Why coastal Karnataka is southern India’s ‘Hindutva laboratory’

by | Aug 5, 2022 | World

Mangalore, India – Mohammad Ismail was 21 in 2005 when he worked as a salesman at a saree store in the coastal city of Mangalore in the southern Indian state of Karnataka.One afternoon in May that year, Ismail was on way to Mysore, a heritage city some six hours away, in a bus when he along with several other Muslims were pulled out and brutally attacked by a mob of Hindu vigilantes. Ismail suffered serious injuries and remained bedridden for months.
The reason? The group he was travelling with included Hindu girls.
“The culture at the time was such that we could not even be found near Hindu girls,” Ismail told Al Jazeera 17 years after the incident.
“Mobs from Hindu right-wing organisations would beat up and lynch any Muslim boy over the pretext of seducing Hindu girls or transporting cows for slaughter, and there would be little action against them.”
‘Karnataka model’
In the nearly 320km-long (199 miles) coastal belt of Karnataka, such attacks are no aberration. They have a steady history of more than 30 years, giving the region the notorious distinction of being southern India’s “Hindutva laboratory”.
Hindutva refers to a 100-year-old Hindu supremacist movement that aims to turn a constitutionally secular India into an exclusive Hindu state. The movement is led by the Rashtriya Swa …

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