Sunny has repeatedly covered the 2002 Gujarat massacres and their aftermath, which saw Hindu mobs attack Muslims after a train carrying Hindus was set alight. Those at the top of the Gujurati political food chain have yet to answer for their complicity in the massacres and are still contesting elections.
Indian TV station NDTV has now uncovered disturbing evidence that Muslim voters are being intimidated into not voting in the upcoming elections:
“At a village in Mehsana district of Gujarat, complaints of Kalal Muslims, an extremely backward group, get lost in the din of frustration. Among the many complaints they have, one is the threat to their vote.
During the last assembly elections their names were suddenly transferred from the polling booth at this government school to the RSS-run Thakker Adarsh High School. ”My parents went to vote and they weren’t allowed to vote. Our vote was in this government school nearby, I don’t know why they had to send us to this Adarsh School farther away,” said Rafiq.
No one actually has an explanation for why this shift happened.
In Kadi tehsil alone, 25 polling booths have been shifted to RSS-run institutes, the official reason, there was no other alternative. When NDTV visited the Adarsh School polling booth, we were greeted with a larger than life statue of Bharat mata.”
The RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) is a Hindu organisation dedicated to stopping Hindus converting to other religions and it is committed to ensuring the primacy of Hinduism throughout India. It has fascistic overtones, and its members sometimes use violence to achieve their goals. It has strong links with the BJP, currently the main opposition party on a national level.
“Though the area has an 18,000-strong Muslim population, not a single Muslim studies here [at Adarsh School]. But school authorities say they are most welcome. ”They spread all kinds of myths to keep people away,” said Keshav Khuri Das Patel, RSS Sanghchalak Mehsana.
Close by, another RSS establishment, the Shishu Mandir is also a polling booth. The images here are that of a trishul, the swastika and fire that drive the Hindutva message harder. Some claim the BJP uses this as a way to threaten Muslim voters and capture booths. ”The Finance Minister Nitin Patel has got this done, they shouldn’t have polling booths in private schools like this,” said Baldev Thakor, Congress MLA.”
|Post to del.icio.us|
Filed in: Hindu,India,Organisations,Religion