The Rise of a Hindu Vigilante in the Age of WhatsApp and Modi – By Mohammad Ali

https://www.wired.com/story/indias-frightening-descent-social-media-terror/

On rare occasions, the Indian government – which prides itself on visions of universal digital literacy, online services, and biometrical identity schemes – still conducts certain official communications by radiogram.… And so it was that on December 31, 2015, the superintendent of the jail in Muzaffarnagar District, Uttar Pradesh, received a copy of a radiogram from India’s Ministry of Home Affairs, marked “urgent.”

The message concerned a particular inmate named Vivek Premi, a local jeweler’s son who had recently spent his 22nd birthday behind bars. In the summer of 2015, Premi had accosted a 42-year-old Muslim laborer named Mohammed Reyaz in the nearby town of Shamli.… Together with a crew of his fellow militants, Premi bound Reyaz’s hands behind his back and paraded him through the most crowded market street in Shamli. A large mob formed, smartphones at the ready, as Premi beat the man into semiconsciousness and flogged him with a belt for more than an hour.…

District authorities arrested Premi and invoked a law called the National Security Act… For months, Premi sat in jail. But now, with a radiogram from Delhi, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s central government was stepping in. As it happens, the street fighters of the Bajrang Dal share a parent organization with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP. Both militia and political front were spawned by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a right-wing paramilitary volunteer organization that advances the cause of Hindutva – an ideology that aims to refashion India into a state for Hindus.…

SEE ALSO

Rana Ayyub: Reclaiming India from the Fascists – By Meara Sharma (Spring 2020, Adi Magazine)

Hindu Nationalism is Ravaging India’s Democracy – By Jasyson (Apr 18, 2020, The Armenian Reporter)

Hedgewar had hired Christian teachers to train the RSS – By Dinesh Narayanan (Apr 12, 2020, The Print)

To be Secular or not: Stop India’s Hindutva Juggernaut – By Sardar Masood Khan (Apr 15, 2020, Global Village Space)https://www.globalvillagespace.com/to-be-secular-or-not-stop-indias-hindutva-juggernaut/

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