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HomeGeopolitical CompassSouth & Southeast AsiaFramed and hanged: How the Indian state persecutes dissent

Framed and hanged: How the Indian state persecutes dissent

Author: Apoorvanand

Affiliation: Delhi University

Organization/Publisher: Al Jazeera

Date/Place: September 1, 2020/Doha
Type of Literature: Article

Word Count: 2301 

Link:https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/framed-hanged-indian-state-persecutes-dissent-200830162431370.html

Keywords: Delhi riots, Dissent, BJP.

Brief:

The author explains the plight of dissenters in India under the present Modi regime, while recalling his personal experience in relation to the Delhi riots in February 2020. While many students and activists were falsely framed, the author who is a professor at Delhi University was also identified as a conspirator of the communal riots. Because the riots that took place in Delhi coincided with US president Donald Trump’s visit to Delhi, the professor was accused of tarnishing the image of India. The author, who is an observer and critic of the present government, could see such a riot shaping up based on the events that preceded it, including the citizenship bill that is highly discriminative against Muslims, which was followed by widespread protests throughout the country. The resistance started becoming stronger, with many prominent activists and actors—and a significant number of non-Muslims—joining the protests. The state-owned media reacted by creating dissent-chilling propaganda, showing the protesters in a bad light and terming protests as “anti-national riots.” The university Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), one of many locations that held a demonstration, was then raided by police. The Modi government received a blow when it lost the state elections in Delhi, so it weaponized the frustration with hate mongering speeches by BJP leaders in Delhi leading to renewed protests; but this time, protesters were immediately classified as state enemies, participants detained, and the establishment is falsely framing political opponents as conspirators. The author is taking a stand by writing and detailing the government’s actions against him that have entailed police interrogations and coordinated baseless news articles.

By: Usman Khan Pathan, CIGA Research Associate

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