Tide of Indian Nationalism


Adeel Mukhtar Mirza

When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in 2014 on a tide of Hindu nationalism, many Indians felt their nation had finally found the forceful leader to match their aspirations. On the contrary, Modi has concentrated his energies on divisive ideological projects, like a new citizenship law that blatantly discriminates against Muslims or tightening the government’s grip over the mostly Muslim region of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJ&K).

In fact, with its more dangerous new face, extremists’ ideology of Hindutva has been growing manifold under BJP government, especially during Modi’s reelection campaign. According to a study by the Yale University, “BJP’s electoral strength goes up in the post violence scenario.” Similarly, as per Human Rights Watch World Report 2018, BJP government has failed to hinder vigilante attacks against Indian minorities, especially Muslims and Christians. These vigilantes are often claimed by BJP and publicly promote Hindu supremacy and ultra-nationalism. In simple words, world’s so-called largest democracy has deteriorated religious freedom and has reversed international human rights standards.

According to Khushwant Singh, from one of his earlier writings: “All along the motivating factor for the Hindutva parties has been Islamophobia. The entire motivating factor behind the RSS is anti-Muslim.” So, it doesn’t matter what Mohan Bhagwat propagates as RSS Hindutva parties has been anti-Muslims and it has become more obvious now. There is another interesting factor to this. According to Khushwant: “Don’t overlook the fact that before Jinnah had come up with the two-nation theory, it was Gangadhar Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai, VD Savarkar, who had come up with the Hindu nation theory. In fact, Lala Lajpat Rai had even drawn a map of divided India – along religious lines. Whatever the RSS had been trying ever since the country’s Independence they seemed to get it now! Fascism well and truly crossed our threshold and dug its heels in our courtyard. We let the fanatics get away with every step they took without raising a howl of protest. They burnt books they did not like, they beat up journalists who wrote against them, they openly butchered people for believing in a different God…The carnage in Gujarat, the Mahatma’s home state, in early 2002 and the subsequent landslide victory for Narendra Modi spelt disaster for our country. The fascist agenda of Hindu fanatics is unlike anything India has experienced in its modern history.”

Since many years, termite fascism is creeping in India in the shape of Hindutva. Hindutva theory does not believe in equality. They discriminate against Muslims and Cristians. Private senas are used to unleash terror on minority segments. Because of RSS’s fascists policies, MF Husain had leave India and live in exile, his paintings were burnt, girls were molested in Mangalore pubs, killings in Kandhahar, destruction of the Babri masjid, the massacre of Muslims in the 2002 Gujarat pogrom, the murder of Christian missionaries, burning of the Quran and Bible. Therefore, it will be naïve to trust BJP rulers on their bogus assurances that minorities are safe and intact under their rule. Shamshul Islam’s book Know the RSS rightly depict that, “BJP is not independent of RSS…The RSS leadership keeps on harping that BJP is an independent political organization and does not work under the dictates of the RSS. The BJP as a political organization figures prominently in it, clubbed with the ABVP, Hindu Jagran Manch, Vishva Hindu Parishad, Swadeshi Jagran Manch and Sanskar Bharti.”

Now after revoking Article 370, the fascist BJP government is set to put Muslims in the detention camps for migrant. Consequently, Muslims of India are more fearful than ever, as if they are left off preliminary list, they’ll end up in huge new detention camps. The roots of these actions lie in the Hindu nationalist movement-religious supremacy. Therefore, Muslims in each and every part of India are despondent now. That is why, international community must take notice of rising human rights abuses against Indian Muslim, looking beyond their economic interests in India.

As a result of BJP’s policies, the Indian economy has shrunk faster than any other major nation. As many as 200 million people could slip back into poverty, according to some estimates. Moreover, India now has the fastest growing coronavirus crisis, with more than 80,000 new infections reported each day. As a result, a sense of malaise is creeping over the nation. Its economic growth was slowing even before the pandemic. Social divisions are widening. Anti-Muslim feelings are on the rise, partly because of a malicious social media campaign that falsely blamed Muslims for spreading the virus. Many neighborhoods in the capital of New Delhi where low-paid workers used to live are deserted, shell-like, a hot wind blowing through empty, tin-walled shacks.