Hindu Extremism

Mohammad Akhlaq, a Muslim, was murdered on Sept. 28 by a mob of Hindus angered by reports that he had eaten beef, in Dadri, India. The incident “should not be considered a spontaneous act of isolated violence, but planned barbarism by persons who enjoy impunity.” That’s the opinion of Cedric Prakesh, S.J., who spoke of increasing intolerance in India, recalling the series of episodes of violence against Christian and Muslim minorities. According to Father Prakesh, who runs the Prashant Centre in Ahmedabad, in the State of Gujarat, India’s ruling Baratiya Janata Party cannot abandon extremist Hindu groups, its allies in a strategy which “presents the other face of the same alignment, one hard-line and the other more liberal. He said, “Everyone knows that practically nothing will happen to the perpetrators of these atrocious crimes,” recalling the slaughter in Gujarat in 2002. “This form of intolerance is now seen as the main current all over the country.” Father Prakesh fears the “destruction of multiculturalism, pluralism, tolerance, respect for diversity, values which are the heritage of our land.”

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