Indian Americans call Indian election results a vote against authoritarianism and religious supremacy; urge opposition to combat Hindutva - IAMC

Indian Americans call Indian election results a vote against authoritarianism and religious supremacy; urge opposition to combat Hindutva

Washington, D.C. (June 19, 2024) – The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) has welcomed the results of India’s general elections, which resulted in what the Washington Post has called a “stunning setback” to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). 

While the BJP-led coalition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) still won a plurality of seats in Parliament, it has lost its majority for the first time since coming to power in 2014, although elections were not free and fair: several opposition politicians were imprisoned by the Modi government ahead of elections, the Congress Party’s bank accounts were frozen, Muslims reported beatings and intimidation at the polls as a form of voter suppression and anti-Muslim hate speech was massively deployed by the BJP leadership including Modi to polarise the electorate. 

With these significant electoral gains in the face of such odds, opposition parties now have an opportunity to take a strong stance against Hindu supremacy and the violence its supporters continue to inflict on vulnerable minorities with impunity. 

“This election is proof that a Hindu nation is not what all Indians want. Despite the significant consolidation of upper caste votes behind the BJP, members of minority and marginalized communities united to vote against a supremacist and authoritarian regime. This diverse voter turnout demonstrates a rejection of hateful and oppressive Hindu supremacist ideology,” said IAMC President Mohammed Jawad.

“The responsibility now falls on opposition parties to actively confront the threat of this ideology. It is crucial for them to implement strategies that promote inclusivity and tolerance and to engage in efforts to deradicalize a public that has become deeply insensitive to the suffering of Muslims and other minority groups. This is not just a political challenge but a moral imperative to ensure a just and equitable society for all,” Jawad added.

In the few weeks since the election result, three Muslim men have been lynched in Chhattisgarh state; Muslim-owned homes have been bulldozed as collective punishment in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, and Hindu mobs have rioted ahead of Eid al-Adha and put Muslim lives in danger in Telangana. Mentions of the Babri Mosque have been removed from school textbooks. Author Arundhati Roy and academic Dr. Showkat Hussain Sheikh have been charged under the draconian anti-terror law UAPA for their 2010 remarks on Kashmir. Meanwhile, Hindu supremacist leaders continue to call for anti-Muslim violence and discrimination with impunity. 

“We celebrate hope, but there is no denying that there is still much work to be done. For a decade, Muslim families have lost loved ones to horrific mob lynchings, watched as their murderers and rapists were celebrated by the Hindu right, seen their homes bulldozed before their eyes, weaponization of Hindu festivals and faced calls for their brutal slaughter alongside the passage of discriminatory policies and the complete capture of democratic institutions. This threat to democracy and violence remains ongoing, and it must come to an end,” said IAMC Executive Director Rasheed Ahmed

“For India to truly move forward, there must be a complete rejection of Hindu supremacy and justice for its victims. Those who propagated anti-minority hatred must be held accountable. Hindu supremacy must be purged from every level of government, the media, the schools, and social media. It must be replaced with understanding, fraternity, and love,” Ahmed added.

To speak with IAMC experts, contact