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  • Writer's pictureAslam Abdullah

The Anatomy of anti-Muslim Pogroms in Mewat, India

Hindu nationalists distribute this poster to provoke their community against Muslims and Islam in India.

What happened in Mewat, a historical region of Haryana and Rajasthan states of India, on July 31 and onwards was nothing new. It is the same old script played out by the fanatics indoctrinated by a hate-filled ideology rooted in a violent expression of Hinduism. The perpetrators and terrorists identified them as members of Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the Bhartiya Janata Party, the cow vigilantes, the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh, and its other offshoots. Their targets were Muslims, who comprise 80 percent of the district of Nuh.

The motives were loud and clear. Muslims have no place in the new India controlled by the Hindu supremacist party, BJP, as equal citizens. They should either migrate to Pakistan or other Muslim countries or convert to Hinduism. Their presence is a constant threat to Hindu culture and traditions.

Under the well-written and well-rehearsed script, the perpetrators play out the script methodically. They organize religious marches in areas dominated by Muslims. They carry swords, guns, pistols, and other weapons. In the Muslim vicinity, they start playing loud music and raising threatening slogans such as "when Mulle kate jayenge, Ram, Ram chillaenge (When we start killing Muslims, they will begin to shout Ram, Ram). One mingles among Muslims and throws a stone, urging others to join him. The riots begin, and the police withdraw. The news through Hindu-nationalist-controlled media spread that Hindus were in danger and Muslims were about to eradicate them.

The state and central authorities controlled by Hindu nationalists act and order the police to arrest as many of them as possible. They bulldoze their homes and declare to the world that the Muslim community acted upon the direction of Pakistan's intelligence agency to destabilize India.

The media and the government repeat this narrative, and soon, the lies spread like wildfire, and Hindu militants start planning for more such incidents.

The anti-Muslim pogroms happen with the full knowledge of police, intelligence agencies, and Hindu nationalist leaders. Some experts suggest that the pre-planned violence was to polarize India on Hindu-Muslim lines to regain power in the 2024 national elections. However, the reality is that Indian states such as Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Assam, and parts of Karnataka and Jammu and Kashmir are simmering with anti-Islam sentiments under the BJP with a determined effort to drive Muslims out of the country or convert them to Hinduism. Their ideology draws strength from the RSS that promotes the idea of Hindu Rashtra based on Manusmirti, the Hindu holy scriptures that legitimizes inequality as god sanctioned. The RSS, backed by funds raised in the US and the West, is active worldwide and promotes anti-Muslim ideas through its militants under various names.

Mewat region witnessed once again the manifestation of RSS ideology. Nuh district is the only Muslim-majority district in Haryana and has the highest proportion of Muslims outside Kashmir in North India. The Hindu nationalists want to change the demographic profile of this area. The pre-planned riots in Nuh spell out the long-term goals of Hindu nationalists. Now, most mosques in the region are under threat. The government has already demolished more than 200 Muslim homes. Hundreds of Muslim youth are under arrest. The Hindu nationalists have forced hundreds of families to flee. They have burnt and looted hundreds of Muslim businesses. The Hindu nationalist leaders who gave the call of violent action against Muslims have the protection of authorities and roam free, inciting Hindus.

All this occurs before a world audience that does not stop talking about human rights and dignity. Does it mean that the world has accepted the idea of a Hindu supremacist India? It seems that evil is more powerful than good in the short run. But, the price of ignoring the evil is being paid by innocent people worldwide, who do not know for what sins or crimes they are being punished.

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