Again, members of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) issued controversial Islamophobic statements targeting the country’s Muslim minority.
This time BJP MP, Parvesh Sabib Sing Verma was seen in a video calling for a “total boycott” apparently aimed at members of the Muslim community in a speech at a public event in New Delhi.
Verma told his supporters that the only way to fix or straighten their (Muslim) heads was with a “total boycott.” The 44-year-old man then asked the crowd to raise their hands if they agreed with his statement, and all of the audience seemed to raise their hands.
Verma also advised his supporters to start boycotts ranging from small things from not buying vegetables from the handcarts of members of the Muslim community to telling MCD (municipal corporation) to close Muslim shops.
He then concluded his Islamophobic remarks by telling the audience to repeat his words by promising to boycott the Muslim community, not to buy anything from their shops, and not to give them jobs. Supporters in attendance were heard approving the negative calls by shouting loudly saying “yes we-will”.
Despite the recording of him being proven to be implicitly calling for a boycott of the Muslim community, Verma denied it by saying that he did not mention the name of any religious community when asked about his statement by The Indian Express. He reasoned that what he said was about a family whose members carry out such killings that should be boycotted.
The recent hate speech controversy arose in the midst of India’s efforts to improve its image in the eyes of the world regarding how badly the country treats its Muslim minority.
Previously, a member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was repeatedly proven to spread hate speech and controversial Islamophobic statements.
Last June, two senior officials from India’s ruling party issued controversial statements about the Prophet Muhammad, which led to sporadic protests in several states and led a wave of boycotts of Indian products by Arab countries.
Meanwhile in February earlier this year, Bihar’s BJP legislator, Haribushan Thakur told the media that Muslims should be treated as second-class citizens and should not have the right to vote.