Away from the glare of mainstream media, WhatsApp groups run by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its affiliates are bustling with posts. The message is clear — that beyond the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) debate, Muslims are a greater threat to Hindus.
In the aftermath of the riots in which Hindu mobs targeted and burnt Muslim houses and shops and killed 53 people (both Hindu and Muslims), hate messages targeting the Muslim community are doing the rounds. Group members call for economic boycott of Muslims, harping constantly on Islamophobia.
The Federal monitored one of the WhatsApp groups of a BJP youth wing in a rural area in Karnataka for 10 days to analyse the kind of messages.
While on an average about 6–7 messages were posted daily, a third of them were anti-Muslim. Considering that the mood had shifted from pro-CAA debate to Delhi riots, there were very little pro-CAA posts. Amid the state budget, there were also pro-PM and pro-CM posts, apart from some on competitive exams and state policies.
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