For India’s Muslims, palpable fear of what another Modi term brings – By Rana Ayyub

Last week, as results started trickling in from India’s election, I was in Stockholm, delivering a keynote speech on the power of journalism in India. I was speaking to a crowd of 400 Swedish journalists and academics about Indian democracy, its secular character and the importance of investigative journalism under a strongman such as Narendra Modi, when my phone started to beep. It was a text from my brother: “Modi has won with a massive majority.”

My thoughts drifted as I gazed at the audience, wondering if my words – or career as a journalist in India – had any significance. As an investigative reporter, covering the politics of Mr. Modi for more than a decade, I have had a front-row seat watching him dehumanize India’s Muslim population. In 2002, roughly 1,000 Muslims were butchered in the Hindu-Muslim riots in the state of Gujarat, which was under Mr. Modi’s leadership.

As a 19-year-old relief worker at the time, I spent days in the relief camps after the riots, watching women who had been traumatized by rape, children who had witnessed the death of their family members. Each relief camp was representative of the hate that had been peddled by leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party leading to the carnage. In one of his speeches, Mr. Modi spoke about dismantling the relief camps: “Should we run relief camps, open child-producing centres?” The question was a direct reference to Muslim women and children who were affected by the anti-Muslim riots.…

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-for-indias-muslims-palpable-fear-of-what-another-modi-term-brings/

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