‘BJP, RSS are two sides of the same coin’

January 28, 2022

Islamabad :Speakers at a webinar were of the view that the ideological, organisational, and political dynamics of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party were intricately intertwined with the extremist...

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Islamabad :Speakers at a webinar were of the view that the ideological, organisational, and political dynamics of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were intricately intertwined with the extremist militant outfit Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

The webinar was organised by the Institute of Regional Studies (IRS) here.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Asma Shakir Khwaja, Head of the Department of Strategic Studies, National Defence University, said that the creation of Pakistan was a response to latent but prevalent Hindutva mindset in colonial India. She added that the reason for Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah leaving Congress was the existence of the Hindutva mindset in the party. This, she argued, convinced him that Muslims and Hindus could not coexist.

She added that the Bharatiya Janata Party —in collusion with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh —was using Hindutva ideology as a political tool to divert public attention from real issues of the common man like the economy, climate and peace, and security. Dr. Khawaja observed that Hindutva ideologues of the Bharatiya Janata Party -Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh combine believed in the war against non-Hindus and, therefore, could not coexist at peace with its neighbouring countries.

Dr. Salma Malik, Assistant Professor in the Department of Defence and Strategic Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University, said that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Bharatiya Janata Party could be viewed as two different entities through the lens of academia but, in reality, they were hand in glove. She said that it was important to note how India had been taken over by cultural nationalism. She highlighted how the BJP-RSS mindset was reinventing the identity of India by reimagining Indian history, its cultural symbols, and narratives. This, she argued, was taking place in a conducive international environment in which various democracies were being hijacked by Right-wing extremists while many others were more concerned about their business interests in India.

Dr Ilhan Niaz, also from QAU, was of the view that since India was a large state, its domestic developments were bound to have repercussions not only for the states in the region but the entire world. He argued that the Hindutva ideologues portrayed their movement as a cultural and political project to restore Indian dignity as they saw it.



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