10, Oct 2022 | CJP Team
Controversial Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma has fired yet another salvo against members of a particular community, urging people to boycott them. Though Verma did not specifically name the Muslim community, he was speaking in reference to an alleged case of murder where the victim was Hindu and the alleged perpetrators all hailed from the Muslim community.
Verma made the remarks at an event called Virat Hindu Sabha organised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Sunday at North East Delhi’s Dilshad Garden. Videos of the speech went viral on social media. In the video, Verma can be seen and heard saying, “If you want to set their minds right, if you want to cure them, there is only one solution – complete boycott.” He then asks the audience if they agree with him, and they loudly cheer him on.
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Verma then goes on to administer an oath of boycott, which the audience repeats after him: “We will boycott them completely. We will not buy anything from their shops and establishments. We will not pay them any wages.”
BJP MP Parvesh Verma orders the people of Delhi to financial boycott Muslims. Will @DelhiPolice act against this man for inciting hatred amongst communities? Does PM Modi condone this speech? Is this what BJP meant by Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas! Speak up @narendramodi pic.twitter.com/L8XtjlxbQB
— Dr. Shama Mohamed (@drshamamohd) October 9, 2022
Verma was speaking in connection with the killing of a man named Manish in Delhi’s Sunder Nagar area on October 1. According to the Indian Express, Manish was stabbed 20 times in the attack and his assailants have been identified as Sajid, Aalam, Bilal, Faizan, Mohsin and Shakir. Thus, their names clearly give away their religious identity.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had also issued a press statement about the killing, and claimed Hindus had become a minority in the area, and that groups engaged in religious conversion were active there.
दिल्ली में हिंदू युवक मनीष की नृशंस हत्या के विरूद्ध हुई आक्रोश सभा की प्रेस विज्ञप्ति व इस सम्बंध में उपराज्यपाल को दिया गया ज्ञापन.. pic.twitter.com/9pajM3eBhy
— Vishva Hindu Parishad -VHP (@VHPDigital) October 9, 2022
But when probed about the public call to boycott Muslims, Verma tried to dodge the allegation by saying he did not specifically name Muslims as a community. Verma told the publication, “What I said was that the families whose members carry out such killings should be boycotted. Such families, if they run any restaurant or any business, should be boycotted. There have been such crimes in my area also. And in such cases, their business should be boycotted.”
Understandably, the impunity with which a public call was made for boycotting an entire community, has caused nationwide outrage with many prominent leaders and civil society members calling out the bigotry.
. @p_sahibsingh is a BJP MP who called for boycott of Muslim businesses. @nkgurjar4bjp is a BJP MLA who called for violence against those who are not “descendants of Lord Ram”: ie those who are not Hindus. The latter also implied justified riots as “killing jehadis”.
— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) October 10, 2022
Modi says he isn’t against Islam & a true Hindu can never be against Islam.
Today, a member of parliament from BJP openly calls to boycott Muslims. pic.twitter.com/AOVghjyZkM
— YSR (@ysathishreddy) October 9, 2022
Utterly shocking and disgraceful. BJP MP @p_sahibsingh calls for the social boycott of Muslims. What happens to ‘Sabka saath’ when this is the language used by a public rep? Will any action be taken? Or will he be rewarded? pic.twitter.com/an882o5qi8
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) October 9, 2022
Hindu Righ Wing, before calling for an economic boycott of Muslims in India, must realize that India gets more than half of its remittance and imports more than half of its oil from the Gulf countries.
— Ashok Swain (@ashoswai) October 9, 2022
A top leader of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government asking for economic boycott of Muslims in broad daylight . And Indian foreign minister @DrSJaishankar accuses ‘western media’ of trying to discredit India. The everyday slide of India into the dark abyss of fascism https://t.co/Iq02ENKU2m
— Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) October 9, 2022
But this is not the first time Verma has made comments targeted at Muslims. In January 2020, in the run up to Assembly Elections in Delhi, Parvesh Verma had in an interview to the news agency ANI, made disparaging remarks about the Muslim community in connection with the Shaheen Bagh protests. He had said, “Lakhs of people gather there [Shaheen Bagh]. People of Delhi will have to think and make a decision. They will enter your houses, rape your sisters and daughters, kill them.” Verma had gone on to say, “There’s time today, Modi ji and Amit Shah won’t come to save you tomorrow.” Considering that the Shaheen Bagh protests were led by women, this comment was utterly bizarre!
The Print now reports that the Delhi Police have filed a First Information Report (FIR) under Section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), saying prior police permission was not sought for the event. However, no action has been taken against Parvesh Verma, so far.
Image Courtesy: ndtv.com