INDIA’S Muslims are hurting.
Modi’s re-election last year left many in fear that it was only a matter of time before they were at the receiving end of quasi-fascistic policies.
And now, more than 40 people have been left dead at the time of writing.
Amid a visit from President Trump – Modi’s strong ally – Muslim-owned shops and businesses have been attacked and burned to the ground.
And much like in the Gujurat Riots, which Modi famously oversaw – the security forces have stood by and watched.
Tensions have been rising ever since the planned introduction of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) threatened to treat Muslims as second-class citizens.
Clashes between supporters and opponents have now boiled over into full-blown riots.
However, under Modi, it is one side which has the tacit approval and power to crush the other.
The violence has led to condemnation from many international human rights groups.
To quell the dissent – both domestically and the global outrage – Home Minister Amit Shah will visit Kolkata tomorrow.
Though it is intended to “clear up confusion” around the Citizenship Amendment Act, sources have claimed it will be met by mass demonstrations.
A Kolkata source told Redaction Politics: “There was a number of rallies here, yesterday (Friday – 28th), but life has not been largely affected at ground level. Some friends who live in Central Delhi have been unaffected by the mobs, and violence.
“From what I am made to the understand, by friends, it’s largely the areas of Delhi which border the state of Uttar Pradesh, as well as the major hubs of protests which have faced the brunt of the violence.
“This violence, I must add, has been fuelled directly by hate speech and incitation on part of BJP members like Kapil Mishra – who called for people to take to the streets to teach the so called traitors a lesson, and Anurag Thakur – who had earlier said “Desh k gaddaro ko, goli maro salo ko”, which translates to – ‘Kill the traitors of the nation with bullets.’
“There is supposed to be at least one rally in opposition to Amit Shah’s visit to Kolkata.
“CPM (Communist Party) leader Mohammad Salim has called for people to rally in protest.”
The left in India may have been decimated at the ballot box, but grassroots groups are, arguably, more important than ever against government-sponsored fascism.
A spokesperson from Socialist Movement told Redaction Politics: “The government administration has utterly failed to protect the Muslims and to ensure the safety of the anti-CAA protestors who are exercising their democratic rights.
“We the people must act! Democratic Defence Committees must be set up to all across India to ensure the safety and the protection of the Muslim community.
“The left-wing parties, progressive organisations, trade unions, students unions must coordinate with the Shaheen Baghs and the anti-CAA protestors across the country and organise the *defence committees with organisers from all religions and ethnicity.
“Trade unions must come forward and must prepare to take political action against the communal divisive agenda of the Hindutva forces.
“The left-wing parties and workers organisations across the country must join hands with students, activists and ordinary people against the police brutality and should call for action against the National Population Register (NPR) and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
The spokesperson said India’s communist parties “should organise democratic defence committees to resist the hindutuva forces and to ensure the safety of the Muslim communities.
He added: “After 4 straight days of riots the death toll from the Delhi violence rose to 34. And over 200 injured. Muslim homes and shops being targeted by violent mobs.
“Hindutuva mobs are beating unarmed men, including journalists in Delhi the capital city!
“We cannot let this go on.
“We cannot rely on these capitalist parties like Congress or Aam Aadmi Party to safeguard the ordinary people.
“The establishment parties have utterly failed to counter the RSS & it’s Hindutuva agenda!”
Tensions will continue to boil over in the coming weeks, with major global nations – usually allies – failing to come out and condemn the state-sponsored violence.
A Foreign Office spokesperson told Redaction Politics: “Any individual killed in a protest is one too many.
“We urge restraint from all parties involved and trust the Indian government to address the concerns of people of all religions.”
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