UP BJP MLA asks people not to buy vegetables from Muslim vendors

Islamophobia intensifies as fresh instances of hate speech keep cropping up

Suresh TiwariImage Courtesy:buzinessbytes.com

In a blatant example of hate speech designed to incite economic boycott of Muslims, Uttar Pradesh BJP MLA Suresh Tiwari reportedly asked people in Deoria district to not purchase vegetables from Muslim vendors, reported The Indian Express.

The legislator from the district’s Barhaj constituency in a video that went viral said, “Keep one thing in mind, I am telling everyone openly, no one should purchase vegetables from Muslims.”

When Tiwari was contacted, he said that he made the statement last week during his visit to the office of the Barhaj Nagar Palika where several government officials were present.

Trying to clarify his stance he said, “After hearing complaints that people of a community were selling vegetables after contaminating them with saliva in an attempt to spread coronavirus disease, I advised them not to purchase vegetables from them… After the situation gets normal, then decide what they want.”

Referring to Muslims as “miyan log” he said that his statement was being blown out of proportion, adding that people like Asaddudin Owaisi who also said objectionable things about Hindus, was never pulled up for his words.

The ostracisation of Muslims has taken new fervor post the media demonizing the Tablighi Jamaat attendees and holding them solely responsible for the spike in the cases of coronavirus.

Last week, the authorities in Jamshedpur removed the banner from the cart of a fruit seller which read “Hindu Fruit Shop” saying that no one would be allowed to disturb the social fabric of the city.

However, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) which distributed this banner, defying the authorities’ stance, said it would launch a campaign to distribute banners and posters saying “Hindu Shop”.

The Times of India reported that the BJP criticized the Hemant Soren led government for taking action against the vendors and assured the vendors their full support. The Congress, though, accused the BJP and VHP of trying to create communal divide in the society.

VHP’s Jamshedpur Mahanagar Secretary Janardhan Pandey accused the Tablighi Jamaat for “irresponsible acts” and said that in Jharkhand most people wanted to be safe when they purchased essential items and food from the market.

Clarifying the stance of the VHP he said that there were several establishments in the city which were run by Muslim proprietors and were easily identifiable, making a reference to the ‘Jhatka’ and ‘Halal’ meat shops and ‘Muslim Hotels’ in the city.

Even the National Spokesperson of the BJP, Sambit Patra had tweeted about the same asking why there was discrimination and a hue and cry about the topic. If Muslims could specify the religion on their establishments, why couldn’t Hindus, he asked in a tweet.

The reason for this Salman Nizami, INC Politician and Columnist said that because Muslims didn’t eat Jhatka and Pork meat, restaurants had to specify the same. However, there was no halal or jhatka difference in vegetables and hence it was no point specifying religion there, he said.

Two weeks ago too, a group of Muslim vegetable vendors had complained to the authorities of Mahoba, Uttar Pradesh that they weren’t being allowed to sell vegetables in some villages due to their religion and that they had allegedly been subject to verbal abused for doing so.

This hatred against Muslims is growing day by day and being fuelled by right wing media. However, bearing the brunt of this is the innocent Muslim trying to earn a living and life live in peace.


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