Last week marked U.S. President Donald Trump’s first official state visit to India. The whirlwind 36 hour visit was kicked off by a massive rally and a tour of the Taj Mahal. The visit was of course, highly televised on Indian as well as international media. What was not televised were the religiously charged riots all over Delhi during the same time.
At least 38 people were killed and over 200 were injured as large mobs wielding iron rods, knives, guns and various weapons, walked the streets. They clashed with groups of Muslim citizens protesting the recently passed Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). The law bolstered religious extremist groups like the Hindutva to take matters into their own hands. Hospital wards and morgues were swamped as they tried to keep up with the aftermath.
Large mobs chanting “Jai Shri Ram. Get out Muslims” walked the streets and broke into cars, homes and shops as violence ensued. At least 4 mosques were burnt down in Muslim neighbourhoods. They entered Muslim homes, beat up and violated residents in a blinding rage to murder, pillage and burn everything to “cleanse” their country.
All while U.S President Donald Trump attended a large pro-Modi and pro-Trump rally, visited the Taj Mahal and praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for all his success in improving the Indian economy and his efforts to “peace to the region”. When President Trump was asked, at one point, to comment on the passage of the CAA he refused. “I don’t want to discuss that. I want to leave that to India and hopefully they’re going to make the right decision for the people,” he said.
But it wasn’t just Trump. Nobody really acknowledged it. When these riots were brought up, most said that they were mere protests against the CAA. However, the 4 burnt mosques and hundreds of Muslims huddled in their local mosques, praying that their mosque survives, tell a completely different story.
These riots were religiously charged. They were instigated by the extremist Hindutva groups who believed they were cleansing their motherland. These groups were encouraged, cheered on and provoked by none other than members of the Indian government.
So what happens next? Will the international community continue to ignore the murder of hundreds of innocent people? Will they remain content in being complacent to this violence? Someone should finally take a stand and condemn the Indian government for mistreating its own citizens. The international community needs to take notice. They must take action to stop and prevent such violence. Sanctions must be placed on India to force the government to change their strategy.
To the Indian public we say, remain steadfast in your resolve to help your brethren. Remain firm and courageous as you assert your rights to protest an authoritarian government. Keep recording and reporting everything as these events take place. These videos might be our only channel to stay aware of the truth behind the violence. To our Muslim brothers and sisters we say, be safe. We are praying for you.