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Monday Apr 23 2018
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Indian activist claims raping Muslim women part of BJP ideology

LONDON: Indian activist and writer Amrit Wilson has said the rape culture under Narendra Modi’s government is celebrated by ministers and activists of the extremist Bharati Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Amrit Wilson, a writer on race and South Asia who is one of the leaders of South Asia Solidarity Group (UK), wrote for The Guardian as Modi arrived in Britain to take part in the Commonwealth summit. His article that calls India a “republic of fear” has been shared extensively on the internet. 

The article highlights crimes against women in India, including two violent rapes in Kathua in Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir and Unnao in Uttar Pradesh. The twin rape cases have particularly rocked India; Modi was greeted by thousands of protestors in London who condemned his government for not taking action about the culture of rape.

Wilson, in the article, says it would be wrong to see the twin rape incidents as simply a part of violence against the women which has been an "endemic in India." The activist states that the rapes were planned and executed to terrorise and drive out from the region, the Muslim Bakarwal community, to which the victim belonged.

"The attempt to lodge the charge sheet against the accused at a local court was followed by violent protests in their defence by a pro-Modi Hindu rightwing outfit, the Hindu Ekta Manch. Two BJP ministers attended the protests and urged the crowd to obstruct the prosecution of the accused," reads the article.

The Guardian piece says the Unnao case that a BJP member of UP's legislative assembly was arrested on charges of raping a 16-year-old girl.   

Upon a protest by the victim's family, her father was brutally beaten up by the accused MLA's supporters, resulting in the man's death in custody.

In an interview with Geo.tv, Wilson said the attacks on women have always taken place in India and elsewhere but “a new phenomenon has emerged under Modi where not only rape culture is rife, it is celebrated and promoted by the perpetrators. This is new. Rapes happened before but there was no celebration of it”.

Wilson said she, through her article, she wanted to tell the world that the BJP is a fascist party. She said that founders and ideologues of the BJP such as Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar and Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, the revered icon of the Hindu right, praised Hitler and his policies. Savarkar has said that Muslim women should be raped and “it will be suicidal if they are not raped,” said Wilson.

Wilson further said: “If such writings and thoughts are part of the BJP and RSS politics then you can imagine what’s happening. Modi is an RSS member since young age, the is a lifelong member of RSS. Savarkar was it’s ideologue and Golwalkar was its founder. A meeting took place around two years ago in which a BJP leader said that Muslim women should be raped. He said about a dead and buried Muslim women that she should be pulled out of the grave and raped. Yogi Adityanath chaired that meeting and remained silent.”

The Indian activist stresses that people should understand that these people are “fascists” and their policies have gained popularity since the destruction of Babri Mosque. 

“The BJP has risen since then. It has turned out to be a party that’s neo-liberal, good with big business, good with big corporates but entrenched in Hindutva. Its popularity has gone up. If you look at the BJP from outside, you see it as a modern party its modernism is linked with fascism. It’s a dichotomy. It's new politics.”

In the article, Wilson says that the Hindutva hate brigade is the BJP’s core constituency and the BJP leadership relies on this constituency for its politics of communalism and hate.

The activist has said Modi’s popularity has gone down and there are agitations almost daily in India. 

She added: “People in India want change. They are unhappy with the Modi government. If free and fair elections are held today, Modi will lose.”