As incidents of hate speech against religious minorities at events organised by hardline Hindu extremists continue, several incidents of violence and intimidation against Muslims also come to light on social media in which goons beat up Muslims, force them to say ‘Jai Shri Ram’, abuse and humiliate them in public. A number of survivors from such violence have ruefully claimed that not much action was taken in the aftermath against the culprits but law enforcement agencies and that the attackers were often priding on the idea that they were immune from facing any consequences of their crimes.
In Maharashtra’s Pune, a couple of weeks ago, a video emerged on 5th July 2023 detailing a group of extremists brutally beating and abusing a Muslim youth over his social media status, where he had allegedly written ‘India is a Muslim nation.’
Location: Daund, Pune, Maharashtra
A group of extremists brutally thrashed a Muslim youth over his social media status that read, “India is a Muslim nation.”
This incident happened a few weeks back. pic.twitter.com/GEhlUimRn5
— HindutvaWatch (@HindutvaWatchIn) July 5, 2023
Similarly, in an unnoted location a recent video on 6th July 2023 has emerged of a poor Muslim woman seeking help through the window of a car when the car seemed to have stopped at what seemed like a traffic light stop. The men in turn in the car asked her to chant the ‘Jai Shri Ram’. The woman appeared to be shocked, confused and afraid as the men closed the window, seemingly laughing at her reaction.
— Hate Detector 🔍 (@HateDetectors) July 6, 2023
Dabra in Madhya Pradesh witnessed a young Muslim named Mohsin getting kidnapped and beaten severely and abused in a car. The video emerged on 7th of July 2023. The man being attacked in the video was also forced the lick his attackers feet.
In Madhya Pradesh’s Dabra, a Muslim youth named #Mohsin was thrashed, knipped in a car and forced to lick his feet.
The morale of anti-social and hooligan elements is high in Madhya Pradesh.
— Mohammad Sher Ali (@SpeakMdAli) July 7, 2023
On 8th of July 2023 in Rajasthan’s Bhilwara, a young Muslim named Sahib Khan was abused, beaten and forced to say ‘Jai Shri Ram’ at a tea shop. Sahib Khan narrates how he was verbally abused and forced to say ‘Jai Shri Ram’ by man named Mukesh Gujar sitting with a group, at a chai once, and a week later when he went to the chai shop again, he questioned them where it was right to force him to say something, and the attacker staunchly stated that he would say Jai Shri Raam and make others say it as well, and then when the Muslim man did not bend to his will, the attacker proceeded to call a couple of people to beat Khan up.
In Rajasthan’s Bhilwara on July 8, a Muslim man named Sahib Khan was forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and was referred to as a “katwa.” Swords, iron rods, and bats were used to savagely beat him when he faced them.@TheObserverPost pic.twitter.com/MuPokE0axZ
— Meer Faisal (@meerfaisal01) July 11, 2023
As per latest reports by journalist Meer Faisal on his Twitter, the survivor is currently being treated at the neighbourhood hospital, and police have already filed an FIR, but no arrest has been made so far.
While the FIR was lodged on July 8, the police have arrested the culprits. Shaib Khan also alleged that the goons told him that even the police could not take any action against them.
Images of Sahib Khan’s FIR. Source: Meer Faisal Twitter.
A shocking and disturbing video was circulated on social media of a Muslims man recently from Bair, in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr. The Muslim man was tied to a tree, tonsured and forced to say “Jai Shri Ram”. The young man’s father has alleged that his son, in turn, has been arrested by the police alleged for theft. His father also stated that his son is being pressured to “compromise” in the case. Despite the indisputable testimony of the video in which the men, who are not visible in the video, are surrounding the lone man and are enjoying torturing him.
This is part of an alarming trend where Muslims themselves who have been victims of violence are subjected to state attack and legal prosecution and investigation instead of the attackers themselves. In such cases, Dalits and Muslims are put pressure on by authorities themselves to take back the FIRs or cases they have filed.
Throughout history, there have been instances where hate speech has served as a warning sign for the occurrence of heinous crimes. In recent times, numerous mass atrocities have taken place, and hate speech has been recognized as a precursor to such acts, including genocide. Although the use of social media and online platforms to disseminate hatred is a relatively recent phenomenon, the manipulation of public discourse for political motives is not unprecedented. According to the UN, historical evidence consistently demonstrates that hate speech, particularly when combined with misinformation, has the potential to result in the marginalisation of certain groups, discrimination, and widespread violence and as vigilante hate crimes run amock in the country, hate events where hardliners come and make anti-Minority and seemingly incendiary and inciteful claims are flourishing across the nation. In a recent event at Shrirampur Maharashtra, on the birthday of Sambhaji Maharaj, Suresh Chavhanke, the notorious news presenter at Sudharshan News, made a speech that was divisive and inflammatory.
Sabrang India, notes that Chavhanke clearly attacks Muslims, similarly boasted on the impunity he enjoys from the law despite having multiple FIRs filed against him. He has also leaned towards hinting that he enjoys political protection from the higher ups in central and state governments.
Furthermore, these are not entirely new phennomonen, on 6th January 2023, at another event covered by SabrangIndia, hateful statements were once again delivered against India’s religious minorities at a joint gathering of the Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad in Ranapur, Madhya Pradesh, called the Shaurya Path Sanchalan. The video can be viewed on Twitter.