The British Muslim civil liberties group, Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK (MPACUK), has been unfairly targeted by two major Indian media organisations following the group’s continued vital work in analysing and criticising the policies and beliefs of incumbent British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. In recent months, MPACUK has been scrutinising not only Sunak, but also the government’s positions on contentious topics such as immigration; the failing anti-radicalisation programme known as Prevent; the immensely harmful Nationality and Borders Bill; and the recent intercommunal Leicester violence which affected both Muslims and Hindus in Britain’s 13th largest city.
In a Friday press release, MPACUK strongly called on Sunak to disavow the fascist Hindutva ideology, and to take clear steps to move away from supporters who hold such beliefs; Islam21c lends its weight in defence of its fellow Muslim organisation that has been on the receiving end of online abuse for some months now. 
In the recent press release, MPACUK states,
“The most vocal contingent of the unelected Prime Minister’s supporter base are Hindutva, a Hindu supremacist movement in India which inspired the Nazis and installed the far-right BJP in power across India; and an ideology which has spread into the UK, from Westminster to the streets of Leicester.” 
The statement further warns,
“So long as Sunak remains uncritical of the most bigoted wing of his base, Hindutva’s supporters will grow in boldness and continuously seek to silence any dissent against him.” 
It is clear that the aforementioned support base has been the driving force behind abusive behaviour directed at MPACUK. It is no coincidence that this targeted assault has been ongoing while the organisation has been vocal in calling out Sunak for his suspected ties to not only the Hindu kind of fascism, but also Zionism.
Over two decades in working to eradicate Islamophobia
A well-established British Muslim organisation with its origins in 2001, MPACUK is a grassroots civil liberties pressure group that seeks “to encourage civil engagement within the Muslim community at all levels in the UK.” 
The organisation has carried out extensive work supporting British Muslims at the local level, in addition to encouraging the participation of the same in local and national electoral processes. Moreover, the group is experienced in launching calls to action against Islamophobia, against the power and influence of the ‘Israel’ lobby, campaigning against unfavourable pieces of legislation, as well as holding a strongly anti-Zionist stance.
In the press release published on Friday, MPACUK also states regarding the alarming nature of the attacks from the two named influential Indian news channels,
“Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK has been targeted by two major Indian news stations, ZeeTV and Aaj Tak, who deliberately misframed criticism of the UK’s latest Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, as a religious attack.
“This is following on from months of online abuse, targeted at analysis that is critical of Sunak’s hardline stances on immigration, support of the draconian ‘Nationality & Borders Bill’ and ‘Public Order Bill’, refocusing the widely discredited Islamophobic PREVENT strategy on Muslims, and the anti-BDS bill.” 
anti-Hindutva ≠ Hinduphobia
As to a little background, on 25 October the UK welcomed its first Asian Prime Minister following the disastrous short-lived tenure of Liz Truss. MPACUK reported on the fact that Truss’ successor – the (also) unelected Rishi Sunak – seemingly has a strong supporter base comprised of Hindutva- and BJP-aligned individuals. While this is likely correct, this has led to an unfortunate barrage of online hate and false allegations being peddled against MPACUK. The likes of Zee News and Aaj Tak have tried to spin MPACUK’s recent moves as an anti-Hindu attack. However, this is completely untrue and MPACUK has clearly stated that it has no qualms with the Hindu community.
And here, it is vital to continue to make the distinction between ‘Hindus’ and ‘Hindutva’. One is a group of adherents of the religion of Hinduism, whereas the latter is a subset of the former and a fascistic belief system that believes in a Hindu nationalist mindset, particularly in India. The belief is founded upon an ideology wherein Muslims and those of other faiths, such as Sikhs, are immaterial or simply do not matter.
The Collins Dictionary defines Hindutva in the following words,
“(In India), a political movement advocating Hindu nationalism and the establishment of a Hindu state.” 
Day by day, the Hindutva lobby appears to be increasing in strength and this has been witnessed by the NewsViews department at Islam21c.
In some of our recent social media posts highlighting the violent Hindutva-inspired events of Leicester in past months, trolls – often with as few as ten “followers” or less – are replying to posts in an inappropriate manner. Dozens of similarly sized accounts are subsequently “liking” and “sharing” such responses.
While we have yet to find conclusive evidence of someone or an organisation specifically pushing back against our reporting, it is almost certain that such collective acts of responding to posts is being directed by a pro-Hindutva group. And this belief is not far-fetched or conspiratorial in nature, as the BBC recently analysed a batch of Twitter posts around the Leicester disorder, and found that over 50 per cent of a sample size of 200,000 tweets originated from India. 
Zee News has a subscribership of nearly 28 million, while Aaj Tak boasts over 54 million subscribers. It is with this huge online presence that these two channels have decided to misrepresent MPACUK and to paint a picture of Hinduphobia.
The spokesperson for MPACUK, Ahammed Husain, reiterated calls for a snap general election and added in remarks included in the early November statement,
“…MPACUK is right now on the firing line of a new front against fascism. Every civil organisation that has any reason to criticise the political leadership of the UK could become its next target.
“Sunak must disavow the Hindutva extremist ideology and its proponents, who are in the process of destroying cohesive society in India and clearly intend to do so here in the UK. His ascension to Prime Minister was only supported by fewer than 200 MPs in the latest leadership contest, so this is yet another reason we need a general election now.” 
What can we do to support MPACUK?
While MPACUK has been on the receiving end of abuse in the past, Islam21c strongly recommends that its readers back MPACUK and show solidarity with our brothers and sisters at the organisation.
Time and again, we see that liberal media, far right media, and others in government and private enterprise, conflate and confuse anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism. It seems that though Hindutva and Zionism are two different ideologies, their method of dealing with opponents is one and the same – by simply accusing people who object by labelling them as either anti-Semitic, or in this case, Hinduphobic.
Be sure to check out the MPACUK Action Alert, which provides easy access to various tools to lodge direct complaints against Zee News and Aaj Tak, in addition to a link to the British communications regulator, Ofcom. With a collaborative effort, we will be able to hit back at these outlets for their false reporting.
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