Modi’s Impetus to Hindu Chauvinism
Hindu politics and culture, dominated by the fundamentalist parties such as BJP, RSS, VHP, Shiv Sena and other similar groups which have been propagating Hindutva (Hindu nationalism) felt pleasure, because Indian elections 2014 based on the campaign against Islam, Muslims, and Pakistan enabled BJP hardliner Narendra Modi to get a land sliding triumph.
Prior to the elections of Narendra Modi as Indian Prime Minister, some people were opining that Modi, being an economic reformer, will not fall prey to the Hindu Hawks surrounding him, and will move ahead with his “Economic Agenda” rather than “Hinduvta Agenda.” But, it was widely believed that he would give an impetus to the Hindu chauvinism in India.
Undoubtedly, Muslims were aware of Modi’s agenda to reduce the Muslim community in India to second class citizens. Muslim anxiety in India is multiplying due the fact, because, during the election campaign, Hindu majority was mobilized on ‘hate Muslim’ slogans and ‘anti Pakistan’ jargons. Hence, Modi regime is likely to target and persecute Muslims in India, while the incessant and unjust Indian propaganda against Pakistan is beyond anybody’s cognition.
However, as part of anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan move of the BJP including other Hindu extremist parties, Indian Prime Minister Modi is giving impetus to Hindu chauvinism which could be judged from various recent incidents and developments, and which point towards emergence of Hinduvta under the umbrella of Shiv Sena backed by BJP government led by hardliner-cum-reformist Modi. Encouraged by the election-victory of the BJP, on May 28, this year, in a provocative act to disturb communal harmony among different religious communities in India, Rashtriya Hindu Andolan, a little known Mangalore-based Hindutva outfit and activists from various right wing groups organized a protest in Mangalore in front of the office of Deputy Commissioner by demanding the authorities to ban the morning Muslim call to prayer (Azan) across the country. Moreover, forcing the Muslim employee in a Parliament Canteen by BJP leader to break his fast by stuffing piece of bread in his mouth, statement of Deputy Chief of Goa, declaring India as a Hindu state, opposition to declaration of Sania Mirza as Ambassador of Indian state by calling her daughter-in-law of Pakistan might be cited as instance.
On July 12, while threatening a nuclear war, BJP leader Dr. Subramaniam Swamy, a staunch promoter of Hindutva stated that India needed only two years to defeat Pakistan militarily, and the only solution of Kashmir was war, as “there is no peaceful, democratic solution.”
Besides, soon after assuming power, Modi government, hurriedly decided to forcibly annex and integrate disputed territory of the State of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), uncovering its intentions to wrap up the article 370 of the Indian constitution which ensures a special status to J&K. The aim behind is to fortify measures and continue its illegal occupation in the J&K. Therefore, United Nations Military Observer Group India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) in New Delhi was asked to vacate official accommodation, claiming that its role had become irrelevant, and indicating its intention to violate UN Security Council’s resolutions on Kashmir dispute, and to further commit human rights violations in the India-controlled Kashmir.
Furthermore, New Delhi which has initiated unprovoked firing at the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir including Working Boundary in Sialkot and other sectors across Pak-Indian border, wants to continue it.
Nevertheless, New BJP led-Indian government is vigorously pursuing an aggressive agenda of jingoism to strengthen its hold in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). Besides keeping pro-movement leadership of Kashmir under detention and house arrest, masses are being subjected to worst kind of psychological trauma with a purpose to weaken the ongoing Kashmir movement. In this context, Indian refusal to repeal draconian laws like Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and the Public Safety Act (PSA), continuation of oppressive regime through barrel of gun, search operations to harass innocent masses especially the youth, undemocratic attitude towards peaceful protestors (wherein recently a 15 years old youth has been shot dead in Kulgam), creating environment for revocation of article 370 of Indian constitution to absorb IOK as state like Bihar and Punjab, conspiracies to divide Kashmir on communal lines by creating separate and protected colonies for Kashmiri Pandits, and setting side Pakistan’s efforts to resolve the core dispute of Kashmir including other issues between both the neighboring countries might be cited as example.
It is notable that abrogation of article-370 was one of the election slogans of Modi’s BJP. Now, Modi’s government has accorded top priority to this issue and intensified the efforts towards its attainment. Article 370 protects people of J&K in matters of citizenship, ownership of property and fundamental rights, besides acting as jugular vein between State government of J&K and central government of India. New Delhi is also making large scale propaganda to justify revoking of article 370 at all possible domestic and international forums.
As already stated, BJP led India is trying to change demography of IOK by settling Pundits in the valley by offering hefty financial incentives. It is aimed at getting legitimate control over IOK. Such a move has always been rejected by all leading political parties of IOK.
It is the right hour that Pakistan’s high officials and media must expose the real intentions of the Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi who is implementing Hindu chauvinism as per agenda of BJP, Shiv Sena and other Hindu fundamentalist parties.
In this respect, Pakistan’s internal entities must show Indian evil designs to suppress Kashmir movement, and make all out efforts to bring IOK under Indian fold. In this regard, BJP- led Indian government’s inner psyche to promote Hindutva philosophy also needs to be linked—Indian extremist Hindus’ desire that India becomes a classical Hindu state where all others are to be treated as second rate citizens, as Hindutva thinking does not accept outsiders as Indians. This is particularly in reference to Muslim community and Christians living in India. These internal entities of Pakistan must indicate perennial human rights violations by Indian security forces against people of the Indian-held Kashmir, shameful criminal silence by world opinion builders and key communicators regarding atrocities on Kashmiris, draconian laws, arrests of the Kashmiri leaders on any plea for an indefinite time and illegal detentions—rape of innocent women, extra-judicial killings of Kashmiri people including the youth.
While on such human rights violations, the state and Indian security and law-enforcing agencies appear to be in connivance. Thus such organized crime goes on in IOK on behest of New Delhi. The aim is to maintain calm and suppress the voice of people of Kashmir.
Pakistan’s internal entities, especially media must point out the practice of enforced disappearances, perpetuated under the auspices of two black laws, AFSPA and Jammu Kashmir Disturbed Area Act as an enduring legacy in Indian controlled Kashmir since 1989. They should widely promote the veteran Kashmiri Hurriyat leader, Syed Ali Gilani’s appeal to the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, about taking steps to initiate investigation into the gross human rights abuses, being committed by Indian troops in the occupied Kashmir.
Meanwhile, BJP government is stressing the need to open cross LoC routes between IOK and Gigit-Baltistan (GB) under the gambit of providing relief to divided families between IOK and GB, besides boosting the depressed economy of GB. There are scores of wicked objectives behind this move including exploitation of sectarianism and projection of human rights violation in GB against Pakistan. Opening of LOC routes will afford India to engage in recruiting agents and contracting favorable audience for promoting Indian chauvinism, based upon its aggressive policies and anti-Pakistani propaganda. Such a jingoism of New Delhi, in the long run, would instigate anti-Pakistan sentiments, and promote separatism on the lines, followed in Baluchistan. It will realize India’s longstanding dream of accessing Central Asian states through GB. This scheme would also help India to contain China’s presence in GB by restraining their economic interests. So, our media must expose Indian designs, behind opening of cross LOC routes.
Particularly, educate domestic masses of GB and opinion builders of Pakistan that India wants to manipulate sensitivity of GB by targeting depressed economy, sectarian divide and divided kinship. New Delhi, wants to open LoC between IOK and GB for fulfilling its own vested interests at the cost of our country.
It is mentionable that on the one hand, Modi is projecting himself as a young, secular and energetic Indian leader, having a vision to bring economic reforms in the country, besides fostering friendly relations with neighboring and regional countries, while on the other hand, his projected image is being eclipsed by various statements and actions of his party leaders, challenging the secular status of India.
We can conclude that BJP’s hardliner and the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is giving a greater impetus to Hindu chauvinism which could destabilize the whole region in the modern era of renunciation of war, peaceful settlement of disputes and promotion of human rights.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations