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Chaitra Kundapura

Chaitra Kundapura

Affiliation: Independent
Vocation/ Title: Journalist and Far-right Activist
Location: Kundapur

Chaitra Kundapura is a television anchor turned hardline Hindu far-right activist. Her fiery speeches with overtly anti-Muslim overtones have made her a celebrity figure in coastal Karnataka.

She has been a key mobilizer in the anti-hijab protest and has also contributed immensely to propagating the bogey of ‘love jihad’ in the region.

In 2018 Chaitra Kundapura and five of her associates were sent to seven-day police custody by a Karnataka court. She was arrested for assaulting Guruprasad Panja, the Sullia taluk secretary of the Hindu Jagarana Vedike.

“Just two days will suffice for Hindus who constitute 70% [of the population] to convert Muslim girls. If Bajrang Dal activists start loving Muslim girls, burqas will not be seen in Muslim houses. We will apply Vermilion on the forehead of daughters of every Muslim household and bring them along,” Kundapura said at a Bajrang Dal convention in October 2021.

She was booked for the hate speech under Sections 153 A (promoting disharmony, enmity, or feelings of hatred among different groups) and 505 (2) (statements promoting enmity, hatred, or ill-will) of the Indian Penal Code on a complaint filed by a resident.

She is often seen sharing the stage with prominent hate mongers like Pramod Muthalik and Siddalinga Swami igniting anti-Muslim sentiments.

Kundapura also inspired the Hindu youth to lead the anti-hijab hateful campaign in Karnataka. Her high-pitched venomous speeches denigrating Muslims emboldened Hindu boys and girls to carry saffron scarfs in a bid to mock the demands of Muslim girls to wear hijab in schools and colleges.

Kundapura found pride in the disgusting change in the attitude of Hindu youth. She exclaimed, “I saw girls wearing saffron shawls in Kundapura after many years. I had worn a shawl when I was in ABVP but it is good to see so many girls wearing saffron shawls now. It feels like a result of the work we put in,” she said.

“When we are creating awareness about the Hindu cause, we should reach young people below the age of 30 because then, the ideology will be fixed in their minds for a long time,” she added.

Her social media profile is mired with the visuals of anti-Muslim rallies, public outreach programs, and campaigns.