MODI CAN’T PUT THE GENIE OF INDIAN JINGOISM BACK IN THE BOTTLE

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Prime Minister Modi released the genie of Indian jingoism after coming to power six years ago, irresponsibly hoping that the state-sponsored cultivation of hyper-nationalist sentiment would lead to the false domestic perception of the country as the “superpower” that it claims to be, which has actually been more successful than he planned since the indoctrinated masses are now becoming very disillusioned upon experiencing severe cognitive dissonance and are thus asking politically uncomfortable questions of his government after the disastrous aftermath of its brief border conflict with China last week.

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The Genie Of Jingoism

The state-sponsored cultivation of hyper-nationalist sentiment is a dangerous tiger that few leaders in history have ever been able to tame, something that Indian Prime Minister Modi is quickly learning the hard way after he let the genie of Indian jingoism out of the bottle over the past six years as part of his irresponsible strategy of cultivating the false domestic perception that his country is truly the “superpower” that it claims to be. Nothing could have been further from the truth, but the indoctrinated masses were successfully conned after hearing this narrative multiple times a day in practically every media out in the country. Following the disastrous aftermath of India’s brief border conflict with China last week, however, many can’t help but feel disillusioned after the government itself was forced to acknowledge that it lost at least 20 soldiers and counted several times as many injuries as a result of non-firearm clashes with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Furthermore, Prime Minister Modi made an epic mistake when he told an all-party meeting on Friday that “no one has intruded into our territory“, which has been widely interpreted as ceding India’s claims to the recently disputed Galwan Valley and tacitly admitting to provoking the latest incident by invading Chinese territory, which essentially means that India’s servicemen were killed for no domestically justifiable reason.

Modi In Panic Mode

The author wrote more on this topic in his recent piece about how “Modi’s Major Himalayan Mistake Crushed The Indian Military’s Morale“, which explains that India expected to impress its new American ally by taking a high-profile lead in “containing” China at its behest. What it didn’t anticipate, however, was that the much more formidable PLA would so brutally expose India’s Bollywood dreams as nothing more than a dangerous self-delusion, which in turn prompted Modi to panic and instinctively try to “save face” in pretending that New Delhi had never laid claim to the Galwan Valley in the first place. That’s not factual true, but it goes to show just how much the Chinese have shaken the Indian leadership to its core that the country’s chief jingoist, Prime Minister Modi, was cowering in fear to such a degree that he conveniently forgot about his past six years of chest-thumping. A rapidly growing segment of Indian society is furious that their leader, who handily won re-election last year in a sweeping landslide largely due to his hyper-nationalist rhetoric, would behave in such a weak way that’s totally at odds with his strongman reputation and even arguably disrespects the recent losses that the Indian military recently experienced. The Prime Minister’s Office has since attempted to walk back his controversial statement by attacking its “mischievous” interpretation by many, but the damage is already done.

Cognitive Dissonance

Many Indians are experiencing severe cognitive dissonance after having been brainwashed into believing that their country was a “superpower” but then realizing that it’s really a “paper elephant” like the author described it in his previously cited analysis from last week. This is extremely dangerous for the country’s stability because the resultant psychological stress brought about by this revelation can provoke people into acting in ways that they otherwise wouldn’t, be it participating in violent protests or more peacefully disowning the ruling party that they used to sincerely look up to. Either way, the situation is untenable and Modi knows that he has to do something more to “save face” otherwise his, his party’s, and India’s reputations are all irreversibly ruined. There’s a chance that he might simply sit back and hope that the genie of jingoism that he unleashed over the past six years will go back into the bottle, but the likelihood of that happening is nil and some form or another of blowback is bound to occur in the coming future. For that reason, last week’s unconfirmed report by Nepal 24 Hours alleging the presence of “RAW And Indian Guard Commando Force With Weapons In Soaltee Crowne Plaza Nepal” deserves to be taken more seriously than it might initially seem.

India’s False Flag Plot

The report cites unnamed Nepalese security officials who allege that Indian intelligence agents and highly trained military forces are surreptitiously surveilling the capital from a safe house owned by the former King, who they claim is passively facilitating this treasonous activity out of hope that the conventional, unconventional, or false flag attack that these foreign forces might be planning could restore the monarchy. It’s unclear whether the details of Nepal 24 Hours’ report are true, but suspicions about Indian intentions towards Nepal are certainly warranted considering the recent thawing of their long-frozen border dispute that was caused by India’s jingoistic publication of a map last November that included the disputed Kalapani region as its own. The author analyzed the situation a month ago after Nepal’s tit-for-tat publication of its own map claiming Kalapani caused India to go into a tizzy. Titled “India’s Hybrid War On Nepal Backfired By Creating A Geopolitical Nightmare“, it explores the origins of this dispute and points out how the recent escalation might have been avoided had Indian leaders not been drunk with Bollywood-driven neo-imperial dreams of carving out “Akhand Bharat” (“Greater India”) in order to impose a “Hindu Rashtra” (Hindu fundamentalist state) in the region. The past month has seen relations between the two formerly “fraternal” countries deteriorate real drastically.

Hybrid War Blowback

Regarded as an Indian puppet state for decades, Nepal began liberating its foreign and military policies from de-facto Indian suzerainty following New Delhi’s disastrous unofficial blockade of the landlocked country in fall 2015 in response to the promulgation of a new federal constitution for ending the landlocked country’s long-running civil war. After India decontextualized, over-amplified, and propagated Nepal’s tit-for-tat cartographic response to New Delhi’s provocative publication of its jingoist map in November as “unprovoked aggression”, the tiny state realized that it was one of the next targets in India’s “Akhand Bharat” crosshairs. Accordingly, it began beefing up its border defenses, and some of its security forces even engaged in a lethal shootout with India two weeks ago. Shortly thereafter, the Nepalese Chief Of Army Staff visited the disputed Kalapani border area, following which it was revealed that Nepal will deploy its troops to that part of the frontier for the first time in India’s post-independence history. Quite clearly, Nepal perceives India to be a credible threat to its national security, which is a direct result of the larger state’s HybridWar on its much smaller neighbor. It’s for this reason why Nepal 24 Hours’ unconfirmed report should be taken seriously because it conforms with the expectations that an objective observer might have of the next phase in India’s Hybrid War on Nepal.

The Reverse-Donglang Scenario

That said, it remains to be seen whether Modi will go through with the scenario of launching some sort of attack (whether conventional, unconventional, or false flag) against Nepal in a desperate attempt to “save face” before India’s uncontrollably jingoistic population that his government is entirely responsible for provoking to this point. Perhaps the only thing causing him to think twice is his fear that China might undertake a “reverse-Donglang” in response. Just like Bhutan requested Indian assistance during the months-long summer 2017 border incident with China over the Donglang Plateau (referred to as “Doklam” by India and therefore most of the world’s media), so too might Nepal do the same in any forthcoming border incident over the disputed Kalapani region or any other part of their extensive frontier. The prospect of Chinese troops rushing to assist their Nepalese counterparts upon request, in spite of such a request being at odds with Nepal’s 1950 “Friendship Treaty” with India (but justified on the basis that India was the first to violate it by provoking whatever incident might eventually transpire), could worsen the nightmarish blowback from India’s Hybrid War on Nepal by possibly resulting in the PLA being deployed all along the Terai plains bordering India’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh in the “worst-case” scenario.

Concluding Thoughts

Modi is visibly panicking after realizing that the genie of Indian jingoism can never be put back in the bottle after he irresponsibly unleashed it over the past six years as part of his party’s mistaken belief that it’ll unify the nation behind his Hindu nationalist leadership. The utter humiliation that the PLA inflicted on the Indian military last week without a single shot being fired, on top of Modi’s mistake in tacitly acknowledging Chinese sovereignty over the recently disputed Galwan Valley, is leading to tremendous pushback from his disillusioned population that’s now suffering in the throes of severe cognitive dissonance after having previously fallen for the lie that their country is truly the “superpower” that it professes to be. Faced with yet another looming disaster entirely of his own making, this time one which credibly runs the risk of further delegitimizing the ruling party and its ideology, Modi might desperately seek to “save face” by bullying what he wrongly regards as the weakest of his neighbors that India has some sort of dispute with. The unconfirmed report from Nepal 24 Hours suggests that some sort of operation might already be in the works, but that would be among the most epic mistakes that Modi ever made if he actually goes through with such a scheme because it could very easily result in the “reverse-Donglang” scenario of PLA troops being deployed all along India’s border with Nepal.


By Andrew Korybko
Source: One World

JAMMU & KASHMIR: A CASE OF BRUTAL DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGES AMID A GLOBAL PANDEMIC

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The Indian government has not refrained from its nefarious agenda to alter the demography of occupied Jammu and Kashmir amidst the global pandemic.

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The demography of Kashmir has become a subject of debate especially after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu Nationalist government has imposed a new set of laws. It includes a controversial and contentious domicile law through which citizens from all across India can get the rights of living in the disputed territory.

The new domicile law allows being eligible for domicile certification to those who have resided in the region for fifteen years or studied for a period of seven years and appeared in class 10 or 12th examination through educational institutes located in the area. It also gives out residency rights to central government officials who have served in Indian-administered Kashmir for ten years and their children. Initially this law also included provisions that allowed all Indians to apply for jobs specified for Jammu And Kashmir except the low-level jobs. But after the severe backlash even from the Hindu-dominated region of Jammu, the decision of reservation for jobs was overturned. These steps of the Indian government violate the fourth convention of International Law as it declares that “The occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

Indian government abrogated article 370 and 35A of the constitution that guaranteed special status for jobs, scholarships, and allotment of land to permanent residents of Indian-administered Kashmir, in early August, last year. The law also gave rights to people of Jammu and Kashmir to establish their rule of law through their Parliament and have their own flag. Subsequently, the region having a Muslim majority was divided into two union territories, Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. The law also stripped any Kashmiri woman who married outside Kashmir of the right to own property in their native land so as to protect the unique identity of the region.

The new laws are widely seen as an attempt to implement a long-standing ideological vision of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), for the occupied region. RSS is broadly considered as the parent organization of India’s ruling Hindu nationalist faction, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The RSS has been demanding the abrogation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir for decades. They also passed a resolution that laid out their vision to remodify the geographic structure of the region such that it would benefit the Hindus. The BJP has also exploited the slogan of the resettling of Hindu Pandits, who were displaced during the uprising of last 1980s, for their electoral gains. This is due to which BJP has managed to create a significant voter base especially in Jammu.

Indian authorities have made several efforts to change the geographic dynamics of the occupied territory. First of which was in August-November 1947, when hundreds and thousands of Muslims in Jammu ware massacred by the Dogra ruler and the then-Indian government of Indian National Congress. There is no official account of this brutal bloodbath so we have to heavily rely on the reports of British newspapers operating in that area. Horace Alexander wrote in his article on 16 January, 1948, in The Spectator, that the number of people killed in those two months exceeds 200,000. Whereas Ian Stephens, the editor of The Statesman, claimed that more than a half-million people were killed and the other 200,000 were either displaced or went missing. Due to this genocide, the overwhelming majority of Muslims in the region were reduced to just 30 percent of the total population. Jammu’s demography was again altered by the Agrarian Reforms Act, 1976. The act provided land ownership opportunity to natives of Jammu and through this, thousands of non-natives were granted ownership of land by means of forged and tempered records. Another intrigue can be noticed by observing a sharp increase of the Hindu population in Leh and Kargil districts from 2001 to 2011. The population of Hindus has grown from 6.2 percent to 12 percent in this time frame. Experts claim such an increase of a hundred percent is unimaginable and impossible, considering the economic conditions of the region.

In the current situation, the more than half-million Indian soldiers deployed in the region can buy land and become residents while Indian Muslims are too poor to do so and resettle in the area. Indian government plans to replicate the Israeli model of illegal settlements in occupied Palestine. A Kashmir-based political analyst told Middle East Eye, on the condition of anonymity, that “These domicile laws have been devised only to facilitate a non-Muslim Indian influx into Kashmir. Indian Muslims are poor. They don’t have resources to buy properties in Kashmir. In Kashmir, businesses are not running. Job opportunities are dismal. Any Indian who does not have the state financial and military muscle behind him can’t sustain in a conflict zone like Kashmir. Indian Muslims would never get any such support from the ruling government.” Kashmiris have long-feared such changes in their demography, culture and identity. Shimon Peres, the then-former Foreign Minister of Israel who afterward served as President of Israel, on his visit to India on 18 May, 1993, suggested that “India should not be afraid or hesitate to populate Kashmir with people from all over India. Only a demographic change in Kashmir can help India to claim it. The idea of a Muslim majority state living peacefully with a Hindu majority community is idiotic and this idea is nothing but anathema.”

While the world is busy in finding a way to cope with COVID-19, India has taken the pandemic as an opportunity to further oppress the people of occupied territories. They have also set aside the UN Resolution about the state of Jammu and Kashmir which clearly state that its fate lies in the hands of the people and they should be given their right of self-determination. The information ban and lockdown are extended as cases of Coronavirus increase. But all of these actions carried out and illegal laws being implemented without the consensus of local leaders may result in the eruption of another series of riots just like in the late ’80s.


By Hassan Aziz
Source: One World

THE BJP AND ISRAEL: HINDU NATIONALISM IS RAVAGING DEMOCRACY IN INDIA

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It was only a matter of time before the anti-Muslim sentiment in India turned violent. A country that has historically prided itself on its diversity and tolerance and for being ‘the largest democracy in the world’ has, in recent years, exhibited the exact opposite qualities – chauvinism, racism, religious intolerance, and, at times, extreme violence.

The latest round of violence ensued on February 23, one day before U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in Delhi on his first official visit to India.

Trump is a beloved figure among Hindu nationalists, especially supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has ruled India since 2014.

BJP, under the leadership of Narendra Modi, has wreaked havoc on Indian politics and foreign policy. However, the damage that this ultra-nationalist movement has caused to Indian society is unmatched since the country’s independence in 1947.

Under BJP rule, hatred for Muslims, a sizable minority of over 200 million, among other minority groups, has grown over the years to represent the core discourse of a movement that is ideologically and morally bankrupt.

Jumping on the Islamophobia bandwagon, which has grown exponentially since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, Hindu nationalists disguised their racist and chauvinistic ideology as part of a global ‘war on terror’.

It was no surprise, then, to see Modi reaching out to like-minded Islamophobes, the likes of right-wing Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. The seemingly unbreakable Modi-Netanyahu ‘friendship’ underlies a growing pro-Israel movement among Hindu nationalists.

Hindu nationalists embrace Israel

Hindu nationalist ideologues and pro-Israel Zionists have long discovered a common cause, one that is predicated on a collective sense of racial supremacy and intolerance for Islam and Muslims.

In fact, Israel has, in recent years, emerged as the common denominator between various ultra-nationalist and far-right groups in India and across the globe. Strangely but tellingly, some of these groups are known for hostility towards Jews and outright antisemitism. However, for these groups, the anti-immigrant, anti-refugee and anti-Muslim sentiments were far more pressing priorities than all else.

While Europe and North America have received a greater share of political analysis regarding the rise of Islamophobia around the world, countries like India, Burma, and China have largely been excluded from the discussion.

It is true that the discrimination and violence against China’s Muslim minority, the Uyghurs, Burma’s Rohingya population and India’s Muslims, have all received a relatively fair share of media attention and analysis. However, the targeting of Muslims in these polities is largely perceived as provisional ‘conflicts’ that are unique to these areas, with little or no connection to global anti-Muslim phenomena.

But nothing could be further from the truth. For example, the fact that BJP politicians often refer to Muslim migrants in India as ‘infiltrators and termites’ mirrors the same dehumanizing lexicon used by Buddhist nationalists in Burma and Israeli Zionists in Palestine.

The likes of the Hindu Samhati movement, known for its anti-Muslim bigotry, has, therefore, become essential to this new global anti-Muslim brand. And, according to the same disturbing logic, hating Muslims then becomes synonymous with loving apartheid Israel.

Hence, it was not a complete surprise to see tens of thousands of Hindu nationalists rallying in Calcutta in February 2018 in what was described by organizers as “the largest pro-Israel rally” in history.

But what took place in New Delhi in February was more ominous than any other previous display of violence. Dozens of Indian Muslims were beaten to death and hundreds more were severely injured by mobs of angry Hindu nationalists.

While India is no stranger to mob violence, the recent bouts of bloodshed in that country are most alarming considering it is a rational outcome of a racist trajectory that has been championed by the BJP and their supporters.

Particularly alarming were scenes of Indian security forces either watching the brutality against Indian Muslims unfold without intervening or objecting in any way, or worse, participating in the violence themselves.

While it is rightly argued that the anti-Muslim campaign in India was triggered by Modi’s Citizenship Amendment Act which ultimately aims at rendering millions of Muslims in India stateless, the ailment lies in the BJP itself – a purely xenophobic movement that exploits the grievances of the poor and marginalized in India to maintain political power.

It goes without saying that India’s Modi is a far cry from the India that was envisaged by Mahatma Gandhi or the country’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.

Unfortunately, with Modi and the BJP in power, India will experience yet more tragic days ahead. Flanked by equally racist and violent allies in Tel Aviv and Washington, Modi feels empowered to carry out more such sinister and discriminatory measures against the country’s vulnerable minorities, especially Muslims.

It is essential that we educate ourselves further about the situation in India, and that we understand the anti-Muslim politics and violence in that country within the larger global context. India’s Muslims need our solidarity more than ever before, especially as the emboldened BJP and their chauvinistic leader seem to have no moral boundaries whatsoever.

Feature photo | Hindu nationalists gather in India’s capital to demand construction of a Hindu temple on the ruins of a 16th century mosque in northern Indian city of Ayodhya, Dec. 9, 2018. Bernat Armangue | AP


By Ramzy Baroud
Source: MintPress News

The Ayatollah Took A Principled Stand By Condemning India's Massacre Of Muslims

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12 MARCH 2020

The Ayatollah Took A Principled Stand By Condemning India

Iran’s Supreme Leader inflicted a devastating blow to India’s soft power by strongly condemning the massacre of Muslims that symbolically took place in its capital last month, with his powerful words having the potential to influence how the broad swath of the Alt-Media Community under his country’s sway covers the South Asian state in the coming future, which could possibly lead to a long-overdue reappraisal of it.

Iran Won’t Stay Silent While Indian Muslims Are Slaughtered

Iran is speaking up for the oppressed Muslims of India after they were massacred in none other than its capital city last month, which symbolically showed the world that the self-professed “world’s largest democracy” is anything but “democratic”. Foreign Minister Zarif tweeted last week that “Iran condemns the wave of organized violence against Indian Muslims. For centuries, Iran has been a friend of India. We urge Indian authorities to ensure the wellbeing of ALL Indians & not let senseless thuggery prevail. Path forward lies in peaceful dialogue and rule of law.”, which prompted India to summon the Iranian envoy to complain. Not to be intimidated, Ayatollah Khamenei took a principled stand by tweeting his own condemnation a few days later, writing that “The hearts of Muslims all over the world are grieving over the massacre of Muslims in India. The govt of India should confront extremist Hindus & their parties & stop the massacre of Muslims in order to prevent India’s isolation from the world of Islam. #IndianMuslimslnDanger”.

Why Does Alt-Media Cover Up For India?

The importance of his remarks rests with the influence that he commands over the broad swath of the Alt-Media Community under his country’s sway. These outlets and individuals pay serious attention to the Supreme Leader’s statements and oftentimes look to his words for guidance when reporting on various issues. Up until now, the Iranian-friendly Alt-Media Community was divided over India, with some choosing to ignore the country’s new military-strategic partnerships with the US and “Israel” because they were too “politically inconvenient” to acknowledge while others paid service to the truth by exposing them. Some people find it difficult to explain complicated topics to their audience such as the reason why vehemently anti-American and anti-Zionist Iran would continue to voluntarily align itself with India despite its partner’s increasing closeness with the Islamic Republic’s worst enemies, hence why they “cover up” for India in order to avoid the “uncomfortable” optics that their factual reporting could produce.

The Ayatollah And Other Anti-Islamophobic Activists Aren’t “Hindu-Hating” “Anglo-Saxon Supremacists”

That’s almost impossible to do now after the Ayatollah’s latest statement, which forces the Iranian-friendly Alt-Media Community to finally confront this proverbial elephant in the room. The Supreme Leader also debunked the narrative spread by RT’s Ashish Shukla, who penned an op-ed last week which basically boiled down to accusing anyone who criticizes Prime Minister Modi’s violent brand of “Hindu nationalism” of being a “Hindu-hating” “Anglo-Saxon supremacist”. In his own words:

“Let’s assume Hindus and Muslims were on opposing sides in these violent clashes (despite the fact that Indian intelligence is still trying to determine if it was engineered by inimical forces). Let’s also not deny that law and order, crime against women, caste, linguistic identities, inequality etc. is very real in India. Yet, let’s not also frame these events solely in the context of the rise of Modi, which lately seems to have let the genie of Hindu-hating Western media out of the bottle…In essence, we are still witnessing the colonial and imperial hangover of the “North” against the “Savage South” who must get tutorials on “tolerance,” “peace” and “multiculturalism.” This colonial hangover is the binding thread of policy, business, academia and media in the West and is woven with the cloth of liberty, religious freedom and human rights; of American exceptionalism and the supposed superiority of the Anglo-Saxon world.”

His piece was written before either Zarif or the Ayatollah’s condemnation of the massacre of Muslims in New Delhi, but Shukla probably regards them as fitting targets of his diatribe too given the seriousness of their remarks, which were stronger than the Mainstream Media headlines that he cited in his op-ed. This thought exercise of imagining him accusing those two figures of being “Hindu-hating” “Anglo-Saxon supremacists” like he believes that the rest of his government’s critics supposedly are shows the ridiculousness of his attacks.

Alt-Media’s Long-Overdue Reappraisal Of India

Condemning the massacre of Muslims in New Delhi and calling upon the Indian authorities to rein in the death squads responsible for this crime against humanity doesn’t automatically make someone a “Hindu-hating” “Anglo-Saxon supremacist”, especially not Zarif or the Ayatollah, but their principled stand on this issue raises widespread awareness about what happened and strongly encourages the Alt-Media community to undertake a long-overdue reappraisal of India. The country isn’t the “peacefully rising superpower” that its surrogates deceitfully present it as being, but is a religiously supremacist pro-American proxy state for “containing” China. The message that the Supreme Leader and his Foreign Minister are sending is that India’s massacre of Muslims shouldn’t be ignored, and that it’s about time that the his country’s supporters eschew their “political correctness” and begin seriously talking about the dangerous changes in Indian society as of late which made that pogrom possible in the first place. Instead of continuing to cover up for India, they should finally expose it.

Concluding Thoughts

The Ayatollah’s condemnation of India’s massacre of Muslims was indeed a devastating blow to the soft power of the South Asian state because of the influential impact that it could have on shaping the way in which the Alt-Media Community covers the country. India had hitherto been given a free pass by many to continue killing Muslims with impunity just because it used to be one of Iran’s top energy partners, but the Supreme Leader just signaled that it’s unacceptable to remain silent after such a bloody pogrom took place in its capital last month. It doesn’t matter that gatekeepers such as RT’s Shukla strongly implied that all anti-Islamophobic activists who talk about this are “Hindu-hating” “Anglo-Saxon supremacists” since the Ayatollah wasn’t going to be intimidated by anyone, hence why he tasked his Foreign Minister with speaking out about that massacre and then followed up with his own remarks a few days later after the Indian government censured his envoy to the country. It’s therefore inevitable that India’s reputation will continue to suffer as more people learn the truth.By Andrew KorybkoAmerican political analyst

Imam Khamenei Urges India to Stop Extremist Anti-Muslim Violence

By Staff, Agencies

Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei deplored the massacre of Muslims in India, calling on the New Delhi government to confront extremist Hindus.

In a post on Thursday, Imam Khamenei’s official Twitter account denounced the recent wave of violence against Muslims in India.

“The hearts of Muslims all over the world are grieving over the massacre of Muslims in India,” the post read.

“The govt of India should confront extremist Hindus & their parties & stop the massacre of Muslims in order to prevent India’s isolation from the world of Islam,” it added.

The post ended with the hashtag #IndianMuslimslnDanger.

Violence erupted in the Indian capital last week, leading to a three-day-long rampage, with Hindu mobs attacking Muslim homes, shops and mosques.

The attacks were carried out on protesters, who have been rallying against a new citizenship law, after the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP] leader Kapil Mishra threatened peaceful sit-ins would be removed from the streets.

The violence in Delhi killed scores of people.

It was the worst violence in Delhi since 1984, when more than 3,000 Sikh minority were killed following the assassination of then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Imam Khamenei Condemns Anti-Muslim Violence in India

 March 5, 2020

Leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei denounced massacres committed against Muslims in India, calling on the New Delhi government to confront extremist Hindus.

“The hearts of Muslims all over the world are grieving over the massacre of Muslims in India,” the English Twitter account of Imam Khamenei said in a post.

“The govt of India should confront extremist Hindus & their parties & stop the massacre of Muslims in order to prevent India’s isolation from the world of Islam,” the tweet added.

The post ended with the hashtag “Indian Muslims ln Danger”.

The Indian parliament in December passed a law that fast-tracks citizenship for persecuted non-Muslim minorities from neighboring countries. More than 40 people were killed last week in New Delhi in sectarian violence sparked by the citizenship law.

Violence erupted last week, leading to a three-day-long rampage, with Hindu mobs attacking Muslim homes, shops and mosques.

Source: Iranian media

MUSLIMS ARE BEING MURDERED IN INDIA. THIS IS THE TRUE NARENDRA MODI

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On 9 to 10 November 1938 the German government encouraged its supporters to burn down synagogues and smash up Jewish homes, shops, businesses, schools. At least 91 Jews – and probably many more – were killed by Nazi supporters egged on by Joseph Goebbels, the minister for public enlightenment and propaganda, in what became known as Kristallnacht – “the Night of Broken Glass”. It was a decisive staging post on the road to mass genocide.

On 23 February 2020 in Delhi, Hindu nationalist mobs roamed the streets burning and looting mosques together with Muslim homes, shops and businesses. They killed or burned alive Muslims who could not escape and the victims were largely unprotected by the police. At least 37 people, almost all Muslims, were killed and many others beaten half to death: a two-year-old baby was stripped by a gang to see if he was circumcised – as Muslims usually are, but Hindus are not. Some Muslim women pretended to be Hindus in order to escape.

Government complicity was not as direct as in Germany 82 years earlier, but activists of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, were reported as being in the forefront of the attacks on Muslims. A video was published showing Muslim men, covered in blood from beatings, being forced to lie on the ground by police officers and compelled to sing patriotic songs. Modi said nothing for several days and then made a vague appeal for “peace and brotherhood”.

The government’s real attitude towards the violence was shown when it instantly transferred a judge critical of its actions during the riots. Judge Muralidhar of the Delhi High Court was hearing petitions about the violence when he said that the court could not allow “another 1984” to happen, referring to the killing of 3,000 Sikhs by mobs in Delhi in that year after the assassination of former prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. He said the government should provide shelter for those who had been forced to flee and questioned if the police were properly recording victims’ complaints.

The government says that Judge Muralidhar’s transfer had already been announced and claims that its speedy implementation of the move had nothing to do with his remarks.

Accusations of fascist behaviour by present day political leaders and their governments, similar to that of fascist regimes in Germany, Italy and Spain in the 1930s and 1940s, should not be made lightly. Such comparisons have been frequently levelled in recent years against nationalist, authoritarian populists from the US and the Philippines to Poland to Brazil. Often the allegation is believed by the accuser and, at other times, it is simply a term of abuse. Yet Modi and the BJP appear closer than other right-wing regimes to traditional fascism in their extreme nationalism and readiness to use violence. At the centre of their agenda is their brand of Hindu nationalism and a relentless bid to marginalise or evict India’s 200 million Muslims.

The rest of the world has been slow to grasp the gravity of what is happening in India because the Modi government has played down its project to shift India away from its previous status as a pluralistic secular state. The sheer number of people negatively affected by this change is gigantic: if the Muslim minority in India was a separate country then it would be eighth largest state in the world by population.

The violence in Delhi this week stems from the fear and hatred generated by the government-directed pincer movement against Muslims in India. One pincer is in the shape of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), under which non-Muslim migrants can swiftly gain Indian citizenship but Muslims cannot. Even more threatening is the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which is likely to deprive many Indian Muslims of their citizenship. It was the non-violent protests and demonstrations opposing these measures that provoked the Hindu nationalist mobs into staging what was close to a pogrom earlier this week.

Just how far Modi and the BJP will go in their anti-Muslim campaign is already in evidence in Jammu and Kashmir, the one Indian state with a Muslim majority. It was summarily stripped of its autonomy last August and has been locked down ever since. Mass detentions and torture are the norm according to the few witnesses able to report what they have seen.

For 150 days after the government revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, the internet was cut off and it has only been restored to a very limited degree since January. The security forces detain who they want and distraught family members complain that they cannot find their relatives or that they are too poor to visit them in prisons that may be 800 miles away.

The isolation of Kashmir has largely worked from the government point of view in sealing it off from the outside world. But would it make much difference if events there were better known? The burnings and killings in Delhi this week are well publicised, but regarded with a certain tolerance internationally: Modi can trade off India’s reputation as a ramshackle democracy and a feeling that “communal violence” is traditional in India, like hurricanes in Florida or earthquakes in Japan, and nobody is really to blame.

There has been an encouraging, though fiercely repressed, wave of opposition in India to the degradation of its non-sectarian traditions. The danger here – and the mobs in Delhi may be a sign of this – is that Modi and his government will respond to these protests by playing the Hindu nationalist card even more strongly.

Dealing with foreign criticism, the government may say that, regardless of its domestic political programme, it is supercharging economic growth and this excuses its other failings. Authoritarian regimes, with control over most of their own media, often make such claims and, when economic statistics show the opposite, they simply fake a new set of figures. A recent study of the Indian economy noted that, while overall economic growth had supposedly risen strongly, the growth in investment, profits, tax revenues, imports, exports, industrial output and credit had all weakened in recent years.

In one respect, Modi is in a stronger position than Germany after Kristallnacht. President Roosevelt responded with a statement denouncing antisemitism and violence in Germany and promptly withdrew the US ambassador. President Trump, on a two-day visit to India at a time that Muslims were being hunted down and killed a few miles from where he was sitting, said he was satisfied that Modi was working “really hard” to establish religious freedom.


By Patrick Cockburn
Source: The Independent

India Riots: ‘We Were Attacked Because We Are Muslim’

By Stephanie Findlay and Amy Kazmin in New Delhi – Financial Times

Yasmin, a 35-year-old mother of three, clutched her blue-and-white prayer beads as she waited at a hospital mortuary to retrieve the battered body of her brother-in-law.

A resident of a gritty New Delhi neighborhood where working class Hindus and Muslims have lived side by side for years, Mehtab, a 22-year-old construction worker, had gone out on Tuesday evening to buy milk but never returned. Hauled away by stick-wielding rioters, he was found dead hours later, his body bruised and burnt.

That night, Yasmin and her husband cowered at home as marauders threatened to incinerate their neighborhood’s Muslim-owned shops and residences.

“People were chanting slogans of Jai Shri Ram [‘Hail Lord Ram’] and saying ‘leave this house — we will set it on fire’,” Yasmin said, her voice shaking with emotion. “This is the first time I am seeing such conflict. We have always considered Hindus our brothers. [Mehtab] was murdered because he was Muslim. We were attacked because we are Muslim.”

The young laborer was one of at least 35 people killed, with 200 others seriously injured, in New Delhi this week. It was the worst outbreak of sectarian violence in a big Indian city since 2002 when more than 1,000 people, mainly Muslims, were killed in riots in Gujarat.

The carnage in the Indian capital — which left swaths of the city looking like a war zone, with burnt-out mosques, shops and other buildings, shattered glass and charred vehicles — follows a steady stoking of animosity between India’s Hindu majority and its Muslim minority by Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, analysts said.

Sectarian tensions have surged since December when Modi’s government amended the country’s citizenship laws, incorporating religious criteria for the first time and giving Hindus and followers of other south Asian faiths priority over Muslims.

This week’s bloodletting coincided with a visit by Donald Trump to India, overshadowing the US president’s effusive praise for Modi. Analysts warned that the riots threatened to distract the government from the urgent task of reviving the faltering economy and realizing its ambition to become a global power.

“They’ve unleashed forces that cannot be fully controlled,” said Ashutosh Varshney, a political-science professor at Brown University. “Whether Modi and [home minister Amit] Shah can check these forces remains to be seen. Their foot soldiers on the ground are filled with the ideological fervor that has been drilled into them — the tropes of Hindu nationalism that see Muslims as enemies of India.”

Trouble in the affected area flared on Sunday after Kapil Mishra, a hardline local BJP leader, threatened Muslims who were blocking a road in an otherwise peaceful protest against the citizenship law. Addressing a crowd of rightwing Hindus right next to the sit-in, he warned that if the protesters were not gone by the time Trump’s visit was over, they would take matters into their own hands.

Shortly afterwards, witnesses said, groups of Hindus and Muslims began pelting each other with stones. By Monday, large areas were in the grip of a full-scale riot, with mobs of Hindu men, carrying firearms, petrol bombs and iron rods, marauding through the area’s congested streets, attacking passers-by and setting fire to property they suspected of being Muslim-owned.

“They were asking for identity cards to see if they are Hindu or Muslim and if they saw Muslim people they beat them,” said Abul Kalam, a 60-year-old salesman who was riding his motorbike with a Hindu colleague when they stumbled on the rioters.

In a grim echo of the violent 1947 partition of India — in which up to 2m people are thought to have died — rioters questioned people over their religion, demanding they recite prayers, show religious symbols or even pull down their trousers… said one social activist.

Witnesses said police appeared to do little to stop the rioters.

Mazid, a 32-year-old shop owner, said he and his neighbors on a mixed Hindu-Muslim street were standing together trying to protect their homes on Tuesday evening when they saw a crowd, accompanied by police officers, coming towards them.

“Police were with them and we thought maybe they will stop the violence, but then [someone] fired the shots,” said Mazid. His brother was killed and two neighbors were injured in the gunfire.

On Wednesday morning, Modi’s government, which has control over policing and is responsible for security in the capital, deployed thousands of additional paramilitary police to the riot-stricken areas to try to restore order. That afternoon, Modi took to Twitter to appeal for peace — his first public acknowledgment of the violence.

But even amid the strong police presence, tensions remained high, with many families fleeing to seek refuge with relatives elsewhere.

“People are afraid — they are leaving their homes,” said Shankar Thakur, a 28-year-old teacher. “The mobs who are coming, the police have no power to defeat them.”

Many are also questioning why it took the government so long to clamp down. “Historically, communal violence in India is never the result of weak state capacity,” said Gilles Verniers, a political-science professor at Ashoka University, near Delhi. “The state tends to prevent violence from erupting when it has the intention to do so.”

Analysts said the rioting may not be as severe as other urban violence that has rocked India. But the government’s apparent tolerance of two days of unchecked bloodshed had sent a powerful signal to a Muslim community that already felt under siege, they said.

“The violence has already served its purpose,” said Verniers. “It has asserted Hindu dominance and claimed ownership of the public sphere.”

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