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Adityanath Always Flaunted His Bigotry, Now His War on Minorities Is in Full Swing

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What is going on in Uttar Pradesh? The constitution of India, at least in principle, still applies to the state. No emergency has been imposed.

Yet its saffron-clad chief minister, with his career of toxic runaway hate mobilisation including raising a Hindu youth militia, is running the state like a Hindu Rashtra, reducing the constitution of India to a dead letter.

Running parallel to his open war against Muslims is a subterranean current of lower-caste intimidation and terror facilitated by his administration. Weeks after Adityanath became chief minister, Thakurs of his Rajput caste torched 50 Dalit homes to punish them for erecting a statue of Ambedkar in Saharanpur.

The recent brutal gang-rape and murder of a 19-year old Dalit girl in Hathras stirred the conscience of the nation not just for the numbing savagery of the attack, but because of the administration’s brazen bid to protect the alleged perpetrators of the Thakur caste and to shamefully crush the girl’s family.

Adityanath is a leader who flaunts his bigotry like a badge of honour. Never one to disguise his hatred for Indian Muslims, one of his first decisions after entering office was to crack down on the meat trade by closing ‘illegal’ slaughterhouses. His objective was to annihilate the livelihoods of poor Muslims engaged in the trade; he was indifferent to the collateral damage of lakhs of Dalits who also suffered gravely.

His speeches, animated with Islamophobia continue unabated, as does his weaponisation of law and the police for overtly majoritarian political ends. During the lockdown, several districts imposed a ‘ban’ on azaan, the Islamic call to prayer, which was later overturned by the Allahabad high court. Tablighi Jamaat members were quarantined for no scientific reason........

© The Wire

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