LONDON — Indian activist and writer in an article in The Guardian calling India “republic of fear” has said that rape culture under Narendra Modi’s government is celebrated by ministers and activists belonging to extremist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Amrit Wilson, a writer on race and South Asia who is one of the leaders of South Asia Solidarity Group (UK), wrote for The Guardian as Modi arrived in Britain to take part in the Commonwealth summit.
The article referred to crimes against women in India, including two violent rapes in Kathua in the Indian Held Jammu and Kashmir (IHK) and Unnao in Uttar Pradesh. The twin rape cases have particularly rocked India and Modi was greeted by thousands of protestors in London who condemned his government for doing nothing about the culture of rape.
She said it would be wrong to see the twin rape incidents as simply a part of violence against the women that have been “endemic in India” but that it was planned and executed to terrorise the Muslim Bakarwal community to which she belonged to drive it out of the region.
The article said: “The attempt to lodge the charge sheet against the accused at a local court was followed by violent protests in their defence by a pro-Modi Hindu right-wing outfit, the Hindu Ekta Manch.
Two BJP ministers attended the protests and urged the crowd to obstruct the prosecution of the accused.” The Guardian piece said about the Unnao case that a BJP member of UP legislative assembly was arrested on charges of raping a 16-year-old girl but when the family of the rape victim protested, her father was brutally beaten up by the accused MLA’s supporters and he died in custody after getting arrested.
Amrit Wilson wrote that founders and ideologues of the BJP such as Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar and Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, the revered icon of the Hindu right, praised Hitler and his policies.
She wrote that Savarkar said that Muslim women should be raped and “it will be suicidal if they are not raped”. Amrit Wilson said: “If such writings and thoughts are part of the BJP and RSS politics then you can imagine what’s happening.
Modi is an RSS member since young age. He is a lifelong member of RSS. Savarkar was its ideologue and Golwalkar was its founder. A meeting took place around two years ago in which a BJP leader said that Muslim women should be raped.
Amrit Wilson said that everyone should understand that these people are “fascists” and their policies have gained popularity since the destruction of Babri Mosque. “The BJP has risen since then. It has turned out to be a party that’s neo-liberal, good with big business, good with big corporates, but entrenched in Hindutva.
Amrit Wilson said the Hindutva hate brigade is the BJP’s core constituency and the BJP leadership relies on this constituency for its politics of communalism and hate. She said that Modi’s popularity has gone down and there are agitations almost daily in India. She added: “People in India want change. They are unhappy with the Modi government. If free and fair elections are held today, Modi will lose.”