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India`s Path to Extremism

Category: Nature & Science Views: 3832
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India is in the grip of Hindu fascists who advocate establishing Hindutva, a state that exists only in the Hindu religious legends of Ramayana and Mahabharta. This Hindutva project is to turn India into the land of Hindus and Hindus alone. Within such a state only a caste system exists, which gives Hinduism dominance over any other religion.  Thus these extremists are committed to exterminate all non-Hindus entities and/or render them into the lower status of their caste system.

At its independence in 1947, India declared itself a secular state, in accord with its population composition of Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, and Zoroastrians. Muslims comprise the largest minority of about 150 million and Christians, about 30 million. The Congress Party that won independence was firmly committed to the ideals of secularism and non-interference into the religious distinctions of citizens.

But now with the weakening of the Congress, India is under control of the right-wing ultra-nationalist Hindu parties, most notably Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Its major extremist cohort is Rashtrya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). This pseudo-military party was established in 1925 and received its fascist indoctrination from the Italian Fascists in 1931. Its motto: "Hinduize all politics and militarize Hinduism."

The current top leadership in BJP administration including the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee and the Home Minister, L.K. Advani are also members of the RSS. While Vajpayee is soft-spoken and provides insidious support, Advani is more vocal in advocating the RSS doctrine.

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Muslim and Christians are systematically pushed aside and gradually marginalized to the lower fringes of the society.

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The rise of RSS has spawned a number of extremist Hindu organizations. Among them, Wishwa Hindu Parishad, the Shiv Sena, the Bajrang Dal, the Arya Samaj, the Hindu Jagran, the Jagriti Manch and the various Sanskriti Samithis. They are part of the BJP coalition and all of them are working zealously to establish Hindutva.

Accordingly, Muslim and Christians are systematically pushed aside and gradually marginalized to the lower fringes of the society. They are pressured to change their religion, most often by engineering periodic crises such as demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992 and the burning of churches in 1998 and 1999. Another tactic used especially in the poor and underprivileged rural areas is to offer them subsidies for conversion.

The extremist Hindu organizations often create tensions to attack these minorities. For example, wide-scale burning of Muslim neighborhoods in the RSS strongholds of Nasik, Pune, Maharashtra in October 2000 was carried out on the pretext of finding a dismembered statue of Shivaji, a Maharatta leader at the time of Mughal rulers. Another recent incident spearheaded by the BJP, killing of scores of Muslims along with burning of the Qur'an in reaction to Taleban's demolition of Buddha's statues in Afghanistan. Such reactions are enacted in collaboration with RSS, Jan Singh and the notorious Hindu militia, the Shiv Sena.

Still another tactic frequently used is to charge Muslims with being spies of Pakistan and link them to a jihad organization within Pakistan. This serves them to win sympathy of the West especially US since it labels such organizations as 'fundamentalists' and 'terrorists' that should be eliminated. India is constantly looking for ways to put Pakistan in bad light and foment trouble there, as retaliation for its support of the mujahideen in Kashmir where Indian terrorism reigns supreme. Many a killings and bombings in Pakistan are India-sponsored. India has posted 700,000 of its occupation army in Kashmir that have killed 70,000 in the last decade alone and with thousands others raped, maimed and mutilated.

The BJP in concert with its partners has set short and long-term plans to attain their objectives. Thus intermittent violence is created against religious minorities, which is then gradually escalated. The idea is that intermittent, repetitive violence will condition the human psyche to accept them as normal, routine occurrences and thereby gradually cushion their shock effects, a practice that was followed by the Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. It works on the assumption that thus repeated and prolonged, the horrors committed will lose their significance and considered not worthy of media and public attention.

This is what is happening with the Palestinian Intifada, which is not only relegated to a few lines on the inside pages in the American press but also, most often ignored. The scheme is then perfected by totally distorting the facts - that it is Israeli occupiers of their land that horrendously violate human rights and now use disproportionate, excessive force against largely unarmed Palestinians who are bombed, shelled and killed day and night and their homes destroyed. Thus a few Israelis killed are shown as victims of stone-throwing Palestinian kids who are branded as inciting violence while their parents are portrayed as callously goading them on to commit violence against Israelis.

Similarly, whereas here-to-fore the violence of Hindi extremists occurred sporadically, now it is very much organized and is committed regularly. It has become an accepted feature of the Indian society and seldom given any media attention. Moreover, consider this recent example for events in the future. There was worldwide publicity and great many protestations that involved every big and small country, even the UN about Taleban's destruction of Buddha's statues made of stone. But there was hardly any protest lodged anywhere with hardly a mention of it in the world press, when more than 35 Muslims - real alive and living humans who did not have to do anything with those statues, were killed as its consequence in India. Now, after the demolition of Babri Masjid, bricks from all across India have been accumulated at its site for the construction of a temple to the mythical Hindu god, Ram. Still another 2,000 mosques and shrines are targeted for eventual destruction and to be replaced by Hindu temples. Churches are also systematically demolished and burned down.

Among other long-term plans of BJP and its associates is to remove the present-day Indian heroes and replace them with their own. Such is the case with Mohandas Gandhi who was assassinated by one of theirs, Nathuram Godse in 1948. A play entitled Nathuram Godse Bolty (Nathuram Godse speaks), a defense presentation by Gandhi's killer justifying his act, ran to packed houses in Bombay. Although subsequently banned because of the unrest it generated, yet Vajpayee unsuccessfully pleaded its continuation on grounds of freedom of speech.

Yet another long-term project is to rewrite the history of India incorporating all Hindu biases. The BJP government has provided funding for it to several agencies including Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan and the Indian Historical Society and the school textbooks have already been changed. This revisionist enterprise as part of Hinduizing the whole Indian society denigrates the 900-year history of Muslim rule in India and invariably describes those rulers as usurpers and tyrants.

A still greater ominous development under the BJP coalition is their decision to appoint a commission to rewrite India's constitution that would remove its beneficial secular provisions and the democratic features of law of the land. Although at present the BJP government does not enjoy a substantial majority, yet with the disarray of Congress Party it is gradually gaining ground. And while the opposition by the Congress and other parties may delay its implementation for a while, it is unlikely to halt this backslide into Hindu particularization over the long run. The number of die-hard Hindu fanatics is on the increase and they look for every opportunity to strike at minorities. It is very possible that the dire predictions of some pundits of a holocaust-type upheaval may come to pass within the next two decades. And that day may come even closer if the extremist leadership gets challenged and feels threatened to any substantive degree. There are plenty of warning signs to where is India headed.

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Dr. Siraj Mufti currently serves as an Islamic consultant for the Correctional Corporation of America in Arizona. Previously he worked as a research professor at the University of Arizona and a chaplain with the U.S. Department of Justice.


  Category: Nature & Science
Views: 3832
 
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