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[Published: Saturday December 02 2023]

 India’s ruling party using Israel-Gaza war to demonize Muslims, The Post 

WASHINGTON, 02 Dec. - (ANA) - On Oct. 7, India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tweeted a parallel comparing the Hamas attack on Israel to the situation in India before Narendra Modi was elected as prime minister in 2014, according to the Washington Post. 
“What Israel is facing today, India suffered between 2004-14,” it read. “Never forgive, never forget.” The intent was clear. 
Accompanied by video depicting past militant attacks, the message promoted a narrative of Islamist terrorism in a country where the 220-million-strong Muslim population has been demonized by the Modi-led government in the year leading up to general elections. 
Soon after the tweet was released, pro-government news channels in India portrayed the attack on Israel as an Islamic jihad menace, something they alleged India had been grappling with for decades. 
India and Israel faced a common enemy, they said: “Islam.” Millions of tweets followed in solidarity with Israel and laced with anti-Muslim rhetoric. 
This development is rooted in a skewed idea of Hindu supremacy. Historically, Hindu nationalists have idolized Adolf Hitler, dating back to the period before independence, when the leading ideologue of the movement, M.S. Golwalkar, praised the Nazi’s “final solution” to the Jewish problem and held it up as a “a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by.” 
“Mein Kampf,” with its focus on racial superiority, has consistently remained a bestseller in India. Yet, today, many Hindu nationalists are also ardent supporters of Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom Modi considers one of his close friends and allies. 
Modi’s BJP has embraced Israel in line with the belief held by many conservative Hindu nationalists that they have a right to a Hindu state, just as Zionists succeeded in creating a Jewish state. 
Hindu nationalists — who very often sport a swastika or an image of Hitler as display pictures on their social media accounts — are well aware of the paradox; nevertheless, they hail Israel as the only country they believe has shown Muslims their place, a model they wish to replicate in India, where equal status for Muslims is now being challenged with introduction of various laws in Parliament.   - (ANA) -
AB/ANA/02 December 2023 — - -

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