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Islamabad

May 31, 2018

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Hindutva now targets Sikhs

The threat to religious minorities in India is compounding day by day and as the world watches, the secular outlook and democratic credentials in India are drowned in cacophony and actions of fanatic Hindu fundamentalism. But as secularism erodes, the Western support for the Modi Sarkar, or the Hindu fanatics, poses serious challenges to regional security and the world.

Among other issues, Ghar Wapsi, "Back to Home", is a series of religious conversion activities that targets non-Hindus in India. It is facilitated by two terrorist Hindu organisations, Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which facilitate conversion of minority non-Hindus into the fold of Hinduism.

The ‘Ghar Wapsi’ movement is based on getting back Sikhs into the folds of Hindutva and also aimed at converting the Christians and Muslims into the fold of their ‘original religion’. The movement has gained momentum during the current Modi regime. Modi, a well-known RSS representative in the BJP government and a flag bearer of the Hindutva ideology, is behind the intimidating plot, rendering full governmental support and protection to its perpetrators.

Hinduvta is the ideology of Hindu nationalism that was coined before the Partition in 1947. It was introduced by V D Sarkar in 1923 in an essay titled “Hinduvta: Who is a Hindu?” While he claimed that Hinduvta and Hinduism were two separate things, today Hindutva has become the ideology of the dreaded Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the terrorist organization that is out to eliminate the minorities in the so-called largest democratic country. The political front of the RSS is known as Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP that has wholly adopted the concept, trying to turn India into an extremist Hindu state where the minorities would have little or no rights. In short, both the BJP and RSS seek a new India minus democratic ideals and tolerance but full of militant, bigoted, brutal and aggressive Hindu nationalism.

Savarkar, the man who coined the ugly term, implies that only Hindus and those following Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism can be true citizens of the country while Zoroastrian, Christianity, Islam and Judaism originated outside the Subcontinent and thus their followers have no rights. They are aliens and will remain so. Now Sikhs are also included in the list.

A senior leader of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) Praveen Togadia even declared that the percentage of Hindus in India should be raised from 82 percent to 100 percent. Yes, he talks about forcibly converting or eliminating the minorities altogether.

The BJP, RSS and other hard-line Hindu organisations continue to implement their agenda by hook or crook. The objective, if not fully eliminate them, is to push the minorities against the wall. What is the ban on cow slaughter about? Why Christian nuns are being assaulted? Why are Muslims being lynched in India on fabricated charges? Why are Sikhs being suppressed in the name of Khalistan? Why are churches being burnt down? Why is the face of Muslim parliamentarians in IOK being blackened? Subramanian Swamy, a senior official with the BJP, has even advocated that Muslim voting rights should be made contingent upon Muslims "admitting" that they are Hindu by blood. There is no end to inhuman treatment of minorities at the hands of growing extremist Hindu majority that is led by the Modi Sarkar.

According to a report, Hindu organisations have launched a campaign asking the 70 lakh-strong Sehajdhari Sikhs community to “identify with their origins and join Hinduism”. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has started village-level interactions to enlighten Sehajdhari Sikhs and has started distributing pamphlets in some villages of Ludhiana and Bathinda to convey that Hinduism was always open for them. The Sikh community leaders are showing grave resentment and anger over the wicked RSS and VHP designs of Hindutva, aimed at establishing hegemony of Hindus over India. Sikhs in India are under suppression though voices have been raised by the large Sikh community leaders in Australia and Canada. It remains to be seen how long ordinary Sikhs can avoid the Ghar Wapsi programme.

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