SHAH ALAM - Muslims in India could be facing an impending genocide, Genocide Watch President Dr Gregory Stanton warns.
Stanton, who had predicted a genocide in Rwanda, years before it took place in 1994, is ringing alarm bells now as the country continues under the reign of Prime Minister Nahendra Modi.
He said Genocide Watch has been alerting the possibility of genocide in the country since 2002 following riots and massacres that took place in Gujarat that claimed thousands of Muslims lives.
“Now, Modi has become the Prime Minister of India and under his policies, he has used anti-Muslim, Islamophobia and rhetoric in fact to build his political base,” Stanton said in the Congressional Briefing on the “Call for Genocide of Indian Muslims” on Jan 12.
He stated that as the leader of India, Modi has a moral obligation to denounce this type of hatred or hate speech that specifically calls for the killings of Muslims.
Stanton said, however, he has instead exploited this narrative.
Stanton said the Hindutva ideology was “contrary to the history of India and the Indian constitution” and referred to Modi as an “extremist who has taken over the government”.
He added that Modi has not spoken out against the violence happening and instead denied that it was his responsibility.
“People should be aware that genocide is not an event but a process that develops.
“There are early signs and processes of genocide that can be observed in India,” he said.
Stanton said the process drew parallels between policies pursued by Modi and the discriminatory policies of Myanmar’s government against Rohingya Muslims in 2017.
Among the policies he cited were the revocation of special autonomous status of Indian-administered Kashmir in 2019, which stripped Kashmiris of the special autonomy they had for seven decades; and the Citizenship Amendment Act the same year, which granted citizenship to religious minorities but excluded Muslims.
The former genocide studies and prevention lecturer from George Mason University said he feared a similar scenario to Myanmar would happen where the Rohingya were first legally declared non-citizens and later expelled through violence and genocide.
Incitement of genocide, he said, is a crime under the Genocide Convention and the law where that specific act is illegal must be enforced in India.
In 1989, Stanton said he had warned the then-Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana that “if you don’t do something to prevent genocide in your country, there is going to be a genocide here within five years”.
“I predicted the genocide in Rwanda when I lived there, but that was in 1989.
“The genocide, the hate speech and all the early warning signs developed and 800,000 Rwandas were murdered in 1974.