India Hate Lab (IHL)

Al Jazeera: Anti-Muslim hate speech in India spikes around elections, report says

Anti-Muslim hate speech incidents in India averaged more than one a day in the first half of 2023 and were seen most in states with upcoming elections, according to a report by Hindutva Watch, a Washington-based group monitoring attacks on minorities.

There were 255 documented incidents of hate speech gatherings targeting Muslims in the first half of 2023, said the report published on Monday. There was no comparative data for prior years.

The group used the United Nations’ definition of hate speech as “any form of communication … that employs prejudiced or discriminatory language towards an individual or group based on attributes such as religion, ethnicity, nationality, race, color, descent, gender, or other identity factors”.

About 70 percent of the incidents took place in states scheduled to hold elections in 2023 and 2024, according to the report. It added that 80 percent of the hate speech events took place in states governed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

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