India a fake union with Saffron terror repressing non-Hindu communities
Time for retrospection for India, as its social fabric stands in tatters
ISLAMABAD: As ‘shining’ India prepares itself for celebrating its 73rd Republic Day on January 26, it may want to cast a glance on the trajectory of majoritarian Hindutva rule embraced by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, Minister for Home Affairs.
For all those who matter in the so called largest democracy, they may also want to look back at the path the country has taken to stoop this low, as the image it had built for itself based on the principles of Nehruvian secularism.
India observes Republic Day on January 26, every year. Republic Day marks an important event in India’s history. It commemorates the enactment of the constitution of India which came into effect on January 26, 1950, and made the nation into a republic.
But, religious freedom conditions in India are taking a drastic turn downward, with national and various state governments tolerating widespread harassment and violence against religious minorities. Indeed, the current regime’s fascist policies have put the image of secular India at stake.
Under the majoritarian rule of fascist Narendra Modi India certainly has become a Hindu Rashtra (Hindu state) and this view is widely held to be true by many insiders as well as outside observers of Indian politics. There are many reports which indicate that ever since Modi’s ascendance to power the number of hate crimes, cases of religious discrimination have increased manifold.
One example is that of Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). The BJP-led government enacted the CAA, which provides a fast track to Indian citizenship only for non-Muslim migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan already residing in India. This potentially exposes millions of Muslims to detention, deportation and statelessness when the government completes its planned nationwide National Register of Citizens.
The other example is that of majoritarian violence against Christian community. According to a report by a human rights group, more than 300 attacks on Christians took place in the first nine months of the last year (2021), including at least 32 in Karnataka.
The report found that of the total 305 incidents of anti-Christian violence, four north Indian states registered as many as 169 of them: 66 in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh, 47 in Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh, 30 in tribal-dominated Jharkhand, and 30 in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh. At least nine Indian states have planned anti-conversion laws, including Chhattisgarh, which, activists say, has emerged as a “new laboratory” for anti-Christian hatred in India.
The same report points out a stark contradiction: “Meanwhile, state governments have pursued laws that justify this bigotry. On Dec. 23, the lower house in the state of Karnataka passed the Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, which is designed to prohibit conversion from Hinduism to another faith.”
Illegally Indian Occupied Kashmir is another story, another ground where the majoritarian bias is being played out. On 5 August 2019, the government of India revoked the special constitutional status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution, and abrogated Article 35A which had allowed it to define who its ‘permanent residents’ are and what rights and privileges are attached to such residency.
The former state was bifurcated into the Union Territories of Ladakh (without a legislature) and Jammu-Kashmir (with a legislature).
The fact that India has become a dangerous country for religious minorities is endorsed by many other reports published in international media outlets.
As Sumit Ganguly, a columnist at Foreign Policy as well as a distinguished professor of political science and the Rabindranath Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations at Indiana University, Bloomington, has rightly pointed out that India’s religious minorities are under attack and ‘Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on a recent spate of hate speech and violence is deafening’.
This suffering has been taking place despite the right that the Indian constitution has given to all its citizens. Also, the hatred against the religious minorities has risen immensely in recent years particularly with the rise of Modi and Hindutva ideology.”
The BJP-led government’s Hindutva ideology has exposed the real face of India as a fake union where all non-Hindu communities are being repressed which also badly damaged the social fabric of the Indian society.
In every part of the country, the state-backed RSS goons are found killing or torturing the non-Hindu people including Christians, Sikhs and Dalits forcing them to chant slogans of Hindu supremacy, raising serious questions to the so-called secular nature of the Indian constitution.
For years, Indian political leadership deceived the world by presenting a secular outlook; however, the course could not continue forever. The underlying Hindutva ideology, led by Hindu extremists, has exposed a wedge between Hindus and non-Hindus. The Indian ethnic and religious minorities not only feel insecure in modern day India, where they face segregation and persecution, but also question the raison d’etre of the Indian Union. The notion of Indian Union is between rock and a hard place as religious and ethnic minorities are seeking for independent homelands while Hindu-extremists are pushing to convert India into Hindu-Rashtra.
Rising discontent among Indian minorities, religious polarization, and booming separatist movements in various states depict that the idea of Indian Union, created on deceit and false promises, has failed and its edifice is crumbling and likely explode from within soon.
India is destined to breakup in several states, whether it’s the Naxalbari movement of the 1960s and 70s, the ongoing unrest of the tribals areas, the marginalization of minorities, the curious case of the Maoists, or the embittered relationship rising from the quota system of the upper castes to the rest of society; the Indian state is in constant conflict with her own people.
Today, India is anything but a secular state. The main threat comes from the rise of Hindutva ideology and its consequences not only for electoral politics, but also for the judiciary and society at large. Nathuram Godse’s statue is adroned with a garland at the Hindu Mahasabha office in New Delhi.
Under the patronage of Indian government, Hindu terrorists threat and kill Christians and vandalize their places of worship with sheer impunity. Anti-Christian vigilantes are sweeping through villages, storming churches, burning Christian literature, attacking schools and assaulting worshipers.
Other states, including Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and Assam, introduced similar laws, leading to widespread harassment and, in some cases, arrests for interfaith couples, Christian priests and pastors. Thousands of people gather to mark protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act law in Delhi, India, on January 26, 2020.
The BJP government is following the agenda of Hindu-Rashtra where Hindutva will be the supreme ideology in every aspect of Indian society
Today RSS/BJP nationalists have turned Gandhi’s killer into a hero of India. The BJP proudly claims Hindutva as its ideology and has hung a giant portrait of Veer Savarkar (charged as a co-conspirator in Gandhi’s killing) opposite the portrait of Gandhi in the New Delhi parliament building.
Indian minorities are looking for separate homelands so they could live peacefully and where their basic human rights are protected. India needs fresh social contract as the old fake union has been badly exposed.