Indian American Christian group says US faces imminent threat from Hindu extremism
Human rights organization Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations (FIACONA) has urged the United States to “clearly understand the imminent threat from passive Hindu extremism,” through the findings of its second annual report, published on January 30.
Data revealed in the report shows that violence against Indian Christians, Muslims, Dalits, farmers, manual laborers, dissenting Hindus, and women has increased exponentially after the Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power.
The report also shows that “the attacks against Indian Christians were premeditated, organized, and meticulously planned and executed by India’s Hindutva political groups and their network of organizations working closely with law enforcement and other agencies of the Hindu nationalist government.”
According to data collected by FIACONA, last year, there were 1,198 cases of verified violence against Christians in India, a 157% increase from the previous year. The report “directly attributes” the increase in these incidents “to the propaganda by the BJP government officials accusing Indian Christians of large-scale ‘forced’ conversion.”
It also cites data that shows that “violence against Christians in India is planned and orchestrated by Hindutva nationalist political parties as a part of a larger design to create a Hindus-only state, to the exclusion of the people of Abrahamic faiths.”
According to FIACONA chairman John Prabhudoss, if America is “willing to turn a blind eye to India’s slide into a religious fundamentalist state, it will directly threaten its national security interests in that region.”
Modi government seals off civilian properties in Kashmir under garb of encroachment
In an attempt to dispossess Kashmir’s citizens of their properties, the federal government has embarked on what it calls an “anti-encroachment” drive that directly targets Kashmiri Muslims.
Officials in the region have intensified the drive despite opposition from locals and various political groups after the order was passed on January 9 to remove all encroachments by January 31.
Officials demolished the exteriors of homes owned by a former minister, the family of a top police officer, and a businessman. They also sealed over 20 shops in Srinagar city.
While protesting against the move, shopkeepers said that they had been paying rent to the Srinagar Municipal Corporation. There have also been a lot of demonstrations amid growing concerns over “dispossession.”
Mehbooba Mufti, a prominent opposition leader, said that the officials had turned the anti-encroachment campaign into a weapon to target locals.
“This is another tactic in the BJP arsenal, similar to UAPA, PSA, and the weaponization of NIA and other law enforcement organizations. They are utilizing it to make residents of Jammu and Kashmir homeless,” Mufti said.
Kashmiri Muslims have faced decades of brutalization from Indian military forces, including forced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, internet shutdowns, and police brutality. August 5, 2022, marked the third year since the Modi regime stripped Kashmir of the special semi-autonomous status granted by Article 370 of the Indian constitution.
Ban on BBC Modi film violates Indians’ rights, say 500 academicians
Over 500 academicians have released a statement expressing slamming the censorship of a BBC documentary that exposes Hindu supremacist Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s role in the bloody anti-Muslim massacre in Gujurat in 2002.
After the BBC aired a two-part documentary entitled “India: The Modi Question” on January 17, the Indian government used its emergency powers to ban the film from being aired in the country. Modi’s government also forced Twitter and YouTube to block the documentary in India using draconian laws.
“The removal [of the documentary from social media] violates our rights, as Indians, to access and discuss important information about our society and government,” the signatories said.
They also said that those who were instrumental in encouraging and enabling the 2002 massacre were never held to account.
“This accountability is crucial, not only to prevent a repeat of such events but also to reverse the communal polarization that threatens to tear the country apart today,” they said. “Therefore, the questions raised in the BBC documentary are important.”
The documentary states that a team sent by the UK government to inquire into the 2002 massacre, in which nearly 2,000 Muslims were killed, found that Modi, who was then the state’s chief minister, had prevented the police from stopping violence targeted at Muslims and was “directly responsible for a climate of impunity” that led to the violence.