Today marks twenty-one years since the start of the Gujarat Genocide. Over 2,000 people – the majority of them Muslims – were brutally tortured and massacred by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters, over a period of three days. Reports suggest at least 20,000 Muslim homes were destroyed. In addition, businesses, shops, restaurants, and mosques were looted and torched. Approximately 150,000 people were forcefully displaced. And widespread cases of mutilations, sexual assault, and people being burnt alive were witnessed. 
The current Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, was previously the Chief Minister of Gujarat state during the genocide in 2002. He has been accused of initiating and enabling the brutal massacre of Muslims.
An investigation by Human Rights Watch (HRW) into the events indicate that the systematic attacks on Muslim individuals, property, and livelihood was strategically planned well in advance of the Godhra incident, which the Gujarat government continue to claim to have been a precursor for the attacks on Muslims. 
In fact, this false narrative was created to justify the arbitrary murder and torture of thousands of men, women, and children. In addition, it conceals the fact that officials within the BJP organised and co-operated with the state’s police department, to facilitate the violence.
Sheer brutality of Hindutva mobs
BJP-aligned Hindutva mobs were witnessed causing unrest from the morning to the evening, seeking out their victims by yelling “Kill and beat Muslims” and chanting nationalistic Hindu slogans.
During their savage rampage, many families were burnt alive. One of those whose lives were turned upside down was Imtiyaz Pathan; he witnessed ten members of his family being killed. 
Mehboob Mansoori lost eighteen family members including his three sons, daughter, wife, and much of his extended family. He recognised their mutilated and burnt bodies piled up amongst the many others. His story is just one of many others, who like him, witnessed the horrific murder of their family members for simply being Muslim.
Surviving family members have had to bear the added trauma of identifying bodies with missing limbs, including that of the elderly, the disabled, or pregnant women. 
“We have no orders to save you”
Two decades on, and victims are still trying to seek justice and hold all of the complicit state government and police officials to account.
However, the Supreme Court of India decided that Modi no longer needs to receive questions about the events, and that the matter ultimately be closed. 
Impunity for police and state officials has become a culture within India. This is despite overwhelming evidence of them being directly complicit in the murder of thousands of people. This includes numerous accounts of police being passive and standing by while the violence took place. 
Normalisation of Islamophobia under Hindutva-fuelled government
The RSS is a neo-Nazi and fascist paramilitary organisation that the ruling party BJP is affiliated with.
Indian PM Narendra Modi himself grew up amongst the ranks of the RSS, and quickly inherited their vision of a pan-Hindu nation which is ‘superior’ to other religious groups. 
He continues to push policies and legislation that marginalise and discriminate against the Muslim community. This is also seen through his increasing crackdowns and suppression of Muslims in occupied Kashmir. 
Seeking justice and accountability
The BJP continues to suppress the rights and voices of Muslims in India, and promotes a vicious narrative that incites violence amongst peaceful communities.
We must continue to raise awareness of incidents like the Gujarat genocide. We must continue to seek justice for the thousands of victims by highlighting the harmful ‘Hindutva’ ideology that is being promoted directly or indirectly by the Indian federal government.
- Narendra Modi: a Fascist Complicit in Genocide?
- Hindu nationalist Modi marches toward Muslim genocide
- BBC series renews focus on bigot Modi’s rise to political peak
- Desperate Modi uses tax agency against BBC after explosive series
- “Muslims are at the cusp of genocide”, warns Rwanda atrocity predictor
- Delhi Police murder of Muslims: these are the events of 23 February 2020
- Outrage across India as Hindutva gang rapists walk free after sentences cut short