The Ten Stages of Genocide 

TW: imagery, mentions of violence 

Why you should be worried for India’s future. 

“ Prof Stanton, founder of Genocide Watch, and developer of the 10 Stages of Genocide, reminded the audience that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “political base is the base that is held by the RSS… ”, and that the RSS is “filled with hate ever since it was founded, it is basically a Nazi organization, and in fact admired Hitler”, ”  – Hena Zuberi ( India reaches 8th of 10 stage genocide: US Muslim advocacy group raises ‘alert’  ) 

A genocide of Muslims in India could be about to take place, an expert said to have predicted the massacre of the Tutsi in Rwanda years before it took place in 1994, has warned.

On march 1st, 2021, Genocide Watch issued the ‘India Genocide Warning’ , warning that islamophobia in India no longer remained a fringe sentiment . It has become a state-manufactured ideology. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has made Islamophobia central to its program for harassing India’s 192 million Muslims and depriving them of their rights as Indian citizens. 

Gregory Stanton, the founder and director of Genocide Watch, said during a US congressional briefing there were early “signs and processes” of genocide in the Indian state of Assam and Indian-administered Kashmir.

According to Genocide Watch, 

“Genocide is a process that develops in ten stages that are predictable but not inexorable. At each stage, preventive measures can stop it. The process is not linear. Stages occur simultaneously. Each stage is itself a process. Their logic is similar to a nested Russian matryoshka doll. Classification is at the centre. Without it the processes around it could not occur. As societies develop more and more genocidal processes, they get nearer to genocide.  But all stages continue to operate throughout the process.”


All societies have categories, classes and designated characteristics to distinguish people from one another.  Clashes and communalism arise when the social structure tends towards the bi-polar,l with a lack of mixed categories. For the Rwandan massacre and the Burundi Killings of 1972, it was the Hutu and Tutsi , for the Holocaust the German and the jew. 

Citizenship in a nationality is one of the most essential classifications in the current nation-state system. Citizenship denial or removal is a legal mechanism to deny a group’s civil and human rights.

In India, the Citizenship Amendment Act  of 2019 denies a route to citizenship for Muslim refugees. 

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act of 2019 amended the Citizenship Act, 1955, by inserting the following provisos in section 2, sub-section (1), after clause (b):

Provided that any person belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian community from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan, who entered into India on or before the 31st day of December, 2014 and who has been exempted by the Central Government by or under clause (c) of sub-section (2) of section 3 of the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 or from the application of the provisions of the Foreigners Act, 1946 or any rule or order made thereunder, shall not be treated as illegal migrant for the purposes of this Act;   ”

The act was the first time that religion had been overtly used as a criterion for citizenship under Indian law

( Source: In the North East, the Citizenship Amendment Act has activated a fresh wave of nativist sentiment )


( Source : BJP’s Ahmedabad blast caricature: One step closer to Nazi Germany )

                      (source : The Hindutva Aspect of COVID-19 Outbreak in India )

It is natural to follow categorising members of a nation with symbols that can represent these groups. This does not inherently evoke genocidal intentions unless followed with dehumanisation.  When combined with hatred, symbols may be forced upon unwilling members of pariah groups: such as the yellow star for Jews under Nazi rule.


Other groups’ rights are denied by a dominating group’s use of law, custom, and political power. Full civil rights, voting rights, or even citizenship may not be granted to the powerless group. The dominating group is motivated by an exclusionary ideology that seeks to deny rights to less powerful groups. The ideology promotes the dominant group’s monopolisation or growth of power. It legitimises the oppression of marginalised communities.

In India, discrimination against muslims is not episodic, but systemic and continuous. 

According to an excerpt from from Whole Numbers and Half Truths: What Data Can and Cannot Tell Us About Modern India by Rukmini S, published by Context : 

Over a third of Hindu respondents in a 2019 national survey considered Muslims to be unpatriotic (although the Muslim respondents did not feel that way about themselves). 

Forty per cent of Hindus in a four-state survey and 43 per cent of Sikhs considered Muslims to be mostly violent, while Muslims did not consider people from any religion to be mostly violent.”

Jains and Hindus were the most likely to not be willing to accept a neighbour from another community – particularly Muslims. Thirty-six per cent of Hindus were not willing to accept a Muslim neighbour, while the distaste for Hindu neighbours was much lower at 16 per cent among Muslims. 

 In a 2015 experiment, decoy prospective tenants with upper-caste Hindu, Dalit and Muslim surnames answered rental listings in and around Delhi. Despite being identical in every other way, all upper-caste decoys were met with a positive response – the landlord expressed a willingness to give the accommodation on rent.

(Suggested read: How ‘Muslim zones’ and ‘mini-Pakistans’ came about in Delhi )

A call by right-wing groups  such as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Bajrang Dal, and Sree Rama Sene to restrict Muslim vendors from putting up stalls during temple fairs held in villages across Karnataka had resulted in restrictions being imposed in some temples in communally-sensitive regions like Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, and Shivamogga.

The BJP government in Karnataka justified the restrictions on Muslim traders at temple fairs by stating that non-Hindus are barred from having stores in temple premises as per a rule issued in 2002 under the Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act, 1997. The temple fairs at the centre of the debate represent the culture and customs of the specific places where the festivals are held, and are usually attended by people of various castes and religions.


The humanity of one group is denied by the other. Its members are compared to animals, vermin, insects, and diseases. 

The normal human aversion to murder is eliminated by dehumanisation. Victimised groups are no longer treated as people to be treated within bounds of morality.  Hate propaganda in print, on hate radio, and on social media is being utilised to denigrate the victim group at this point. It’s possible that it’ll be included in school textbooks.

 Indoctrination serves as a precursor to incitement. The majority group is indoctrinated to see the minority group as less than human, if not foreign to their culture. They’ve been brainwashed into thinking that “we’re better off without them.” The powerless group can become depersonalised to the point where they are given numbers rather than names, as Jews were in concentration camps

In India, several examples of reducing muslims to the idea ‘unpatriotic pestilence’ or ‘terrorists’ pertain. 

During the February 2020 Delhi riots, several security forces personnel had beaten up and forced a number of badly injured Muslims lying on the road to sing the national anthem. The idea was to question their patriotism. One of the men, Faizan, subsequently died of his injuries.

 Modi himself has told election rallies, people “creating violence” can be “identified by their clothes.”

Gory stories float on the Internet and WhatsApp that portray Muslims throughout medieval India and during the partition riots as compulsive sex fiends. The Muslim bashers also fall back on the works of known ideologues like Koenraad Elst, V.D. Savarkar and K.S. Lal et al to lend credence to their portrayal of the ‘Muslim rapist’. 

When in reality, a claim by a right-wing propaganda portal Postcard News that linked Muslims to 96% of rapes in India was debunked by India Today in 2018.

On the 4th of July, more than 80 Muslim women saw themselves being tagged on Twitter through an app called ‘Sulli Deal’. Muslim women were sexualised and ‘sold’ through social media. 


Genocide is always organized, usually by the state, often using militias to provide deniability of state responsibility. 

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ( RSS) associated with the the national Bharatiya Janata Party has “The initial impetus was to provide character training through Hindu discipline and to unite the Hindu community to form a Hindu Rashtra” 

It drew initial inspiration from European right-wing groups during World War II, such as the Italian Fascist Party.

Human Rights Watch, a non-governmental organisation for human rights based in New York, has claimed that the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council, VHP), the Bajrang Dal, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, and the BJP have been party to the Gujarat violence that erupted after the Godhra train burning


Hate groups spread divisive misinformation. In some cases, laws prohibit marriages or social engagement. Moderates are targeted by extremist terrorism, which intimidates and silences the middle.

The Hindu right wing pushes the conspiracy theory of ‘Love-Jihad’ . Numerous BJP-ruled states, including Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, passed legislation to clamp down on conversion for interfaith marriages – laws colloquially known as the “love jihad” laws.

In Uttar Pradesh, Muslim men who have attempted to marry consenting Hindu women have been violently attacked, forced into hiding or sent to jail. Of the 208 people arrested under the new anti-conversion law between November 2020 and August 2021, all were Muslim. None have been convicted so far. 

( source : Haridwar ‘hate speech’: Supreme Court seeks FIR status in ‘dharam sansad’ meet)


​National or perpetrator group leaders plan the “Final Solution” to the Jewish, Armenian, Tutsi or other targeted group “question.”

 Leaders often claim that “if we don’t kill them, they will kill us,” disguising genocide as self-defence.  There is a sudden increase in inflammatory rhetoric and hate propaganda with the objective of creating fear of the other group.

Multiple videos of Hindutva group members, journalists and a Bharatiya Janata Party leader calling for violence against Muslims can be found on the Internet.

In one of the videos, Suresh Chavhanke, the editor-in-chief of Sudarshan News, can be seen administering an oath to a group of people to “die for and kill” to make India a “Hindu rashtra” or a Hindu nation.

An event at Haridwar called the ‘Dharma Sansad’ or ‘Religious Parliament’. Over the course of three days, this event witnessed an extraordinary outpouring of hate speech, mobilisations to violence and anti-Muslim sentiment.

Indian authorities have charged a Hindu monk,Yati Narsinghanand Giri ,with inciting religious violence after he called for the “genocide” of India’s Muslims at a meeting of right-wing supporters.

Hindu Priests Call For Killing Muslims, At Hate Conclave In Haridwar


Because of their national, ethnic, racial, or religious identity, victims are identified and segregated. Extrajudicial killings, torture, and forced displacement are often used to violate the victim group’s most basic human rights. Death lists are compiled. Members of victim groups may be forced to wear distinguishing emblems in state-sponsored genocide. Expropriation of their property is common. 

They are sometimes confined to ghettos, deported to concentration camps, or starved in famine-stricken areas. They are intentionally deprived of resources such as water and food in order to slowly deplete the group’s resources. Forced sterilisation or abortions are used as methods of preventing procreation. Children are taken from their parents forcibly. Massacres of genocidal proportions commence. All of these acts of devastation are genocide, outlawed by the Genocide Convention. 

“Around 91 per cent of the hate crimes recorded in the last decade took place after Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power. According to the data released by Hate Crime Watch, out of 287 hate crimes reported from January 2009 to April 30, 2019, 262 took place in the last five years”

“Minorities were victims of 73 percent of the hate crimes, out of 263 reported from May 2014 to April 2019. Muslims were the victims in 61 per cent of cases (160) and Christians in 11 per cent (27 cases).”

                                                                                – National Herald 

(source: Karnataka Hijab Row: Now, School Students in Saffron Scarves Chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in Protest )


Extermination begins, quickly progressing to “genocide,” a legal word for mass killing. The killers call it “extermination” because they don’t believe their victims are entirely human. When the killing is state-sponsored, the military forces frequently collaborate with militias. 

Total genocides have as their purpose the death of all members of the targeted group. However, most genocides are “partially” genocides, in which all educated members of the targeted population are killed (Burundi 1972). All men and boys of fighting age are subject to assassination (Srebrenica, Bosnia 1995). Any woman or girl can be raped (Darfur, Myanmar.) Women’s mass rape has been a hallmark of all modern genocides. 


Denial is the final stage, which lasts throughout the process of genocide and even after genocidal massacres. 

Mass graves are dug up, bodies are burned, evidence is hidden, and witnesses are intimidated by genocide criminals. They deny committing any crimes and frequently place blame on the victims. 

Syed Zafar Islam, the spokesperson of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, rejected Genocide Watch’s report, saying “no such things exist as [is] being portrayed…. There have been instances (of attacks) but it is not restricted to one community. In society, we have sometimes attacks on each other over reasons like property disputes or other disputes. These things do not only happen between Hindu and Muslims only but they happen among Hindus as well,” he said.     – GenocideWatch 

Genocide Watch recognizes the Modi BJP government’s state-sponsored attack on the Muslim community as Stage 6: Polarization, Stage 7: Preparation, and Stage 8: Persecution. Modi’s statements at Aligarh Muslim University claiming that his new laws are intended to “uplift the Muslim community” demonstrate Stage 10: Denial.

-Chandrima Dey 

FY. Bsc. Economics

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