India (MNN) — India’s latest chapter of minority oppression resulted in the violent deaths of two young Dalit women from Uttar Pradesh. On Tuesday, a 19-year old and 22-year old succumbed to fatal injuries caused by two separate instances of gang rape. Rape occurs every 15 minutes in India, according to federal statistics. More India headlines here.
“Uttar Pradesh is turning out to be their laboratory of how [the] Hindu state [will function],” explains David*, a Christian worker in India.
“In this context, we find the Dalits are completely helpless.”
Referred to as “Untouchable,” Dalits make up the bottom of India’s social hierarchy. David says attacks on Dalits and other minority communities are part of a broader push toward Hindu Rashtra. More about that here.
“There’s been a lot of protests going on all across India; one [reason was how] it was dealt with. After she died, the police buried her in the middle of the night without the family, which was very disturbing for everyone because it doesn’t happen in our country,” David says of the 19-year old victim.
“Burial and funeral, especially in rural India, is a big affair. They have rituals as well as a community meal.”
Three paths to Hindu Rashtra
According to David, Indian officials are working toward Hindu Rashtra on three levels.
“[First], they’re constantly tweaking the policies and constitution. Second, they’re slowly dismantling all their independent agencies like the judiciary and other things. Third, [they have] empowered their RSS mobs to ‘set things right’ at the grassroots level,” he describes.
In 2014, Hindu leader Rajeshwar Singh reportedly predicted, “Muslims and Christians will be wiped out of India by December 31, 2021.” Authorities quietly removed Singh from the public spotlight the following year, but the Hindu nationalist push continues today.
In August, self-proclaimed secular humanist Khalid Umar wrote:
“India will remain a progressive country only until it remains a secular country. And it will remain a secular country only if Hindu domination persists in its demographics.”
Upper-caste Hindus use violence to assert their authority over social and religious minorities. The movement reached every corner of government and society and gained traction with Prime Minister Modi’s rise to power in 2014.
“[By] 2024 they want to make sure that [inaudible] Hindu Rashtra,” David says.
“The first five years, they were mostly targeting the Muslims. This second term, they are on a ‘fast track’ in terms of working towards the Hindu Rashtra.”
Ask the Lord to strengthen His followers in India. “Persecution has been rampant the last two weeks in Jharkhand,” David says.
“They’ve been going village to village rounding up all the Christians and asking them to get back to Hinduism or pay the price. The police and the district administration didn’t give any help to these folks.”
*–Name and ministry withheld for security purposes.
Header image is a representative stock photo depicting a Shiva statue in India. Shiva is one of the most important gods in Hinduism. (Photo by spandan pattanayak on Unsplash)