Analysis: Hate speeches of Suresh Chavhanke and Raja Singh incited anti-Muslim violence in Aurangabad


By Snobar Khan

On March 30, the day of the Hindu festival Ram Navami, mobs across the nation organized sizable rallies in a number of states and chanted anti-Muslim and pro-Hindu rashtra slogans.

On March 30, a number of videos from rallies went viral on social media platforms. In these videos, Hindu mobs are seen yelling anti-Muslim and pro-Hindutva slogans, dancing in front of mosques, climbing mosque walls, throwing stones, and vandalizing Muslim people’s shops and cars.

Aurangabad in Maharashtra, now known as Sambhajinagar, was one of the places where reports of communal tensions during the Ram Navami procession surfaced.
According to media reports, conflict erupted in the Kiradpura neighborhood of Aurangabad on the intervening night between Wednesday and Friday. The clashes resulted in the destruction of about twenty vehicles and the injury of a few people.

“Before the clash broke out, some people arrived in the area and began shouting anti-Muslim and anti-Aurrangzeb slogans,” Yousuf, a local resident of Aurangabad, said.
“Kiradpura area is Muslim-dominated. There is only one Ram temple in this area, and no Muslim has ever tried to attack it during the conflict. When the Hindu mob was not dispersed, local Muslims began throwing stones as well”, Yousuf, a local resident of Aurangabad, said.

Another Maharashtra district, Jalgaon, experienced communal unrest when a Hindu religious procession heading from Jalgaon to Vani in the Nashik district passed the Paldhi village. The police claim that the boisterous music being played in front of the mosque is what caused a dispute to break out between members of the two communities.

The police claimed that the argument between the members of two communities resulted in communal tension that developed into stone-throwing.

On March 28, in Jalgaon, a communal tension also erupted because a Hindu mob was playing music in front of a mosque while a namaz was taking place. On March 31, the police in this case arrested about 56 people.

Hate speeches – major factor in inciting violence

The major reason behind these communal clashes, which have happened in Maharashtra, is the hate speeches given by  Suresh Chavhanke and suspended BJP leaders T. Raja Singh after just changing the name of Aurangabad to Sambhajinagar, said a local resident of Aurangabad, who did request to not write his name.

Sohail, a resident of Mumbai, also agreed with him when he said that Chavhanke is well known for his notorious hate speeches all day and all night. His news channel, Sudarshan 24 Hours, broadcasts anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic contents. He calls everything connected to Muslims jihadi,” for example, “educational jihad.” Does that make any sense? No, but still he does that. He just takes a random word and adds “jihad” at the end, and his viewers then start consuming that venom, and eventually it is then physically present on the roads.

The suspended BJP MLA T Raja Singh had reportedly been seen attending several rallies in Maharashtra over the past month and making explicit calls for violence and a boycott of Muslims in his speeches, according to Alt News.

His latest hate speech against Muslims was given along with Hindutva extremists and Hindutva news channel anchor Suresh Chavhanke on March 19 at a Hindu Jangarjna Rally organized by the Sakal Hindu Ekatrikaran Samiti in Aurangabad, Maharashtra.

A video of his hate speech at Aurangabad, shared by Hindutva Watch, in which he said if you want to shoot ‘Love Jihadis’, take your teams to wherever there is a Love Jihad incident. Are you afraid? When you’re scared about the future, think of Shambhaji Maharaj. They’ve already been circumcised halfway; if the authorities don’t comply, cut them completely, says Singh.

While attacking those who oppose changing the name of Aurangabad in his speech, he said, “To those haramis, I want to say: You were born in Aurangabad, but you will die in Sambhajinagar, in a Hindurashtra.

Whoever approaches to claim the name of Aurnagabd, you will perish. Then he demanded the economic boycott of Muslims. Raja asserted that Balasaheb Thackeray had imagined the ideal Hindu as someone who shoots Muslims (whom he refers to as “landyas”) rather than someone who chimes the bells at Temples.

Along with Singh, Hindu extremist and Hindutva news channel anchor Suresh Chavhanke has also given a hate speech to incite hatred against the Muslim community.

While slamming Aurangzeb, Chanvhenke said, “There is no body of Arungzeb in his grave; the Marahatas have done with him what America did with Osama bin Laden.”

He thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for renaming the city. He also pledged that Hindus would make sure the name would stick around forever.

Following their hate speeches, the members of Hindutva organisations started vandalising signboards and properties with the name ‘Aurangabad’.

Police registered an FIR against over 50 members of Hindutva organisations, who have not yet been identified, for vandalising properties, and Singh and Chavhanke were also booked for creating enmity through their speeches.

Yousuf stated that since the name of the city changed from Aurangabad to Sambhajinagar, there have been more attacks against Muslims in Maharashtra.


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