Communal Violence in India Runs Counter to Hindu Ethics, Tradition of Pluralism

Washington, DC (July 11, 2019) — In light of recent incidents of communal violence in India, including an attack on a Muslim man in Jharkhand by Hindus that led to his death; on a Hindu temple in Delhi by Muslims that led to widespread injuries and property damage; against a Muslim devotee of Lord Ram by other Muslims leaving the victim injured and his property damaged; and on a Ravidassia Dalit wedding procession passing in front of a mosque that led to serious injuries, HAF Executive Director Suhag Shukla stated:

“These recent attacks are utterly deplorable. They violate central Hindu teachings about nonviolence and the essential Divinity in all life, as well as the resulting tradition of religious freedom, religious pluralism, and mutual respect in India. We offer our prayers to those who have suffered loss and injury, and implore the Government of India to ensure swift justice for the victims and promptly make the investment necessary to significantly improve law enforcement and civilian respect for the law.

Recent attacks make clear that no religious community has been spared being made a victim of mob violence, nor can any religious community be absolved from having perpetrated such violence. It’s important that the media acknowledge this in its reporting and give voice to all victims, and not politicize these disturbing, albeit isolated incidents. They represent horrible exceptions to India’s overarching story of inter- and intra-religious coexistence.”