New Age Islam
Fri Oct 23 2020, 10:59 PM

Current Affairs ( 22 Aug 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Twenty per cent of banned hate sites in India put up by Hindu groups: Bid to Target Minorities, Fan Tension

By Deeptiman Tiwary, TOI

Aug 23, 2012





A file picture of northeast Indians fleeing cities














NEW DELHI: The clamour over Pakistan fanning communal passions in India through social networking sites has missed a crucial detail. Around 20% of the web pages — blocked by government agencies — were uploaded by right-wing Hindu fundamentalists seeking to polarize the country on communal lines.

In these posts doctored images or videos showing alleged atrocities against tribal Bodos by Muslims have been tagged with provocative captions and point to extremist Hindu groups trying to fish in troubled waters to target minorities and fan tensions.

Sources in agencies involved in scanning internet and blocking inflammatory web pages say several posts had pictures or videos of Tibetans self-immolations in protest against Chinese occupation. These posts were, however, captioned as atrocities against "Assamese Hindus" by "illegal" migrant Muslims.

"Several images had been cropped in a way to obliterate the background that could have revealed the actual context of the pictures," said an official.

Agencies have also found clues indicating a large number of SMSs that spread panic among the northeast Indians living across the country were also generated by fringe Hindu groups. The panic led to a mass exodus of people from the north-east from several cities, including Pune, Bangalore and Chennai.

"Everyone is trying to ride the Assam conflict bandwagon for their own parochial and political gains. Right-wing Hindu groups have played a major role in spreading panic among the north-easterners," said the official. Their portrayal of all Bodos as Hindus is also inaccurate as some are Christians.

Sources said days before the exodus from Bangalore began, rabid SMSs about killing of four persons from the north-east and a fatwa being issued against people from the region started doing the rounds. These messages are suspected to have been spread by right-wing groups too.

A recent input from Bangalore about three women planning to bomb a train turned out to be a red herring. Later, the input was traced to an activist of Bajrang Dal.

Videos allegedly showing unfurling of a Pakistani flag on August 15 in Hyderabad were uploaded questioning the integrity and patriotism of Muslims in the Indian city. The video was found to be that of Pakistan's Hyderabad.

Another right-wing group, inspired by Dara Singh, the killer of Australian missionary Graham Steins, called the Assam conflict a handiwork of Christian missionaries who have allegedly armed Bodos.

"Several right-wing groups are trying to increase their influence in the north-east. Some mainstream groups too have been trying to woo tribals across the nation and so have openly pledged support to Bodo struggle. They see the present conflict as the best situation to make inroads in the north-east. The attempt is also at polarizing the entire nation as Indians versus immigrant Muslims to gain political ground," said the official.

Several Hindu groups have also come forward to help fleeing north-easterners. RSS and certain other Hindu outfits arranged for food and other services for north-easterners fleeing Bangalore. They even exhorted them to not to flee as the group would protect them.

The ABVP even set up 24-hour helplines in 20 cities across India for students from the north-east. Bajrang Dal too called bandhs in riot-affected districts in Assam.