Muslims continue to feature as main characters in hate speech

In recent weeks, Hindutva leaders like Pravin Togadia and Lata Singh Thakur engage in fear-mongering, with Muslims being the object of hate and suspicion.

Hate speech is witnessed across various states in India. From Gohana, Sonipat, where Hindutva leader Pravin Togadia delivered a reportedly communal speech, to New Delhi, where the Hindu Rashtra Adhiveshan event featured inflammatory speeches by figures like Lata Singh Thakur of Hindu Dharmsena Chandi Vahini, the rise of hate speech targeting Muslims is deeply concerning. Muslims continue to be the main character and subject in each of these speeches, including those made by BJP leaders in poll-bound states. 

According to reports, over the past seven years, India has witnessed a staggering 500% hike in cases filed under its hate-speech law, according to the National Crime Records Bureau’s (NCRB). The data reveals a six-fold increase in hate speech crimes, with 2014 marking the lowest count at 323 cases and the year 2020 witnessing the highest at 1,804 cases. Out of all states, Tamil Nadu recorded the highest number of reported cases at 303, and is followed by Uttar Pradesh with 243 cases, and Telangana with 151 cases. Furthermore, Hindutva Watch, an organisation dedicated to monitoring hate, has documented about 255 incidents of hate speech gatherings targeting Muslims only in the first half of 2023 itself. Interestingly, around 70% of these incidents occurred in states set to hold elections in 2023 and 2024. The report further also revealed that 80% of hate speech events unfolded in states governed by the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Sonipat, Haryana

On November 22, Pravin Togadia, delivered a loaded speech in Haryana’s Sonpiat. Togadia is a public figure and Hindutva leader, and formerly the international working president of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. In speech, Togadia engaged in fearmongering as he claimed “they”, Muslims, were taking over parks and even posing a threat to businesses. Furthermore, he spoke about conspiracy theories about Muslim population growth. 

“No beard-topi is seen in Haryana. Now (they’re) taking over parks, killing in Mewat, Pakistan is standing in Panipat. And population is rising in the entire country. Danger is rising. What does danger mean? None of our homes will remain. Business won’t be safe…History is witness, wherever “their” rule has been, non-Muslims have been attacked, killed and rendered homeless, daughters-sisters don’t remain. We can see from Spain to Malaysia…Their population is rising. Amongst, our Hindus, our population is decreasing. Some Hindu couples exist without a child! Some have one, others have two. The average used to be 2, now it is 1 ¼.”

New Delhi

In New Delhi on November 19, during the Hindu Rashtra Adhiveshan event organised by Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, Lata Singh Thakur who is the chief of Hindu Dharmasena Chandi Vahini, delivered a hate-filled speech against Muslims. Thakur not only targeted the Muslim community but also called on Hindus to keep weapons. “In areas, where Muslims are large in number and Hindus are less, then we go and perform Hindu rituals there, to do away with the fears of the Hindus…The reason for this is that we are so paralysed by fear. Thus, if they know how to wield a sword or use a Katta, don’t we know this too?” She continued, “The day the Hindu in you will awaken, that day Hindu Rashtra won’t have any issue in getting established.”

Sangareddy, Telangana 

On November 23, Thursday, BJP’s national president, J.P. Nadda, criticised Telangana Chief Minister and BRS chief K. Chandrashekhar Rao for what he termed as ‘appeasement politics.’ Nadda accused KCR of attempting to please a “particular section of Telangana” by promising to increase reservation for minorities from 4 percent to 12 percent. 

Jaipur, Rajasthan

Speaking in the capital city of the poll-bound state, who is said to be a BJP leader, delivered a speech which mostly targeted Muslims, and also raised the slogan, “If you want to live in India then you have to chant Jai Shri Ram.” Sharma continued further, saying, “These (coming) elections will decide whether Jaipur will be “mini-Pakistan” or not. However, we are the sons of Bharat Mata, and with us remaining, we will not let mini-Pakistan be created.” The crowd roared in response to his slogans. “And whoever talks of making a Pakistan … he will have to go to Pakistan.”

“Two years ago in this district, a situation akin to riots was created here. Glasses of houses were shattered. Those goons who have such an ideology will not be allowed to enter here! And if, should one (of these goons) enter…then, Yogiji had told such criminals to either surrender or,” cries of bulldozer, “leave Uttar Pradesh. And if neither doesn’t happen, then…”

He further says the oft spoken slogan, “Ayodhya toh Jhaanki hai! Mathura, Kashi baaqi hai!” He continued further, “The election in Rajasthan is basically a semi-final. This will be fought by Ram Bhakts itself! But when, the Modiji’s rule will be established in 2024, several will have to go!” BJP leader Gopal Sharma delivers fiery hate speeches against Muslims. He said that mosques in Mathura and Varanasi will be replaced with/temples & raised the slogan: “If you want to live in India then you have to chant Jai Shri Ram.”


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