Anti-Muslim rhetoric in India ahead of the state elections

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Munawar Zaman
Press TV, New Delhi

Muslims in India are steeped in decades of local violence and hatred, but everything has swelled since the ruling Hindu nationalist BJP came to power in 2014.

It is the second largest minority community in the largest democracy in the world, making up 200 million or more of the population. Apparently their existence is going through difficult times in Modi’s New India.

In India, fear and panic among minorities, particularly Muslims, has increased over the past decade. Mistrust of Modi’s Hindu nationalist BJP is growing. Critics accuse the ruling party of religiously polarizing the country; Hence, a policy of divide and rule is played for another possible vote. Many argue that this could damage the country’s diverse fabric and cause social discord.

In the past few months there have been dramatic acts of violence against the Muslim community. Street vendors, industrialists, corporations, advertising agencies and now even Bollywood stars are targeted in vicious anti-Muslim rhetoric over social media. Experts say efforts are underway to transform secular India into a theocratic, predominant Hindu state.

Hindu extremists are also accused of using social media to spread hatred and violate the diverse fabric of India. Based on reports from human rights groups, the ruling BJP has passed various laws that legitimize discrimination against religious minorities. This has provoked criticism of the government.

There has been violence against Muslims and other minorities since the partition of the subcontinent in 1947, but the past decade has been far worse following the rise of right-wing Hindu supremacy. Muslims have suffered repression in various forms in India. The ruling party denies any minority bias. Critics call the claim vague.


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