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Mohan Gowda

Mohan Gowda

Affiliation: Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS)
Vocation/ Title: Spokesperson for HJS (Karnataka)
Location: Bangalore, Karnataka

Mohan Gowda is a far-right Hindu activist affiliated with the Hindu militant organization Hindu Janjagruti Samiti. He is the organization’s spokesperson for the state of Karnataka. Gowda is a staunch Islamophobe and a hate-monger. As is evident from his affiliation and portfolio, Gowda is routinely involved in organizing and participating in rallies and campaigns that target Muslims and other religious minorities to the extent of calling for their economic boycott and genocide.

In addition to hate-mongering and calling for an ‘economic boycott’ of Muslims, he has also been actively involved in organized crimes.

He was named by KT Naveen Kumar (prime accused) for being involved in the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh. Gauri Lankesh, an outspoken critic of Hindu nationalism, was shot dead outside her home in West Bengaluru on the night of September 5, 2017.

In 2020, the High Court retired judge Justice H N Nagamohan Das Commission released a report on SC/ST reservation that blamed the “emergence of Vedic philosophy” for social inequality and the caste system in the state. Gowda reacted to the commission’s findings by calling the judge ‘anti-National’ and ‘anti-Hindu.’ He even asked the government to avoid including him in any such commissions in the future.

Gowda has demanded on behalf of his organization to ban ‘halal meat’ in Karnataka.

“We are opening ‘jhatka meat’ [meat obtained by killing animals by a single strike as is prevalent among Hindus] shops in every ward. We want to make the entire Karnataka halal-mukt (halal-free). Crores of rupees from these halal-certified shops [shops owned by Muslims] are being used in anti-India activities, and we want a detailed probe on this,”  Gowda said.

The HJS has been organizing campaigns against halal meat and its certification by Muslim authorities in the state.

The HJS’s aggressive demand to transform India into a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ (nation) is no secret. Gowda and other office bearers of the organization have repeatedly pitched the demand for turning India into a Hindu nation.

The organization misses no opportuning to poke the Muslim community in the state and foment communal unrest. In 2020 Gowda demanded the local administration of Bangalore to allow them [Hindus] to celebrate their festivals in the Eidgah ground [open spaces where Muslims perform Namaz on the festival of Eid] that has a mosque within its boundary.

Gowda said, “BBMP’s [Bruhat Bengaluru Municipal Corporation] public ground cannot be allowed to be used by only one community. Even though Hindus too have a right over the ground, our rights being suppressed is wrong. In the coming days, we urge the government and BBMP to grant us permission to hold Yoga Day, Amrut Mahotsav, hoisting the national flag and celebrating Hindu festivals like Ganesha Chaturthi, Shivaratri on the ground.”

Espousing the conspiracy theory of ‘love jihad,’ Gowda asked the state government to bring a separate law on the issue.

He said, “Instances like the killing of Shraddha by Aftab are on the rise. Asha, a Mangaluru girl, changed her name to Ayesha and became a ‘terrorist’[Muslim]. There is a huge conspiracy of Love Jihad going on in the country. Girls are getting caught in this. To save such Hindu girls and women, we want a separate law against Love Jihad in Karnataka like the one in Uttar Pradesh.”

In a convention of Hindu extremist organizations that discussed the plan to transform India into a Hindu Rashtra [nation], Gowda declared Muslims as ‘diseases’ and suggested that the only way to get rid of them (Muslims) was through the ‘Hindu Rashtra’( nation).

He said: “They (Muslims) are taking over our country like a disease. For one Hindu child, there are five Muslim children. Yet Muslims are the minority. That is why we have organized this meeting to make people aware that we need a Hindu Rashtra.”

Implementing the Hindu nationalist idea of the ‘economic boycott’ of the Muslim community in the state, in March 2022, Gowda, along with other Hindu extremist leaders, met the commissioner of the land endowment department of Karnataka and demanded the removal of all shops and establishments run by “non-Hindus” from the vicinity of temples under the Karnataka endowments department.

Through his social media accounts, he incessantly spews venom against Muslims, spreads falsehood and propaganda, and shares visuals of his hateful campaigns, often referring to Muslims as ‘terrorists’ and ‘jihadists.’