Uttar Pradesh Votes Hindu Supremacist Yogi Adityanath Back Into Power
On Thursday, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Yogi Adityanath, the Hindu militant monk and current Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh state was voted back into power despite relentlessly targeting minorities especially Muslims with vicious hate speeches. Adityanath himself referred to Muslims as “terrorists” and “rioters” throughout his re-election campaign.
Uttar Pradesh is a hotbed of violence against Muslims and other Indian minorities due to the popularity of Hindu extremism in the state, especially as extremists are directly encouraged by leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), including Adityanath himself.
According to the Hate Crime Watch database, Uttar Pradesh accounts for nearly a third of all hate crimes despite comprising only 16.5% of India’s population The database reported that between 2009 and 2018, UP accounted for 61 of 278 hate crimes based on religious identity. In July 2019, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) reported that between 2016 and 2019, 869 of 2,008 cases nationally related to “harassment” of minorities — a broad term that includes lynchings — were reported from Uttar Pradesh.
The BJP win in the state has also renewed fears among the members of minority groups that the coming months and years could see a rapid escalation in religious persecution especially targeted at Muslims and Christians.
RSS Will Either Destroy India Or India Will Destroy Them, says Arundhati Roy
Internationally acclaimed author and human rights activist Arundhati Roy said in an interview with news outlet TRT World that the India has “paid a huge price” due to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a paramilitary Hindu supremacist organization that has spent almost a century working to normalize Hindu supremacy and anti-minority violence in India.
“Narendra Modi, as we know, is a member of the RSS, a fascist, Hindu nationalist organization; the most powerful political force in India with tens of thousands of branches and hundreds of thousands of militia,” Roy said. “The years ahead are critical. The RSS will either destroy India or India will destroy them.”
“What is chilling now is that there is a stated ideology at work. Those who subscribe to it are proud of the daylight lynching and killing; proud of its power to bend every institution to its will.”
Roy added that India’s democratic institutions have also been compromised, including the media, which she said has “played a murderous role in this chapter in India’s history.”
“The election machinery is seriously compromised,” she said. “As for the judiciary, these last few years it has colluded with the government’s agenda in seriously disturbing ways… I think a huge section of India’s people were swayed, convulsed, mesmerized by the BJP’s narrative. The poison has entered our bloodstream.”
Trevor Noah Faces Backlash For Interviewing Anti-Muslim Modi Supporter On The Daily Show
Trevor Noah is receiving backlash for inviting Jagadish ‘Jaggi’ Vasudev, popularly known as Sadhguru, onto The Daily Show. Sadhguru’s “Save Soil” campaign and commitment to environmental issues, the topic of the interview, only thinly veils his support for the hateful politics of Narendra Modi and the BJP.
Sadhguru is known for openly calling a Muslim students “Talibani,” as well as for supporting the discriminatory anti-Muslim Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
On Twitter, activists and experts were quick to slam Noah and The Daily Show staff for failing to do their due diligence before giving Sadhguru such a large platform.
Journalist Isaac Chotiner tweeted, “Could Trevor Noah or anyone at The Daily Show not Google this sinister clown for 90 seconds before inviting him on the show, or do they just not care?”
Environmentalist Dr. Prakash Kashwan tweeted, “Trevor Noah & The Daily Show have made a serious error of judgment in giving platform to a known charlatan… Inviting charlatans = open invitation to the [right wing] trolls.”
In an article for The Swaddle, an Indian media publication, Rohitha Naraharisetty wrote that Sadhguru is “an exceptionally dangerous example” of “soft-saffronisation,” or the spreading of Hindu nationalism through cultural influence, “making for a good global export of Hindutva under the guise of peace and love.”
Trevor Noah and The Daily Show have yet to comment on the backlash.