Asia Religion World

Fri 24 December 2021:

Leaders of several far-right groups with ties to the ruling Narendra Modi’s government have called for ethnic cleansing of minorities in India, especially the country’s 200 million Muslims, in a three-day summit, according to local media and online videos of the event, sparking widespread outrage and calls for action against them.  

Between December 17 and 19, a large collection of major religious leaders, right-wing activists, hardline fundamentalist militants and Hindutva organisations came together at Haridwar for an event called the ‘Dharma Sansad’ or ‘Religious Parliament’. Over the course of three days, this event witnessed an extraordinary outpouring of hate speech, mobilisations to violence and anti-Muslim sentiment.

The event was also attended by BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay, who has previously been arrested for an event he helped organise where slogans were raised calling for violence against Muslims, and BJP Mahila Morcha leader Udita Tyagi, giving the event a level of political encouragement from the ruling party.

“We have to make preparations,” said Swami Prabodhanand Giri, president of the Hindu Raksha Sena, a right-wing organisation based out of Uttarakhand. “And I’ll tell you what preparations those are. I will make myself clear, this is the solution, and if you follow this solution, then the path is made for you… in Myanmar, Hindus were being chased away. The politicians, government and police were just standing and watching. They started by killing them by cutting their necks, and not only this, but they began to cut them in the streets and eat them. The people watching thought we are going to die, we are not going to live.”

Hindutva Leaders at Haridwar Event Call for Muslim Genocide

Swami Prabodhanand Giri, Sadhvi Annapurna aka Pooja Shakun Pandey and Swami Anandswaroop.

“This is our state now. You have seen this at the Delhi border, they killed Hindus and hung them. There is no more time, the case now is that either you prepare to die now, or get ready to kill, there’s no other way. This is why, like in Myanmar, the police here, the politicians here, the army and every Hindu must pick up weapons and we will have to conduct this cleanliness drive (safai abhiyan). There is no solution apart from this.”

The statements calling for ethnic cleansing and genocide are particularly alarming given Prabodhanand’s connections with the BJP.


At the just-concluded Dharam Sansad in Hardwar, Sadhvi Annapurna aka Pooja Shakun Pandey, a mahamandleshwar of the Niranjani Akhara and general secretary of the Hindu Mahasabha also gave a call to arms and incitement to genocide.

Without any ambiguity, she gave a direct call for the mass murder of Muslims.

“Nothing is possible without weapons. If you want to eliminate their population then kill them. Be ready to kill and be ready to go to jail. Even if 100 of us are ready to kill 20 lakhs of them (Muslims), then we will be victorious, and go to jail… Like [Nathuram] Godse, I am ready to be maligned, but I will pick up arms to defend my Hindutva from every demon who is a threat to my religion,” she said.

A third religious leader, Swami Anandswaroop, was also seen making genocidal statements. 

“The decision of this Dharma Sansad would be a word of God and the government will have to listen to it,” he said. “If it won’t, then we would wage a war that would be more gruesome than the revolt of 1857.”

He went on to explain through personal examples how Hindus should deal with Muslim street vendors. “The street in which I live, every morning I used to spot a Mullah [derogatory word for a Muslim] with a big beard and nowadays they keep a saffron beard. This is Haridwar, Maharaj. There is no Muslim buyer here, so throw him out,” he said.

Police File Case On  Hate Speech. One Person Named

The First Information Report — filed after a complaint by Trinamool Congress leader and RTI activist Saket Gokhale — names one Jitender Narayan, alias Waseem Rizvi, who was earlier the chairman of Shia Waqf board of Uttar Pradesh.  The FIR says he and others have given “derogatory and inflammatory statement against Islam” at the conclave.

Those who organised the event and gave the hate speeches maintain that they have done no wrong.

“I am not ashamed of what I have said. I am not afraid of police. I stand by my statement,” Hindu Raksha Sena’s Prabodhanand Giri — photographed often with BJP leaders including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his Uttarakhand counterpart Pushkar Dhami — told NDTV.

In one of the videos circulated on social media, he is heard advocating ethnic cleansing in the manner of Myanmar. “Like Myanmar, our police, our politicians, our Army and every Hindu must pick up weapons and conduct a Safayi Abhiyan (ethnic cleansing). There is no other option left,” he is heard saying.

Another video from the controversial meet shows Pooja Shakun Pandey, aka “Sadhvi Annapurna”, urging violence against Muslims. “If you want to finish them off, then kill them… We need 100 soldiers who can kill 20 lakh of them to win this,” she says.

 “The Constitution of India is wrong. Indians should pray to Nathuram Godse (Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin). I am not afraid of the police,” she told NDTV.






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