wo days before the anti-Muslim riots began in Delhi this week, a member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet said Muslims should have been sent to Pakistan in 1947 during the partition of India.
Giriraj Singh, Minister for Animal Husbandry and Fisheries in the Modi Government, said “It is the time to commit ourselves to the nation. Before 1947, [Muhammad Ali] Jinnah pushed for an Islamic nation. It was a big lapse by our ancestors that we’re paying the price for. If at that time Muslim brothers had been sent there and Hindus brought here, we wouldn’t be in this situation.”
Shortly after one lawmaker attempted to rewrite our history, another made a call to arms. A legislator in Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, Kapil Mishra, made a provocative speech in New Delhi standing next to a high-ranking police official, in which he condemned the Shaheen Bagh protestors demonstrating against the discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Bill that threatens the existence of the 200 million strong Muslim population in India. Either the cops must clear them out, he said, or we will take things into our own hands.Communal Violence Over India’s Citizenship Law Leaves 13 Dead as Trump and Modi TalkHindus carrying pickaxes and iron rods hurled rocks at Muslims protesting a new citizenship law Tuesday on a second day of deadly clashes that cast a shadow over President Donald Trump’s visit to India.SharePlay Video
Within hours, many did. Mobs, some carrying saffron flags, vandalized mosques and set fire to properties belonging to Muslims. In one, an 85-year-old woman was burned alive while the mob outside chanted Jai Shri Ram, a Hindu devotional that has become a racist dog whistle against Muslims.
As hate festered in the national capital, the Narendra Modi government that has ignored hate speech by countless legislators and ministers in the last six years was busy hosting United States President Donald Trump in Ahmedabad. As I write this, the official number of those killed has reached 42, a majority of them Muslims. It took three days for our Prime Minister to issue a statement while his backyard was burning.