As the misery of COVID-19 is creeping through the health system worldwide, India is dealing with another problem simultaneously i.e., the rapid increase in hate speeches against its minorities. Inspite of the fact that India prohibits hate speech by several sections of the Indian Penal Code, the code of criminal procedure, and by other laws which put limitations on the freedom of expression.
But with an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, instead of focussing on government failures, Indian media was busy in shifting the entire focus by blaming Tablighi Jamaat and with them the entire Muslim community. This resulted in “Corona Jihad” trending on twitter followed by several numbers of hate-filled tweets along with many celebrities trying to blame an entire community.
Rangoli Chandel, sister of famous Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut in many of her tweets, promoted genocide against Muslims in India to which Twitter India came into action resulting in the suspension of her account.
An Indian resident had put out several tweets targeting Muslims for the assemble of Tablighi Jamaat in March and blaming them for conducting Corona Jihad which included the use of abusive languages.
Although his account seems to be deactivated, for now, his tweets caught the attention of Royal Princess of UAE, Hend Al Qassimi and she took her twitter platform to respond to tweets of Upadhyay along with his other tweets which seem to be unavailable as of now. Princess quoted that although the ruling family of the UAE is friends with India, their rudeness is not welcome.
She also wrote, “all employees are paid to work, no one comes for free. You make your bread and butter from this land and your ridicule will not go unnoticed.”
Another Indian resident working as chief accountant at Dubai’s Moro Hub Data Solution Company was sacked for his hate-mongering Islamophobic Facebook post. Moro quoted that they have zero tolerance for hate speech or Islamophobia. The list of Indian expats landing in trouble for their Islamophobic tweets or posts is growing with every passing day.
BJP MP Tejasvi Surya’s defamatory tweet from 2015 about Arab Women has landed him in trouble. The tweet is now deleted but a UAE based Business woman, Noora AlGhurair posted the screenshot of the tweet of BJP MP and quoted that a land famous for many great female leaders, BJP MP Tejasvi Surya could not instil respect for women and she pities his upbringing and that if he gets any foreign ministry in future, he should avoid travelling to Arab lands as he would not be welcomed there.
Although the tweet is deleted now, Surya tried to defend what he said before deleting his tweet. Arab people are demanding the Indian government and parliament immediate accountability for Surya’s disgraceful comment.
Many such incidents have finally forced gulf countries to come out from their hideout and acknowledge the seriousness of genocidal conditions arising in India. Also, this worldwide lockdown has made Arabs look into increasing discrimination against minorities in India.
While these are the same countries which remained silent for years against hate crimes towards Rohingyas, Uighurs, Syria, Palestine, etc for their motives. It would be interesting to witness if their voices are going to fade away once again when the lockdown is lifted or would they continue to raise their concerns for the Muslim minorities in India.