Genocide Watch warns India on path of communal riots

Jan 16. 2022: A genocide of Muslims is imminent in India, the same expert who warned about the Rwanda massacre of 1994, years before it actually tanspired, has warned.

Gregory Stanton, founder and director of Genocide Watch, said in a briefing to the US Congress that the Indian state of Assam and Indian-administered Kashmir had “early signs and symptoms” of genocide.

Since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders openly demanded genocide of Muslims and persecution of other minorities by Hindu extremists led by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Singh (RSS), India has entered a critical phase of sectarian strife.

Indian and foreign media reports of massacres of Muslims and Dalits, destruction of churches, trolling of clerics, arrest of workers, harassment of movie stars, persecution of minorities, violation of fundamental rights, distortion of history, capturing social media through hate speech and fake news and propaganda and vigilance are all events that point to communal strife for the country.

A few days ago in a congressional briefing by Dr. Gregory Stanton, President of Genocide Watch, warned that if strict action was not taken by the Government of India, something akin to Rwanda’s inhumane genocide could happen in India a well.

“We are warning that genocide could very well happen in India,” Stanton said, speaking on behalf of the non-governmental organisation he launched in 1999 to predict, prevent, stop and seek accountability for the crime.

Stanton said the genocide was not an incident but a slow act and drew parallels between the policies of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2017 and the Myanmar government’s discriminatory policies against Rohingya Muslims.

Among the policies he cited was the abolition of special sovereignty of Indian-administered Kashmir in 2019 – which deprived Kashmiris of seven decades of special sovereignty – and the same year the Citizenship Amendment Act, which Gave citizenship to religious minorities but excluded Muslims.

Stanton said the Hindutva ideology was “against the history of India and the Indian Constitution” and referred to Modi as an “extremist” who has taken over the government. In 1989, Stanton said he had warned then-Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana that “if you do nothing to stop the genocide in your country, there will be genocide in five years.” 

The initial warning signs were followed in 1994 by the massacre of 800,000 Tutsis and other Rwandans.

The group began warning of genocide in India in 2002, when a three-day period of inter-communal violence in the western Indian state of Gujarat resulted in the killing of more than 1,000 Muslims.

Other experts have condemned the increasing attacks on Muslim shopkeepers and businesses by Hindu extremist groups. In November, Hindu extremists set fire to the home of Salman Khurshid, a former Muslim foreign minister, who compared Hindu nationalism, which flourished under Modi, to “extremist groups” such as ISIS.

The Supreme Court has ordered an inquiry into hate speech in the state of Uttarakhand over videos of mass killings of Hindu religious leaders and calls for the use of weapons against Muslims that went viral on social media last month.

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