Recent surge in incidents of what can be called India’s ‘state-sponsored terrorism’ against its own Muslims and other minorities symbolizes the Hindu bigotry against non-Hindu Indians. Hindus fascists are out to ‘Hinduise’ India; a country that claims to be world’s second-largest secular state. Non-Hindus are being killed and lynched mercilessly on mere accusation that they are involved in beef consumption, which government wants to ban. Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Dalits; no one is being spared. Noted writers, filmmakers, historians have returned their awards and have asked the government to take notice of atrocities inflicted on minorities but no heed is being paid by the Modi government.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a Hindu nationalist party to which PM Narendra Modi belongs, is known for being the political wing of the terrorist organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). It’s an open secret that anti-Pakistanism lies at the heart of BJP politics as well as policies. In 2002, when Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat state, more than 1,000 people, most of them Muslims, were killed in riots which erupted after Godhra train incident in which some 60 Hindus died. So ruthless was Modi in slaughtering Muslims that the Human Rights Watch had to report that the state government and local police officials were complicit in this carnage. So impenitent and remorseless was Modi that he felt as sad about them as would “a passenger in a car that accidentally ran over a puppy.”
It is also known to everyone that the BJP, every now and then, uses ‘Pakistan’ as a codeword for Muslims whom it considers anti-national and anti-India. Its most recent example came when BJP president Amit Shah, while addressing an election rally in Bihar state, said, “If BJP loses in Bihar; crackers will go off in Pakistan.” This is the height of insanity, especially at a time when India-Pakistan hostilities are incessantly soaring, and the peace in the region is once again under threat.
Mr Modi has remained conspicuously silent on all these anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan campaigns. Ironically, he leads the country whose founding father, M.K. Gandhi, took anger and intolerance as “the enemies of correct understanding.” But, there is no place left for reasoning and dissent in today’s Modi-fied India. Today, the faces of moderates like Sudheendra Kulkarni are smeared with black paint; MLAs are attacked, Pakistani actors and sportsmen are threatened, and it seems that BJP is following what Chanakya professed when he said, “As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it.”
What is this fear, after all?
The biggest fear that has been consistently haunting the extremist Hindus is the growing ratio of India’s non-Hindu population. Recently, on 31st October, after a three-day national executive meet, the Hindutva outfit RSS pressed the present government to have a review of the country’s population policy to counter “severe demographic changes” in India. The RSS issued also a report which mentioned that the share of population of religions of Bharatiya origin has slipped from 88% to 83.5% between 1951-2011 censuses while Muslim population has increased from 9.8% to 14.23% in the intervening period. But does this growth justify such barbaric acts? The answer is a big NO!
When Modi assumed power, he claimed “Achhe din aane waale hain” (Good days are coming), but are these the ache din when Muslims and other minorities are feeling insecure like never before; flames of anti-Pakistan fire are being fanned as state policy and an environment of bigotry and hatred is being deliberately nurtured? Indian involvement in terror attacks inside Pakistan has been on the rise. India’s weaker neighbours like Nepal and Myanmar also bemoan Indian involvement in their internal affairs. Modi is out to create Indian hegemony over the region. His growing bonhomie with US administration speaks volumes about his designs. But, policies of today’s ‘Modi-fied’ India belie its tall claims of being a major stakeholder in world affairs.
It is to be remembered that India is a candidate to a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council. But, how could a country whose track record on human rights is extremely bad; who relations with its neighbours are strained; who has been flagrantly violating UNSC resolutions and whose leader blatantly admits his country’s involvement in the dismemberment of a UN member — Pakistan — become a permanent UNSC member?
This is the point the UN and India’s other supporters must ponder over. United Nations, the US and other flag-bearers of democracy and human rights must take action against India for its worst violations of fundamental rights of Muslims and other minorities in India.