Human Rights Watch 2022 Report Slams India For Dangerous Backslide On Rights
India was criticized for its crackdown on dissent, epidemic of Hindu nationalism, and dangerous backsliding on minority rights in Human Rights Watch’s World Report 2022 released this week. The world-renowned human rights organization slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for adopting policies that discriminate against religious minorities, especially Muslims.
The demonization of Muslims by BJP leaders and Hindu supremacist groups and police failure to take action against Hindu extremists who commit or encourage violence have “emboldened Hindu nationalist groups to attack Muslims and government critics with impunity,” the report said.
“Attacks against religious minorities were carried out with impunity under the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Hindu nationalist government. BJP supporters engaged in mob attacks or threatened violence, while several states adopted laws and policies to target minority communities, particularly Christians, Muslims, Dalits, and Adivasis,” the report added.
Human Rights Watch also criticized India’s draconian anti-terror laws, suppression of free speech, normalized mob lynchings, Hindu extremist harassment of Muslim comedian Munawar Faruqui, internet blackouts in Muslim-majority Kashmir, the outbreak of anti-Muslim hate crimes in Tripura state, the arrest and subsequent death of the elderly Christian activist Stan Swamy, and Modi’s treatment of Sikh farmers, who called them “parasites with a separatist agenda.”
Kashmiris Protest Government Order To College Students To Perform Hindu Yoga Ritual
In its latest attempt to collectively demean Muslim-majority Kashmir, the Indian government has ordered college students and faculty in the region to perform a Hindu yoga practice known as Surya Namaskar during Makar Sankranti, a Hindu religious festival.
“Kindly ensure that all faculty members and students actively participate in this program,” read the government order. In response, Mebooba Mufti, former chief minister of Kashmir, took to Twitter to slam the Indian government for forcing Hindu practices onto a Muslim-majority population.
“[The government of India aims] to demean & collectively humiliate Kashmiris,” she said in a tweet. “Forcing students and staff to perform Surya Namaskars by issuing orders, despite their obvious discomfort with the imposition of something laden with religious connotations, gives an insight into their communal mindset.”
Performing Surya Namaskar goes against the beliefs of Muslims, who have protested that this order is both discriminatory and telling of the Indian government’s agenda to force Hinduism instead of secularism on its citizens.
Sexist Comments, Rape Fantasies Targeting Muslim Women Fill Reddit Thread With 15,000 Members
Watchdog accounts on Instagram and Twitter have reported that a disturbing Reddit thread called “Muslimah For Hindu Men” with over 15,000 users is filled with hate speech, sexist slurs, and rape fantasies by Hindu men against Muslim women. The thread’s satirical description says, “This subreddit is for… Muslim women intrigued by the idea of haram breeding with Kafir Hindu men.”
Several of the screenshotted posts show users calling Muslim women with misogynist and sexualized slurs. The thread is also labeled as the new version of an old, presumably deleted, subreddit called “Muslimahs For Hindu Bulls,” showing how prevalent these types of forums are.
Activists on social media responded with outrage.
“There is now a fresh rot of pro-Hindutva groups on Reddit, including a sub-Reddit titled ‘Muslimahs for Hindu Men,’ ‘where Muslim women and children are sexualized in the most grotesque, dehumanizing and violent ways imaginable,’” tweeted user Amit Tushar. “As we speak, there are open calls for the abduction and rape of Muslim women being seen and heard on Reddit with vast gleeful participation of [Hindu] men.”
“There are 15,680 members in this ‘Muslimahs for Hindu Men’ Reddit group,” tweeted Hussain Haidry, a spoken word poet. “Will the next headline be: 15,680 Lone Wolves?”
“How are we ever going to build a society safe for Muslim women? The people participating in all this could be someone from your family, neighbors, friends,” warned the Instagram watchdog account @thelotuswatch. “Things will not suddenly be better with the change in government. Hate has gone deeper than that.”
Reddit deleted the thread after the intense backlash. However, there are other similar threads that still exist, including “Muslim Chicks,” which has over 23,000 members. The disturbing description of the thread includes the subreddits “r/HinduC**ks, r/msl*t, and r/hoejabis.”