- BJP leaders have been implicated in “communal violence” and hate. Further, the BJP has the greatest number of lawmakers in the country with declared cases of hate speech against them. The provision of tickets to those charged with hate speech has been associated with driving the conditions that lead to Islamophobia and politically-stoked
- Polarizing politics are lucrative at the ballot box where individuals affiliated with stoking ‘communal’ hate and violence are actually four times more likely to win than others. Our report has documented several Islamophobic statements from leading BJP members from across the political spectrum beginning with Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.
- It has been reported that India is experiencing and aggressive form of McCarthyism to silent dissent against the BJP. Media personnel and reporters are being tracked by BJP headed ‘war rooms’ that gather data on both traditional and new media, rating and categorizing it in relation to its position on the ruling BJP government, which has caused concern for many.
- Efforts to report on forms of hate including Islamophobia in India are difficult, and have met with website closures, as well as, fostered new and creative forms of reporting such as animated videos around violence upon Muslims and the opening of websites that document hate and violence.
- In an effort to thwart free speech, specifically speech critical of the BJP led government, journalists, students, attorneys and artists have reported an increase in online smear campaigns at the hands of Hindu nationalists, as well as threats of violence, criminal charges and the use of outdated sedition laws which can lead to life in
- A 2018 exposé revealed efforts of the BJP party to bring most main media houses in India into their folds offering to pay them to propagate their ultra-nationalist
- In 2017 three reporters were murdered and in 2018, four journalists were murdered at the time of report
The primary authors of this report are Paula Thompson and Rhonda Itaoui under the auspices of Dr.Hatem Bazian, Director of the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project, Center for Race and Gender, at the University of California, Berkeley.