‘Kill Muslims’ speeches made by Hindu religious leaders at 3-day Haridwar conclave

The 'Haridwar Hate Assembly', as it is being referred to, was organised by Yati Singhanand, a controversial Hindutva figure who has been known to make openly communal statements.
Screengrab of Yati Narsinghanand at the conclave
Screengrab of Yati Narsinghanand at the conclave
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Provocative and communal speeches against Muslims were made at a three-day closed-door conclave in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar, where Hindu religious leaders addressed the gathering and called upon the Hindu community to take up arms against Muslims. Brazen threats of violence against Muslims and loud, passionate calls for a “Hindu Raj” rang at the ‘Dharma Sansad’, or ‘Religious Parliament’, which was attended by numerous leaders of politico-religious Hindu organisations between December 17 and December 19 in Haridwar. The conclave was organised by Yati Singhanand, a controversial Hindutva figure who has been known to make openly communal statements.

Here’s one of the speeches made at the event by Annapurna Maa, the Mahamandleshwar of the Niranjini Akhada and general secretary of Hindu Mahasabha, one of the oldest Hindu organisations in India: “We are ready to kill them, we are ready to go to jail. We need 100 soldiers to kill 20 lakh of them, we are ready to go to jail. Only if you are ready to dedicate yourself like this, you will be able to save the Sanatan dharma. And remember, we are Sanatan dharma’s protectors. Keep your books aside, and take up weapons,” Annapurna said, egging listeners on to take up arms against Muslims in India.

This event was also attended by BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay, who was earlier this year arrested in connection with communal slogans that were raised at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar. He, however, defended his presence at the conclave, saying that he was just there for one day. The BJP leader handed over a copy of the Constitution, in saffron colour, to Narsinghanand.

Almost all speakers at the three-day Dharma Sansad, which is being referred to as the ‘Haridwar Hate Assembly’ on social media, are seen inciting large crowds gathered there to take up weapons against religious minorities, with Yati Singhanand himself saying that a mere economic boycott will not work, but rather “arming the Hindu brigade with bigger and better weapons” would be the “solution” against the “threat of Muslims.” The crowd raised their hands up and shouted in unison as he chanted the slogan, ‘Shastrameva jayate,’ twisting the Sanskrit phrase to say, ‘Weapons alone triumph.’

In another video from the event, Suresh Chavhanke, the editor-in-chief of the Hindi television news channel called Sudarshan News, is seen administering an ‘oath’ to a large crowd of people, in which he says, “We make a resolution until our last breath, we will make India a Hindu nation, and keep it a Hindu-only nation. We will fight and die if required, we will kill as well.”

In another video clip, Swami Prabodhanand Giri, the president of the Hindu Raksha Sena, a right-wing organisation in Uttarakhand, claimed, “every Hindu must pick up weapons and we will have to conduct this cleanliness drive (safai abhiyan). There is no solution apart from this.” According to a report in The Wire, Prabhodhanand is connected to the BJP, and has been photographed multiple times with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Trinamool Congress member and RTI activist Saket Gokhale has filed a complaint with the Haridwar police against the Dharma Sansad, he said on Thursday, December 23. He added that if a First Information Report is not filed by the police within 24 hours in this regard, he would take up the matter with the Judicial Magistrate. 

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