech Case, Calls For Destruction Of Mosque
A Hindu extremist leader who is a self-styled saffron-robed monk, Rishikumar Swami, who was recently arrested for calling for a mosque to be demolished, has brazenly displayed his anti-Muslim hatred by once again calling for the destruction of another mosque while out on bail.
His complete disregard for any legal consequences for hate speech demonstrates how any action from India’s law enforcement officials is only a farce, a mere slap on the wrist, if at all, and actually provides an impetus to such Hindu extremists for yet more hate speech and violence.
Swami’s bigoted remarks showed no fear of being re-arrested, and he claimed several times that Indian law enforcement would be on his side were the mosque to be demolished.
“I had visited Srirangapatna city many times but had never been near the mosque. But one day when I stopped, I noticed the pillars. Even a Hindu child will get provoked after seeing the pillars,” he said, implying that the mosque had been built over a temple. Adding that he was certain the Indian judiciary would back him in this claim, he also praised the construction of a Hindu temple on the site of the 16th-century Babri Masjid that was demolished by Hindu extremists in 1992: “It’s because of the judiciary that a [Hindu temple] is being built in Ayodhya.”
Swami also demanded that the police “lock the mosque” after making these baseless allegations. His brazen claims that the Indian judicial system would take his side demonstrate the infiltration of the Hindu supremacist ideology at every level of government, law enforcement, and the judiciary. While Hindu extremists like Swami are either arrested temporarily or allowed to walk free after making hate speeches, Muslim activists and journalists, can expect to be charged as terrorists for asserting their human rights as citizens of India.
BJP-Ruled Karnataka Minister Says Wearing Hijab To College Was Indiscipline
As hijab-wearing students in Karnataka state continue to protest one college’s anti-Muslim policy banning hijabs in the classroom, the state Education Minister B.C. Nagesh has come forth with the bigoted claim that wearing hijab to college is “indiscipline.”
“Do you want schools to be religious centres? There are more than 100 children belonging to Islam religion studying without any problem. Only a few of them have problems with wearing uniforms. School is not a place to preach the religion,” he said. “Whichever institution it is, if they make a rule, the students who want to study must be obliging… If good things are implemented, we will support, if they are doing the opposite, how can it be supported?”
He went on to claim, ludicrously, that wearing the hijab to class is the “opposite” of a good thing as well as “political.”
“If good things are implemented with a good thought we will support, if they are doing the opposite how can it be supported? They weren’t aware of their religious freedom as well as constitutional rights all these days?” he said. Implying that the students were doing this to make a political point, he added, “All of this has been started just one year before the elections.”
Activists have slammed the college for its dehumanizing treatment of the students, who have been kicked out of classrooms into halls, yelled at by teachers, marked as absent for weeks, forced to write an apology letter, and subjected to what one student called “mental torture.” The anti-Muslim policy was implemented last month, and is a blatant violation of India’s constitutionally mandated secularism, as well as an attempt to bar women from education over the way they choose to dress.
Families Of Muslims Killed During CAA Protests Still Awaiting Justice
Two years after Muslim citizens rose up in protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in 2019, a discriminatory bill that excluded Muslims from fast-tracked citizenship, the families of victims killed by police who opened fire on protestors are still robbed of justice. In Uttar Pradesh, the families of two victims, Bilal and Shahroz, have criticized the lack of effort to find and punish the people who killed their loved ones.
“My son was killed on his birthday,” said the mother of 22-year-old Shahroz, who was killed when a protest turned into a clash between civilians and the police. A video that went viral on social media suggests that the man responsible for opening fire was Santosh Gupta, a BJP leader. Gupta has refuted all allegations and has so far not been arrested.
“My son was hit by a bullet,” said Yameen, Shahroz’s father. “People took him to hospital but none of them are ready to turn witness. God knows whose bullet killed my son.”
Bilal, another victim of the police brutality, was merely passing by an anti-CAA protest site when the police began shooting at the civilians gathered there.
“Bilal had stepped out to get medicines for his daughter. It was crowded when he reached near roadways and shots were fired. [A] bullet hit his chin and he died on the spot,” said Mohammed Sharif, Bilal’s father.
Commenting on these cases, lawyer Tauseef Mohammed Khan Mikki said, “The investigation in both the cases of innocent deaths has become a joke. No concrete evidence has been collected in two years and both the cases are still under investigation.”
At least 23 people were killed in clashes relating to anti-CAA protests in Uttar Pradesh in December 2019. In February 2020, violence broke out against protestors in New Delhi, killing 53 people. The majority of the victims were Muslims, who were brutally beaten and lynched by Hindu extremist mobs aided by police officers.