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  • Human Rights Research Center

Modi's Labeling of Muslims as 'Infiltrators' Sparks Controversy

April 23, 2024

Cited article by Associated Press

HRRC condemns Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent controversial remarks concerning Muslims made during a political rally. We unequivocally denounce all forms of hate speech and are committed to raising awareness about the detrimental effects of such rhetoric.

News Brief

Prime Minister Narendra Modi used hate speech by referring to Muslims as "infiltrators" during a recent campaign rally, marking some of his most divisive rhetoric about the minority community. The comments drew strong condemnation, with critics alleging that Modi was perpetuating anti-Muslim stereotypes, which could aggravate religious tensions. The opposition party filed a complaint with the Election Commission of India, asserting that Modi violated rules prohibiting candidates from engaging in activities that exacerbate such tensions. Critics argue that since Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power, India's tradition of diversity and secularism has been under threat, with accusations of fostering religious intolerance and violence. Despite these allegations, the BJP maintains that its policies benefit all Indians.

Modi's remarks also revived discussions about demographic fears and religious polarization, with him repeating a Hindu nationalist trope about Muslims allegedly overtaking the Hindu population by having more children. This rhetoric has been criticized for perpetuating unfounded fears and enabling hate speech against Muslims. Additionally, Modi's silence on issues like attacks against minorities has been seen as emboldening his extreme supporters. The Election Commission of India, however, declined to comment on the matter, leaving questions about the enforcement of electoral laws and the role of religious rhetoric in political campaigning unanswered.


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