“We will stand up against every jihadi in India and clean the country of their presence.”

“Whoever has understood the Quran is a jihadi.”

“Every Hindu should keep weapons at home. When you do that, you will be blessed by Ram and Krishna. You need the weapons now, to wage war against the jihadis.”

These are just a few of the many instances of hate speech and appeals for anti-Muslim violence made by Swami Prabodhanand Giri in UP’s Ghaziabad on 2 January. This was a fortnight after he helped organise the Haridwar Dharam Sansad, where calls for a genocide of Muslims were made.

Prabodhanand received a hero’s welcome in Ghaziabad for his crucial role in the Haridwar hate assembly and was felicitated while on a massive roadshow through the city.

The Hindutva leader is the chief of the Hindu Raksha Sena and also the head of the 21-member Dharam Sansad core committee that is planning to conduct Dharam Sansads across the country to appeal to Hindus to “wage war” against ‘jihadis’.

Remember, Prabodhanand defines ‘jihadis’ as anyone who understands the Quran. So, the Hindutva leader is publicly appealing his followers to do a ‘safai’ (cleansing) of everyone who “understands the Quran”. Is this not an explicit example of hate speech that is clearly prosecutable by the law?

When The Quint asked the Ghaziabad Police whether they would act against this hate speech, the police requested us to send them the video of the speech.

On 4 January 2022, we did that.

The UP Police have not responded to us since then.

At the Ghaziabad event, Prabodhanand made a direct call to his Hindutva followers to “attack first”.

He said, “Has anybody seen a cat attack a pigeon to eat it? If the cat is attacking the pigeon to eat it, and the pigeon closes its eyes, then will the cat not eat it? The cat will still eat it. If the cat eats the pigeon nonetheless, what if we attack the cat first and gouge its eyes out?”

Notice that he said, “What if we attack the cat first and gouge its eyes out?”

He continued, “Tell me, what happens next? If we gouge the cat’s eyes out, the cat will only be able to do “meow meow” and can’t do anything other than that.”

From the stage, one of the organisers of the Ghaziabad event asked, “Is everyone ready (to do so)?” The crowd responded with chants of “Jai Shri Ram!”

Prabodhanand continued, “We need to bring this cat to that state. That is what we have to do.”

The Yogi Connection

The Hindutva roadshow in Ghaziabad and the Hindu Raksha Sena hate speech event that followed had UP CM Yogi Adityanath’s image on most posters and banners.

Yogi even found a mention in Prabodhanand’s speech at the event.

The Hindu Raksha Sena chief said, “When in 2017, there was no one to speak for the Hindus in the whole world, UP CM Yogi Adityanath indicated to me that since he would be joining the government, who would continue the fight of Hindutva? It was evident in his eyes what he wanted. When he gave me the hint, I promised him that he need not worry. I told Yogi, “The sword of Hindutva that you have prepared, it will continue. And it will become so sharp that people will not be able to survive in front of it.”

Prabodhanand: Yogi also did the same work before becoming the CM, through his Hindu Yuva Vahini! There is no difference between his work and our work. He too works for the protection of Hindus.

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