• Saleem Qamar Butt

More of Modi means less of India!



The rise of far right extremists in national and international politics like Narendera Modi, who is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu nationalist volunteer organisation, has put hitherto secular India on fire that has spread from Indian Occupied Kashmir to every nook and corner of India; and Indian Capital Delhi is re-experiencing Hindu extremists and Indian police brutally killing Muslims in India, and torching their properties. The event ironically started when POTUS Trump ( with Islamophobia, anti immigration and supremacist mindset in common with the host) was visiting India along with butcher of Muslims in Gujarat Modi, who had remained on American visa ban list till he happened to soar on the nasty emotional waves of Hindutva spread by RSS fascist ideology.

According to Wikipedia, the name India is taken from Sanskrit Sindhu, the historic local title for the Indus River. Another popular substitute name of India is Hindustan, meaning the "land of Hindus". India saw the rule of both Muslim and Hindu rulers from c. 1200 to 1750 CE. The 1947 division of India gave rise to bloody rioting and indiscriminate inter-communal killing of Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs. Around 7.5 million Muslims were moved and left for West Pakistan and East Pakistan (now known as Bangladesh) and 7.2 million Hindus moved to India. This was a major factor in fueling Hindu-Muslim animosity. The union of Indian states was based on carefully crafted constitution that catered for unity in diversity that RSS ideology had been opposing from the beginning. What followed over the years was the laying of secular principles in the Indian Constitution that Modi’s BJP government is set to undo as its ideology of RSS never acknowledged Indian constitution. The RSS initially did not recognise the Tricolor as the National Flag of India and instead insisted that the Bhagwa Dhwaj (Saffron Flag) be adopted as the National Flag of India. The RSS also initially did not recognise the Constitution of India, strongly criticising it because the Indian Constitution made no mention of "Manu's laws" – from the ancient Hindu text Manusmriti. The last 60 years have been seemingly peaceful in most parts of the country except with the notable exception of communal riots in 1992 Bombay riots following the demolition of Babri Masjid by extremists and 2002 Gujarat riots.

As per Wikipedia and other open sources, RSS was founded on 27 September 1925 and is an Indian right-wing, Hindu ultra nationalist, supremacist, paramilitary volunteer organisation that is the ancestor and controller of a large body of organisations called the Sangh Parivar (the "family of the RSS"), which have presence in all facets of the Indian society with membership of millions. Other prominent Sangh Parivar organizations include the Bajrang Dal, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), successor to the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), which indulge in propaganda, virulent hate campaigns, and specifically in violence against religious minorities. The organisation promotes the ideals of upholding Indian culture and spreads the ideology of Hindutva, to "strengthen" the Hindu community. RSS drew initial inspiration from European right-wing groups during World War II like Hitler’s Nazi German. India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had been cautious towards RSS since he had taken charge. When RSS leader Golwalkar wrote to Nehru asking for the lifting of the ban on RSS after Gandhi's assassination by an RSS volunteer, Nehru replied that the government had proof that RSS activities were 'anti-national' by virtue of being 'communalist'. In his letter to the heads of provincial governments in December 1947, Nehru wrote that "we have a great deal of evidence to show that RSS is an organisation which is in the nature of a private army and which is definitely proceeding on the strictest Nazi lines, even following the techniques of the organisation". The RSS was banned once during British rule in 1947, and then thrice by the post-independence Indian government, first in year 1948; then during the emergency (1975–1977); and for a third time after the demolition of Babri Masjid in year 1992. The India’s current ruling party, the BJP, is tied to the RSS, VHP, and Bajrang Dal, and functions as the Sangh Parivar’s political wing. It has formed governments five times in India, most recently being in power from May 2019 under the leadership of Narendra Modi. Political opponents of the BJP say that the party's moderate face merely serves to cover the Sangh Parivar's hidden agenda of neat Hindutva, evident from the BJP's efforts to change the content of history textbooks and syllabi as well as other aspects of the education system. Such criticism of the BJP arises from the fact that BJP had only 2 seats in the parliament in 1984 and after the Babri Masjid demolition the party gained national recognition, and only then it rose to power in 1998. Although RSS has never directly contested elections, it supports parties that are similar ideologically and generally endorses the BJP. According to M. S. Golwalkar (who once supported Hitler's creation of a supreme race by suppression of minorities) , “The non-Hindu people of Hindustan must either adopt Hindu culture and languages, must learn and respect and hold in reverence the Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but of those of glorification of the Hindu race and culture ... in a word they must cease to be foreigners; or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment—not even citizens' rights”;similar pronouncement had been made by late BJP foreign minister Shusma Swaraj and PM Modi in their number of speeches.

I wrote an essay in 1990 discussing Clausewitz concept of Centre of Gravity(C of G) and its application on Pakistan and India. My youthful mind conjectured then that the C of G for Union state of India was its political system that had carved for itself a constitution that is based on the principles of unity in diversity, secularism and non-alignment concept……violation of the constitutional framework and tinkering with its political system may see disintegration of India in a number of independent states as evidenced by various indigenous insurgencies within India. BJP’s rise in politics with Modi as prime minister who has been an ardent soldier of RSS and attacks on clauses of Indian constitution that ensured special status to Indian occupied Kashmir and its people i.e. article 35 A and article 370, followed up by introduction of National Register of Citizens (NRC) that could use the proposed Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) to render a large number of Muslims stateless in India is the most damaging development in the last seven decades. For me, it may just be beginning of the end that I thought of in 1990. If Modi continued to implement extremist RSS agenda unchecked by Indian National Congress and other balanced voices within India, chance are ripe that India will implode sooner than later. The more of Modi and RSS means less of India; a point to ponder for wise and good Indians!

5th March 2020

· Saleem Qamar Butt, SI (M) is a retired senior Army officer with rich experience in International relations, diplomacy and analysis of geo-strategic issues. (Website: www.sqbutt.com )

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