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Jai Bhagwan Goyal

Jai Bhagwan Goyal

Affiliation: Bharatiya Janata Party and United Hindu Front
Vocation/Title: Working President at The United Hindu Front
Location: Delhi, India

Jai Bhagwan Goyal is an Indian politician affiliated with the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), known for his extreme Hindu nationalist views and Islamophobic rhetoric. His political journey began in the early 1980s when he joined the far-right Hindu nationalist party Shiv Sena. He held various roles within the party, eventually becoming the National Chief of the Shiv Sena in North East Delhi in 1990. In 1992, Goyal was involved in the demolition of the historic Babri Masjid. 

In 2008, Goyal parted ways with the Shiv Sena and established his own political outfit, the Rashtrawadi Shiv Sena. In February 2014, he and his supporters merged with the BJP in anticipation of the national general election.

In January 2020, Goyal sparked controversy with the release of his book, “Aaj ke Shiva ji – Narendra Modi”, in which he compared Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the revered 17th-century Maratha ruler Shivaji. The book’s publication led to nationwide outcry and several legal complaints against Goyal and the publisher, accusing him of disrespecting Marathi sentiments.

In February 2020, Goyal led a rally of nearly 100 men in North East Delhi during a curfew, advocating for anti-Muslim violence by saying, “We are surrounded by Muslims from all  sides, if we want to defend ourselves we will have to fight.” He also demonized Muslims using fear-mongering language, saying, “We are surrounded by militants. They understand only the language of violence.” At the end of the rally, Goyal refused to speak to Muslim reporters who were present.  

In October 2020, following his acquittal in the Babri Masjid demolition case by the special branch of the CBI court, he ignited controversy by asserting that he and his “Sarsevak” (foot soldiers) were previously prepared to demolish the mosque, but were thwarted by then-Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav in 1990. He went on to declare his intentions to destroy mosques in Kashi and the Shahi Idgah mosque in Mathura, which, according to Hindu extremist narratives, was erected by Muslim emperor Aurangzeb after the destruction of a temple at Lord Krishna’s birthplace.

At an event celebrating the anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition in December 2020, he delivered a speech justifying the demolition of the mosque and vowing to target other mosques in Uttar Pradesh. The event featured inflammatory posters explicitly targeting Muslims, including slogans such as “Get rid of the verses in the Quran” and “Hang the jihadis.”

In December 2021, Goyal uploaded a video to his YouTube channel in which he labeled Madrassas (Islamic seminaries) as “hubs of anti-national activities” and vilified the Quran, calling it a promoter of terrorism. He urged the government to cut off financial aid to such institutions.

In April 2022, during an interview with “Republic World,” Goyal made incendiary remarks about Hindu extremist mob-led violence in Delhi 2020, calling Muslims “rioters”, “jihadis”, and “Bangladeshis”, accusing them of a pre-planned strategy to capture northern parts of the capital. He further added that the “jihadis” were the same people who had organized massive protests against the discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which targets the citizenship rights of Muslims, in Shaheen Bagh, New Delhi. 

In December 2022, Goyal appeared as a panelist on the YouTube channel “Khul ke official.” During the discussion, he falsely claimed that India was never a secular country and asserted that former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who was a member of the opposition Congress Party, forcefully amended the Constitution and introduced the concept of secularism. Goyal also emphasized his desire to convert India into a Hindu Rashtra (Hindu nation) once he and his supporters gained a significant majority in power.

During a hate speech event in Delhi in April 2023, Goyal called for violence and made provocative statements against the Muslim minority, urging an economic boycott, peddling the ‘love jihad conspiracy’, and calling for the creation of a Hindu nation. During the event, he claimed, “All Muslims are the same. If we don’t hit the streets with a trident in our hands, India will become a Muslim nation in 5-7 years.” The event led to an FIR against Goyal and other organizers for conducting an illegal assembly.

In August 2023, Goyal gave a speech in which he urged Hindus to arm themselves to defend themselves and their country against the “enemies.” 

In August 2023, Goyal and his supporters took to the streets of New Delhi to protest an outbreak of violence in Haryana state, which he blamed Muslims for despite the fact that an armed Hindu extremist procession was responsible for sparking the violence and killing a 19-year-old imam. During his speech, Goyal targeted Muslims and used divisive language and derogatory stereotypes against the community. He went on to draw a parallel between the concept of justice and the use of a bulldozer, urging the Haryana government to use the illegal demolition of homes and businesses as a form of collective punishment against Muslims.

In August 2023, he used his X handle to upload a controversial picture, displaying two historic Muslim structures namely Babri Mosque and Shahi Idgah Mosque suggesting that the latter is going to meet the same fate. Notably, Babri mosque situated at Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh was demolished by the Hindu mob in 1992. 

In August 2023, Goyal posted an image on X showing images of the Babri Mosque and the Shahi Idgah Mosque, implying that the Shahi Idgah would also be destroyed. He also shared a video calling for Muslim-owned homes and businesses to be demolished after the Haryana violence.