Hindu Nationalism Can Lead To Disintegration Of India, Warns Arundhati Roy
Internationally acclaimed author Arundhati Roy warned that Hindu nationalism can lead to the disintegration of India. In an interview with The Wire, an Indian news outlet, Roy called the current situation in India “extremely depressing,” describing how the Indian judiciary, intelligence agencies, media, and parliament have all been crippled by the Hindu supremacist ideology of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“The office of the prime minister is being abused by the Prime Minister… the BJP and its leadership have now begun to confuse itself with the nation,” said Roy. “So if you criticize the BJP, you’re anti-national. This is a very dangerous thing.”
Roy also sharply criticized the growing calls to abandon secularism and transform India into a “Hindu rashtra (nation)” through open calls for genocide against Muslims. “It’s not just the government, but the courts [and] the state machinery which is part of this… Over the last five years, India has distinguished itself as a lynching nation. Muslims and Dalits have been publicly flogged and beaten to death by vigilante Hindu mobs in broad-daylight, and the ‘lynch videos’ then gleefully uploaded to YouTube.”
Comparing Modi’s tactics to lighting a fuse attached to dynamite, Roy added, “The infrastructure of fascism is staring us in the face…and yet we hesitate to call it by its name.”
BJP Leaders Leak Personal Information Of Minor Muslim Girls On Twitter for Protesting Hijab Ban
In a despicable move to harass and intimidate Muslim students and their families during the ongoing court battle over the right to wear hijab in school, the BJP’s Karnataka wing leaked the personal information of minor Muslim girls on Twitter as punishment for their protest against the recent unconstitutional court-ordered hijab ban. This leak includes the addresses of five of the students who petitioned the Karnataka High Court to hear the hijab case, thrusting the underaged girls and their families into a life-threatening situation.
According to the Siasat Daily, an Indian news publication, the names of the students along with their residential addresses were made public by the BJP Karnataka’s Twitter handle, and the information has also been tweeted by Nalinkumar Kateel, the president of BJP Karnataka.
The BJP has harassed the young Muslim students for months with increasingly vile hate speech, calling them “indisciplined,” accusing them of having a “terrorist mindset” and being part of an “anti-India plot,” and telling them to “go to Pakistan” if they want to wear the hijab. Most recently, BJP national General Secretary C.T. Ravi accused the hijab protests of being “pre-planned,” claiming, “hijab row is not a controversy, it is a conspiracy against India.”
India has been slammed by representatives of the United States as well as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a group of 57 Muslim countries that recently condemned the rise of anti-Muslim attacks in India, calling on the United Nations and the international community to take immediate action. Meanwhile, Muslim students continue to be forced to remove their hijabs in schools, or else skip schools or walk away from crucial exams.
Hindu Extremists Pelt Stones At Karnataka Mosque As Revenge Over Hijab Protests
A group of Hindu extremists attacked a mosque in Karnataka state’s Mysore district, pelting the Muslim place of worship with stones, breaking windowpanes, and disrespecting the adjacent Muslim graveyard by hanging undergarments at the gates.
“This is the first time something like this has happened. This masjid has been here for the past 30-40 years,” said Mohd Muzzamil Athar, the imam of the mosque, who woke up in the middle of the night to the sounds of the mosque being attacked.
“The village has a very small population of Muslims. We were afraid the whole night,” said Imran, a resident.
“At the police station, the police made us wait from 10 AM to 6 PM but didn’t file [a report]. We later dropped the idea of [a report] because we feared that we might face harassment from the police and [Hindu] people,” said Akmal Ahmed, another village resident.
Adding that the climate of fear was created by the ongoing hijab controversy in Karnataka, Ahmed said, “Clashes took place in Mandya between Hindu students and hijabi students… and the same night our masjid is also attacked. This is no coincidence. They (Hindu extremists) want to take revenge.”
Despite the blatant attempt by Hindu extremists to intimidate Muslims, no action has been taken against the individuals who desecrated the mosque and graveyard.
Indian Government Locked Up Files On Over 630 Human Rights Violations In Kashmir For More Than Two Years, Says Activist
The Indian government has locked up files detailing over 630 reports of murder, enforced disappearances, rape, and other human rights violations reportedly inflicted on Kashmiri civilians by Indian security forces, said a transparency advocate and human rights activist Venkatesh Nayak. In a number of Right to Information queries filed by the activist, he states that this crucial information has been locked up by the Indian government for over two years. Nayak also discovered that Indian authorities made no effort to transfer these files to India’s National Human Rights Commission.
“The Union home ministry [has] remained silent about the fate of these pending human rights cases in Jammu and Kashmir,” said Nayak. “No question has been raised on the floor of parliament, on this issue, till date. If this is the attitude towards people in Jammu and Kashmir, how will peace be achieved ever? Peace without justice is the peace of a graveyard.”
He added, “Unfortunately, neither the [Kashmiri] government nor the Union government have acted with any degree of urgency… The purpose of bodies like human rights commissions is to provide an avenue independent of the government for redressing complaints of violations of human rights. If such bodies also fail the people they are meant to serve, where will complainants go?”
The unending conflict in Kashmir has taken a brutual toll on locals. International human rights bodies and watchdogs, including the United Nations, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch have all raised concerns about the Indian government’s ongoing human rights violations against Kashmiri civilians.