From secular to sham India | By Reema Shaukat

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From secular to sham India

IT is interesting to highlight that India leaves no stone unturned to portray herself as one of the biggest democracies of the world and a vigil holder of human rights.

India is vocal advocate of secularism but nowhere else in the world secularism is blatantly betrayed as India does.

Hindu fundamentalism is on the rise influencing the India society to the chamber of destruction.

The hate campaign released by the fundamentalist powers is keeping the minorities in India absolutely pre-occupied with defending their basic human rights and cultural identities.

India, in the past, seized by force a number of princely States by violating the partition pattern and against the desire of the inhabitants of the respective states.

Thus, it annexed Jammu and Kashmir by using military force.Pakistan confronted Indian hostility and showed how Indian claims contradict its stance.

Meanwhile, the United Nations intervened and in its resolution, UN demanded for a plebiscite to be held in IOK to determine the desire of the dwellers.

Over a period of time, India has been avoiding UN resolutions and their implementation below one excuse or another.

After the nullification of Articles 370 and 35-A, the world is seeing new Indian facade, where it abrogated its own Constitution for illegal occupation of Jammu & Kashmir.

If one looks into history, one finds it interesting that until the 19th century, the word “Hindu” had no specific religious meaning and simply referred to the people who lived east of the Indus River, whatsoever their beliefs are.

The Indian Supreme Court itself has held that “no precise meaning can be ascribed to the terms ‘Hindu’ and ‘Hinduism.

It was only when the census introduced by the British colonial authorities in 1871 included Hindu as a religious designation that many Indians began to think of themselves and their country as Hindu.

20th century agitation against the British led to the rise not only of the secular and socialist Congress Movement but also of the rival Hindu Nationalist Movement collectively known as the Sangh Parivar meaning “family of organizations”.

The Parivar proclaims an ideology of “Hindutva,” aimed at ensuring the predominance of Hinduism in the Indian society, politics and culture which it promotes through tactics that include violence and terror.

Its agenda includes subjugating or driving out Muslims, Christians or any other minority. The BJP policies on Hindutva and conversion coincide with increasingly violent attacks by Hindu militants on religious minorities.

Thus, extremist organizations are promoting saffronization of India by brain washing youth mindsets such as making compulsory education of Geeta, Maha Bharat and Hindu literature for Muslims in educational institutions.

Ban on wearing hijab, cow slaughtering, forced conversion, increasing rape incidents and much sectarian hatred in India now exists which is often portrayed in the form of violence and brutality.

The reality is that India has an unwritten mandate of pushing the minorities against the wall through state policies as well as by hardliner Hindu politicians.

State sponsored anti-minority initiatives like ‘Purkhon ki Ghar Wapsi’, a mass conversion jointly organized by Dharma Jagran Samanvay Vibhag, an offshoot of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Bajrang Dal, is another example of anti-minority venom amongst Hindutva-centric Modi’s Government and its political allies.

The BJP policies are based on RSS ideology of Hindutva or Hindu nationalism with an idea to form Akhand Bharat, or an undivided Indian state which is true representative of Hindu culture and religion.

The BJP’s extremist actions and discriminatory policies can be traced back to their first tenure in government when events of 1998 nuclear explosion, violence against Christians, Gujarat carnage of Muslims and strengthening of Indo-Israel ties took place.

Subsequently, India witnessed political movements with a broad range of Hindutva centric ideology, striving for a radical change, often creating problems for other religious minorities encompassing mostly the Muslims and the Christians.

The snow balling threat to religious minorities by fanatic and aggressive Hindu fundamentalism is enough to raise serious doubts among the international community regarding the secular outlook and democratic claims of India.

It is important to highlight that the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCRIF) in its new annual report has once again placed India into its list of ‘Country of Particular Concern’ for engaging in and tolerating methodical, fragmentary and abysmal religious freedom violations.

USCIRF report mentioned that religious freedom conditions in India “continued their negative trajectory”.

The government, led by the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), promoted Hindu nationalist policies resulting in systematic, ongoing and egregious violations of religious freedom.

Recently, a video on social media is circulating by a female member of Baj Rang Dal who openly calls for genocide of Muslims by saying, “If you ask for water, Indians will give you juice.

If you ask for milk, we’ll give you buttermilk.But, if you want the hijab all over India, we will chop you (Muslims) all with Shivaji’s sword.”

In India, hate crimes against religious minorities, their social boycotts and forced conversions have escalated dramatically since 2014.

Pat two reports by USCIRF is another call to wake up conscience of the world against India’s growing religious intolerance and biasedness.

Even the sane voices in India believe Modi certainly is planning on bigger scale to damage Muslim population throughout India.

In the coming times, Muslim population will be scrapped out from the map of India via demographic engineering.

One wonders how Indian claims of secular state are proving itself a fake union through their actions.

—The writer works at the Institute of Regional Studies.

 

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