Alarming Rise in Anti-Muslim Hate Speech in India

Alarming Rise in Anti-Muslim Hate Speech in India

Feb 26 India Standard

A concerning trend documented by the Washington-based research group India Hate Lab reveals a 62% increase in anti-Muslim hate speech in India during the second half of 2023 compared to the first six months. This translates to 668 incidents throughout the year, with a staggering 413 occurring in the latter half. Notably, 75% of these incidents transpired in states governed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Hindu nationalist party led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. States like Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh witnessed the highest occurrences.

Furthermore, the report identifies the Israel-Gaza conflict as a contributing factor to the surge in anti-Muslim hate speech. With tensions escalating between October 7th and December 31st, 2023, around 20% of documented hate speech incidents against Indian Muslims explicitly mentioned the conflict. This finding raises concerns about the potential for external events to exacerbate existing societal tensions and fuel discrimination against minority groups.

These findings align with the concerns raised by various human rights groups regarding the treatment of minorities under the current administration. These concerns include the discriminatory nature of the 2019 citizenship law, the anti-conversion legislation seen as infringing on the right to freedom of belief, the controversial revocation of special status for Muslim-majority Kashmir in 2019, and instances of demolition of Muslim properties and the hijab ban in some regions. While the Modi government denies accusations of minority abuse and claims its policies benefit all Indians, the data presented by India Hate Lab suggests a different reality. Addressing the root causes of this animosity and fostering inclusivity remain crucial steps in ensuring the safety and well-being of all Indian citizens, regardless of their religious background.


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