Modi Planned the Muslims’ Genocide in Gujrat 

It was the template now used in all of India

Indian fanatic Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the leader of the extremist ruling BJP, had got a landslide victory in the 2014 Indian General elections. During the election-campaign, THE Hindu majority was mobilized on ‘hate-Muslim’ slogans and ‘anti-Pakistan’ jargon. Again, on the basis of especially anti-Muslims slogans, the BJP won huge majority in the Lok Sabha in the 2019 Indian general elections, with 21 seats more than it won in 2014.

The Muslim community in India had felt alienated, frightened and perturbed, as most of them were also effectively disenfranchised. Implementing the Hindutva ideology (Hindu nationalism) against the religious minorities, the Modi-led regime particularly targeted the Muslims.

As Hindu nationalism grows in India, the Modi-led BJP’s policies and practices in Gujarat state have served as a model for systemic, nationwide discrimination against the minorities, especially Muslims. So, keeping Modi’s past and present record, it can be predicted easily that Indian minorities will face further persecution and barbarity at the hands of Hindu extremists and more incidents of Gujarat-like riots will take place, if Modi remains in power

In this regard, various developments like unprecedented rise of Hindu extremism, persecution of  the Muslims, assaults on them, including their places of worships and property by the extremist Hindu mobs, ban on beef and cow slaughter, application of the laws— the Indian Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 (CAA), the National Register of Citizens (NRC) on Muslims, abrogation of the special status of the disputed territory of Indian Occupied Kashmir  on 5 August 2019, revocation of articles 35A and 370 of the Constitution, bifurcation of Indian Occupied Kashmir  into two territories to be ruled directly by New Delhi, continued lockdown there, deployment of more than 900,000 military troops who have martyred thousands of innocent Kashmiris through brutal tactics, amendment of the law, allowing Indian citizens to buy land in Indian Occupied Kashmir  and issuance of domicile certificates to more than 800,000 non-Kashmiris, clearly show that, encouraged by the Hindu fundamentalist groups such as BJP, RSS VHP, Bajrang Dal and Shiv Sena, and other similar parties, Modi-led government have been promoting religious and ethnic chauvinism in India against the Muslims.

In fact, Modi was already following biased policies against the Muslim community. In this regard, the 2002 Gujarat riots were a three-day period of communal violence in the BJP-ruled Indian state of Gujarat by extremist Hindus under the guidance and command of Prime Minister Modi, who was then chief minister of Gujarat and masterminded the Muslims’ genocide in Gujrat.

Regarding that massive genocide, both Human Rights Watch in 2002 and Amnesty International in 2003 charged the “Gujarat state administration” for involvement in “a massive cover-up of the state’s role in that massacres” and pointed out numerous police officials— specifically ministers, high officials and leaders of the fundamentalist outfits such as RSS, VHP, BJP and Bajrang Dal, as participants.

In this respect, Rana Ayyub in her book, Gujarat Files-Anatomy of A Cover-up and Manoj Mitha in his book, The Fiction of Fact Finding, and Sreekumar in his book Gujarat behind the Curtain have proved Modi’s involvement in the genocide of the Muslims in Gujarat.

In this context, in an open letter published in The Guardian on 10 April 2014, it was pointed out that even most well-respected international intellectuals of India held Modi as the main culprit behind the massacre of Muslims in Gujarat.

According to Ashish Nandy, “The Gujarat pogroms were not just about the number of helpless victims killed (over 3000) and rendered homeless (several hundred thousands). It was about the sheer planning, the brutality, the maniacal genocide that was perpetrated over a population for days on end…Narendra Modi did not only shamelessly preside over the riots and act as the chief patron of rioting gangs, the vulgarities of his utterances have been a slur on civilised public life…If Modi’s behaviour till now is not a crime against humanity, what is?”

In this connection, following Gujarat riots in 2002 and state collusion, the US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) established that the then Gujarat Chief Minister Modi was linked to communal riots in a significant way. It also pointed to Modi’s ministerial colleague Maya Kodnani’s full involvement in the massacre of Muslims. Following its findings, the Commission recommended a US visa ban for Modi.

Notably, a report of the British High Commission in India had said that the programmes in Gujarat “had all the hallmarks of ethnic cleansing…this massacre was planned, possibly months in advance, carried out by extremist Hindu organisations with the support of the state government headed by Modi.”

Meanwhile, various investigations failed to reveal the real criminals of Hindu terrorism in Gujarat, as they were top officials of the Indian government. Hence, the Supreme Court of India had ordered a fresh probe on 25 March 2008, but the same remains inconclusive due to concealment of evidence against the culprits who are members of the dominating political parties of the country. Since the BJP-led Modi became Indian prime minister, covert interference by his regime and by the extremist parties, BJP and RSS, have meant the investigations of Gujarat riots have been kept under the carpet.

Despite eyewitness testimony, implicating the highest elected political officials, justice continues to evade the victims. In this connection, 70 accused persons of the Gujarat pogroms were set free by the court. On 28 January 2020, the Supreme Court granted bail to 14 convicts of the 2002 Gujarat riots. Thus, it gave a clean chit to Modi.

While the USA had denied visa to Modi owing to his involvement in Gujarat genocide, after he became prime minister, the stance of the US government changed in his favour. It shows the double standard of the USA.

It is surprising that theoretically, the Indian Constitution safeguards the rights of minorities, but in practice, the ideology of Hindutva prevails. The Hindu majority led by the BJP has shown complete disregard for them, and committed excesses and cruelties against Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and Dalits with impunity.

It is of particular note that Modi, the then Chief Minister of Gujarat who planned and led the Muslim massacre, has reportedly destroyed all the documents related to the 2002 genocide of the Muslims.

As Hindu nationalism grows in India, the Modi-led BJP’s policies and practices in Gujarat state have served as a model for systemic, nationwide discrimination against the minorities, especially Muslims. So, keeping Modi’s past and present record, it can be predicted easily that Indian minorities will face further persecution and barbarity at the hands of Hindu extremists and more incidents of Gujarat-like riots will take place, if Modi remains in power.

Sajjad Shaukat
Sajjad Shaukat
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations and can be reached at [email protected]

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