ONLINE AND OFFLINE MANIFESTATION OF HINDUTVA IDEOLOGY IN INDIA DURING THE COVID-19 SPREAD
Keywords:COVID-19, Hindutva, Hate Speech, Islamophobia, Disinformation
Towards the end of January 2020, COVID-19 made its headway into India. The irresponsible behaviour of the Modi government in containing the spread of Coronavirus forced it to opt for an ill-planned and hastily imposed lockdown. Meanwhile, the poor health infrastructure of the country collapsed. This outbreak also tested the socio-cultural robustness and religious tolerance in India. Pro-Hindutva media outlets and Hindu nationalists employed hate speech to securitize this outbreak as a Muslims-led controversy against India. Furthermore, pseudoscience-based remedies were portrayed as a potential cure for COVID-19. The online disinformation ecosystem of Hindutva extremist groups against minorities used trending campaigns, memes, and sharing of false content. They posted Islamophobic content so extensively that the impact of online disinformation contributed to offline harm to minorities in the form of violent attacks and social boycotts. This paper, therefore, analyses the online and offline activities of Hindu extremists and nationalists during the spread of COVID-19. It concludes with emphasis that the ongoing metamorphosis in the relationship between state, society, and religion in India is a pressing concern for the civilized world, especially the Indian political elite.
Nabeel, Fahad, and Maryam Raashed. 2021. "Online and Offline Manifestation of Hindutva Ideology in India during the Covid-19 Spread." Margalla Papers 25 (1): 70-80.
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