The alliance of two right wing Hindu parties which emerged victorious in the recent state polls in Maharashtra vowed to rename its capital to Mumbai. The ultra-militant Shiv Sena forms the state government with the help of the Hindu revivalist Bhratiya Janata Party (BJP) after the alliance inflicted a crushing defeat on Prime Minister Rao’s Congress (I) party.
The new state Chief Minister Manohar Joshi has also declared that the names of Aurangabad and Osmanabad are to be changed to Sambhajinagar and Dharashiv respectively.
To add more fuel to the fire which may burn across India, Bal Thackeray, the leader of the Hindu militant Shiv Sena, has set the first task for his party’s newly installed government in Maharashtra – expelling the Muslims who he accuses of being immigrants.
He has already made a list of 42,000 immigrants which the 38,000 strong Bombay police force, a large number of whom are Shiv Sena followers, have been supplied.
Thackeray, a self-confessed admirer of Adolph Hitler, compared Muslims with the Jews and gave reference to the many Jews sent to the gas chamber.
It seems that the BJP is applying Hitler’s extermination method of the Jews to the Muslims who would be flushed out. These are indeed ominous signs for India’s future – said a noted observer of India’s domestic scene, since these parties espouse divisive issues.
The BJP has swept to power in two states; at the same time an independent commission has uncovered its involvement in the Bhagalpur riots which claimed over 3,000 innocent lives.
In Maharashtra, riots that will make Bhagalpur look like a picnic are expected.
With the rabid followers of Thackeray who usually combines sprinkling colored powder on followers with chants of poisonous words on the so-called Muslim immigrants, bloody days loom ahead.
The irony of fate is that those who were in the forefront of incitement to attack Muslims like Ganga Prasad Dhore, the former inspector general of police, Bhagalpur have been rewarded and asked to supervise elections.
The flames of communalism in India have never burnt so fiercely as now. And yet the liberals and others watch without taking any measures. No one can evaluate their action. Perhaps they do not want to antagonize the Hindu communalists forces who, within a decade, may rule over India.
The total apathy and the indifference of the Congress party, who were more concerned for the Muslim vote bank than their plight, further aggravated the situation. Reports of “communal tension” rising animosity and rumors to incite Hindus against Muslims were not taken seriously by the complacent Congress government.
Even as Muslim blood flowed in the streets and lanes of cities across India the Congress government highlighted its impotence by its inability to act.
The razing of the Babri mosque which many Indians in India and abroad celebrated and whose destruction the Rao’s government connived as all indicators point out did not dampen the enthusiasm of the communalists. More than two dozen mosques have now been targeted for destruction.
The gullible masses among the Indian populace are being presented with imaginary threats to Hinduism and yet the government by its policy of omission or commission and its blatant desire to please the BJP fanatics has not realized the gravity of this situation which threatens to break the fabric of India into a thousand pieces. Like the Indian plague, communalism is now fanning out in the rural areas and pitting friend against friend and neighbor against neighbor. The illiterate villagers are brainwashed by party henchmen sent from the towns who are telling them that each minaret of the mosque is a Pakistani rocket!!
The creation of an anti-Muslim attitude by the state governments in Maharashtra and Gujrat will result in the holocaust of Muslims. Thackeray himself would not flinch as he has already stated that Muslims are like Jews.
The Shiv Sena leader has never refuted allegations about his active role in the anti-Muslim pogrom in Bombay in which hundreds of Muslims were killed in riots following the Babri mosque demolition.
In Gujrat the BJP government headed by Keshavbhai Patel which won a two-third’s majority started to flex its muscles.
The RSS-BJP national alliance has started targeting Gujrat which has a sizable Muslim cultural and economic base. Hit lists are already being prepared. L.K. Advani has been himself elected from a Gujrat constituency although he is a Sindhi from Bombay.
Harassment of Gujrati Muslims along the Kutch border with Pakistan has already begun. Many have been threatened with eviction. The irony of fate is that the Muslims voted for the BJP to spite Congress and Rao.
Hoping for some respite for their election posture towards the BJP they are now shuddering with fear at a possible repetition of the 1969 Ahmedabad riots; already there are signs of brewing trouble. Seven Muslims were killed during the Holi festival.
The Gujrat elections reveal that over half the population has no say in the state since no woman or Muslim has been elected. Indeed one wonders about this strange democracy!!
The late Girilal Jain who was the editor of the Times of India and a respected news person once remarked that Muslim leadership was “stupid”. They ditched Congress which was the last “ditch” between them and the hordes of rabid communalists.
However, some Indian Muslims say there is no point in accusing Congress since the Muslims themselves had not prepared themselves for the changing scenario of Indian politics. However, in all honesty while they are to be blamed partially yet the sudden transformation of India from a purely secular state with Ghandian ideals to one where blood has now started to flow has shocked them.
While these two states are flash points of trouble Andhra Pradesh where the Muslims voted enbloc for N.T. Ram Rao also seems to be heading for a bloody conflict. The list of states cold go on and on.
The changing pattern of Indian politics has made overseas investors jittery and nervous. The anti-Muslim leanings of the Shiv Sena and the BJP is also an additional worry for possible investors who fear a repetition of the Bombay blasts. Thus while there is gloating by those who preach the politics of evil a feeling of fear and panic also prevails.
Tom Peters, the renowned management Guru also referred to this in a talk in Riyadh last week. In particular he referred Thackeray’s statement on “selective foreign investment.”
It seems that these fascist parties with Hitlarian ambition are getting ready to physically eradicated Muslims and their cultural or economic base. They are open and relentless in the pursuit of their goals.
They are oblivious to the fact such type of behavior might undo India causing great havoc to millions of people. Two-thirds of the Indian masses are on the poverty line. They don’t need to be provocated into shrill cries of blood letting. They don’t need to be turned into hordes of violent beings. They need stability and leadership. However, the BJP-Shiv Sena caravan has no ear for reason and logic as it plods across India’s towns and villages.
India cannot afford government of communal forces trying to impose their illogical and historically irreversible facts – say many politicians. To deprive people of travel between states and to plant regional chauvinism violates the very spirit of Indian democracy.
Those who are watching the Indian scene hope that common sense may one day prevail over ideological bigotry and fascism.
Otherwise Armageddon may come. That will be the end.