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Ma­jori­tar­i­an vi­o­lence is slow­ly tear­ing In­dia apart

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In India, the new year started with a perverse attack on the country’s Muslims. On January 1, photographs of more than 100 Muslim women appeared on an app called Bulli Bai, with the claim that they were “for sale as maids”. Prominent journalists, actresses and activists were among those who were targeted.

The apparent attempt to sexualise, humiliate and force into silence politically active and socially prominent Muslim women understandably enraged India’s 200-million-strong Muslim community. After significant backlash, the app was taken down, and several arrests were made in relation to the incident.

But this was only the latest in a string of Islamophobic incidents in India.

On the last day of 2021, for example, a leading national daily ran an overtly Islamophobic ad which was funded by the government of Uttar Pradesh – India’s most populous state. Just a few weeks earlier, several far-right Hindu leaders openly called for genocide against Muslims at a three-day religious summit held in northern India’s Haridwar city.

Also in December, India’s far-right Prime Minister Narendra Modi made connections between Muslim figures from India’s distant history and current-day “terrorism and religious extremism” in two of his public speeches, implying that India’s Muslims should be held responsible and punished for the alleged crimes committed by their “ancestors”.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who belongs to the governing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), declared that the state’s upcoming assembly election can be described as “80 versus 20 percent”, not so subtly hinting that he perceives the state elections as a battle between the Hindus, who make up 80 percent of the state’s population, and the 20 percent Muslim minority.

The anti-Muslim propaganda perpetrated by India’s elected and unelected leaders in 2021 has also been supported by the country’s brazenly Islamophobic media, as well as anti-Muslim laws and policies passed or proposed in many states.

Muslims in India have been feeling under threat since the Hindu nationalist BJP came to power in 2014. But in the past year, hostility towards this community became even more overt. Today, far-right........

© Al Jazeera

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