India first means Hindu first
Justice? – You get justice in the next world; in this world you have the law. No matter how compromised.
After the appointment of Narendra Dharanraj Modi, one of the most polarizing dignitaries to walk the Indian political stage for years, the clocks struck thirteen for the minorities residing in India. Many had reservations about the new prime minister, predicting his government was going to mirror his ‘rule’ in Gujarat; the non-Hindus will be discriminated and the emboldened Hindu right wing groups become increasingly active. On the other hand, a few optimistic Indians thought of him as a new man and wanted to give him a chance. India went against its natural inherent aptitude impulse and voted for a BJP influenced Modi’s government and now it’s paying the price.
Before Modi left Gujarat to lead India, he bequeathed a segmented and religiously fragmented society. On May 26th, 2015 while celebrating its one year anniversary, Modi has certainly showed a marked shift in the style of the government. Simultaneously, he has inspired a great sense of regret amongst a large number of people who trusted and voted for him. Not only has he been unable to deliver his promises in his one year’s tenure but, the Indians have largely experienced his authoritarian style of governing. Modi’s government has already passed 10 ordinances in its one year and made two budgets. All of which has been personally supervised by the prime minister himself.
Despite the heavy promises of economic development, during his campaign, the country has witnessed greater instability both socially and economically. The incidence of rape and sexual violence have shot up dramatically, the atrocities against the minorities are significantly increasing. Increasing the defence budget while already underfunded health and care sector experienced a budget cut has severely hindered development in the public health sector. Even the BJP Sarkar doesn’t seem to refrain from openly sidelining the Muslim majority minority of India. Campaigns like ‘Ghar vapsi’ and ‘Love Jihad’ have been launched and acted upon further aims to suppress the minorities of India. Not to mention the recent ban on eating beef has caused uproar in the Muslim society where they argue that mostly beef is meat from the buffalo- a fact not known to common masses.
Since BJP came to power in India, Delhi’s talks about religious harmony and establishing an egalitarian secular state has been an empty rhetoric. The method of running the country shows great influence of Rashtriya Swaryamsevak Sangh - the ideological godfather of the BJP. RSS is a Hindu organisation heavily influenced by the Hindu nationalist ideologue Savarkar and had vastly adopted his rhetoric concerning the immense need of creating a ‘Hindu nation’. Similarly, the BJP openly advocates under the banner of Hinduvta (Hindu-ness). RSS has repeatedly played a major role in the Hindu nationalist Movement. Several times it has even been banned by the Congress run government for its alleged role in communal violence. Prime Minister Modi is known to have joined RSS while at a very young age and most of his ideologies are still seriously aligned with the principles of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar – a leading figure of Hindu Mahasabha.
One year of Modi regime has seen concerted attacks – both verbal and physical on both Christians and Muslims. The desecration of churches, the damage to Christian religious places of worship and destruction of Muslim mosques are open manifestations of this aggression against religious minorities. This kind of intolerance towards the diversity of faith in India is against the fundamental beliefs of RSS.
Such behavior has, undoubtedly, sprung after the encouragement of various government officials who openly join the Hindu activist campaigns like ‘Ghar Vapsi’ and ‘Love Jihad’. This particular campaign openly targets the low caste converts to other religions and converts them back to Hinduism. “We will cleanse our Hindu society. We will not let the conspiracy of church or mosque, succeed in Bharat (India),” said Hindu activist Rajeshwar Singh. Another infamous campaign is ‘Love Jihad’ in which the activists viciously oppose any relationship between a Hindu girl and a Muslim boy. Their females are to stay and marry within the confines of their religion. This campaign has even targeted the famous bollywood Khans. The extremist elements have encouraged the masses to boycott the celebrities who have married or will marry Hindu girls in the future.
In addition, the current Indian government is actively modifying the school curriculum by communalizing school textbooks by introducing Hindu religious texts and practices in the educational curricula. Matters have escalated to editing the history and undermining the supremacy of the Mughalk kings to completely eradicate the era of Muslim rule in the Sub-continent. Recently, Home Minister Rajnath Singh questioned the greatness of the great King Akbar and weighs him against the Hindu Rajput King Rana Pratap. He wanted the regional King Rana Pratap to be elevated to the same status as the Mughal king.
Back in Gujarat, Modi’s government only widened the differences between Hindus and Muslims and accentuated the religious fault line. This time not only the Muslims but Christians and Sikhs have also fallen prey to Modi’s divisive politics. Like he never gave tickets to Muslims to fight on the BJP symbol and there has never been a Muslim representation in his cabinet, there are no Muslims at any major post in the ministries. There are only two Muslims but they too, hold minor positions in the assembly.
The social whiplash unleashed upon the minorities, especially the Muslims, is increasing dramatically. The recent rejection of a Muslim candidate by a private company on the basis of, not his merit but his belief in Oneness of God and the incident in Gujarat where, Pravin Togadia, an Hindu extremist leader openly asked the Hindus to expel a Muslim family who had bought an apartment in a predominantly Hindu housing society. The very fact that someone dares to demand such things openly and gets away with it without condemnation gives evidence of predominant presence of divisive elements in the society.
Modi’s ministers’ frequent ‘pearls of wisdom’ have shattered any hope the minorities had of a stable and safe India for themselves. Comments from Sakshi Maharaj, who openly voiced out his sentiments of having every Hindu woman give birth to at least four children in order to preserve the Hindu religion in the country, caused the reigning government to come in the opposition’s line of fire. Furthermore, he advocated a death sentence for those indulging in conversion and cow slaughter. Correspondingly, statements from Giriraj Singh and Yogi Adityanath have played an important role in creating mistrust and feelings of fear and resentment amongst the non-Hindus.
No amount of economic development will help India grow unless there is social and religious harmony in the country. Strength is its diversity and Modi is playing with that, jeopardising the social and economical development in the region. Instead his radical dictator ways further instigate mass rebellion and social and political instability in the region. For the minorities the sense of security comes before prosperity. And as stated in the International Law: every human has the right live his life peacefully regardless of his cast, creed or faith. Hence, the Indian government should promote religious equality and stop waving the flag of the fabricated truth they call ‘justice’.
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