The Narendra Modi government is exploiting the novel coronavirus outbreak to inflame tensions between Hindus and Muslims in the country, alleged author and activist Arundhati Roy.
Talking to German TV channel DW TV, Roy launched a scathing attack on the government and said it would “dovetail with this illness to create something which the world should really keep its eyes on”.
“We are suffering, not just from COVID, but from a crisis of hatred, from a crisis of hunger,” she said and added that the situation in India was approaching a “genocide”.
Roy claimed that the crisis of hatred against Muslims comes on the back of a “massacre” in Delhi, which was the result of people protesting against the “anti-Muslim” citizenship law. She was referring to the violent clashes in February between pro and anti-CAA protesters, which had left at least 53 people dead.
“Under the cover of COVID-19, the government is moving to arrest young students, to fight cases against lawyers, against senior editors, against activists and intellectuals. Some of them have recently been put into jail,” she said.
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness-author went on to compare the Modi government with the Nazi regime and said its ideologies had likened the Muslims of India to the Jews of Germany. Roy argued that the RSS, which she claimed the mother ship of the BJP, has long said that India should be a Hindu nation.
“And if you look at the way in which they are using COVID, it was very much like typhus was used against the Jews to get ghettoize them, to stigmatize them,” the activist said.
Roy's comments came amid reports of Islamophobia in India after many of those who attended the controversial Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi contracted the COVID-19 infection, leading to a steep rise in the total number of confirmed cases in the country.
(The story first appeared in The Week)