Amnesty International India’s Executive Director Aakar Patel said Adityanath has been one of Uttar Pradesh’s most polarizing politicians, given to hateful rhetoric that incites discrimination and hostility against minority groups, particularly Muslims. In this context, Aakar Patel said it is imperative upon him to publicly retract his past statements for removing any doubts about the new state government.
Caravan Daily Correspondent
NEW DELHI — International rights watchdog Amnesty International Monday urged new Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath -who is known as the poster boy of Hindutva hardliner group – to withdraw publicly his previous inflammatory statements against Muslims and other religious minorities for ensuring that his toxic ideas do not become part of his governance.
While leading Muslim group All India Milli Council also expressed shock over the elevation of Adityanath as the CM of India’s most populous state saying he and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya have been facing serious criminal cases.
In a statement Amnesty International India’s Executive Director Aakar Patel said Adityanath has been one of Uttar Pradesh’s most polarizing politicians, given to hateful rhetoric that incites discrimination and hostility against minority groups, particularly Muslims.
In this context, Aakar Patel said it is imperative upon him to publicly retract his past statements for removing any doubts about the new state government.
“As chief minister of India’s most populous state, he and his party have an obligation to ensure that his positions do not become government policy. It is, therefore, imperative that he retracts any statements which may provide a license for others to abuse human rights.”
Adityanath has called for India to become a Hindu state. He has also made polarizing statements claiming ‘love jihad’ – an alleged conspiracy by Muslim men to seduce Hindu women and convert them to Islam. He faces criminal charges in multiple cases, including an attempt to murder, criminal intimidation, rioting, promoting enmity between different groups, and defiling a place of worship. In 2007, he was detained for 15 days for allegedly inciting riots in Gorakhpur.
In 2014, Adityanath was reprimanded by the Election Commission of India for an election speech. The previous year, over 60 people, mostly Muslims, had been killed in riots in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh. The Commission said his speech “had the effect of provoking feelings of enmity or hatred” and “aggravating the existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities.”
In 2016, Adityanath said that the family of a Muslim man in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh who had been lynched for allegedly consuming beef should face criminal charges. The same year, he said that incidents of ‘Christianization’ had led to separatist movements in north-east India.
In 2015, he said that if he was given the chance, he would install idols of Hindu gods in every mosque. In an undated video uploaded in August 2014, he said, “If [Muslims] take one Hindu girl, we’ll take 100 Muslim girls. If they kill one Hindu, we’ll kill 100 Muslims.”
Adityanath is also the founder of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, an organization that has often been accused of instigating communal tension. The organization has been implicated in several incidents of communal violence.
“Adityanath’s toxic ideas must not become part of his governance. By demonizing Muslims, he has increased religious divisions and put ordinary people at risk of discrimination, hostility, and violence. As the head of the Uttar Pradesh government, he must disown his poisonous statements, and ensure that his administration respects the rights of people of all faiths,” said Aakar Patel.
Adityanath had also hailed President Donald Trump’s move banning entry of Muslims into the USA.
Meanwhile, Milli Council general secretary Dr. Manzoor Alam described the coronation of Adityanath and Maurya as ‘the travesty of all democratic and Constitutional norms’. Besides being divisive figures, Dr. Alam said both the leaders have been facing serious charges including attempt to murder, attempt to set on fire, use of explosive material and firearms and forcefully trespassing into two graveyards and criminal intimidation dire consequences etc.
He also expressed surprise over the silence of the judiciary as it is supposed to be the protector of the Constitution.
The Supreme Court should have taken the suo-moto notice of this development immediately as those who are facing criminal charges, how can one expect that they will perform their Constitutional duties with integrity? Dr. Alam asked.