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.”
Suresh Tiwari, BJP MLA of Barhaj constituency of UP is instructing people to not to buy vegetables from Muslim. pic.twitter.com/D6s9Nzf5P8
— The Accidental Engineer (@DNLIMBACHIYA) April 27, 2020
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.”
Thread … This is Suresh Tiwari , a @BJP4UP MLA from east UP . A video of him asking for a boycott of Muslim vegetable vendors in #lockdown is viral. Today, when asked, the MLA said he had done nothing wrong and that he was only reacting to complaints of spitting …. pic.twitter.com/OgtCiR97il
— Alok Pandey (@alok_pandey) April 28, 2020
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”.
In many cities, a small flag on veggie/fruit vendor’s shop/cart is a silent guaranty that goods sold aren’t contaminated by #Tablighi_Jihadi‘s spit/urine & don’t spread #ChineseVirus. Good Idea.@_sabanaqvi @khanumarfa@Sanjay_Dixit @prafullaketkar @ShefVaidya @swati_gs @ippatel pic.twitter.com/nx8I5RLHsl
— Swami Nishchalanand ?? (@Swamijitweets) April 27, 2020
Remember how jews had to wear a star in nazi Germani, this is the hindutwa version, they are forcing hindu shops to carry a saffron flag with Jai shree ram written.
Such flags were also seen at some hindu houses just before the Delhi genocide began. pic.twitter.com/5WDdXxKzuE
— Lessi Rey (@lessirey) April 26, 2020
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.
पक्षपात क्यों? pic.twitter.com/EHh7JqiNml
— Sambit Patra (@sambitswaraj) April 26, 2020
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.
Muslims don’t eat Jhatka or Pork meat, that’s why in restaurants its written Halal or Jhatka, Muslim or Vaisho, Hindu dhaba. While in vegetables or fruits there is no Halal or Jhatka, Hindu or Muslim. Thanks! https://t.co/kfy6KDCn7b pic.twitter.com/zoSqmCWEvb
— Salman Nizami (@SalmanNizami_) April 26, 2020
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.
In Mahoba , Uttar Pradesh , a group of muslim men – vegetable vendors – have complained to the district administration in written saying they were not allowed to sell vegetables in some villages in district because of their religion . They also claim they were abused …. pic.twitter.com/XGo4YZIu0e
— Alok Pandey (@alok_pandey) April 13, 2020
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.