“If I were asked to define the Hindu creed, I should simply say: Search after truth through non-violent means. A man may not believe in God and still call himself a Hindu. Hinduism is a relentless pursuit after truth… Hinduism is the religion of truth. Truth is God. Denial of God we have known. Denial of truth we have not known.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi was a keen student of all religions, which raised him to arrive at a composite understanding of religion and God as a whole thus leading Gandhi to adopt and preach a theory of tolerance and mutual respect founded on truth and maintenance of non-violence laying down the foundation of a secular India. However, the 20th century’s most famous apostle of non-violence himself met a violent end. Gandhi was shot on 30 January 1948 by the Hindu fanatic and RSS ideologist Nathuram Godse. Interestingly, Gandhi’s murderer has been praised as a “patriot” by a terror accused BJP candidate from Bhopal Pragya Singh Thakur running on Narendra Modi’s ticket, and while the prime minister has said he disagreed with the remark, he did not withdraw his party’s backing. (The candidate won.) Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan from Tamil Nadu, said the first terrorist in free India was a Hindu, and his name was Godse which opened a new controversy and Kamal Haasan was booked to criticism by the hindu fanatics. The BJP is widely regarded as the political arm of RSS, which is an Indian right wing, Hindu nationalist, paramilitary volunteer organization.
Hindutva, which is an ideology that seeks to reformulate Hinduism into India, has become a political weapon in Gndhi’s India. Perhaps most ominously, in 2017 Modi appointed the radical priest Yogi Adityanath as chief minister of UP, India’s largest state.
Modi has instituted some economic reforms, but after an initial spurt, the economy’s growth rate has slowed. New investments have fallen since Modi took office, and his promise of extensive job creation remains largely unfulfilled. His signature demonetization effort (taking the vast majority of banknotes out of circulation) made many families’ life savings valueless and caused hardship to almost everyone. To compensate, Modi and his followers ramped up the Hindutva pitch. First came the “love jihad”—false accusations that Muslim men were wooing and impregnating Hindu women to change India’s demographic balance. Next came the “cow protection” lynchings in BJP-controlled states: Gangs of Hindu men killed Muslims whom they falsely accused of eating beef.
According to BBC, with an increase in hate crimes against Muslims in India, some fear the world’s largest democracy is becoming dangerously intolerant under the Hindu nationalist BJP. Similarly, United Nations Human Rights chief Michelle Bachelet raised concerns over “increasing harassment and targeting of minorities – in particular, Muslims, Christians and people from historically disadvantaged and marginalised groups, such as Dalits.”
According to a report of NewYork Times published on August 17, 2019 more than four million people in India, mostly Muslims, are at risk of being declared foreign migrants as the government pushes a hard-line Hindu nationalist agenda that has challenged the country’s pluralist traditions and aims to redefine what it means to be Indian. The hunt for migrants is unfolding in Assam, a poor, hilly state near the borders with Myanmar and Bangladesh. Many of the people whose citizenship is now being questioned were born in India and have enjoyed all the rights of citizens, such as voting in elections. It further narrates the tragic story of Noor Begum, who lived in a small hamlet in a flood-soaked district, spiraled into depression after finding out that she and her mother had been excluded from the citizenship lists. Her father and seven siblings had made it. On a bright morning in June, Noor hanged herself from a rafter. She was 14.
After Modi’s government erased Kashmir’s autonomy, thousands of outraged Kashmiris took to the streets, only to be locked down by a heavy deployment of security forces and a smothering communications blackout. What is happening in Assam and
Kashmir “is an assault on the very imagination of India, of the freedom struggle, of the Constitution, of the idea of a country in which everyone belongs equally,” said Harsh Mander, a former civil servant turned human rights activist. “Muslims are the enemy,” he said. “It’s a war on the Indian Constitution.”
Quoting Ashutosh Varshney, the head of Brown University’s South Asia program, the NewYork Times reports added that “With the political opposition in total disarray and all government agencies — especially the bureaucracy and the security apparatus — firmly in Mr. Modi’s hands, the only hope for India’s secular democracy is in the courts. But, he cautioned, “The judiciary might well surrender.”
This violence oriented Hindutva drive may cause serious threat to the very existence of India as professed by Khushwant Singh in his book The End of India. He believed then; and for years afterwards; that he had seen the worst that India could do to herself. Over the last few years; however; he has had reason to feel that the worst; perhaps; is still to come. In the context of India’s communal politics he warns that insurgencies in Kashmir and the North-East; caste wars in Bihar; scattered Naxalite movements; and the ghettoization of minorities are proof that our obsession with caste and regional and racial identity has also splintered the nation; perhaps beyond repair. What is happening in both Assam and Kashmir is a deliberate attempt to change the demographics in favor of Hindus through violent means of ethnic cleansing.
The sane voices around the world should unmask the nefarious Hindutva plans of India against her minorities. Credited to the Hindu radicalisms, after pursuing the lines of Hinduttva, Hinduism is no more the religion of truthfulness as maintained by Gandhi rather it has become the religion of deceitfulness, violence, and aggression causing serious threats to the lives of millions under nuclear umbrella.