This Website Tracked Hate Crimes in India. Then the Government Took It Offline

This Website Tracked Hate Crimes in India. Then the Government Took It Offline

submitted by Avatar NinjaZ edited

www.wired.com/story/india-elections-right-wing-…

India, the world’s largest democracy, prepares to kick off its election season in just a matter of weeks. But activists and experts worry that the government is cracking down on platforms and internet service providers to silence critical voices, and tighten its grip on the information ecosystem.

On January 16, Raqib Hameed Naik, an Indian journalist and founder of the website Hindutva Watch, received a notice from X, formerly Twitter, that the website’s account had been blocked, by order of the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). “I received frantic messages from people in India saying they cannot access the Hindutva Watch Twitter,” says Naik

Hindutva Watch, along with its sister site, the India Hate Lab, tracks incidents of religiously motivated violence perpetrated by supporters of the country’s right-wing government, helmed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Press freedom declined under Modi, leaving fewer spaces for those reporting critically of the government and the impact of its policies on the country’s minorities. In the lead up to elections, where Naik predicts a “surge in hate crimes,” Hindutva Watch’s information may be more critical than ever.

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Burn_The_Right

Conservatives will do anything to support hate crimes. It's just part of their nature.

intrepid

Don't call them conservatives. It's a term used to denote the entire right wing, including the center right. This is the extreme right wing. Extremists would be a better description.

Burn_The_Right

It's not the "extreme" when it is the majority of them. In the U.S. the vast majority of conservatives very consistently vote for fascists, racists, misogynists, homophobes, transphobes, xenophobes and other conservative bigots.

Conservatives consistently choose these vile pieces of shit as their best representatives. Consistently and overwhelmingly. It's very obviously the norm, not the extreme.

intrepid

Extreme refers to their policy. Not their numbers.

Avatar TxzK , edited

Yeah no shit. Modi is also a member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a right wing Hindu nationalist paramilitary organization. He wants create a ethnostate and that's clear as daylight. Fuck that guy and his government.

LarmyOfLone

How did India get like this? I imagine it's the TV and news and now internet sites that pushed a large potion of the population into this extreme right wing?

intrepid , edited

The answer isn't that simple. India always had its share of bigots. But until a decade ago, the same level of hate speech would have ended them up in jail.

The ruling party back then (congress) was a bit corrupt and the opposition back then (BJP, the current ruling party) used it to dethrone them. So you would expect the BJP to be less corrupt? No - they are much worse. But the BJP's strategy was to subvert any institution that could challenge them - media, judiciary, CAG, investigation agencies..

Eventually the bigots realized that hate speech received no punishment. Meanwhile, BJP ensured that critical media was severely punished and oppressed. This is what led to the spread of bigotry in the media. While the crimes of their opponents are often exaggerated, their own crimes are rarely even mentioned. In true Nazi style, people were exposed to lies and half truths over a decade.

harmsy

So, BJP are basically India's equivalent of America's Republican Party. Am I understanding this correctly?

intrepid

Roughly, yes.

parascent

From independence this movement has been there. One must remember Gandhi was killed by them.

LarmyOfLone

Wow thanks I had not realized this.

Avatar SpiceDealer

This is the oldest trick in the book: Scream 'victim' while doing horrible shit.

LarmyOfLone

It's all the fault of anteeefa! /s

maness300

Greed.

dangblingus

If India is like every other country on Earth, most of its population are mouth breathing morons.

disconnectikacio

The idiocracy is spreading everywhere, the idiots around the world like idiocracy. See india, trump, orban, brexit boris, putin, ans other so called "right wing illiberal"-s. BTW orban was actually a commie back in those days... and still he is, see the govermental prices, everything centralised government, goverment success propaganda and demonization, etc, he work exactly like his commie predecessors, except of saying about himself "i am anticommunist right wing conservative". He also voted down 24 times the opening of the communist agent files...

Avatar Robaque

Horseshoe theory strikes again

disconnectikacio

Its not a theory, its a fact for orban and its comrades. They were all in high function in hungarian "communist youth organization" (KISZ), or the older ones in "hungarian socialist people's party" (the state party), until the fall of iron curtain. And now they more-less rebuilt that system in hungary. But now there are some demonstrations, because orban's puppets as it turned out tha pardoned a convicted pedophile assistant, and released him from prison. The pedo helper K Endre is a good comrade around the orban family.

Avatar Robaque

What do you think communism means?

disconnectikacio

Everyone is equal, in theory, which was never became reality. Thats why i call orban, stalin, putin, etc as commies, not communists. These are doing the same things: rule, and exploit people.

LarmyOfLone

This really is accelerating.

Avatar Clot

Modi is equally scum as trump, we want to remove him but alas, he inaugurated a temple this year and will most probably win due to that

Avatar TxzK

And guess where that temple was! In a controversial place where once a mosque was. It was attacked and destroyed. Then the Supreme Cock Suckers aka the Supreme Court decided it should be given to the Hindus for temple construction. What a load of bs.

It's a real shame. There are many things about India, it's history, culture and linguistics that I really love. I'd love to visit one day, but that's not happening when it's run by a scums like that.

Midnight1938

Where was the mosque built might i ask

Avatar TxzK

The mosque was named Babri Masjid and was in Ayodhya, India. It was built in 1528–29 and destroyed in 1992 by Hindu nationalists, claiming it was the birthplace of Rama, a major deity of Hinduism. According to Hindu nationalists, there once was a fort there known as Ramkot which was allegedly destroyed during the construction of the Mosque. Subsequently, there was a short excavation on that site, only lasting 15 days. Quoting Wikipedia:

"The report of the excavation concluded that there were the ruins of "a massive structure" beneath the ruins of the mosque which was "indicative of remains which are distinctive features found associated with the temples of north India", but found no evidence that the structure was specifically demolished for the construction of the Babri Masjid. The report received both praise and criticism, with some other archaeologists contesting the results of the report."

There was another excavation later in 2003, by Archaeological Survey of India. The report indicated what appears to be the presence of a 10th-century shrine under the mosque. Again, quoting Wikipedia:

"a short-lived structure of nearly 50 metres with north–south orientation was constructed. On the remains of this structure, another massive structure was constructed: this structure had at least three structural phases and three successive floors attached with it. The report concluded that it was over this construction that the disputed structure was constructed during the early 16th century"

Then it also goes on to say

"Muslim groups immediately disputed the ASI findings. The Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (Sahmat) criticised the report saying that it said that "presence of animal bones throughout as well as of the use of 'surkhi' and lime mortar" that was found by ASI are all characteristic of Muslim presence "that rule out the possibility of a Hindu temple having been there beneath the mosque." The report claimed otherwise on the basis of 'pillar bases' was contested since no pillars were found, and the alleged existence of 'pillar bases' has been debated by archaeologists. Syed Rabe Hasan Nadvi, chairman of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) alleged that ASI failed to mention any evidence of a temple in its interim reports and only revealed it in the final report which was submitted during a time of national tension, making the report highly suspect."

So yeah, it's complicated. But the thing is, the evidence of a temple isn't entirely conclusive. And the "birthplace of Rama" is not even probable, as deities as far as we no do not exist irl. Anyway, even if there was a temple there, there's no evidence that it was destroyed during the construction of the mosque. But whatever, because in 2010, Allahabad High Court originally gave one third of the land to Muslims to rebuilt the mosque, one third for constructing a temple and one third to a Hindu denomination which wanted to construct a temple very close to the site long before the destruction of the mosque but was denied by the court because it could potentially "threat" to public order. That was a really good solution in my opinion. All party were given something. There were compromises for both parties, but also their share.

But then came Modi and Supreme Court decided fuck it, the entire thing belongs to Hindus for temple construction, even though they concluded that no evidence was found that the structure was specifically demolished for the construction of the Babri Masjid.

So yeah, take it how you want to. But I take it as nationalists suppressing other groups of people. Either way, religions fucking suck and nationalism and ethnocracy sucks even more.

Midnight1938 , edited

I just find it hard to belive that people who desecrated hundreds of not thousands of temples over the years couldn't have done the same in that area. That too in a city with history like Ayodhya.

And to clarify, i belive youre mistaken to belive lord rama was a diety, as it clearly states in the books that he was a king.

Avatar TxzK

Quoting Wikipedia:

"It has been claimed to have been built upon the site of Ram Janmabhoomi, the legendary birthplace of Rama, a principal deity of Hinduism"

And

"Rama (/ˈrɑːmə/; Sanskrit: राम, IAST: Rāma, Sanskrit: [ˈraːmɐ]) is a major deity in Hinduism. He is the seventh and one of the most popular avatars of Vishnu. In Rama-centric traditions of Hinduism, he is considered the Supreme Being."

Seems pretty deity to to me. Whichever books you're refering to, I don't know. Maybe he was king in some legends or myths, but he's also a deity worshipped by many.

Also, yes it's possible that they did destroy the temple at Ayodhya tho (assuming the structure was indeed a temple), there's no denying. But at the same it, there's no concrete evidence either. And without any concrete evidence, destroying that mosque was no different than destroying any temple. Both equally bullshit.

Avatar THE MASTERMIND

Ahh that fucking pos

Avatar Deceptichum

This is why we need resources like the Fediverse where content cannot be dictated so easily by governments and corporations.

Avatar spiderman

i think it could be dictated? like what if a government sends notice to the website owner/instance owner to take down something? are they obliged to take it down? or else will they face any legal actions?

Avatar TurtleJoe , edited

No, the Indian government can't do anything to a website that isn't based in Indian territory.

A good example is a recent giant investigation by Reuters into an Indian hacker-for-hire company, and the man who founded (and made hundreds of millions of dollars off of) it. The man sued Reuters over it, and an Indian court found the article "indicative of defamation." I believe Reuters is appealing, or there is something ongoing. In the meantime, they took the article down worldwide. Why? Because they have offices in India, and employees there, and the Indian government could punish those branches if the article stayed online in other parts of the world.

In this case, they've deployed similar tactics to pressure international companies to block the website.

Meanwhile, the New Yorker and The Daily Beast have large articles up based on the Reuters investigation, because they have no branches in India, and thus give no fucks about what their courts say. The original Reuters expose is also still available on the Internet archive.

intrepid

The government has a massive block list and an army of rabid online trolls. Platforms like the fediverse are safe only as long as they are not popular. It won't survive once it catches the attention of their propaganda machine.

Avatar This is fine🔥🐶☕🔥

Fuck you Gautamdas

Avatar Kjev

Ah, that is unfortunate. I used to read Hindutva Watch everyday at Lunch.

fastandcurious

Gotta learn from the neighbors

Avatar mlg

India, the world's largest democracy

I'd laugh but even a heavily flawed democracy is better than a hybrid regime or a dictatorship.