Indian Prime Minister Modi accused of hate speech after statements in which he described Muslims as “invaders”

In a country of 1.4 billion people, about 80% consider themselves Hindu. About 14% of them are Muslim, but this is still a group of more than 200 million people. This makes India the third largest Muslim community in the world.

India has long been known as a country where religious freedom is highly valued. Since Modi came to power in 2014, discrimination based on religion has increased sharply. The Prime Minister pursues a policy of Hindu nationalism, which favors the country's Hindu population over Muslims and Christians.

There is a general feeling of fear among Muslims. Van de Weghe also saw this while passing through the country. “Muslims I spoke to here last week testify that they are afraid because the number of attacks has increased sharply in recent years. There are extrajudicial killings, mosques are being demolished, and entire Muslim neighborhoods must be made way.”

“The uproar surrounding Modi's comments certainly adds to the tensions that already exist during the election,” says van de Weghe. “In Rajasthan (where Modi delivered his speech), Mr. Dr.) I was prevented from photographing near mosques inside the election area. Interviews with Muslims are also not permitted. The police are also present en masse to suppress possible riots.”

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Denton Watson

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