Hindu Nationalist’s Wave of Violence Across India Fears of Further Clashes

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Courtesy of COP26 (Flickr CC0)

Hindu nationalist groups wave pistols and swords in front of a mosque during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, yelling vicious sayings, blasting music, and negating to leave.

The wave of violence across India coincided with the celebration of the Hindu god Hanuman’s birthday. Revelers interweaved their path in north Delhi via the dense slums of Jahangirpuri without any untoward incidents. But the trouble began around sundown and left one dead, dozens hurt, Muslim-owned possessions exterminated — and villagers bracing for further conflicts.

Serious riots were reported in the district of Khargone in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, governed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) — Farooq Khan.

Angry Muslims in the mixed-faith neighborhood hurl rocks that set off tremendous street fighting. At least ten houses were ablaze, and dozens of people and a high-ranking officer were wounded in Kahrgone brutality.

The incident was the latest in a string of clashes between Muslims and Hindus in different parts of the country. Young Hindu superpatriots join peaceful celebrations and then lead rowdy processions into Muslim communities’ fierce altercations.

The country is 15% Muslim minority, and 80% Hindu experienced far bloodier spasms of religious violence in the past, but the intensity and scope of the clashes this month alarmed observers.

Saba Naqvi, the author of “Shades of Saffron,” the modern history of the BJP ruling Bharatiya Janata Party said:

Riots are not a new phenomenon. But I’ve never seen so many of these incidents at once. It feels like people are ready to kill each other.

Courtesy of Pierre Doyen (Flickr CC0)

Large-scale clashes between Muslims and Hindus were reported on April 10 in six states: Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat Goa, during the birthday celebration of the Hindu god Ram.

Videos posted on social media depicted scenes of men waving weapons in Delhi. On Saturday, agitators set ablaze vehicles in Uttarakhand. A handful of deaths were reported, and hundreds were wounded nationwide.

According to observers, there were incendiary speeches by right-wing leaders and priests imploring fellow Hindus in December to pick up weapons to conduct a cleanliness drive that would kill off Muslims.

Naqvi expressed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his BJP have connections to the Hindu nationalist groups implicated in the conflicts but never endeavored to defuse apprehensions, giving these gangs a feeling of immunity.

Thirteen opposition parties signed a statement this week, insisting Modi make a nationwide plea for a truce. Modi remained quiet, but the BJP’s president, J.P. Nadda, replied to the people of India with an open letter to contend that under the previous administrations, identical brutality broke out frequently.

Delhi police apprehended 25 people implicated in Saturday conflicts. Seventeen were Muslims, and six were Hindus, including Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) members, a right-wing alliance affiliated that led the march toward the mosque.

VHP’s spokesman Vinod Bansal swore to sue local authorities for arresting his associates and will continue to hold rallies in the coming months and march into Muslim neighborhoods. He said:

We believe the country is one and everybody is free to go to any area. You cannot stop us by saying this is a Muslim-majority or sensitive area. I can show many instances of Muslims flouting rules and creating a ruckus on [Islamic holidays] and Hindus never pelt stones, but when we take out a procession, these jihadis from mosques and madrassas get violent.

Written by Janet Grace Ortigas

The Washington Post: Religious clashes across India spark fears of further violence; by Gerry Shih and Anant Gupta
Asia Nikkei: India violence leaves trail of burned Muslim homes, shops; by Quratulain Rehbar
Flipboard: Religious clashes across India spark fears of further violence

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of COP26‘s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Pierre Doyen’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License


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