Hindu far-right leader and Telangana legislator from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) T. Raja Singh, has –once again — delivered an anti-Muslim hate speech in Latur district of Maharashtra. Through his speech, he made explicit calls for violence and killing of Muslims only so that a Hindu nation can be established. This speech was reportedly given at a rally attended by thousands of people commemorating birth anniversary of Hindu-king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
Now, in a pre-emptive complaint, through a memorandum dated February 20, CJP has brought to the notice of District Collector, Ratnagiri as well as Superintendent of Police (SP), Ratnagiri that a Hindu Rashtra Jagruti Sabha event is going to be held in Dapoli, Ratnagiri wherein hate speeches by Raja Singh and others will –in all likelihood- be delivered, and calls for establishing a Hindu nation will be made, presumable by targeting and further stigmatizing and making vulnerable to violence, the Muslim minority.
Singh, a serial hate speech offender from Telangana, is notorious for instigating Hindus and instilling anti-Muslim sentiments. In this video, he can be seen spreading his divisive and communal ideology by molding the history of the Maratha king, coloring all the Muslims as anti-India, and accusing them of committing various anti-Hindu offences like illegal cow slaughter and cow smuggling, forceful conversions, “love-Jihad”. The transcript of his speech is as follows:
Singh begins his speech by issuing a warning to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Eknath Shinde, and says “Humare Shinde sahib se nivedan karna chahuga, yeh political maanch nahi hai lekin mai aapko warn karna chahuga- yeh meri nahi Hindu ki hunkaar hai, Hindu ki zuban hai ki Maharashtra ki dharti par koi bhi Love Jihadi zinda na bache. (I would like to request Shinde Sir, this is not a political matter, but I would like to warn you – this is not my voice, it is the voice of Hindus, it is the language of Hindus that no love jihadi should survive on the land of Maharashtra.)”
Beginning with his communal diatribe, Singh says “Love jihadiyon, hathiyaro, jo bhi dharamantaran karne ke liye ata hai, aise laundo ko thok dena. (‘Love jihadis’, killers, whoever comes to convert you, answer such people with violence.)”
Further instigating his audience, he then says, “Mere dosto, mere mitron, marna ek baar hai yaad rakhna. Jeevan mei kitni baar maroge? (Crowd replied- ek baar). Arre jab bhi maro, itihaas likh kar maro. (My friends, we can only die once. How many times will you die in your life? Crowd Replies- Once. Whenever you die, write history and then die.)”
Attacking the Muslim community, he refers to them as “illegal children of Afzal” and says “Aur aaj, har Hindu ka sapna hai ki humare bharat ko ankhand Hindu rashtra banane ka. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj ke sapne ko saakaar karna hai. Saakaar karna hai na? (Crowd replied- yes) toh isliye Afzal ki jitni najayas aulaadein hai unko sabak sikhao. (And today, every Hindu dreams of making our India a united Hindu nation. The dream of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj has to be realized. It has to be realized, right? So, teach a lesson to all the illegitimate children of Afzal.)”
Spreading venom and hatred towards the Muslim community, Singh then says, “Arre mere Shivaji Maharaj ne Afzal ka seena faad kar bhagwa leharaya tha. Arre uss samay par ek Afzal tha, lekin aaj har gali mei, har chaurahe par, har Vidhan Sabha mei, Afzak khan ke najayaz aulaado ki sena dikhti hai. (My Shivaji Maharaj had torn Afzal’s chest and waved a saffron flag. There was only one Afzal at that time, but today, in every street, at every intersection, in every legislative assembly, there is an army of illegitimate children of Afzal Khan.)”
“Mai apne secular bhaiyo ko yeh sandesh dena chahuga ki hum kabhi bhai bhai nahi ho sakte. Arre Shivaji Maharaj aur Aungareb kabhi bhai-bhai ho sakte hai kya? Kya Maharana Pratap aur Akbar kabhi ek ho sakte hai kya? (I would like to give a message to my secular brothers- that we all can never be brothers. Can Shivaji Maharaj and Aurangzeb ever be brothers? Can Maharana Pratap and Akbar ever be one?)”
Pushing his communal agenda, Singh then says “Arre gae ko poojne wala aur gae ko kaatne wala kabhi ek ho sakte hai kya? Arre hum toh vande mantaram gaate hai aur tum nahi gaate ho, kya hum log ek ho sakte hai kya? (Can we ever be brothers- who worships the cow and the one eats the cow? We sing Vande Mantaram and you don’t sing, can we be brothers?)”
The video can be viewed here:
Location: Latur, Maharashtra
Hindu far-right leader & Telangana legislator T Raja Singh delivers hate speech & gives explicit calls for violence & killing Muslims at a rally attended by thousands of people commemorating birth anniversary of Hindu king Shivaji Maharaj.
— HindutvaWatch (@HindutvaWatchIn) February 20, 2023
Perversely twisting Maratha history, Singh says “Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj agar na hote, toh kya aaj hum Hindu hote? Arre Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj na hote, har Mathura Masjid hoti. Agar Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj na hote, hum sabki Sunnat hoti. (Had Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj not been there, would we be Hindus today? Every Mathura would have been a mosque, if not for Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Had it not been for Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, we would all have ‘sunnat’.)”
Historically it is well known to the contrary, that Shivaji had as many as 13 commanders and soldiers within his army! Yet he is, by supremacist forces, continually projected as pro-Hindu= anti-Muslim!
Singh then goes on to spread mis-information and misleads the Hindu audience by narrating a Islamophobic made-up story,“Ek kasai ek gau mata ko kheench kar leke jaa raha tha. Chhatrapati Shivaji MAharaj uske beech mei aa gaye aur puchti hai ki meri gae ko tu kaha leke jaa raha hai. Toh kasai dekhta hai ki kasayi ki kamar mei churra hota hai. (A butcher was dragging a cow. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had come in the middle and asked the butcher as to where he was taking the cow. There was knife on the butcher’s waist.)”
“Kasai kehta hai ki tu kon hai? Yeh humare khane ka hai aur hum isse kaatne ke liye leke jaa rahe hai. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj bole ki yeh meri gau maa hai, iski raksha karna mera kartavya hai. Aur jo gae ko katega, yeh Shiva usko katega. (The butcher says who are you? It’s for our food and we’re taking it to kill it. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj said that this is my village, it is my duty to protect it. And whoever cuts the cow, this Shiva will cut him.)”
“Kasai kamar se hathyaar se nikalne se pehle hi talvaar ke ek jhatke se kasai ka haath kaat dete hai. Yeh the humare Shivaji Maharaj. (Shivaji Maharaj cuts off the hand of the butcher with a stroke of a sword before coming the butcher’s weapon could be taken out from their waist. This was our Shivaji Maharaj.)”
Instigating the audience, Singh says “Lekin aaj kal ke humare naujawan, police ke ek dande se darte hai. Police ka ek case kya ho jae, ghar mei chhudi pehen kar beth jaate hai. Mai naujawano ko puchna chahuga, ki humare andar jo khoon hai who shivaji ka hai ya nahi hai. (But today our youth are afraid of a police baton. If the police files even once case against them, they sit in the house wearing bangles. I would like to ask the youth whether the blood inside us belongs to Shivaji or not.)”
“If there is the blood of Shiva, then I will not allow my village mother to be killed until I am alive, this is to be adopted by all of you. (If there is the blood of Shiva in my veins, then I will not allow my cow mother to be killed until I am alive, this is to be adopted by all of you.)”
Continuing with his bigoted diatribe, Singh pronounced “Arre desh dharam na naata hai, gae har Hindu ki mata hai. (This is matter of my country, cow is my mother)”
“Lekin yeh saale launde, Hindu ki gau mata ko kaat kar khate hai. Gau maa ke bachon ko kaat kar khate hai. (These men kill and eat the Holy cow. They even eat the calves)”
“Arre sharam karo. Sharam karo Hinduon Hindu hone par, 100 crore Hindu hone par, Hinduon ki sankhya Maharashtra mei zada hone par, phir bhi meri gau mata ko kata jaa raha hai. (You should be ashamed. Shame on Hindus for being Hindus, being 100 crores in number, have more population of Hindus in Maharashtra, yet our cow mother is being slaughtered.)”
The video can be viewed here:
— HindutvaWatch (@HindutvaWatchIn) February 20, 2023
Cases against T. Raja Singh
Singh, who has over 100 criminal cases against him, had spent 76 days in jail under preventive detention for stoking communal tensions in Hyderabad. In January, 2023, the Mangalhat police station had served a notice to Goshamahal MLA Raja Singh in connection with a “provocative speech” made at Ajmer Dargah last year. The complainant in the case is Syed Mahmood Ali and is registered at the Kanchanbagh police station under Section 295-A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Following investigations, Raja Singh has been directed by Mangalhat police station to not commit any offenses in the future, not tamper with any of the evidences in the current case. He has also been directed to not threaten, induce or coerce any person acquainted with the facts of the case.
Previous instances of Hate Speeches
This is not the first that T Raja Singh has created chaos by saying words that are potentially harmful to the religious harmony in our country. Like several others of his partymen, he has been peddling hate with the aim of becoming popular l on social media. On January 29, 2023, Singh had come to Mumbai to attend an event organised by a radical Hindu group ‘Sakal Hindu Samaj’. At the Hindu Janakrosh Morcha organised by the group, Singh declared that if the Maharashtra state government didn’t come up with an anti-conversion law, Hindus would soon be up in arms. Singh had not simply promoted the idea of a new law. He was provoking the gathering to pick up arms and attack Muslims. He used abusive, derogatory words and called for direct violence against the Muslim community. His speech not just violated the high court order but clearly promoted enmity between two religious’ groups.
Since 2018 right until now, this trend by the BJP MLA has been meticulously documented by Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP). CJP has continuously tracked, and complained about this hate offender for years. In February, 2019 CJP’s Hate Watch team had identified how one false rumour has proliferated, and prompted a hate-filled speech by Raja Singh that was broadcast via Facebook. The CJP had highlighted Singh’s influential position as a sitting member of the Telangana Legislative Assembly as well as a party whip in the state, noting that he had half a million followers on Facebook. This incident took place right after the BJP-PDP alliance in Jammu and Kashmir collapsed, and ahead of the Amarnath Yatra scheduled for July-August.
Way back, five years ago, in 2018, Singh had posted on his Facebook account explicitly asking his followers not to buy anything from the “terrorist Kashmiris” for the annual Amarnath Yatra and Citizens for Justice and Peace (cjp.org.in) had complained to the platform, Facebook. By July 2019, the video had been viewed 3,00,000 times. Singh has also had FIRs registered against him for promoting enmity between groups but Facebook continued to entertain his account harbouring venomous content. CJP had also discovered in 2019 that his page which was supposedly taken down, was not the case and his official page was active. The CJP was invited to a Roundtable on Online Hate Speech: Facebook Community Standards, on February 5, 2019 where during the question answer session with Facebook’s Varun Reddy, the CJP team showed examples of hate speech, like the page of Raja Singh, which was not taken down even after repeated reporting.
The sordid record continues. In year 2020, Raja Singh was among the central figures named in an August Wall Street Journal report that documented how Facebook ignored hate speech by BJP leaders to protect its business interests in India. By March of that year, they concluded Singh not only had violated the company’s hate-speech rules but qualified as dangerous, a designation that takes into account a person’s off-platform activities. By March 2021, when Facebook finally concluded that Raja Singh had violated its own Community standards (Objectionable Content) and Violence and Criminal Behaviour rules, he was removed from FB. However, the hate words of this offender are also spread via so called “fan pages” named Tiger Raja Singh Fan Club and T Raja Singh Samarthak Jalgaon PRK Group which collectively have lakhs of followers.