fredag 8. april 2022

Bangalore: How polarisation is dividing India's Silicon Valley

Last week one of India's richest women tweeted an unusual appeal to ruling politicians. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, who heads Biocon, a leading biotechnology firm, urged the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in Karnataka to "resolve the growing religious divide" in the southern state of 64 million people. Shah's enterprise is based in Karnataka's capital, Bangalore, India's booming info-tech hub.

Her remarks came in the wake of a blistering controversy over demands by radical Hindu groups in the state to ban Muslim traders from setting up stalls at temple fairs. These groups have also been urging Hindus not to buy meat sold by Muslim butchers who kill the animal under the requirements of the community's halal slaughter. (The animal's throat is slit quickly with a sharp knife while it is still conscious.) Now the groups are seeking a ban on the use of loudspeakers in mosques, and a boycott of Muslim mango sellers.

That's not all. In the past months, Karnataka has been roiled by tension over a government order barring entry to colleges of Muslim girls wearing hijab. A court has upheld the order, and many students have skipped exams and classes in protest.