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Modi Regime done irreparable harm to Indian secularism and harmony, says civil society report

NEW DELHI: Indian civil society Anhad (Act Now for harmony and Democracy) has issued a report stating that the rights of minorities along with civil societies in India have been trampled upon with impunity.

Anhad, in its report named “365 Days – Democracy and Secularism Under The Modi Regime” stated that the strategy or targeting minorities and civil society and organization has changed as it gains the attention of the international media attention. It states that a carefully planned high-intensity localized violence mixed with high-pitched hate campaigns is used across the country to divide the people and further target the minorities.

“In order to weaken the India democracy, the administrative, legal, scientific and educational, structures created during the past sixty year have either been demolished or tempered. The onslaught has left these institutions permanently damaged and show the direction in which the present regime is likely to push the country”, the report states.

Anhad also mentions in its report that the harm done in the past year to India’s culture of secularism, communal harmony and freedom of expression may be beyond repair with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP ministers, and the top officials of the Sangh Parivar moving fast in reforming policy, people and programmes in education, social security and the protection of religious and ethnic minorities.

It also writes that the interference with the judicial system threatens to exclude the one option that is left to the citizens to challenge and stop the trend.

“The welfare network is rapidly being demolished, many policies changed at the behest of the corporate sector”, the report mentions.

Anhad writes that the analysis of the civil society regarding the situation from May 2014 to May 2015 highlights a faultless incorporation and adoption of the policies of the extremist organization Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh is dominated by the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP). This led to almost total impunity, seen in the failure to act in cases of speeches by RSS leaders inciting violence against Muslims and Christians.

It was also written in the report that perpetrators of violence and riots have been identified despite the remarks made against television while not a single politician or RSS activist have been punished.

“The RSS general secretary, Mr. Mohan Bhagwat, has continued to make outrageous speeches targeting minorities. In June he was given z-Class security cover, at par with that given to the Home Minister of India”, the report states.

The report also states that the security forces and law enforcement agencies have either ignored or overlooked the hate speeches against Muslims and Christians while they have also been complicits in the crimes against minorities.

“Never in free India has the public discourse been so poisoned by MPs and ministers of the elected ruling alliance. BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj labels madrassas as ‘hubs of terror’ and exhorts Hindu women to bear four children. He calls Nathuram Godse, Gandhi’s assassin, as a ‘patriot’ and ‘martyr’. Another BJP MP Yogi Adityanath says ‘for every Hindu converted, 100 Muslim girls will be converted as retaliation.’ A Shiv Sena MP force-feeds a Muslim canteen functionary during his roza fast. Another, Sanjay Raut, calls for the disenfranchisement of Muslims”

“At least 43 deaths, 212 cases targeting Christians and 175 cases targeting Muslims, 234 cases of Hate Speech have been recorded between 26th May 2014 and June 2015, marking almost one year of the National Development Alliance government of Mr. Narendra Modi. The number of dead is other than the 108 killed in Assam in attacks on Muslims by armed tribal political groups”, the statement reads.

It also stated that 113 incidents of communal violence were reported in first few weeks since the BJP government took charge. Fifteen 15 people were killed and 318 others were injured in the first two weeks in the riots.

It was also mentioned that organizations like INSAF, People’s Watch, Sabrang Trust, Citizens for Justice and Peace, Greenpeace India among others were targeted, maligned and harassed through planning while several others have been subject to direct and indirect intimidation and their officials have been targeted individually as well.

“There are serious efforts to undermine diversity and pluralism and convert India into a mono-cultural, standardized society. Should the idea of cultural chauvinism and nationalism succeed, it would be nothing short of a death knell for all that India stands for” it states.

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