Top BJP Leader Says Hindu Extremists’ Calling For Genocide Of Muslims Have The Right To Propagate Beliefs
Keshav Prasad Maurya, the Deputy Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, has blatantly defended a call given by Hindu religious leaders to commit a genocide of two million Muslims. This was given by a speaker at the Haridwar Dharma Sansad, a hate speech event held in the north Indian city of Haridwar last month. In an interview with BBC Hindi on January 11, Mayura responded angrily and defensively to questions about the hate speech event, even denying that video evidence of the hate speech exists.
“The (Hindu) saints have the right to propagate their beliefs on their platform. Whatever is right and appropriate is said, and no one is attempting to create any kind of an atmosphere,” he said. “I have not even seen what you’re talking about… I don’t know what videos you’re talking about.”
Mayura also refused to admit that murderous hate speech was mainly being spread by Hindu extremists connected with Hindu right-wing politicians from Prime Minister Narenera Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“Why do you only talk about Hindu religious leaders? Have you seen the statements made by others? Why don’t you say anything about that?” he said, to which the reporter replied, “But there is no talk of murder there (in Muslim groups).”
Triggered by the reporter’s counterpoints, Mayura stormed out of the interview. He also tried to have the footage of the interview deleted in a blatant attempt to censor the BBC.
Mayura is just one of many BJP politicians who have openly defended Hindu extremists and their vitriolic hate speech. Several speakers at the Haridwar Dharma Sansad are personally connected with BJP politicians, including Giriraj Singh, Kapil Mishra, and Yogi Adityanath, Maurya’s boss as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister. The BJP itself is only the political arm of a 96-year-old Hindu supremacist group, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Hindu Extremists Used 30 Twitter Handles To Target Muslim Women In Online Auction: Police
Police have discovered 30 Twitter handles used by a group of Hindu extremists to upload morphed pictures of Muslim women to ‘Sulli Deals,’ a hateful auction-style app that ran on GitHub in June-July 2021. Aumkareshwar Thakur, a 26-year-old web designer, was arrested on January 8 after being identified as the creator of the app. The police believe he did not act alone, and are working to trace the Twitter handles to their users.
The police said Thakur created Sulli Deals after he felt he “could not do anything to stop the downfall of Hinduism.” The myth of Hinduism’s supposed downfall is perpetuated by Hindu extremists, who use fear-mongering to convince Hindus that despite their population of one billion, they are in danger from 200 million Muslims.
Sulli Deals served as the inspiration for the copycat app Bulli Bai, which also “auctioned” Muslim women and subjected them to humiliation, trauma, and harassment. Victims of both apps say that because the police made no effort to find the creator of Sulli Deals last year, other extremists were emboldened to create Bulli Bai, continuing to punish Muslim women for being vocal against Hindu supremacy.
UN Official Condemns ‘Sulli Deals,’ Calls Harassment of Indian Muslim Women ‘Hate Speech’
As police continue their long-delayed investigation of the hateful ‘Sulli Deals’ app, Dr. Fernand de Varennes, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, has strongly condemned the harassment of Muslim women in India.
“Minority Muslim women in India are harassed and ‘sold’ in social media apps, #SulliDeals, a form of hate speech, must be condemned and prosecuted as soon as they occur. All Human Rights of minorities need to be fully and equally protected,” Varennes said on Twitter.
On both Sulli Deals and the copycat app Bulli Bai, Muslim women’s pictures and social media information were uploaded onto the app without their knowledge, “auctioning” them as maids or prostitutes with the intent to humilate them and inundate them with sexual harassment.
This harassment at the hands of Hindu extremists is nothing new, however. In the past, Hindu extremists have held “auction” livestreams, including on the Muslim holiday Eid-ul-Fitr. It is common to find comments online from Hindu extremists about wanting to add Muslim women to harems, “f*** and dump” them, and “chop off their heads and use them to decorate my wall.”
Despite Varennes’ condemnation, many Hindu nationalists have remained silent about both Sulli Deals and Bulli Bai, with plenty of people defending the apps’ creators on social media, dismissing the harassment as a “prank,” and engaging in baseless “whataboutism.”