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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 5/24/19

India's "Far Right, Hate Filled" 2019 Election Results Puts 200 Million Muslims in Danger

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Shri Narendra Modi's addressed the 'Vijay Sankalp Abhiyan' rally at Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh
Shri Narendra Modi's addressed the 'Vijay Sankalp Abhiyan' rally at Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh
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These are some of the headlines of leading newspapers about the landslide victory of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party securing a commanding parliamentary majority in the largest democratic exercise in history.

- Washington Post: Modi's win is a victory for a form of religious nationalism that views India as a fundamentally Hindu nation and seeks to jettison the secularism promoted by the country's founders.

- The Guardian: Indian politics has likely entered a new era of Hindu nationalist hegemony fuelled by Modi's extraordinary popularity.

- New York Times: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is one of the most powerful and divisive leaders in India.

Media reports said that Indian-television estimates, and the official government tally showed, BJP and its allies were set to win more than 340 seats - a number that will allow them to form the majority in India's lower house of parliament.

Reuters said Modi's re-election reinforces a global trend of right-wing populists sweeping to victory, from the United States to Brazil and Italy, often after adopting harsh positions on protectionism, immigration and defense.

Nalin Kohli, a senior BJP official, claimed his party had picked up votes from Muslims, especially Muslim women:

"We are the party of power, we are the flavour of the season. It is the aspirations of 1 billion-plus people that have elected us."

Shri Narendra Modi addressed rallies across Uttar Pradesh
Shri Narendra Modi addressed rallies across Uttar Pradesh
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It is the first time in almost five decades that an Indian premier has been voted back with increased majority.

However, some of the BJB critics accusing it of making India a more divisive country, particularly for Muslims and other minorities, many are asking what happens next for India.

Professor Santosh Kumar Rai of Delhi University said:

"Certainly a second term means an ideological victory, even if it is more a personality cult. With a [BJP] majority, a rightist agenda with all the institutions of the state under its control, the party will be more likely to convert India into a majoritarian state."

The Guardian said the emphatic victory will be greeted with dismay among some members of religious minority groups, who have voiced fears that a returned BJP government would be further emboldened to prosecute its Hindu nationalist agenda.

A Modi victory puts 200 million Indian Muslims in danger

On Tuesday, The Nation published an article titled: "A Modi Victory Puts India's 200 Million Muslims in Danger." Writer of the article is Ruchira Gupta. He is a visiting professor at New York University and founder of the Indian anti-sex-trafficking organization, Apne Aap Women Worldwide. Ruchira Gupta writes:

"Thursday, India will announce election results that could put the country's 200 million Muslims in danger".Human Rights Watch reports that between May 2015 and December 2018, cow vigilantes lynched at least 44 people-including 36 Muslims-suspected of eating beef or trading in cattle. In one case in 2016, a group beat to death a Muslim cattle trader and a 12-year-old boy traveling to an animal fair in Jharkhand. Their badly bruised bodies were found hanging from a tree with their hands tied behind them. Instead of trying to keep Muslims safe, the government announced a national commission to protect cows in February 2019. Police often stalled prosecutions of the attackers, while several BJP politicians publicly justified the attacks. Commentators accuse Modi of normalizing bigotry by refusing to condemn such acts. The Pew Research Center has ranked India the fourth-worst country in the world for religious intolerance-after Syria, Nigeria, and Iraq."

Ruchira Gupta argues that for many ordinary Indians Modi's policies were an "economic nightmare". Between 2014 and 2016, 36,320 farmers killed themselves-an average of 33 suicides per day.

"A massive student and farmers movement grew, and Modi's government retaliated. Students and professors were falsely arrested, the press was muzzled, and members of the opposition were charged with corruption. One journalist, two writers, and a dissenting judge were killed".

Modi turned to Islamophobia

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Abdus-Sattar Ghazali Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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