BBC documentary and western hypocrisy  

The BJP can’t stand Modi’s role in the Gujarat genocide

That Narendra Modi is the butcher of Gujarat, the fact that was denied, is now disseminated by a BBC documentary. The UK government was aware of Modi’s ethnic cleansing, still they did not take any stand against him. Modi was even blocked from entering the USA because of the Gujarat genocide, till he became the Prime Minister of India, which was considered as a linchpin to US foreign policy in Asia. Later, India with the same Prime Minister Modi became a key ally of the USA in the South Asian region. The BJP has banned the BBC documentary and censored the social media posts. It is using emergency powers to block the airing of the documentary in India. Those who were airing the documentary were met with brutal treatment from the fascist regime. One of the universities which was screening the documentary, faced opposition from the authorities, which allegedly cut the power and internet lines to the university.

The documentary claims that in the Gujarat Genocide 2002, Modi was the Chief Minister, and systematically planned the genocide along with explicit involvement of state institutions. He ordered the police to turn a blind eye and not to intervene. The violence was politically motivated to purge Muslims from Hindu areas. The Godhra train incident was taken as an erupting point of Gujarat genocide, which was later proved to be the result of an accidental fire. The BBC documentary claims that even if the Godhra train incident had not happened, Modi would get another excuse to initiate the Gujarat genocide.

In his quest for Hindu Raj, he brutalized and victimized Muslims in India in collaboration with the police machinery. He created a climate of impunity for mob attacks by maintaining unperturbed precarious silence on such incidents, thus enabling violence, as riots were impossible without the climate of impunity. The British broadcaster said it used a “wide range of voices, witnesses and experts” for the film, including “responses from people in the BJP”. They offered the Indian government the right to respond to the issues raised in the documentary but they refused to respond.

The second episode of the documentary highlights how mob culture against Muslims was made to flourish under the BJP regime. His politics revolves around instigating hatred and bigotry against minorities by hate speeches stirring them to mob vigilantism. People’s lives are at stake because they are Muslim, Christian or Dalit. They are not sure the very next moment they will be targeted for eating meat, talking to a Hindu girl, or being the child of a lesser god coming across the superior caste. The threat of violence is lingering on them making their lives insecure. Modi’s vote bank comprises the emotionally driven people whose support he gains before the elections by subjugating Muslims minorities particularly or by launching false flag operations against India’s nuclear neighbour, Pakistan. The mob culture strengthened under the BJP regime has threatened the very identity and nature of India.

The documentary also highlighted the systemized efforts of the BJP to make the Muslims stateless by introducing the Citizenship Amendment Act. They were creating refugees inside the state by denying them citizenship. The students who were protesting against the Act were meted with violence and vandalism. Politicians were threatening the protesters, towing political lines to please the BJP.

This documentary and the BJP government’s response illustrated that India is no more a democracy and has become a place where there is no place for dissenting voices. As per V-DEM report 2022, India has turned into an electoral autocracy. India has become a majoritarian state where the social fabric for minorities is shrinking. As UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, humanity is just one misunderstanding and one miscalculation away from nuclear inhalation. The West that claims to be the sole upholder of a rule-based international order is serving its interests as regards human rights violations.

This fascist regime wants to accommodate Hindus and disenfranchise Muslims to make India a Hindu nation working on Akhand Bharat ideology. In Delhi’s 2020 protests, police instead of protecting all of India’s people, were on the Hindu side throwing stones at Muslims. The Amnesty International report on this human rights violation by police was denied by the Delhi police calling it biased and malicious. The videos of police beating protesters to death went viral, but still no action was taken against them.

This documentary and the BJP government’s response illustrated that India is no more a democracy and has become a place where there is no place for dissenting voices. As per V-DEM report 2022, India has turned into an electoral autocracy. India has become a majoritarian state where the social fabric for minorities is shrinking. As UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, humanity is just one misunderstanding and one miscalculation away from nuclear inhalation. The West that claims to be the sole upholder of a rule-based international order is serving its interests as regards human rights violations.

Syeda Tahreem Bukhari
Syeda Tahreem Bukhari
The writer is Research Officer at Center for International Strategic Studies (CISS), AJK

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