Conflicts & War

Hate speech against Muslims at Indian religious event triggers indignation

New Delhi, Dec 23 (EFE).- A wave of indignation spread across India on Thursday after a number of videos of a religious gathering over the weekend showed the organizers urging the audience to be ready to kill Muslims, at a time when attacks against religious minorities are on the rise in the Hindu-majority country.

“Swords won’t work, they look good only on stages. You need to update your weapons,” Hindu religious leader Yati Narasimhanand, already accused of inciting violence against the minorities in the past, can be head saying in one of the videos.

Another speaker allegedly said that if he had a pistol he would have shot former prime minister Manmohan Singh for saying that the minorities had the first rights over the nation’s resources, and eulogized Nathuram Godse, a Hindu extremist who assassinated Gandhi.

Despite a public outcry over the event, Narasimhanand told reporters that he was neither ashamed of what he said nor afraid of the police.

The police have said that they had not taken action yet in the absence of a formal complaint.

However, Saket Gokhale, spokesperson of the opposition party Trinamool Congress, tweeted the photo of a complaint that he had filed with the police in Haridrwar, the city in the northern state of Uttarakhand where the event took place, asking them to open an investigation.

The complaint includes links to videos where the alleged hate speech can be listened to and adds that two leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, were present during the speeches.

The event comes amid a wave of religious tension in India, with rising attacks on religious minorities by groups linked to the Hindutva ideology, which seeks to impose the supremacy of Hinduism in the country and is supported by the ruling BJP.

A recent report by the nonprofit People’s Union for Civil Liberties listed 39 hate crimes against Christians in the southern state of Karnataka between January and November 2021. EFE


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