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Friday, January 28, 2011

Extreme Right Hindu Chauvinism: Implication for the Nation by Maloy Krishna Dhar

Extreme Right Hindu Chauvinism: Implication for the Nation by Maloy Krishna Dhar

by Maloy Krishna Dhar


Posted on | January 25, 2011 | 7 Comments

Whoever had coined the words saffron terrorism to describe Hindu fundamentalist organized violent groups allegedly embedded in the Hindu Organizations, has done immense damage to the country by recognizing that the Indian society was vertically and horizontally divided and the Hindus and Muslims are communally motivated, ready to slit each other’s throat? In the composite Indian society we live together separately in community level and caste and class levels. While the latter category signify millennium old dirt in the Hindu society the former is classified as religiously, culturally and socially incompatible forces vastly removed from the Hindu society still trying to coexist.

Hindu Muslim communal riots existed in the past. The first historically recorded riot had taken place in 1714 in Ahmedabad on the holi festival. In the modern era concept of secularism as practiced in the USA, UK, Germany etc countries secularism means non interference of the Church in affairs of the state and maintenance of equidistance from all religious and cultural groups. In India the concept was based on religious grouping as classified the British. At their sweet will they patronized the Hindus and Muslims to strengthen the imperial roots. Hindu elation over defeat of Muslim hegemony manifested in different forms. Muslim sense of impoverishment, isolation and hatred against the British (initially) and fear of Hindu hegemony also manifested in different forms.

Independent India is a Secular State. However, certain Indian political parties have made Gandhi’s perception of Secularism as the concept of secularism enshrined in the constitution. It basically means equal patronization of all religions as a state policy, with minority rights at the core of the concept. Gandhi had never tried to amalgamate Hindu-Muslim societal and cultural differences. He was basically a staunch Hindu. Read in contrast with institutionalized Secularism practiced in the USA, UK, France, Germany and other advanced western democracies, Indian concept, as understood by the Congress, Left Parties, certain caste based parties follow the British system of democracy prescribed for India at a graduated scale from 1906 onwards. That was no secular system; it was designed to divide India on communal lines. These Jurassic parties are still practicing the colonial secularism as Indian socialism. What a great national fun!

Indian protagonists of Secularism would refuse to examine the core of the concept and the status of its application in India right from the days of post-Tilak and in-Gandhi period. The history of the rise of the ‘Hindu Congress’ and Muslim refusal to accept it as their representative political platform is interspersed with the rise of fundamentalist Hindu and Muslim religious organizations. Both the factions suffered from obsessions: Hindus from the sense of déjà vu, after defeat of the Muslim rulers, which gave birth to Bande Matarm philosophy and Hindu nationalism distinct from Muslim fear of ‘Majority Hindu rule’ in a section of the people, who were in minority but who had ruled over the ‘majority’ for over 8 centuries. The Indian National Congress, even when led by Gandhi, was not accepted by the Muslims as their party and branded the leading figures as communal Hindu leaders. This is an integral part of the national history pronouncedly manifest after the final demise of Muslim rule in India. Till the last day of British occupation Gandhi, Nehru etc clutched to the non-existent straw of United One India’s independence and the Muslim leaders continued to emphasize, often with “Direct Action” that Muslim League was the only representative of the Indian Muslims; and they wanted a separate Homeland. The Communists had firmly clutched to the tail end of the USSR and betrayed everyone including Subhash Bose.

Every religion has an embedded core of fundamentalism. Periodical outburst of such cores has earned the descriptions of Crusade, Jihad, and Shuddhi Movement etc. In India, the rise of the Arya Samaj movement, movement for replacement of URDU by HINDI, Shuddhi Movement, development of hardcore Hindu nucleus inside the Congress, birth of the Hindu Mahasabha, the RSS, Jan Sangh, Bhartiya Janata Party and ancillary organizations like the VHP, Bajrang Dal, Durga Vahini, Shiv Sena etc are continuous manifestations of the civilizational conflict which had started around 10th century.

British prescription of democracy and secularism for India as manifested in the Government of India Act 1935 was aimed at dividing the people and perpetuating the ‘majority’ and ‘minority’ conflict. Congress had ceded this separatist demand in 1916 (Congress session presided over by Motilal Nehru). These very British concepts were later enlarged and modified as the Constitution of India, which is an anachronistic book for the governance of diverse people (if not nations) inhabiting India. Nobody dares to have a second look and bring about systemic changes, “vyavastha parivartan” in so-called “rightist Hindu communal” language.

I would not go into the details of the growth of modern resurgence in the fundamental cores of four major religions: Christianity, Sikhism, Islam and Hinduism. If they are not in civilizational conflict, they are clashing at the cauldron of poisonous fissile materials that are generating exceeding heat around the geopolitical, geostrategic and geo-economic goals and objectives of the different peoples with different faiths. The four main ingredients of human growth-geo-cultural, geopolitics, geostrategic and geo-economy have often been layered with the fissile materials of fundamentalism that exist in every religion. Muslims objected to India going in for 1, 2, 3 agreement with the USA fearing inferiority of Muslim Pakistan in nuclear capability. Lalu, Mulayam, Mayawati and Communist etc vote-vultures also opposed the proposed agreement. India’s intrinsic strategic requirements are also dictated by “Secular” minorities and their political mushroom grooming dark cages.

Hinduism is not an exception. The Hindu mind has also been affected like the Muslim minds, Christian and Sikh minds. Besides Kashmir conflict Pakistan has been interfering into India’s inner areas. Its involvement in Punjab, patronization of the HUJI, Lashkar-e-Taiba etc government supported sources have posed serious security concerns on the Indians, particularly Hindus. Series of bomb blasts in railways, important places In India, have created popular perceptions that the Indian state is preoccupied with minority protection matters. After the Mumbai attack by the ISI, Pakistan army and LeT forces on 26/11 Hindu minds have started brewing hatred campaign. They were also disturbed with the facts that BJP and the RSS were not taking any initiative to resist Muslim jihadists on Indian soil.

Reactive acceleration of Hindu minds have transcended past the concept of pseudo secularism preached by Gandhi, Nehru and others. The not so hidden conflict between the Congress, which pretended to be the representatives of the Muslims, and the growing enlargement of the fundamental cores of Muslim and Hindu Minds have started manifesting in different forms. While a very minor section of the Muslims are being encouraged by the pre-partition separatist forces in Pakistan and Bangladesh, a good section of Hindu minds have also started transcending the orbits of the RSS and BJP etc Hindutwa entities and gradually evolving into separate entities. In simple language, inside the factory of sizeable number of Hindu minds the Third Law of Motion of Isaac Newton has started rolling, probably for the first time since the tenth century. This is an ominous sign, I feel; others may disagree.

Even the senior formations of the RSS and politically oriented BJP leaders admit that certain segments of Hindu society have leaped out of their orbit. Several Hindu entities with extremist views have started establishing their pockets of influence. I am aware of growth and existence of such extremist Hindutwa entities, which draw support from unattached RSS, VHP, Bajrag Dal members. These groups are annoyed with the RSS, BJP and other Hindu bodies which allegedly failed to prevent illegal influx of Bangladeshi Muslims, rapid increase of Muslim population in bordering districts of Assam, West Bengal and eastern Bihar and open support to them by the Congress, Communist and other parties. A group in Deganga area of south 24 Pargans and other areas of Maldah, Murshidabad etc areas did not perform Durga Puja on the plea that Muslims had destroyed a Kali temple and the government failed to take action against the Muslims.

Resistance against the alleged minority appeasement, administrative failures to protect the majority community and fear of Muslim domination and Islamisation have propelled these organizations to take to aggressive activates. The communal atmosphere is surcharged. Even in the outer layer of the RSS certain leaders are sympathetic to such fringe groups.

My study indicate such splinter Hindu extremist groups have sprouted out of the main RSS and BJP and they are in the formative stage of consolidating their hold in Orissa, West Bengal, Assam, Parts of Bihar and UP, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra and Kerala. Abhinav Bharat is one of the stems. Others are known as Hindu Samhati. Hindu Jagran Manch, Bharat Rakshak Samity etc. They are coordinating their efforts with the temples, Achariyas, intellectuals and gradually consolidating their ground expansion. Their ground spread increasing.

Whenever, an immature Rahul Gandhi describes them as Saffron terrorists or Digvijay Singh parrots his master’s tune and the Union Home Minister describes them as saffron peril they forget that saffronisation of the Hindu society has not been done by the BJP, RSS. Inside majority of Hindu minds the boiling cauldron is spewing out hatred, critical attitude to minority appeasement policy and utter failure to save the Indians from blatant jihadi attacks. Since the jihadis are Muslims and they draw some support from Indian Muslims, extremist Hindu minds are preparing to hit at Muslim targets, wherever possible. This tragic situation has been spinning at faster rate during last 15 years. Failure of the governments and the intelligence agencies to identify and locate such bodies on the ground has created imbalanced thinking process in the ruling parties. Broad attack against alleged saffronisation and blaming the RSS and the BJP etc are only creating negative responses in Hindu minds.

Perhaps our political parties and their systemic tools would like to enlarge the focus of their lenses and try to fathom what galactic explosions are taking place in some Hindu minds, in reaction to perceived persuasion of so-called ‘pseudo-secularism’, ‘minorityism’ and blatant denunciation of everything ‘Hindu’ by the national leaders of varying political hues. The virulent denunciation of the Hindus in the name of protecting the minorities and allegedly neglecting the majority has been adding fuel to the fission chambers of Hindu minds. The vote-bank vultures have failed to study the churning process. Enough toxic materials have already been generated, which is a result of application of the Universal Third Law of Motion of the celebrated scientist.

I have studied and still studying myriads of websites and print media patronized by the Hindu protagonists from India and abroad. These are not less virulent than the sites propagated by al Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood and other the jihadi Muslim groups (about 1000). Several organizations patronized by the retired Hindu officers of the elite services have joined the chorus. Several layers of ex-servicemen have been attracted to the magnetic call for Hindu revival and Hindu rights. They perceive any concession to the minority as incursions into the privileges of the majority; a psychological process that was pronouncedly noticed in pre-partition days.

I hope the systemic tools of governance of the country would not color their vision with pseudo-secularism and look deep into Hindu minds. Outside the RSS, BJP and ancillary organizations several local groups are forming up, which raise voices for Hindu right, protection of the Hindus from jihadi Muslim attacks and preparation for self defense. This mentality is growing up from perceptions that most ruling parties (Congress especially) and caste leaders like Lalu Prasad, Mulayam Singh, Mayawati, M. Karunanidhi etc castigate the Hindus as communal forces just for the sake of Muslim vote hunger.

The Congress is also branded as a pro-Muslim party, and diatribe by some of the leading figures of the Congress and their demands for banning of certain Hindu organizations are viewed as blatant anti-Hindu political jihad.

Some organizations of the Hindus, outside the RSS orbit, propagate virulently against the leader of the Congress party and allege that she has been trying to convert India to Christianity. The facts of daily denunciation, the Papal intervention and other actions of the government in reaction to incidents in Kandhamal, Karnataka, Gujarat etc places are being described as state patronization of Christianity. Reservation policy for Muslims has also been virulently opposed and is considered as a retreat to 1935 days of Hindu Muslim conflict. Sonia Gandhi also accuses the Hindus with intolerance for their alleged violent actions in Orissa etc states.

As far as the Congress supremo is concerned I would disagree with those Hindu protagonists who allege that she was behind Christian offensive. However, having under her control the entire machinery of the Union Government she should go into the causes of Hindu intolerance. Hindus are the most tolerant people. However, as Newton said, every action has equal reaction. She should know that India is no more a Christian colony for freebooting proselytisation. The Hindus have the rights to stop forcible conversion by other religious zealots.

Proselytizing zeal is symptomatic of some religions like Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Several foreign Christian Missions are involved in aggressive proselytisation activities and certain denominations are more aggressive than the others. The Intelligence Bureau records are full of such activities and especially suspected links with certain ethnic terrorist groups in the North East. But to allege that the Congress supremo is behind such activities are worst kind of religious bigotry.

Here I want to add firmly that most Islamic educational and religious institutions and their public domain bodies are not connected with jihad and terrorism. Only a minuscule group from broad spectrum segments of the Muslim society have been infected by the jihadi philosophy existing in India and exported from the neighboring countries and countries of the Ummah.

Hindu suspicion about the Muslims and Muslim suspicion about Hindu majority that worked devastatingly since 1857 are still at work. We live together separately. This separateness is at the root of communalism-Hindu and Muslim communalism. We live in same mohalla, same housing society but prefer to build an unseen wall around us. Hindu aversion to the conqueror Muslims and Muslim pretence of superiority over the conquered Hindus are still at work.

Those political parties and leaders who keep on driving the nail of “communalism” on Hindu heads incessantly, forget that a boy given the ‘bad tag’ and continuously whipped as non-secular and communal revolt from within and try to defy the system that stigmatize them. Could the Congress leaders like Gandhi, Nehru prevent the Congress followers and leaders from taking part in communal carnages, say from 1905 to 1947? Gandhi had miserably failed and Nehru had even not tried to go into the depth of the problem. His discovery of India was romantic and at best mythological.

The first alleged Hindu terror spark in Maharashtra and Gujarat, attack on the Mecca Masjid and alleged Hindu attack on the Samjhota Express are the testimony to the waking up of the Hindu anger. We pray this one spark should not spread. Without blind condemnation and branding the Hindus as communal and terrorists the political parties and leaders, left with any iota of intelligence, should sit back and address the situation pragmatically and not repeat what they have been saying for last 90 odd years like a gramophone pin stuck in a broken furrow. They have to accept that Hindus form the vast majority and their susceptibilities are required to take care of. Hanging the Saffronisation tag can only aggravate the communal divide. That will add strength to main Hindu platform RSS and the BJP.

Serious introspection is necessary by all concerned segments of the people: Muslim, Christian, Hindus, Sikhs and others. Introspection at the government level, societal organizations, religious organizations and so called ideological parties is the only way to diagnose the disease. The first and foremost things to consider are to calibrate the national attention to the increasing impact of Newton’s Law on sections of Hindu mind, inside and outside the so-called Sangh Parivar. I have noticed more groups outside the Sangh Parivar which are vocal and active on “Hindu reaction” front. These groups encompass retired officers of the All India Services, State Services, members of the police, paramilitary and armed forces.

Even ordinary people living on the edges of the middle class society, both in rural and urban areas are highly concerned about:
a) Growing symptoms of Muslim separatism,
b) Incessant flow of Bangladeshi, Pakistani citizen and fast demographic changes,
c) Wider spread of so-called Islamic Jihad and terrorism,
d) Failure of governments to tackle the problems,
e) Near failure of the law and order governance machineries,
f) Impotence of the criminal justice system,
g) Seeming political patronage by governments of the Muslim and Christian minorities and total neglect of majority Hindu interests and
h) Mindless branding of all Hindu demands and feelings as ‘communal and non-secular.’

That the Muslim community still suffer from the background radiation of separatism and are influenced by those separatists who had chosen to take out a Muslim homeland for themselves. Muslim backwardness is attributed to following causes:

a) Absence of a sizeable modern middle class has resulted in lack of desire to reap the benefits of modern education and professional attitude,

b) The clergy dominated by several branches of Islamic thoughts, religious, educational streams still rule over the non-religious aspects of daily lives of the Muslims,

c) The old radiation of the tradition of living in exclusive habitats, clusters, ghettos and walled cities etc that was prompted by the practice of living in “chaunis” peculiar to invaders, still dominate the habitat pattern of the Muslim community,

d) Muslims and Hindus abhor the idea of living in mixed urban and rural habitats and having their religious and educational institutions in proximate localities,

e) While the Hindus have by and large abandoned the educational system through Sanskrit “tols” and “vidyashrams” and formal studies of the divine language and religious texts, the Muslim community have ardently stuck to the practice of ‘madrassa’ education and learning of Arabic as a part of curricula for studying the Holy Quran,

f) Organized Hindu agitation against Urdu, very much a language of Indian origin, is unacceptable to the Muslims. The revival of Urdu is treated as a part of neo-Muslim renaissance. Hindus do not realize that in languages like Bengali, Hindi etc there are more than 30% assimilated foreign words including Persian, Arabic and Urdu. This cultural chauvinism stands in the way of assimilation. Hindi chauvinism is as tough an obstacle as the issue on cow slaughter.

g) Cow as a symbol of early eastern Aryan civilization has been made a part of modern religious totem for Hinduism. That being so, it is not understood by the Muslim and Christian minority what could be the problem if they consume that animal. Lack of respect by the minority to the Hindu belief in the sanctity of cow is a big hindrance. Certain concepts of Hindu social convention upgraded to religious conviction need re-examination in the light of global progress. Similarly Muslims should have regards for the belief of another community as they expect others to honor their own convictions and religious convention. In a plural society such adjustment alone can ensure peaceful coexistence. The other pole is civilisational conflict.

h) Hindu and Muslim ways of life are governed by their respective social practices codified in texts like the ‘shariat’, ‘hadith’, ‘behesti jevar’ and ‘Hindu Nitya Karm Paddhwati’ and other rituals coded in various parts of the country. Both the Hindus and Muslims have to learn to respect these ways of life and social practices.

i) Muslims, percentage wise to total and religion wise population ratio, are almost equally poor, deprived and backward as the lower caste and rural poor Hindus, Buddhist and other tribal communities are. Yet the backwardness of the Muslims is blamed on Hindu majority chauvinism. This double standard of evaluation by our political and administrative classes is characteristic of pre-independence pattern of behavior. The Muslim leaders and Mullahs should also give up the habit of hiding their own failures by blaming the majority Hindus. The Muslim leaders are bluffing the common Indian Muslims that the majority Hindus is at the root of their ills. They have witnessed the progress of the Indian Muslims who preferred to create a homeland and migrate there. If history is not a lesson that destiny alone can ensure upward progress of the Indian Muslims; not fake secular protection and “chiriaghar” protectionist and preferential weightage policies.

The divide created by gaps between Hindu and Muslim progress in different fields is historic. State efforts in this field have to be matched by societal efforts of the Muslim community; they cannot any more escape by blaming the majority. The majority should have no grudge if some special efforts are made to upgrade the standards of the Muslim. However, the state must ensure that such efforts as prescribed in Sachar Commission etc reports are also applied proportionately to the Hindu, Christian, and Buddhist, Sikh, Jain and other marginal tribal communities across the country. In the name of ‘Secularism’ the others should not be neglected and new unbalancing factors and fault lines are created.

This dissertation is not meant for prescribing prognosis. But certain things are required to be noticed by all concerned across all religious communities:

Muslims and Christians are no lesser building blocks of the nation,

Hindus being the largest building block should not continue to feel that other communities are lesser patriots,
“Secular”, vote-bank political vultures and “maukaprasthi” caste barons should stop using the Hindus as whipping boys. Once unleashed they cannot control that wrath and cannot stop the looming civilisational war.

The old concepts of minority fear for the majority should be abandoned. They should stop blaming Hindus for all their ills.

The minority should frankly admit that they themselves refused to avail of the benefits of progress and their leaders and maulanas had prevented the community to leave the shadows of the ghettos and jump into the mainstream. Like endangered animals they should not survive on largesse of the state and protection offered by vote-bank political vultures. They had committed that mistake for nearly 100 years of British rule in India and had agreed to take to western education after the Hindus made strident progress. The Hindus did not stop them to walk on the highway of progress at any point of post-Mughal era.

The majority should understand and accept the rituals and practices of the other community, and encourage them to advance towards modernisation.

Muslims should realise that they are Indian Muslims and their garlanding bonds with Muslims in Pakistan-Bangladesh and other countries of the Ummah are confined to religious activities only, and this should not be overlapped by any other political ideology promoted by communities in those countries. Indian Muslim should be respected as an integral part of the composite population of the nation.

The systemic tools of the country and the tools of governance should be refined and reoriented and some kind of ‘vyavastah parivartan’ may be necessary to tackle the problems. Otherwise groups and individuals would be tempted to jump into adventurous courses proclaiming each one of them as the messiah, a mahdi and an avtar. The individuals and groups can help by strengthening the tools of governance and by pressuring the political system to maintain balance between all the building blocks of the country. In case the tools of governance fail to protect them (as in several serial bomb blast cases) the people should exercise the democratic rights and bring in the correct government that would not depend on vote-bank compulsion, false secularism and have the will and determination to rule the country according to laws of the land and not on the basis of media propaganda and sectarian demands and pressures.

Hindu susceptibility to minority aggression in its territory is a remnant of historic past. This requires reorientation.

Similarly Muslims and Christian organisations should take care that in modern India proselytisation is limited by the laws of the land. If they transgress that limit than there could be retaliatory repercussions. Even vote-bank politicians would not be able to shield them; least speaking the Vatican and Christian west and global Muslim world pressure. The Hindus have the right to preserve and promote their rights. If that is transgressed the country should remain ready for civil war.

As said earlier the Hindus are the strongest building blocks of the nation. If “quota Singhs”, “reservation masihas” and “blatant Hindu baiters” provoke them repeatedly by calling them saffron terrorists, the Hindus would have no other option but to adopt extra-constitutional methods to protect them. The initial signals are ominous and this should be nipped in the bud and our political vultures should stop “feasting on Hindu culture, integrity and cementing factors.”

Every community, all the religions and all the diversities are equally Indian and require equal respect and should earn the flexibility to transcend the artificial boundaries imposed by banal taboos, practices and prejudices. No Book is greater than living human reality, which may mean inter-marriage, willing change of religions and wide equi-distribution of habitat patterns in urban and rural areas. Synthesis is not an anathema to certain aspects of exclusivity in religious and ritual practices. Certain aspects of modernisation in domains of civil life should not militate against religious exclusivity. Every nation, every people modify their religious and traditional practices to explore the edges of assimilation. Revivalism that often degenerates to fanaticism is incompatible with modern ways of life. If human life is determined only by the Books than life in its entirety degenerates to stagnant pools. Toads in stagnant pools cannot adjust with the free-swimming animals of the vast human-oceans.

The process of law is in action against the criminals involved in Maelgon, Mecca Masjid and Samjhota Express cases. This particular group may be neutralized but mushrooming of more such groups is in the process of maturation. Instead of blaming the RSS, BJP and other ancillary Hindu organizations cannot be described as Saffronisation of Hindu terrorism. Hindu unity and identity cannot be stigmatized by certain political leaders. They should look deep into the Hindu psyche cauldron and diagnose the infection correctly. Statements by Chidambaram, Rahul Gandhi and Digvijay are unfortunate and indicate their lack of knowledge about what is cooking in Hindu minds. They should be able to understand the churning process and address the needs of the moment without political bias.

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