With increasing indications of violence against Muslims, we cannot allow this in sports event to impact our country’s global reputation positively. In the upcoming spring, India is set to witness its most significant general elections in history – a competition that will determine whether India is moving towards extremism and authoritarianism or returning to its rich pluralistic traditions.
Although the elections might not take place until April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign is set to kick off this year in October when India hosts the cricket World Cup. Cricket prides itself on impartiality and excellence. However, it is essential to note that Modi is not only an opponent of India’s democratic institutions and the rule of law but also a leader who has orchestrated attacks on India’s minority communities.
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Those closely monitoring events are discussing the possibility of genocide against India’s 200 million Muslims. There is no reason to believe that they are being alarmists. Early warning signs of genocide are present in India, where Muslims live in fear for their future. In many regions, they are subject to violence and lynching by fanatic mobs. In Assam, nearly 20 lakh people lost their citizenship, rendering them stateless. On Tuesday, an Imam lost his life in an attack by right-wing Hindu extremists on a mosque in the outskirts of New Delhi. Such incidents have become commonplace.
Emerging indications of mass annihilation
Ever since India’s military occupied Jammu and Kashmir in 2019, it has stripped the region of its autonomous status.
Gregory Stanton, the President of Genocide Watch, predicted the 1994 Rwandan genocide five years before it happened. Last year, he stated that “early warning signs of genocide are present in India.” Stanton drew parallels between the situation in India and Myanmar before the atrocities occurred.
According to a report by George Town University’s Bridge Initiative, India has reached the eighth stage of genocide out of ten, with signs of the ninth stage “becoming more visible.”
Aggression motivated by Islamophobia
Comparing the World Cup hosted by Modi this fall in India to Adolf Hitler’s infamous 1936 Berlin Olympics is not entirely unwarranted. Hitler’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, sought to turn the Olympic Games into a political event. The rest of the world complied, sending a message to the German population that Hitler was a person worthy of global recognition.
It is essential to note that Modi received his political education in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), an ultra-nationalist organization with around 600,000 members. Established in 1925 and influenced by European fascist movements, it advocates for Hindu nationalism, centered around the idea that Indian Muslims are a foreign threat. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), currently in power, is its political arm.
However, in 2006, the RSS disowned a book by Golwalkar, but today, he is revered among RSS members. Nathuram Godse, a Hindu nationalist who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi in January 1948, is also gaining increasing attention.
The rise in anti-Muslim violence in India is reminiscent of the 1936 Berlin Olympics when some people had a vision of the Holocaust that would begin in 1941. Now, some signs point to the possibility of genocide in India.
This is a moral emergency, and so far, nobody seems to be paying attention. American President Joe Biden, a leader of the free world, welcomed Modi to Washington recently like a hero. The UK isn’t any better. As demonstrated earlier this year, when Prime Minister Rishi Sunak tried to protest the possible genocide of an Islamic religious site in Gujarat, he was surrounded by Muslim protesters and physically attacked.
The situation is deteriorating day by day. Last month, Muslims protesting against the potential destruction of an Islamic religious site in Gujarat were encircled and publicly beaten.