Extremism will destroy India

Extremism will destroy India

Tahir Ali Khan

Although the major countries of the world are showing carelessness towards the phenomenon for their own interests and most in India are also denying its existence, the truth is that India has become a center of Hindu nationalism, racism, bigotry, extremism and violence. In the words of the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, an embarrassing fact is that Dalits, Muslims and tribes are not considered human beings herenin India.

Violence against minorities, the weak and women is common in most countries but in India it is happening under government umbrella.

India, a nuclear-armed country with a population of 1.5 billion, has been occupied by the Nazi-influenced RSS. Extremist Hindu militias armed with spears and sticks with overt or tacit support from the government have cut loose a reign of terror against minorities.

Extremism and intolerance in India pose a serious threat to the security of all minorities, especially Muslims. India’s path of hatred, religious extremism and racism has resulted in and will further entail bloodshed and destruction.

History shows that every nation that has taken this path has suffered loss, chaos and destruction. Everyone in Nazi Germany, Rowanda, Myanmar, the former Yugoslavia, etc. has seen the result of this policy. If India doesn’t correct its behaviour, it is bound to meet the same catastrophic fate.

Mahatma Gandhi writes in his book, “The India of My Dreams: “I am convinced that India will emerge as a beacon for the whole world. If India accepts the ideology of violence, it will be a test for me. My religion doesn’t need any geographical boundaries. My patriotism is subject to my religion. My whole life (through the philosophy of non-violence) is dedicated to the service of India. The day India declares its belief in violence, I would prefer to leave India. Then I will not be proud of India. “

If Gandhi were alive today, he would surely have shed tears of blood over the extremist transformation of India and he would have surely left it because violence has now become the basic identity and policy of the Indian government. Given the persecution of the weak, women and minorities in today’s India, the souls of Gotham, Nanak, Chishti and Kabir may surely be weeping blood.

India has long been proud of its democracy and secularism. Peaceful coexistence, tolerance and respect for the beliefs and customs of all religions is the only way but unfortunately India has not been able to get rid of racial, national, sectarian and religious prejudices. If India wants to play a leading role in the region and the world, it must be a model of love, forgiveness and compassion instead of hatred, narrow-mindedness and oppression.

Democracy and tolerance are essential for peace in India,l but the BJP and Modi are promoting hatred, Hindu nationalism and extremism for their political interests.

The Bharatiya Janata Party may have won the government twice with its narrative of hatred and extremism but the face of Indian secularism and democracy has got distorted in the process.

Indian Hindus, despite being a majority, consider themselves in danger. They are indulging in continuous false propaganda which is fueling fear, reactionary psyche and extremism in them. This is nothing short of a message of doom for India’s secular state, politics and pluralistic democracy.

Earlier, India was a secular society that prided itself in its diversity and plurality. Indian constitution also spoke of a secular India. Indian citizenship was available not on the basis of blood, caste and creed but on the basis of a person’s birth. Hindutva leaders existed in Indian society even before the formation of Pakistan and called India only the land of Hindus, but until 1980 they were in minority.

But the campaign for the demolition of the Babri Masjid and construction of the Ram Mandir in the 1990s turned the extremist BJP into a major party, it grew stronger and stronger as much as winning 282 seats in Parliament in 2014 and 303 in 2019.

When RSS activist Narendra Modi became Gujarat’s chief minister, 2,000 people were killed in government-sponsored anti-Muslim riots there. Due to the involvement of Modi government in this, the doors of America were closed on Modi.

It was a turning point on which the free world should have boycotted India altogether but all remained silent.

Modi and the BJP, in order to gain power, blamed Pakistan and Muslims for all the ills of India and thus spread hatred against them, spearheaded terror campaigns against them and declared preserving Hindu Dharma and making India a pure Hindu state as their main agenda.

For several years now, campaigns of hatred and extremism have been carried out with support of the Modi government, government agencies and popular news channels, and the courts are often sympathetic to this populist tide by making inappropriate and biased decisions or not hearing human rights appeals.

It is pertinent to mention that the BJP has appointed Chief Justice Ranjan Gokoi a member of the Rajya Sabha who ruled on the petitions filed in the Babri Masjid case and the Rafale warplane deal with France, which is a clear indication of conflict of interest. Many of his decisions have benefited Modi politically.

The journey towards intolerance, narrow-mindedness and violence in India has been going on for a long time. Since December 2019, the Modi government has let loose a reign of terror and oppression over Kashmiris and has turned Kashmir into jail since then.

Minorities and Dalits continue to be treated inhumanly in India. Here are a few examples.

In October, India’s popular jewelery company Tanshik ran a 45-second advertisement featuring an interfaith wedding, showing how a Muslim family performs Hindu rituals to please their pregnant Hindu daughter-in-law. An organized campaign called “Love Jihad” was immediately launched against the ad and threats were hurled at the company and the actors who worked in the ad. The company, hence, withdrew the advertisement within 24 hours for the safety of its workers.

In October, Amnesty International had to close its offices in India because of Indian government’s displeasure and outrage over its demands for transparency in government affairs, its scathing reports on police support for Hindu rioters in the anti-Muslim riots in Delhi and the role of the Indian government in rights violations in Kashmir and its briefing in the US Congress against the Indian government.

The Modi government wants to make India a one-party state. After his arrival, India has lost its tolerance for dissent and criticism and those who criticize the government are called traitors and agents of Pakistan.

A treason case has been registered against a professor at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University for speaking out against the Modi government’s discriminatory laws and he has been sent to jail.

Twenty-seven-year-old Kashmiri student Safora Zargar, who is pregnant, is also in jail for speaking out against the Citizenship Amendment Bill.

The prosecution also mentioned in the treason case against Sharjeel Imam that he was reading a book by Paul Brass, a well-known writer, which it said made him an extremist.

Many liberal leaders who spoke out against narrow-mindedness, such as MM Kalbergi, Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansari and Gauri Lankesh, were allegedly assassinated by right-wing Hindu extremists.

The BJP’s student wing targets liberal academics. Movies and books are banned. That is why the graph of civil liberties, freedom of expression, rule of law and academic freedom in India has come down almost three times since the formation of the Modi government.

In October, popular Indian actress Deepika Padukone was questioned by the Narcotics Control Board of India for six hours. The reason was apparently a drug investigation but in fact it was that Deepika had expressed solidarity with the student movement against the controversial citizenship law in January.

The move sent a message to her and other Bollywood workers toe the line. A BJP member in Parliament last month termed Bollywood as a drug den. A well-known actress said at this that it was an attempt to discredit and silence Bollywood because we have the potential to influence the masses.

On Gandhi’s birthday this year on January 30, a Hindu youth opened fire on a peaceful rally against the Citizenship Amendment Act at the Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi. But the police stood by as silent spectators. Like last year’s New Zealand shooter, he showed some of his actions live on Facebook. In the cover photo, he stood with a sword and wrote in his feed that he wanted revenge on the protesters in Shaheen Bagh. He chanted slogans to kill traitors on Facebook and wrote that if he died killing nationalist opponents, his body must be covered with saffron.

In the Delhi election campaign, Anurag Thackeray, a minister in the Modi government, chanted slogans like “Shoot the traitors of the country” After that, Amit Shah, Modi’s expected successor, also told a public meeting that you should press the election button so angrily that the people of Shaheen Bagh come to know about it. It should be noted that Muslim women were protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Shaheen Bagh.

Obviously, this shooter was also motivated by the same hatred that led to Gandhi’s assassination. It may be recalled that a Hindu nationalist Nathuram Godse, who was an activist of the RSS –the ideological source of today’s BJP— assassinated Gandhi accusing him of showing leniency towards Muslims. Godse is now remembered as a martyr and hero of Hindu Dharma.

Protests by women against the controversial citizenship law were attacked in the Mojpur area of ​​Delhi, and BJP and RSS extremists and police joined forces to crack down on protesters, while Muslim houses, shops and vehicles were set on fire.

When Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014, he was very careful. He spoke of “all together and progress for all.” Although there was talk of a Hindu state and he did not condemn the anti-Muslim measures taken by Hindu extremists in the name of protecting “Gao Mata”, when he got an overwhelming majority in 2019, he took off all the veils and is now bent upon making India purely and completely a Hindu state.

Keeping the UN resolutions at bay and repealing Kashmir’s sovereign status in the Indian Constitution, the Modi government made it a normal part of India and turned Kashmir into a virtual prison. Nehru had said, “If Kashmiris do not want to live with us, let them go their own way and we shall go ours. We do not want forced marriages and forced unions.” But Modi ended Kashmir’s socalled autonomy in the Indian constitution and began working to turn the Muslim majority there into a minority.

In December 2019, India’s citizenship law was amended to allow aspirants for Indian citizenship from six neighboring countries but Muslims were excluded.

He then launched a national register campaign in various Indian states. It stoked fears of revoking the citizenship of those who converted from Hinduism to Islam.

The RSS has long been saying that India should be a Hindu state. It asks Muslims to convert to Hinduism again or leave India. It is defaming Muslims with propaganda of “Corona Jihad” and “Love Jihad”.

At present most Hindus in India hate or fear Muslims. The media in India is also engaged in spreading Islamophobia and appeasing the Modi government.

Subramanian Swamy, a BJP leader, termed Muslims a threat to India, refused to recognize them as equal citizens of Hindus and demanded that they be deprived of the right to vote. He said that a country with a Muslim population of more than 30% is always in danger.

Obviously, situation becomes extremely dangerous for minotities when there is so much hatred and intolerance in majority ranks for them.

That is why the well-known Indian writer and political activist Arun Dutti Rai also said a few months ago that the situation for Muslims in India is heading towards genocide.

All these incidents make it clear that India is on the path to becoming a Fascist state. We see how President Trump, in his hunger for power, has put American democracy under extreme stress and threat. Even his friend Modi has no concern for India’s international reputation and democratic features.

Well known Indian journalist Khushwant Singh had rightly said in a column that “a group formed on the basis of hatred maintains its existence by creating fear and terror. In India, those who consider themselves safe not being Sikhs and Muslims are living in fool’s paradise. Soon time will come when organizations born with the ideology of Hindu supremacy will be a threat to everyone except themselves.”

Popular newspapers such as The Economist, The Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, etc. have been sharply critical of Modi’s divisive agenda and intolerance but Modi’s stubbornness and populist extremist rhetoric is growing stronger. He speaks of Gandhi’s peaceful teachings abroad but is a propagandist of extremism at home. Recently, Modi called the newly elected US President Joe Biden. Biden’s team said, among other things, that the two leaders discussed their common vision for strengthening democracy at home and abroad. However, this part was missing in the pressnote issued by Modi’s office.

The writer is an academic and writer who can be contacted at tahirkatlang039@gmail.com

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