Indian hate-filled songs target Muslims in India
The ferocious hatred for Muslims began with inflammatory songs performed by Hindu mobs calling for bloodshed.
Before Muslim neighborhoods in India were vandalized and mosques were burned, violent and provocative music was played by Hindu mobs calling for violence.
On April 10, a Hindu festival commemorating Lord Ram's birth anniversary devolved into violence in Madhya Pradesh state's Khargone city as Hindu mobs with swords and clubs marched through Muslim districts and mosques. Hundreds of them were seen dancing and cheering in sync with songs played over loudspeakers, some of which called for violence against Muslims.
The 80% of the Indian population that ascribes to Hinduism cries “enough is enough” when it comes to the 14% Muslim population. That's 1.3 billion Hindus to 200 million Indian Muslims. The Muslim population in India has been subjected to anti-Muslim laws since India’s current Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, assumed office.
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According to authorities, groups of Hindus and Muslims soon began hurling stones at one other. When the fighting subsided, Muslims were disproportionately affected. Their businesses and residences were robbed and set on fire. Mosques were desecrated and set ablaze. Hundreds of households were relocated overnight.
Hidayatullah Mansuri, a mosque official, said, "Our lives were destroyed in just one day."
It was the latest in a string of anti-Muslim atrocities in India, where extreme Hindu nationalists have long advocated for a strong anti-Muslim attitude and advocated violence against Muslims. However, inflammatory songs geared toward Muslims are increasingly becoming a forerunner to terrorist attacks.
As extremism against Muslims rages on in #India, the government is dismissing repetitive threats to cleanse India's minorities.— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) January 19, 2022
More dangerously, experts warn of signs of a potential genocide that could happen soon against #Muslims who constitute 15% of India's population. pic.twitter.com/zoqmybWmoh
They are a component of "saffron pop", a reference to the hue associated with Hinduism and beloved by Hindu nationalists. Many of these songs explicitly advocate the assassination of Muslims and people who oppose "Hindutva", a Hindu nationalist movement that aspires to convert ostensibly secular India into an avowedly Hindu nation.
The songs show how rising anti-Muslim sentiment is dangerously increasing in India and 14% of the country's Muslims fear the music is another tool for Hindu nationalists to target them.
“These songs make open calls for our murder, and nobody is making them stop,” Mansuri said.
According to senior police officer Anugraha. P, one Muslim was killed in Khargone and his body was discovered seven days later. She stated the police detained numerous people for rioting but did not disclose whether any of those arrested were the persons who played the offensive tunes.
The hate-filled soundtracks have heightened tensions even more, but the producers of these songs regard them as a sign of dedication to their faith and a simple declaration of being a "proud Hindu".
Singer Sandeep Chaturvedi stated that “India is a Hindu nation and my songs celebrate our religion. What’s wrong with that?”
The song refers to Muslims as "those who wear skull caps" and will "bow down to Lord Ram," adding that when Hindu "blood boils", they will show Muslims their rightful place with their "sword".
Chaturvedi, a self-avowed Hindu nationalist defends the lyrics and says they "signify the mood of the people."
“Every Hindu likes my songs. It brings them closer to their religion,” he said.
Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, a journalist based in New Delhi says the songs were first introduced in the 90s by Hindu nationalists.
Mukhopadhyay detailed how the songs have become a "time-tested trope" of Hindu nationalists to “insult Muslims, disparage their religion and provoke them into responding.”
“Most mob attacks against Muslims follow a similar pattern. A large procession of Hindus enters Muslim neighborhoods and plays hate speeches and incendiary songs which inevitably escalates into communal violence. The songs are, in fact, played with even greater vigor in front of the mosques to elicit a response from Muslims,” said Mukhopadhyay.
In front of many Indian mosques songs that call for Hindus to kill those who do not chant "Jai Shri Ram!" or "Hail Lord Ram," was played on days that saw a wave of violence and left one dead in Gujarat State.