Ground Report | New Delhi: Anti-Muslim Haridwar event; Experts from Amnesty International USA and Genocide Watch, the world’s leading human rights watchdogs, have said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Islamophobic policies and tolerance of open incitement by Hindu extremists to the genocide of Muslims are pushing India towards mass violence and massacres of Muslims.
Dr. Gregory Stanton, president of Genocide Watch at a briefing by the Congress organized in Washington, DC, said that “PM Modi failed to condemn or act against anti-Muslim fanaticism, hate speech by prominent religious and political figures specifically aimed at inciting such mass violence against Muslims has proliferated in recent weeks” experts said.
A gathering of saffron-robed Hindu monks last month in the Hardiwar “was exactly aimed at inciting the genocide of Muslims,” said Dr. Gregory Stanton, president of Genocide Watch. “As the leader of India, you have an obligation to denounce this genocidal discourse… However, Narendra Modi has not spoken out against it.”
“That the participants [at the meeting] openly urged Hindus to emulate violence against Rohingya Muslims and brag about it in the media in the days that followed is illustrative of the atmosphere of intolerance that pervades these groups,” added Govind Acharya, India/Amnesty International USA Kashmir Specialist “Calls for large-scale massacres of Muslims [aim] to institute Hindu supremacy over India.” (Anti-Muslim event in Haridwar)
The fact that Keshav Prasad Maurya, leader of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and deputy CM of Uttar Pradesh, this week defended the “open incitement and hatred of dharma Sansad in a BBC interview speaks to the current atmosphere.” of utmost hatred and intolerance against Muslims in India, Acharya said.
At the Haridwar event, a major religious leader of the Hindu Mahasabha openly called for forming an “army” of Hindus to “kill two million Muslims.” At another event in New Delhi, hundreds of participants took a public vow to kill to protect Hinduism. Elsewhere, schoolchildren were recorded taking similar “kill and die” vows to create a Hindu nation. Politicians have defended the right to incite violence against Muslims.
Warning that “genocide is not an event” but “a process,” Dr. Stanton noted that Prime Minister Modi had a long history of presiding over mass violence against Muslims, beginning with the 2002 Gujarat pogroms and continuing.
“Under [Bharatiya Janata Party] policies, Modi has used Islamophobic and anti-Muslim rhetoric to build his political base,” he said. Emphasizing that the UN Genocide Convention covered genocides specifically “aimed at the destruction, in whole or in part, of a national, ethnic, religious or racial group,” he said that was “exactly what the Myanmar government did against the Rohingya” and “now we are facing [in India] a very similar plot… and the victims are the 200 million Muslims who live in India”.
Genocide Watch had warned of an impending genocide in India since 2002 when violence against Muslims in Gujarat occurred. “There is a lot of evidence that [Modi as CM of Gujarat at the time] actually encouraged those massacres.”
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