India's government and media are arguing over whether a minister tried to make students come to school on Christmas Day. Controversy continues over coerced mass conversions. It is a time of deep insecurity for religious minorities.
Extremist politician Narendra Modi has dangerously inflamed religious tension during the Indian election. “This is the land of Lord Ram,” he declared in Faizabad, standing in front of a picture of the god. In 1992 fanatics tore down a nearby mosque and pledged to build a temple to Ram in its place.
Supporters of far-right candidate Narendra Modi have condemned a college principal for speaking up for justice and the environment during India’s parliamentary election. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) complained to the Electoral Commission about Frazer Mascarenhas, principal of St Xavier’s College and a Jesuit priest.
A former close associate of Indian prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has reportedly urged that Muslims be forced out of ‘Hindu areas’. This follows other threats by leaders of the far-right Bharati Janata Party (BJP), intensifying fears about what might happen if he wins power.
Sculptor Anish Kapoor and writer Salman Rushdie are among those who have signed a letter to the Guardian warning that, if Narendra Modi became Prime Minister, “it would bode ill for India's future”. The chief minister of Gujarat belongs to the far-right Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).