NEW DELHI – India has been ranked eighth among countries that are at the highest risk of mass killing in 2022-23, a United States-based study has said.
India has experienced a drop in rank from the second position at the beginning of the year.
“There is a 7.4% – or approximately one in 14 – chance of a new mass killing beginning in India in 2022-2023,” the Early Warning Project, which identifies countries at risk of mass violence, has said in its report released in November.
The Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College have conducted a joint study regarding the deteriorating situation in India.
One of the objectives of the report states, “This assessment identifies the risk, the possibility that a mass killing may take place.” The report defines mass killing as a phenomenon when 1,000 or more people are killed by the armed forces over a period of a year or less, due to their affiliation to a particular group.
Nearly all cases of genocide include mass killings, if they match this definition.
The study analysed 162 countries in all, out of which Pakistan secured the first rank on the list this year, Yemen ranked second, Myanmar third, Ethiopia fifth, Nigeria sixth and Afghanistan seventh. India has performed poorly and is ahead of countries including Sudan (ninth), Somalia (10th), Syria (11th), Iraq (12th), and Zimbabwe (14th rank).
As per the 2021-22 report, India was placed second among 15 countries for a study conducted in the last five years. freedom of movement for men is one of the parameters upon which the countries are ranked. If this variable had remained the same even this year, India would have been ranked first in this year’s assessment, with an 11% increase in risk said the report.
Other parameters used for the analysis are geographic region, population; socioeconomic measures (changes in gross domestic product per capita); measures of governance (restrictions on political candidates and parties); levels of human rights (freedom of movement); and records of violent conflict (battle-related deaths, ongoing mass killings).
The study also highlights several instances of atrocities against Muslims under the current government.
“Hindu nationalist leaders have continued to propagate hate speech, including religious leaders’ calls for mass killings of Muslims in December 2021. Several states saw large-scale and violent incidents targeting Muslims in recent months, which involved Hindu nationalist processions engaging in derogatory anti-Muslim chants and the desecration of mosques. In response to these violent provocations, local authorities bulldozed Muslim-owned property across several states, which rights groups cited as an apparent attempt at collective punishment,” the report noted.
It is to be noted that Hindutva leaders associated with or supporting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have openly called for the killing of Muslims. One of the notorious leaders to have picked on Muslims is Yati Narsinghanand, following the Delhi pogrom, the priest of the Dasna Devi temple had referred to Muslims as Rakshasas (Demons).
Following the protest against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Jafrabad, BJP leader Kapil Mishra gave a call to forcefully remove the protestors from the location, which led to the pogrom.