PM Modi not speaking up against calls for genocide of Muslims: Amnesty International, Genocide Watch

Experts say that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “as the leader of India”, has an obligation to denounce this genocidal speech, and has not spoken against it yet

Image: Sajjan Hussain/AFP/Getty

Global human rights watchdogs Amnesty International USA and Genocide Watch, have said, “Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Islamophobic policies and tolerance of open incitement by Hindu extremists for a genocide of Muslims are pushing India towards mass violence against and massacres of Muslims.” It is perhaps for the first time that such a direct ‘prediction warning’ has been sounded at a global level, even as headlines continue to report the regular targeting of Muslims, Christians and other minorities.  

These experts were speaking at a Congressional Briefing in Washington, D.C., on January 12, Wednesday and stated that “because of Modi’s failure to condemn and act against anti-Muslim bigotry, hate speeches by leading religious and political figures had proliferated in recent weeks, specifically aimed at inciting such mass violence against Muslims.” They highlighted the events at the recent Hindutva hate conclave that the ‘Dharam Sansad’ had turned into which according to Dr. Gregory Stanton, President of Genocide Watch, “was exactly aimed at inciting the genocide of Muslims.” He highlighted that PM Modi, “as the leader of India”, has an obligation to denounce this genocidal speech, and has not spoken against it yet.

The B**li B*i app is another stage of genocide

Amina Kausar, an IT entrepreneur who was one of the victims of the B**li Bai app said, “The sheer humiliation of being put up for ‘sale,’ and called a ‘B***i Bai,’ a vulgar slang phrase implying a woman is a prostitute, is hard to describe in words.” She added, “Being objectified, being reduced to a virus, normalizing the abuse, is one of the decisive stages of genocide… These online abusers are not fringe elements. Many of them are backed by none other than the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi. I urge US government to take note of the systemic violence that Indian Muslim women are subjected to.”

Peak hatred and bigotry against India’s Muslims

Govind Achayra, India/Kashmir Specialist with Amnesty International USA added that the participants at the Dharm Sansad gathering had openly urged Hindus to “emulate the violence against Rohingya Muslims and boast about it in the days afterwards in the media is illustrative of the atmosphere of bigotry that pervades these groups.” He added, “The calls to large-scale massacres of Muslims [aim] to institute Hindu supremacy over India.”

They highlighted how Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) politician Keshav Prasad Maurya, who is the deputy chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, had this week defended the “open incitement and hate from the Dharm Sansad in an interview to the BBC speaks to the current atmosphere” and this was “peak hatred and bigotry against India’s Muslims,” said Acharya.

Politicians have defended the right to incite violence against Muslims, stated the experts highlighting on the global state the Haridwar conclave where calls for raising an “army” of Hindus to “kill two million Muslims” were given, as well as the event in New Delhi, where participants took an oath to “kill in order to protect Hinduism”, and where schoolchildren were recorded taking similar oaths to “kill and die” to create a Hindu nation. 

Dr. Stanton cautioned that “genocide is not an event” but “a process,” adding that “Prime Minister Modi had a long history of presiding over mass violence against Muslims, beginning with the Gujarat pogroms of 2002 and continuing into the present day.” He said, “Under the [Bharatiya Janata Party’s] policies, Modi has used anti-Muslim, Islamophobic rhetoric to build his political base.” Stressing that the U.N. Genocide Convention covered genocides specifically “aimed at the destruction, in whole or in part, of a national, ethnic, religious, or racial group,” he added that this was “exactly what the Myanmar government did against the Rohingya” and “we’re now facing [in India] a very similar kind of plot… and the victims are the 200 million Muslims who live in India.” 

Genocide Watch had also warned of an impending genocide in India since 2002, when anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat occurred and has once cgain stated that “there is a lot of evidence that [Modi as Gujarat chief minister then] actually encouraged those massacres.” Dr. Stanton added that after “becoming India’s prime minister, Mr. Modi had used anti-Muslim Islamophobic policies such as the revocation of Kashmir’s autonomous status and the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act that excludes Muslims, to build his political base. The idea of India as a Hindu Nation, which is the Hindutva movement, is contrary to the history of India and to the Indian constitution. The Indian constitution is specifically set up to make India a secular country to allow for equality between all religions. It was not aimed at making a Hindu Nation. With Modi as prime minister, an “extremist has taken over the government.” 

Sunita Viswanath, Executive Director of Hindus for Human Rights said, “Speeches made in Haridwar are an explicit call for genocide against Muslims by religious leaders who are close to the ruling party, the government.” According to research from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, India is at a high risk – number two in the world – for a genocide. The experts called on civil society to “recognise that the hatred being expressed in India is at a very serious level”. Viswanath said, “We can’t let the Biden Administration repeat the mistakes of the past.” 

Supreme Court lawyer Anas Tanwir, founder of the Indian Civil Liberties Union said, “Once an organisation has the support of the state machinery, or if the state machinery is willing to look away, it does not remain a fringe organisation.” 


The process of genocide begins with “trying to exclude people from citizenship” 

Dehumanisation as explained by the panel began with calling people terrorist, separatist and criminals, “This language is used by the Indian Government against the Muslims. Polarisation leads to hatred for all Muslims hatred, and preparation for genocide is what we are seeing right now.” According to Govind Acharya of Amnesty, “When you combine it with the CAA, the NRC is weaponized against Muslims in India. Because of the bigotry of these laws, India stands to create the biggest statelessness crisis in the world which will create unimaginable suffering. And of course the vast majority of those affected would be Muslims. That the participants [at the Haridwar gathering] would openly urge Hindus to emulate the violence against Rohingya Muslims and boast about it in the days afterwards in the media is illustrative of the atmosphere of bigotry that pervades these groups. The calls to large-scale massacres of Muslims [aim] to institute Hindu supremacy over India.”

The briefing was cosponsored by human rights and interfaith organizations, including the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), Amnesty International USA, Hindus for Human Rights, Genocide Watch, 21Wilberforce, International Christian Concern, Jubilee Campaign, Dalit Solidarity Forum, New York State Council of Churches, Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations of North America, India Civil Watch International, Students Against Hindutva Ideology, Center for Pluralism, American Muslim Institution, International Society for Peace and Justice, Association of Indian Muslims of America, and the Humanism Project. 



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