Hindutva at work | Pakistan Today

Hindutva at work

  • The BJP’s biases reflect Savarkar’s hate ideology

Standing true to the philosophy of ‘Hindutava’ the Modi government over the past six year has vigorously practiced communal politics with Muslim minority being its main target. The Citizenship Amendment Bill approved by the Indian Cabinet last Wednesday is a clear proof of the anti-Muslim bias of the BJP government. The bill is again being tabled by BJP after it failed to get the nod of the previous Parliament as even the allies of the BJP government had bitterly opposed it. It specifically excludes Muslims from citizenship by stating that all persecuted people and refugees including Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Christians and Paris from India’s neighbouring countries are welcome to the country except Muslims.

The bill is outrageous and contravenes the UN Human Rights Charter as well as the globally recognized principles of democracy and justice. It also constitutes a blatant violation of the Indian Constitution itself besides decimating the secular disposition of India. Coming on the heels of the National Register of Citizenship which deprived nearly 4 million Bengalis Muslims in Assam, it is an unmistakable pointer to the impending disaster that the supremacist and anti-Muslim ideology of Hindutva is likely to unfurl.

The Bill is yet to be passed by the upper house of the Indian Parliament where the BJP does not have a majority. But in all probability the BJP will employ all tactics at its command to get it through, like it did in case of criminalizing triple talaq and the revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. Though some conscientious voices in India among the political parties, intelligentsia and media have expressed strong disapproval of the course being pursued by the BJP government, their voices are effectively muzzled by the overall xenophobic disposition of the Indian media.

The situation in Indian-Occupied Kashmir is an affront to the conscience of the global community, particularly the powers who relish to announce their humanitarian credentials and respect for the internationally recognized right to self-determination from every convenient rooftop, as well as the UN, which is responsible for promoting peace in the world and helping the subjugated and persecuted people to win their freedom through the exercise of their fundamental right of self-determination.

The scrapping of Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution to end the special status of Kashmir was also a sequel to the hate philosophy of the BJP and the RSS against Muslims. The Indian security forces have killed more than 1031 Kashmiri Muslims since 1989 and 100 since July 2016. The tally of injured and maimed with pellet guns also runs into the thousands. In the aftermath of the revocation of Article 370 since August 5, more than 40 people have lost their lives. The Modi government also continues to keep the LoC hot by violating the ceasefire agreement on daily basis, targeting te civilian population. It almost created a situation of an armed conflict between the two nuclear neighbours when in February in the aftermath of the Pulwama incident, Indian planes crossed over to Pakistan, ending in shooting down of the intruding birds and the capture of an Indian pilot. Pakistan showed utmost restraint in the face of this grave provocative act and returned the pilot as a good will gesture. The friendly countries also played a role in defusing the situation.

The author of the hate philosophy against Muslims was Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, the founder of the Hindu Mahasaba who authored the pamphlet Hindutva during his incarceration in jail in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands during 1910-1921, wherein he expounded the racial superiority of Hindus. That ideology led to the launching of the RSS by Keshav Baliram Hedgewar in 1925. The initial objective of the RSS was to provide character training through Hindu discipline and to unite the Hindu community to form a Hindu Rashtra (nation). It promoted the ideals of upholding Indian culture and the values and the spread of Hindutva ideology. Hindutva means strengthening the Hindu community. It drew inspiration from European right-wing parties during World War II, particularly the leaders like Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler and their philosophy of racial purity.

French Political scientist Christophe Jaffrelot, specializing in South Asian affairs, particularly India and Pakistan, points out that the ideology of the RSS along with other Hindu nationalist movements such as the Arya Samaj and the Hindu Mahasabha, thought of Muslims, Christians and the British as “foreign bodies” implanted in the Hindu nation, who were able to exploit the disunity and absence of valour among the Hindus in order to subdue them. However, the majority of scholars believe that RSS was actually formed to fight the Indian Muslims.

It is pertinent to mention that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the elections campaign in Maharashtra had promised to confer the highest Indian honour of ‘Bharat Ratna’ on Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. He is the same man who was also arrested on the accusations of being a mastermind behind the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. Sardar Vallabhai Patel in his correspondence with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had mentioned his strong links with the assassin, Nathuram Godse, and the commission formed to investigate the murder had also alluded to the same connectivity between him and Godse but the court released him for lack of concrete corroborative evidence. Bestowing the highest honour on the author of Hindutva indicates how faithfully the BJP and Narendra Modi are trying to implement it in letter and spirit, irrespective of its disastrous fallout as manifested by the adoption of the abovementioned anti-Muslim pieces of legislation, the ending of the special status of Kashmir and continued aggressive posture towards Pakistan. It will surely have serious repercussions in regards to peace and security in the region and beyond.

Prime Minister Imran Khan was right on the money in his address to the UN General Assembly warning the world about the threat that the supremacist philosophy posed to the peace and security in the region and the humanitarian crisis likely to unfold. He also warned the world about the consequences of the two nuclear states standing face to face with each other and seeking their interference before it was too late. The world has seen the tragic outcome of the supremacist philosophy of Hitler and cannot afford a similar mayhem to hit the world again.

The situation in Indian-Occupied Kashmir is an affront to the conscience of the global community, particularly the powers who relish to announce their humanitarian credentials and respect for the internationally recognized right to self-determination from every convenient rooftop, as well as the UN, which is responsible for promoting peace in the world and helping the subjugated and persecuted people to win their freedom through the exercise of their fundamental right of self-determination.



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