Twitter has removed a post published by India’s governing party, BJP Gujarat, after it was found to have violated the platform’s terms of services.
The tweet showed a caricature of bearded men in skull caps being hung on a noose, while the background showed the Indian flag along with the words “Satyameva Jayate” meaning “the truth will triumph.”
It also added: “No mercy to the perpetrators of terror.”
The cartoon was supposed to “reflect” 38 people who were given the death penalty after a court ruling their connection with the 2008 blasts in Ahmedabad. This explanation was also reiterated by Rutvij Patel, BJP’s spokesperson when social media users slammed the party for the “insensitive” image.
“The sketch was based on real photographs of the convicts published by newspapers a day after the verdict. The Gujarat BJP or its social media team had no intention to target any particular religion or community through the sketch,” he was quoted saying to the news agency, Press Trust of India.
“Our sketch was just an artistic expression shared on social media, nothing else,” he added.
However, social media users were left less than impressed.
“Gujarat BJP has dehumanised & stigmatised an entire community for the act of a few If this didn’t trigger an alarm, remember that dehumanization & stigmatisation are identified stages of gen0cide Nazis did the same to Jews,” one user wrote.
India is currently in the midst of an intense, religious clash with right-wing Hindu nationalists threatening to “eradicate” the Muslim population.
Hate crimes against Muslims have spiked in the past few months, with video footage and photographs being shared on social media showing them being attacked and beaten in the streets. Gangs of Hindu nationalists have been purposefully seeking out Muslim victims in order to intimidate them into submission and with the government remaining primarily silent on the issue, it’s been an extremely growing concern over the past few months.
Most recently, schools and other establishments have been forcing Muslim women to remove their hijabs before entering or if they fail to comply, they’re being turned away.
Gregory Stanton, Founder of Genocide Watch, has warned that a “genocide could very well happen in India,” also adding that there are “early signs” of it occurring right now.
May Allah make it easier for Indian Muslims during this incredibly difficult time.