IAMC Weekly News Digest, 19th March 2021
Social media have become platforms for the spread of hate, prejudice and incitement to violence and atrocities against minorities, a UN expert told the Human Rights Council today, calling for an international treaty to address the growing scourge of hate speech against minorities. “Today’s digital context means minorities are too often, with relative impunity, scapegoated, ‘otherised’, presented as disloyal, or as threats,” said Fernand de Varennes, the UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues. “It is a warning that I never thought I would have to make.… “It’s time for a human rights centred regulatory framework that provides clarity on the obligations of States, social media businesses and other concerned parties to regulate hate speech, focusing on the most prevalent and harmful forms of hate – and that is hate against minorities,” said de Varennes….
The stripping of Indian democracy by the far-right, Hindu-nationalist government of Narendra Modi is causing uproar in the Australian-Indian diaspora. Countering the protests in solidarity with Indian farmers and workers standing up to fascism are right-wing Hindu nationalists, who are violently retaliating against those Indians they see as a threat to Modi’s attempt to forcefully conflate Hinduism with Indian national identity (Hindutva). In New South Wales, these rising tensions have led to two attacks on the Indian Sikh community: one on a car driven by Sikh youth in Harris Park; and another at a car rally that intended to drive past a local Gurdwara….
Days after a Muslim boy was mercilessly thrashed for drinking water in a temple in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad, a similar incident has been reported from another city of the same state ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party. A Muslim labourer who went to work at a temple in Etawah is reported to have been tied and beaten up by two people on Tuesday (March 16). The previous incident happened on March 12 when brute force was used against a 13-year-old boy for no reason except that he was a Muslim. Danish, the latest victim in Etawa, says that he was targeted after they came to know his identity….