Merely four days before Ankit Saxena’s throat was slit in the streets of Delhi by the family of his Muslim girlfriend, a pro-Hindutva Facebook page put out a list of 102 inter-faith couples — Hindu girls with Muslim boys — calling for violent action against all the boys.
Posted on the Facebook page ‘Hindutva Varta’ (Hindutva Talk) on January 28, the list bore the names of 102 couples with links to the profiles of all the Hindu girls and Muslim boys. “Here is a list of the Facebook profiles of all the women who are either victims of love-jihad or are in the process of becoming one,” the Facebook post said. It added, “We urge every Hindu lion to find the Muslim boys from the list and hunt them down.”
Other posts from the page also highlight a similar sentiment of targetted violence against Muslims in an attempt to preserve Hindu culture. In a video shared by the page, where a man can be seen teaching his daughter how to fire a gun, the caption reads, “Irrespective of whether or not you teach your daughters or sisters how to ride a scooty, you must teach them how to fire a gun. Hindu women are the first to be harmed by jihad.”
In another video shared by the page, where a group of men could be seen attacking an individual, the page wrote, “It is certain, with every cow that is slaughtered, the butcher will also be killed.”
However, this isn’t the first time that such a list has been shared. Reportedly, back in November 2017, another Facebook page called “Justice for Hindus,” shared the list, albeit there was no call for violent action.
While the page was taken down on Sunday, several individual Facebook profiles have also circulated the list of names with the same message of violence.
‘Hindutva Varta’ is not the only page which can be held liable for promoting such hostility. There are several pages on social media that foster violence on religious lines. While Facebook detests such inflammatory behaviour and allows users to report such posts/pages, with such polarised, targetted hatred spewing on social media, is it even enough? Are people really safe?