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New Delhi: At the same time when Hindutva leaders called for Muslim genocide in Haridwar, in the national capital of New Delhi, rightwing rabble rouser Suresh Chavhanke gave a call to “fight, die and kill if required” to make India a “Hindu nation.”
Scroll.in and Newslaundry have reported on videos that have been making rounds on social media, in which Chavhanke is seen administering an oath to people at an event organised by one ‘Hindu Yuva Vahini.’ The incident took place on December 19.
“In order to make this country a Hindu nation and to keep it a Hindu nation, and to move forward, we will fight, die and kill, if required,” Chavhanke is heard saying in the video, according to the reports.
The audience present in the hall responds to the lines in the “oath”, with their hands stretched ahead.
“For whatever the sacrifice, whatever the cost, we will not step back,” he says, as part of the oath.
— Suresh Chavhanke “Sudarshan News” (@SureshChavhanke) December 19, 2021
In addition to tweeting a video of the event, Chavhanke, who has 482,000 followers on Twitter, has shared circulated videos, photos and tweets on the event and has been popularising a Hindi hashtag which translates to “one dream Hindu nation”.
The news outlets have reported that the Delhi unit of the Hindu Yuva Vahini claims on its Facebook page that the group was founded by Uttar Pradesh chief minister Adityanath, who Chavhanke also tags in his original tweet.
He has also been responding to those calling for condemnation to this call for violence.
To a tweet by the head of Congress’s minority cell, decrying Chavhanke’s words, the latter calls him “those who took the oath of [Mughal emperor] Aurangzeb”. He adds that this “oath” he was administering was originally taken by Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji in 1645.
औरंगजेब की शपथ लेने वालों! यह शपथ 26 अप्रैल 1645 को छत्रपति शिवाजी महाराज जी ने रायरेश्वर मंदिर में ली थी
तब से अब तक करोड़ों योद्धाओं ने ये दिलवाई, लाखों ने बलिदान दिया, मैं उन्हीं में से एक छोटा सा सैनिक हूँ।
गजवा-ए-हिंद बनाने का तुम्हारा सपना कभी पूरा न हो, इसलिए यह शपथ है https://t.co/aNDVy8ZnOy
— Suresh Chavhanke “Sudarshan News” (@SureshChavhanke) December 22, 2021
Chavhanke is known for making anti-Muslim statements and has been in the news multiple times for blatant hate speech. He is the head of ‘Sudarshan News TV’ – a channel which has also distinguished itself with shows which take a hardline anti-Muslim approach.
Newslaundry has called the channel’s broadcast one which borders “on riot mongering” and has noted that some of these shows have also by the Adityanath government.
Chavhanke and others indeed ritually use the channel to give out calls to attend events on the Hindutva calendar. Alishan Jafri had noted for The Wire how Chavhanke had called for a protest against “love jihad” at India Gate last year on live television, amidst a Section 144 imposition. On the day, a scuffle between police and protesters broke out, which Chavhanke utilised to point to an unsubstantiated attack by Muslims, which Delhi Police said was untrue.
On September 11, 2020, Sudarshan News broadcast its show on Muslim ‘infiltration’ in the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination after the Supreme Court overturned a Delhi high court order staying the programme. The apex court, however, called the show “insidious” and a “disservice to the nation”. In it, it made several claims on how Muslim aspirants are favoured in the exam – which the fact-checking website Alt News challenged in a report.
In July this year, Chavhanke led a Hindutva team to a fort in Rajasthan and unfurled a saffron flag there – which was taken down by the tribal Meena community.
In addition, the Newslaundry report lists more incidents of Chavhanke’s activities, which include “instigating violence” during the Muzaffarnagar riots and calling a Bangladeshi activist a “Rohingya criminal”.