Amidst Hindutva’s attempt to isolate Muslims in Karnataka with economic boycott and other means of harassment, Belur farmers have come out in support of their “Muslim brothers”.
In videos that surfaced on Twitter, farmers in the Belur district of the state condemned groups that are preventing Muslim traders from doing business on temple premises. The farmers said that there is no place for communal polarization and stringent actions must be taken against it.
A farmer in the video can be heard saying, “Muslims from ages have saved 1000s of Hindus in Belur. They have all rights to live along with us. They are our brothers. I am a farmer. Without Muslims, I am nothing. Without me, they are nothing.”
“If you try to polarize here, then we will take serious action against it. Muslims, Hindus, Christians are living peacefully here,” added the farmer.
With the state legislative assembly elections approaching the state in 2023, incidents of atrocities against minorities, have witnessed a rise in the last few months.
Violence against Muslims has only increased since January after hijab-wearing Muslim students were prevented from attending classes and appearing for exams. Saffron-clad students protested against fellow female Muslim classmates; a move which has been dubbed by many as the newest form of apartheid.
Increasing atrocities on Muslims in Karnataka:
As the hijab row escalated, the state released an order banning all visible religious symbols within educational institutions including headscarves. The ban was upheld by the high court as hijab-wearing students filed petitions against the state’s diktat.
In more recent incidents, Muslim traders in Karnataka were prevented from doing business on the premises of temples.
In February, following the murder of a Bajrang Dal activist Harsha Hindu in Shivamogga, anti-Muslim riots broke out in the distict. Several Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders issued calls for violence demanding justice for Harsha.
Hindutva goons harassed Muslim women and burned down vehicles owned by members of the community.
In a form of economic boycott and social isolation, members of several Hindutva organizations urged people not to buy meat from Muslim butchers who sold Halal meat.
A butcher and a shop owner were also harassed by members of a Bajrang Dal on Wednesday for selling Halal meat.
“Bajrang Dal activists argued and then attacked a Muslim vendor. An FIR has been registered at Hosamane police station in Bhadravati,” ANI news agency quoted the Shivamogga Superintendent of police. So far, seven accused in the case have been arrested.